To be an interior designer, you obviously have to have an eye for style — And one colorful, stylish Bear recently showed us what that was all about!
On BBC Two’s Interior Design Masters, ten aspiring interior decorators compete against each other and redecorate ordinary spaces to transform them using brilliant ideas and innovative designs in hopes of landing a career-defining contract with one of the UK’s top boutique hotels. One of those ten contestants was beary talented interior designer from the UK named Jon Burns, founder of Jonathan Scott Interiors.
With his colorful and delightful personality, Jon became known on the show not only for his humor, but for his colorful fashion sense! He never set out to be a TV star, but his personality has now made him a well known public figure.
We had a chat with Jon recently to discuss his work as a designer, how his newfound career as a celebrity came about, and his upcoming podcast!
Kyle Jackson: Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you got started in interior design?
Jon Burns: It started when I was 7 with my aunt giving me a Laura Ashley catalogue and it was like fucking magic! From that point, I hounded my parents to take me to show homes while the other kids were out playing football or fighting (laughs)…..and it’s followed right through to today. I love interiors, architecture and creating environments for people to enjoy!
KJ: How did the opportunity to be on BBC’s Interior Design Masters come about?
JB: I loved the first series and just kept thinking ‘if only i had the bravery.’ Then, one day I got the urge to contact them. A bit like coming out, I couldn’t hide it, or try to hide it, any longer.
I had to complete a project and send in a portfolio, and then a few weeks later got a call to say they wanted me. Woohoo!!
My actual words were, “Fuck, fuck… Oh, fuck!”
KJ: What was the best part about being on the show and what are some of the things you’ve learned or taken away from it?
JB: It put me under immense pressure to draw upon all the creative thoughts I have daily and channel them into a cohesive concept to, hopefully, achieve what the client had envisaged. The feeling and rush of doing that was amazing, and I honestly felt so alive! It’s like trying on your first pair of heels and knowing you can walk in them…Electric!
I learned loads about myself, my vulnerability, how much I can achieve in a very short space of time and where my confidence levels were. Plus, how to upholster and make furniture — not flat pack my own design. The learning curve was massive!
KJ: As a designer, what would you say is your signature style?
JB: The show has helped me realise I love patterns, colour and texture that smacks you in the face and says ‘I’m here!’ It’s about making a statement and reflecting the client’s thoughts and wishes…but also pushing them to think bigger and bolder.
KJ: We hear you may have a podcast coming out soon. Can you tell us a bit about the idea behind it?
JB: Sure! I want the podcast to focus on the bravery of people to make changes in their life, both personal and interiors. I want to give them a platform to share with others to inspire.
I want to chat with people who may have changed careers after years of not knowing if they could, or home renovations that are creating dreams and achieving aspirations. Think of it as ‘Reno with Vino.’ Reno stands for “Realising Endless New Opportunities”…and it’s all done whilst sharing a wine.
KJ: What other ventures will you be working on?
JB: The podcast is still being shaped, and I’m looking for a sponsor for that. I’ve done some work with a local charity, and want to explore more with LGBTQ groups. I’ve just finished my current clients property which frees my time up for more projects and my own home.
I’d love to write lifestyle columns for interiors or fashion magazines, and would love to enter into a collaboration for fashion for the real size guy who likes it a bit edgy — No one seems to do this and there is a market for it!