Hilden Style Awards 2016: Meet The Judge – Ellie Tennant

Updated on: August 19 2016

With only two weeks to go before the end of the Hilden Style Awards 2016, the competition is now fiercer than ever with a surge of entries in the last few days.

ellie tennant interior designThese unique awards are designed to find the leaders in the style stakes when it comes to hotels or B&B’s, restaurants and, for the first time, care homes.

Returning earlier this year, the Hilden Style Awards burst back onto the scene with a bang. With a brand new look, brand new judges, brand new categories and brand new prizes – this year may just be tougher than ever.

In our latest series of Meet The Judge posts, we speak to Ellie Tennant; freelance interior design journalist, stylist and author.

About Ellie Tennant

Specialising in simple living and all aspects of design, vintage, shopping and home style, Ellie started her career working for publishers such as Hearst and Time; working on the Ideal Home magazine and penning the highly celebrated HomeShoppingSpy blog.

After going freelance in 2011, her work has regularly been featured in magazines such as Homes & Antiques, Grand Designs, Good Homes, Homes and Gardens and Country Homes & Interiors.

Currently running her own blog, Ellie reaches out to over 17,800 followers on Twitter with her posts about vintage style and simple living. Her first book, Design Bloggers at Home and second book, Chic Boutiquers at Home explore the stylish homes of online taste-makers.

What made you decide to be a judge this year?

I’m always interested to explore stylish interiors and welcome the opportunity to have a ‘nose’ around elegantly-designed hotels, care homes and B&Bs.

What do you think will be some key trends over the next 12 months?

Generally speaking, there are two main ‘strands’ of home ‘trends’ at the moment – one is an artisanal, simple, rustic look inspired by handmade, authentic design and the other is a heavily-ornate, decadent, eclectic, highly-decorative look that is like a new take on Victorian grandeur with plenty of pattern and colour. I also think the influence of pared-back, modern Scandinavian design will continue to dominate contemporary interior style.

In a highly competitive hospitality market, how do you think the design and style of a hotel or B&B may influence the decision to stay?

Design and style are crucial factors that influence people’s decision to want to book or stay at a hotel or B&B. The interior design of a space has a powerful impact on how a building makes us feel – as guests, we seek something that’s inspiring, relaxing, creative – but above all, comfortable. Design that looks stunning but also works well on a practical level is what I’ll be looking for – a balance between style and substance.

A lot of modern restaurants do not use table linen, how important do you think table linen is as part of restaurant design?

To be honest, it’s difficult to say because it really depends on the style of the space and the mood of the restaurant. Table linen, when used in a clean, contemporary way, can elevate a dining space to a more luxurious level, but I don’t think it’s always necessary to have table linen in order to achieve a successful scheme.

How important do you think stylish design is within the care home setting, taking into account that it needs to be functional and practical?

Achieving a balance between functional, practical aspects and stylish design that’s inspiring and stimulating to live with is the key when it comes to care home interiors.

What do you think will set an entry apart from the rest this year?

I will be looking for interiors that are practical, comfortable, welcoming, good-looking and super-stylish. I’m a huge believer that ‘less is more’, so strong schemes, where the designer has had the confidence to commit to a few key ideas or elements, will always catch my eye. I’ll be looking for rooms that tick all the boxes – form, function, style – but that also have something special about them, that makes them stand out from the crowd. Longevity and timelessness also appeal to me.

Enter the Style Awards Today

To enter your stylish establishment, simply click here. Fill in the accompanying form, send in the best photo of your venue and sit back!

The three categories are:

  • Most Stylish Restaurant
  • Most Stylish Hotel
  • Most Stylish Care Home

But hurry – entries close on the Friday 2nd September.


Good luck!


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Anna Gillespie
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Anna Gillespie

Anna Gillespie