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Dulux Academy finalists looking good on paper

Last Year’s Winner is presented with the Dulux Academy Decorator Trophy, but who will it be this year?

Dulux have announced the finalists for their 2018 Dulux Academy Design and Decorate Challenge.

The challenge, which sees experienced decorators designing a new wallpaper pattern, is in its second year and has been extremely popular once again, with entries coming in from all over the UK. With the winner getting their design made into bespoke rolls of wallpaper by Graham & Brown, the prestige is enormous for the lucky finalists.

They are:

  • Stuart Yates  – A decorator since 1976, Stuart, from Chesterfield, Derbyshire, chose birds on his design this year as he feels they are ‘on trend’.
  • Karen Julien  – Now working for Highbury Homes, Karen from Huddersfield, started decorating at the age of 15. Her design is ‘full of colour and is such a simple design it can be hung horizontally or vertically’.
  • Miles Newby – Has already had a brush with fame as the wallpaper hanger on The Generation Game with Bruce Forsyth, now Miles from Crouch End, London, is going for glory with his 3D cube design
  • Nick Adonis – Starting his career in London’s Belgravia and Kensington, Nick has always admired the great wallpaper houses and is now taking a pride in restoring the art of hanging perfect paper with his entry
  • Andrew Bigwood – Using his skills as a photographer to design a unique paper featuring an striking American Thunderbird car, Andrew believes wallpaper is on the way back as a popular choice with homeowners seeking big statements on feature walls.


The finalists have had their designs shared online, with the public voting for their favourite – accounting for 50% of the design mark – and now they will go head to head in a practical challenge.

Held at the flagship Dulux Academy in Slough on 4th October, the finalists will see their wallpapering skills put to the test in front of the judging panel, which consists of Neil Ogilvie, Chief Executive Officer at the Painting and Decorating Association; Mark Rigby, Skills Development Consultant at Dulux Academy; and Louise Stevenson, National Account Manager at Graham & Brown.

The judges will then crown a winner, based on both their design and practical application skills, with input from Marianne Shillingford, Creative Director at Dulux, on the submitted designs.

Vickie Mather, Dulux Academy Manager, said: “The quality of entries we have had has been impressive and testament to the expertise of the UK’s painters and decorators.

“The five who have been shortlisted have all demonstrated that they set a very high standard of creativity and skill. Now the judges will get to see them up close before the winner emerges. It will be a brilliant day and hopefully will inspire many more in the community to upskill themselves in this craft.”

The challenge is held to promote International Wallpaper Week and to celebrate further, the Dulux Academy is offering 50 per cent off its six wallpapering courses across the UK, when booked before 7th October 2018.

Launched in March 2016, Dulux Academy is the UK’s first dedicated academy for professionals in the domestic and commercial decoration industry. It offers a range of courses designed to help decorators and apprentices upskill, build their business and hone their design knowledge. To date, more than 4,500 individuals have trained with Dulux Academy across their numerous UK locations.

To find out more, visit http://academy.duluxtradepaintexpert.co.uk/wallpapering/

About Elizabeth Jordan

I'm the Assistant Editor on BMJ. If you have any product or people information, or some news you'd like to share, please feel free to email me.

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