Decorator Nicola collects eye-catching prize thanks to Dulux Academy 

Decorator Nicola Lewis is now an award-winning designer after seeing her wallpaper creation turned into exclusive Graham & Brown rolls. 

Nicola, owner of Mrs Lewis’ Decorating Company in Matlock, is the third winner of the prestigious Dulux Academy Design and Decorate Challenge to mark International Wallpaper Week.

In October 2019, Nicola was crowned the winner after impressing the judges with her unique craftsmanship, eye for design, plus expert wallpapering skills.

<noscript><img decoding=async class=size medium wp image 30585 lazyload src=httpwwwtrade decoratorcoukwp contentuploads202005IWW DD Winning Design in production 225x300jpg alt= width=225 height=300 srcset=httpswwwtrade decoratorcoukwp contentuploads202005IWW DD Winning Design in production 225x300jpg 225w httpswwwtrade decoratorcoukwp contentuploads202005IWW DD Winning Design in productionjpg 600w sizes=max width 225px 100vw 225px ><noscript> Winning design in production

Her spectacular ‘eye-catching’ design included the clever use of eyes of friends, relatives and fellow decorators across the UK to create a wallpaper pattern that represented the watchful eyes of people on social media.

To celebrate her achievement, Nicola has now seen her design turned into six bespoke rolls of paper at the Graham & Brown factory in Blackburn, Lancashire.

The rolls were presented to Nicola by Graham & Brown Director Lisa Mitchell in February, following a money-can’t-buy tour behind the scenes at the factory, which included an exclusive look at new designs that are currently in production.

Runner up, Karen Julien, joined Nicola on her factory tour, after striking up a friendship during the competition.

Nicola said: “Winning this award has helped to cement my young business within the professional decorating industry. I launched Mrs Lewis’ Decorating Company three years ago, and as a busy mum too, I have worked extremely hard to offer a high quality and customer centred decorating service. So for my wallpapering skills to be recognised by Dulux Academy has been a fantastic reward and a major achievement. 

“It’s such a great feeling to see your design come to life, printed and all packaged up! I’ve not yet decided where to hang it but I will keep it safe under my bed until I do!

<noscript><img decoding=async class=size medium wp image 30586 lazyload src=httpwwwtrade decoratorcoukwp contentuploads202005L R Mark Rigby Dulux Academy Nicola Lewis IWW DD Winner Louise Stephenson Graham Brown and Lisa Mitchell Graham Brown 300x225jpg alt= width=300 height=225 srcset=httpswwwtrade decoratorcoukwp contentuploads202005L R Mark Rigby Dulux Academy Nicola Lewis IWW DD Winner Louise Stephenson Graham Brown and Lisa Mitchell Graham Brown 300x225jpg 300w httpswwwtrade decoratorcoukwp contentuploads202005L R Mark Rigby Dulux Academy Nicola Lewis IWW DD Winner Louise Stephenson Graham Brown and Lisa Mitchell Graham Brown 768x577jpg 768w httpswwwtrade decoratorcoukwp contentuploads202005L R Mark Rigby Dulux Academy Nicola Lewis IWW DD Winner Louise Stephenson Graham Brown and Lisa Mitchell Graham Brownjpg 800w sizes=max width 300px 100vw 300px ><noscript> L R Mark Rigby Dulux Academy Nicola Lewis IWW DD Winner Louise Stephenson Graham Brown and Lisa Mitchell Graham Brown

“The Graham & Brown tour was such a great experience and I was really impressed with their responsible manufacturing process, minimal waste and environmental sustainability. I’d like to say a huge thank you to Dulux Academy and Graham & Brown for this unique experience.”

Mark Rigby, Skills Development Consultant at Dulux Academy and Head Judge of the Design and Decorate Challenge, said: “We created this competition to celebrate the amazing talents of the skilled and accomplished professionals in our industry. The eye for design and craftsmanship on show has impressed us every year and this time was no exception. 

“Nicola beat off stiff competition not only with her simple and effective design, but particularly her practical skills at the application stage, which would have been a tough test for any decorator.  

“It makes us really proud to see her hard work paying off as she can now call herself an award winning decorator!”

The Dulux Academy Design and Decorate Challenge celebrates International Wallpaper Week. To take part, entrants were asked to design their very own wallpaper – complete with a short description explaining the inspiration, and functionality, behind their concept – before the shortlisted finalists practical wallpaper application skills were put to the test in a live final at the Dulux Academy.

Dulux Academy has also launched a series of free online training workshops to continue support the painting and decorating trade despite the challenges of Covid-19. 

For more information, visit: www.duluxacademy.co.uk.  

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