Grand Designs Live 2015 at the NEC

Last week I took a day out to go to Grand Designs Live at the NEC. I was thrilled, what a lovely way to spend a Friday, and in good company too with the lovely Becky from A Beautiful Space.

I’ve never actually been to Grand Designs Live, even though I interviewed Kevin McCloud a few years ago I just haven’t made it over there before. But the NEC isn’t far and we spent a few hours wandering around looking at what the show had to offer.

Grand Designs LiveThe first thing I noticed was how busy it was. On a Friday. There’s certainly no shortage of people that are looking for inspiration in doing up their homes. I keep hearing people say that DIY is dead and that people just aren’t interested anymore but whether doing it yourself, or having a builder do it for you, people are certainly still interested. With our loft renovation well underway I was keen to see what ideas and tips I could pick up on the day, and I had my eye open for a show bargain or two.

Split into 5 different areas, we decided to hit the Interiors and then Gardens first. Time was precious and we wanted to get as much in as possible.

Grand Designs liveAs always I was drawn to the sets. I love seeing how pieces will look in a real life setting and this is about as close as it comes. Neutrals, greys and pops of colour were big as you might expect. This set above wouldn’t look out of place in my home.

Next I was keen to hunt out wallpaper. I’m right in the middle of researching and buying and wanted to see some of the wallpaperdirect designs up close. They all look so different to on the screen, and sometimes a sample doesn’t really give you want you need.

These were my favourites of those on display. I know, it’s an eclectic showcase!

Grand Designs LiveI’m not sure I’d have any in my home but the colours (which may be a little lost on the screen) were muted and stylish and drew me towards them.

Next up though we headed in to the Gardens section. We went from hot tubs, to garden houses, to garden hoses and autumnal displays. The River Cottage garden display was beautiful and so inviting. Who wouldn’t be drawn to such stunning colours?

Grand Designs liveOne of the main things about a show like Grand Designs Live has to be the stages and theatres. As a guest of, I hopped over to their stage just in time to hear a fascinting talk about the ‘Connected Home’‘. If you’re a regular reader you’ll know how much I love clever gadgets and to hear that we’ll soon be using an app to connect our kettle, shower, blinds and toaster was wonderful. To think this is how we might be living in the very near future, and certainly how our children will be living. Technology never fails to amaze me.

Grand Designs liveA quick lunch and more of a wander brought be to the kitchens and bathrooms section. certainly looked busy on their stand, and I found a fabulous bargain on the Pebble Grey stand in the form of an illuminated bathroom mirror, ideal for the new en-suite. What a wonderful end to the day!

Grand Designs Live 2015



Jen Stanbrook
Jen Stanbrook

Jen is an award winning digital publisher and has been creating interiors and home decor content for over 10 years.
She has an insatiable love of home interiors, has worked with hundreds of brands, and currently supports many bloggers within the creative industries to share their expertise through writing.
She spends most of her time in her little garden office pod, has 2 daughters and 2 (fighting) cats.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram


    October 13, 2015 / 3:31 pm

    Never made it to Grand designs yet. Hubby and I would love to go but always working ! I ‘d just love to see what trends they have there. So much to see though and so little time x

  2. Rachel
    October 13, 2015 / 4:34 pm

    Glad to hear you had a good time! I love these shows, but it’s so hard to pack it all in and see everything, especially when it’s crowded.

  3. Arianna
    October 13, 2015 / 4:36 pm

    It’s always great catching up on events that I couldn’t make it to – Thanks Jen for this šŸ™‚

  4. Rachel
    October 13, 2015 / 7:36 pm

    Aw, I’m sorry I missed this. I was invited to attend to but had a conference on the same day … which ended up being cancelled. Such a pain! I adore the large yellow lamp in your top photograph. I’m on the hunt for one in a vibrant orange. It looks so nice.

  5. the diary of a jewellery lover
    October 14, 2015 / 5:18 pm

    I’ve wanted to visit Grand Designs Live for a long time. I love the TV show. The houses are amazing, always cutting edge and impeccably designed. Maybe I will go next year now.

    • Jen Stanbrook
      October 15, 2015 / 10:00 am

      Well worth a litle trip Mel, particularly if you’re doing some DIY or planning a renovation. x

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