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.
The 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.
As 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!
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?
One of the main things about a show like Grand Designs Live has to be the stages and theatres. As a guest of ao.com, 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.
A quick lunch and more of a wander brought be to the kitchens and bathrooms section. ao.com 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!