Yay for Bank Holiday weekends. I hope you’ve partied hard and had some relaxing respite. God knows we needed it right?
Max & I managed to nab ourselves some free tickets to the Grand Designs Live exhibition at the Excel on Sunday. Score.
He saw it as an opportunity to get ideas for the garden. I saw it as an opportunity to get ideas for our next house renovation project (cue Max fainting).
I don’t think I realised until we owned our own place how important it is to be surrounded by things you love. Your home is, in some ways, a real reflection of yourself.
I see decorating the home and purchasing things for the home a bit like buying investment pieces for your wardrobe. They’re gonna be there for a long time so make dam sure that you love every inch of it.
So if you wanna throw yellow paint on one wall (ahem) or plaster one whole wall with hundreds of framed photos or stock a room floor to ceiling with books then go ahead and do it.
If you wander around your place, however big or small, and you find it doesn’t give you happy vibes then your home is in need of some attention.
Rearrange, readjust and surround yourself with things that make you happy.
From the big things to the small things.
Grand Designs Live is a show mainly about all the big things. It’s an exhibition that brings you everything you could ever dream of for your ideal house.
You want a fairytale tree house in your garden? It’s there.
You fancy a giant copper tree sculpture that rains? Found it.
Home built cinema room? No problemo.
This event’s motto really is ‘every mans home is his castle’
It was fun frolicking around and ogling all the super neat inventions, design displays and obvs all the free food and drink samples. Miniature cups of fizz at every turn and OMG free pizza. Gimme gimme.
I’m a pig. Soz not soz.
We very NEARLY bought a kitchen utensil that cut vegetables in a million and one different ways. ALAS we restrained ourselves. The Australian portable pizza BBQ was also pretty tempting. Pizza in seconds, what more could a gal want on her summer gadget list?
Here’s just a few highlights from the show that caught my heart <3<3
A stand completely adorned with lights is bound to catch my attention.
The industrial look is really big right now, and if we owned a more contemporary style house we would have gone for this look in the kitchen. Y’know, metal and concrete everywhere, copper pipes, bare lightbulbs. I’m not really selling it am I? Lols.
Anyway, the Jam Jar Company had a whole host of exciting light features on show to complement this look. My favourites were the cluster lights with large bulbs. A stand out piece that would look flippin’ marvellous over a big wooden table.
Their stand comprised of three perfectly arranged flower displays set against a striped background. Simplicity at it’s best.
And wait, this was something I could actually get on board with. Like maybe I will actually get my order in for this.
Bloomon UK delivers flowers to you on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. Fresh flowers straight to your door, a surprise arrangement each time.
I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t it a bit odd to order flowers for yourself? *SPINSTER ALERT*
No people, flowers are the best way to inject freshness into the home. Duh.
To make your house more pimped out than an episode of Cribs. This company specialises in retro gaming for the home.
I’m talking old school foozball, pinball machines and 10 pin bowling. OH MY GOSH ALL THE GAMES.
Can you imagine inviting everyone back to your place for late night pinball because LOL so much fun?
I stood and gawped at the beautiful fold away bureau desk they had on display for a full 2 minutes. They asked if I was in the market for furniture. I replied no, sadly not, but would kill for a desk like this.
The company are based in Stratford and they design and buld all their own furniture, often working on bespoke designs for clients.
The thing I loved most about their wee bureau they had on display was the teeny tiny pop of colour on the wood. Just enough to say HEY I’M NOT A BORING DESK.
It’s all in the details.
ANONYMOUS GARDEN DESIGNER
Aside from the hot tubs, swim spas, Arctic cabins and wendy houses of dreams, the thing that really caught our hearts were the garden design displays.
No, I didn’t age 40 years overnight.
It was really inspiring to see neat stuff for the space that sits at the back of the house. It doesn’t have to be boring. And it really helped us to realise that just like the house, it’s another space that needs looking at from a 3D perspective.
This was our favourite design, but we unfortunately didn’t get the designers name (Grand Designs Live help me out?)
It had a long reflective pool which gave off all the zen vibes you could imagine, a flowerbed filled with painted logs of different sizes and a patterned decking design that miraculously made me actually like decking. Who’d have thought eh.
In an ideal world, we’d whizz this designer straight into our garden and BAM 1 week later we’d have this outback of dreams that we could BBQ in and have all the socials.
But alas, we shall take the inspirational ideas we found in the garden section and do what we do best. Get creative and do it ourselves on a shoestring budget.
Watch this space.
I wandered out of Grand Designs Live full of ice cream and creative ideas for the space we live in. Remember, your home is your castle people. It can be whatever you want it to be with a little creativity and hard work.
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