Hello there lovely Buttoneers! I recently went to Grand Designs Live at Birmingham’s NEC which was perfect timing as we are at a point in our home renovations where we need to start making alllll of the decisions about rooms and bathroom suites and kitchen layouts and garden office ideas. We, as always had a fabulous time so naturally I wanted to photograph away and share some of my favourite things with you here! I have been to the design show previously and blogged about each adventure in Grand Designs Live 2014 and Grand Designs Live 2015 (both in two parts so be sure to click through the links at the end of each post!)
I am not in any way affiliated with Grand Designs Live or any of the companies I talk about in this post – I just love to share great design and ideas (although I would happily chat about future collabs *wink* *wink*)
This year we were lucky enough to win tickets in our local newspaper – Hooray! Which again was perfect timing as I am sure you can imagine sorting out our house is costly and every penny counts at the moment.
I was sooooo excited to get there and get inspired by the design goodness that that show had to offer and to explore all of the ideas, concepts and innovations on show.
I was already brimming with ideas about bathroom tiles, luxuriously deep baths, wallpaper, whether or not to build a studio in our garden, what I wanted the kitchen to look like…the list goes on and on. I couldn’t wait to dive in the deep end and surround myself with colour and fabric and wood and all of the hardware, accessories and decor I could lay my eyes on!
As a person with a methodical and super organised creative brain, I naturally got a bit bossy as to the route we took and how we completed each section before moving on to another to ensure we covered the whole floor. Luckily Chris is super patient and knows exactly how my brain works so didn’t wander off too often! Well…We had a lot to cover and only had one day!
We started off in the kitchens and bathroom sections as this was our main priority to sort out in our new house. I love, love, love this beautiful bold floral wallpaper that was in the room sets of the Heritage Bathrooms stand – did you spot us in the mirror? You have to snap a mirror selfie with such a gorgeous surround right!?
I am obsessed with those rich, warm purple and plum tones against the deep grey backdrop that almost imitates a plush velvet fabric rather than wallpaper.
I then got a bit obsessive about the colours and patterns and just darn right beautifully designed sets they had. I will buy them all – Take all of my money!!!
Even though these were in two separate sets with a hole between the two, the pattern colour loving creative in me loved the contrast in sleek and simple art deco-esque lines and curves against the vibrant and whimsical colour-filled florals.
To be honest the wallpaper totally distracted me like a magpie to a shiny gem and I don’t think I took a lot of the bathrooms in but my head is filled with roll topped, vintage claw foot bath tubs and old fashioned taps – divine but just not practical in our little bathroom back home.
Okay, now were talking when it comes to dramatic bathroom statements! This antique bronze bath was a beaut and sadly not in my price range. Can you imagine this bath with that floral wallpaper? I have always been on the dramatic side (no comments please family members!) but this is another level.
I’m now sat sipping coffee, staring out of my huge shuttered window out to the rolling Cotswold Hills and misty autumn morning dew, covered in warm soapy bubbles, soaking in the peace of the morning…
Well, as the great Albus Dumbledore once said
“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry (read: Rachel), but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”
I couldn’t have said it better myself…You are more than welcome to visit.
I think the kitchens section was one of my favourites. My absolute favourite was this Mudd & Co handcrafted kitchen. I have this idea of what my kitchen will look like now that I am in a position where I can choose one from scratch on our own home. I am dreaming about deep navy blue cabinets below creamy white top cabinets. Brushed copper handles and a rainbow of coloured glass around the top – I know…I know…It has a lot going on but I really can imagine it all coming together into a warm and colourful fun space to cook and eat and gather together.
So this kitchen of Navy and cream gorgeousness was almost spot on! Isn’t it really strange to see almost the exact idea that you have had in your head, in real life? An idea that has been swimming around in my head from the moment we bought this house. Funny isn’t it!
I couldn’t pass by this kitchen company’s stand without snapping a photograph of the dreamy contrast of deep slate grey and antique gold – throw in a plant in a beautifully shaped terrarium and I’ve lost my mind. It’s all in the details for me.
Cue the next area of interiors which was full of leafy palm leaves and where gold antique-look lighting comes to party. Culinary Concepts had sumptuous home decor down to a tee and I wanted it all.
Rich worn, tactile woods, dreamy leafy greens, heavy on the antique gold lighting and an army of tall pillar candles…Hello new Hogwarts-esque library (also in my head)
I also just want to stop for a minute to chat about the most beautiful kitchen splash backs I have ever seen. I mean, a kitchen splash back is not normally the sort of thing that would excite me. Don’t get me wrong, they are highly functional and a necessary part of cooking and preparing etc. However until this point I believed that the splash back in my kitchen would be the last thing on my mind when I came to design/dreaming about what would go where and how it would all look. I would have probably chosen an ordinary fogged glass one over a stainless steel one that is impossible to clean without smearing the thing into a mess. Enter Emma Britton – Decorative Glass Designer.
I was actually fortunate enough to have a quick chat with Emma (who wore the most beautiful floral outfit and definitely stood out in a sea of suits and uniforms as a creative soul) about her work and she was lovely as well as super talented.
They are all hand illustrated designs that come is a variety of useful yet beautiful forms. The illustration below, called Watercolour in Grey, is one of my favourites and I can definitely imagine it in the dream kitchen. She had also created a tea tray (right up my street!) and etched drinking glasses in this design – How beautiful!
Smeg…Oh Smeg…Could your Art Deco vintage style handles be any more perfect against your crisp white, rounded corner fridge freezer doors? I think not…Okay…Maybe if it were in pink…
Every house and home needs a crystal chandelier hanging down their stairs, no? I just really loved how this photographed and that background gradient needed no editing! What a beaut! Although image the dusting! Eeek!
“Making good use of the things that we find, things that the everyday folk leave behind”
I love this quote (as seen on the main rectangular neon lit frame in the room set below) It absolutely sums up my love of charity shop shopping, car boot sale finds and little vintage beauties that just grab my old lady soul.
This beautiful (and my absolute favourite from this section of the show) room set was designed and created by Lynne Lambourne of Love Nellie. You may remember her from the Great Interior Design Challenge on the telly and she is, I quote – “Passionate about re-use, sustainability and saving things from landfill but with an eye for design and styling” and I love this so much.
I also totally agree with her design ethics that “A house should be a home and your home should reflect your personality, style and the way that you live”
I couldn’t agree more and a really love the vintage feel of this room set alongside the crisp white walls, the rich teals and blue hues and greens alongside the warm copper plant hangers and deep wooden flooring.
Lighting is always a firm favourite at Grand Designs Live. I love the huge range of different lighting options and designs that are super unusual and eye-catching like these colourful mosaic lamps from Collectiviste. I love that spherical blue globe like one.
These jelly fish lights definitely caught my eye and were so different. They were designed and made by Clare Potter as a part of ‘Kevin’s Green Heroes’ celebrates the best conceptual and eco-friendly construction ideas.
“Claire Potter Design worked with 365 plastic sports drinks bottles that were recovered whilst leading a beach clean as volunteer Regional Reps for Surfers Against Sewage in Brighton. Undergoing 7 different separation and re-processing steps to make the materials pure, the bottles were then transformed into a set of 30 LED lit jellyfish lights called ‘The Smack’ – the collective term for jellyfish”
I really love Edison bulbs and their vintage old-fashioned feel, not to mention that warm orange fire-like glow and visually appealing spiral filament.
The reflections on the glass of this cluster of large bulbs look like they go on forever and would look great hung in a cluster like this in a living room or snug. Imagine curling up with a good book and a mug of tea under the warm glow of the bulbs in the autumn and winter time.
I couldn’t resist a snap of this very cool painting of the Red Lego Man by Paul Oz at the Generation Gallery stand. I loved walking through the alley of art and interior bits and pieces full of colour and whimsy and fun home decor for your walls. This guy would look great in our house as we are huge Lego enthusiasts and really big kids!
Also in this section were gorgeous little wooden alphabet blocks in baby blue, pastel pink and white – How adorable would these look in a babies nursery room surrounded by fluffy teddy bears!? I love the idea of chunky wooden toys and decor instead of plastic.
There is such a wonderful look to it all and they’re the sort of treasures that would stand the rough and tumble of playtime and still be passed down through generations.
Imagine those cute little hand-carved wooden rabbits handed down from child to child – Pure magic!
Last but not least, I just had to snap a photograph of this colourful and fun looking fella’ – I love the hand-painted brush strokes and crazy look in his eyes! He would certainly brighten up a grey, winter garden that’s for sure! That ladybird looks a bit shifty mind you! Haha!
10 button points to the Hogwarts house of your choice if you made it to the end! Hooray! I get so carried away in the bubble of Grand Designs Live and snap away photos of all of my favourite things. there is always, always so much to dive into!
This is only Part One so keep your eyes peeled for the next instalment of beautiful design goodness and inspiring home decor delights!
Have you ever been to Grand Designs Live? What was your favourite thing you read about in this post? I would love to hear all about it!
Also, if you want to keep up-to-date with all things Art, Design, Craft and Adventure, remember to subscribe to this blog and become a Buttoneer to get blog post updates straight to your inbox so you don’t miss a thing! (It’s free!)
Until next time, meet me for a chat with a cup of tea in the comments below. I’ll click the kettle on!