The Grandest Designs Live by @RightmoveAddict

I have to say, the recent Grand Designs Live at Birmingham NEC was probably one of the best.  The atmosphere was incredible, people were buzzing, soaking up all the experience and expertise on offer.

Exhibitors were telling me that the ratio of serious buyers was really high, proving that the self-build / home improvement markets are strong at the moment.

This year Grand Designs Live Birmingham launched a competition to find the Garden Designer of the year. The panel included celebrity garden designer James Alexander-Sinclair and Grand Designs’ very own Kevin McCloud.  Applicants were tasked with the challenge of creating ‘The Urban Kitchen Garden’ showing an ‘outdoor space that is both practical and stylish’.

My good friend Liz Ackerley from Poppyhead Consultancy won with her entry Gourmet Retreat Garden.

I caught up with Wrought Iron and Brass Bed Company.  They are so proud to have been hand-picked as one of Kevin McCloud’s Green Heroes.  Kevin’s Green Heroes was first launched in 2010 inspired by his passion for innovative Eco-friendly product design and green products.


Another bed that caught our eye and was so much fun was this campervan inspired bunk bed.  The little and big kids all seemed to want one.

Fun pieces were of great interest, especially to my husband who very much wanted this dining table that converted into a pool table.


There was such a diverse collection of lighting being exhibited.  This plug and play lamp by structures.me was really playful.

Felix Lighting Specialists had some really fascinating pieces.


As usual I fell in love with the array of kitchen pantries.


This year I was privileged to interview two of the stars of the show, Interior Designer, Jo Hamilton and architect/TV presenter George Clarke.

I asked Jo what she thought the key interior trends for 2014 will be.
“I think 2014 is going to be a really exciting year.  We’ve seen neon this year and we’ve seen black and white.  I think black and white is going to stay but we are going to add a bit more neutral to it.  Neutral colour schemes, and harmonious calm monochromatic colour schemes, all very elegant with pops of colour will be a key trend.”

I asked George why he thought a show like Grand Designs Live was important for the self-build industry.

“I think it’s vital for the self-build industry, for exchanging ideas and exchanging information.  I always think that the people who come to Grand Designs are really well informed anyway.  They really understand the building game, yet they want to find out even more.  You can see everybody collecting lots of leaflets and brochures and you just know they are going to go back home and sift through it all.  I think the people who come here have a project in mind whether it is a full house or putting in a bathroom suite or a new kitchen.  And they really want to know what the best products are out there as well as value for money. I think you can’t really put a value on that to be honest.”

Grand Designs Live seems to be growing from strength to strength.  The Birmingham show is set to increase next year from 3 days to 4, proving our passion for everything home and interiors just seems to be increasing.
Andrea Morgan has always had a passion for property and interiors.  Her acclaimed twitter account @RightmoveAddict features her successful and award nominated blog www.tryingtobalancethemadness.com.  Andrea recently launched her new venture Citrus Content which provides refreshing content for property and interior businesses. She is a Certified Blog Contributor for Rightmove, has been featured in Show Home magazine, and presented on the interiors stage at Grand Designs Live.


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