Did you have a chance to visit Grand Designs Live in London last week? I’d be curious to know what you thought of it. I was a little underwhelmed – there was a lot of repetition of the same types of stuff and the same stalls from last year. For example, there were at least a half-dozen firms promoting their garden rooms. The most exciting was the Noa house from Katus Architecture which I wrote about last week.
Here are my 5 favourite finds from the rest of the show:
John Lewis Kitchens
The John Lewis Kitchens stand was really buzzing. It was easy to see why. I had expected a boring or even safe kitchen but I think John Lewis have really upped their game. I loved the mustard yellow splash back combined with the black/off-white and grey colour scheme. It’s neutral yet not boring. Check out the design of the countertop as well. The slight recess underneath the countertop makes it appear as if it is floating above the cabinets. It’s a lighter look than if the countertop was flush with the cabinets.
Another kitchen I thought was cool had a weathered wood finish. The look adds texture and rustic charm in a modern setting and without the splinters.
I love concrete floors but they are a major undertaking to install. Concreate have set themselves up as an alternative to poured concrete floors because they provide engineered concrete tiles. Ingenious! If you get bored with the look, you can just replace the tiles just like any other tiled floor. At Grand Designs, the Poggenpohl display was on Concreate tiles so that you could see the tiles in a large space. They look fabulous. Of course you do get grout lines which you wouldn’t with a poured concrete floor. On the other hand, you have a lot more flexibility.
It would never have occurred to me to graffiti anything as a kid. Seriously. I was as boring and suburban as they come. Street art, however, has come a long ways since then anyway. Alfreshco is a company that lets you live out your urban artist fantasies. They provide markers as well as spray cans as well as other accessories so that you can tag whatever you would like.
There is an amazing array of colours. I would seriously give my kids some of these paints and let them loose on a garden wall in our home. My daughter would draw hearts and my son would draw airplanes. They would love it! And, we can always paint over it at a later date.
Georgia Lindsay trug seats
Georgia Lindsay is the garden designer who created the Family Garden for the show. She created these charming seats using regular tub trugs and filling them with colourful cushions. They can be stacked and easily moved around. Although created for the show, they are available for sale if you contact her through her website.
Jamie Hubbard Creative Woodwork
I met Jamie Hubbard who had created artwork his friend’s stand in the Grand Gardens section of show gardens. A cabinet maker, Jamie uses offcuts from his work as well as other materials he recycles into cool one-off art pieces. The X below, for example, are recycled bottles he gets from a cafe near his workplace mounted onto wood with LED lights. His pieces are one-offs and he works to commission as well.
As an added bonus, I was delighted to see the scaffolding four-poster bed from The Wrought Iron & Brass Bed Company was featured again this year as a Kevin McCloud green hero. That is two years on Kevin’s list. Upcycled industrial is here to stay!
What do you think of these products? Did you get to visit Grand Designs Live? Were you more impressed than I was with the show itself? I’d love to hear from you.