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A Day at Grand Designs Live!


Yesterday I attended Grand Designs Live at Birmingham NEC. I'm sure everybody knows what Grand Designs is, but just in-case you've only just come out of hibernation; it's a TV programme showcasing real-life unique and unusual grand house-builds. These houses are grand beyond belief, in literally every detail. So Grand Designs Live is all about building, designing, renovating, interiors and more! I was also so excited to be able to go this year, as last year I couldn't get the time off work (cue violins).

The show is split into 6 main different zones, all colour-coded, so it's easy to locate your way around and see the areas specific to your personal needs and interests. Or if you're like me, you may just want to see every possible section regardless. From stands showcasing unique building materials to bespoke kitchens, garden decor, or even new technology, this show's got it all! And of course there's the opportunity to watch Kevin McCloud, presenter of Grand Designs on stage and maybe even get a sneaky picture afterwards too. We watched him attempt to up-cycle a aeroplane chair, which was quite funny. 

If you watch Grand Designs as much as me, you'll have seen the oak-framed homes and even the polystyrene bricks used to build some of the homes - both made an appearance as exhibitors, which was awesome to see in real life. You might have seen Kevin McCloud recommend a new technology vacuum system built into the home (crazy or what?!) on an episode as well -- this also made an appearance. If you're looking for ideas, inspiration, or just have a few questions about building/designing/renovating your own home, this is the place to be! Some of the most awesome stuff I saw, included wine-cellars built into the floor, floating stairs and infra-red heaters (very tempted by these for our home!).

Of course it's not all about the build, if interiors is more your thing, then there's furnishing exhibitors to check out; Homebase were one of the sponsors of the event and were showing off their new Christmas season home-wares which looks pretty awesome. There was also unique artworks from artists, amazing quirky lighting brands and amazing garden decor. Technology played a big part in the event too - built-in surround sound, 3D printers (how cool are these? If not very very very expensive), CCTV systems, yep you name it, it was probably there. We basically ended up wandering around in awe of absolutely everything. Of course our budget is far far beneath any of this, but it's nice to dream right? And whilst I can't afford any of this, I still enjoy discovering such awesome stuff. We did come away with some amazing cakes (did I mention there are food stalls there too?) and also a Christmas decoration for the tree. Although my most wanted item from the day was a Smeg toaster. Maybe Santa will bring me one...

If this kind of thing excites you, then I would definitely recommend a visit! Grand Designs Live is currently at the Birmingham NEC from 9-12th October but you can always catch it next year if you've missed out this time.













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