This week I popped along to the Grand Designs Live exhibition at London's GIGANTIC ExCeL Convention Centre (seriously, I got lost in the building, wandering into another exhibition by mistake). Even though it would be amazing to build my own home, I'm quite happy in the already-built home I live in, so it was interiors rather than architecture that I was after at the show.
The two key interior offerings at the exhibition were the Grand Shed Project and the Grand Room Sets. Both were competitive styling projects. The Grand Shed Project involved five basic garden sheds being turned into 'proper' rooms (rather than a storage area for your lawnmower) by different garden & interior designers. The Grand Room Sets were the result of six interior stylists transforming a room based around the theme of 'TV'.
What I enjoyed most about the Grand Shed Project was that all the sheds interior designs were actually really different. There was a Scandi-style bedroom, a Miami cocktail den make-over, a reading snug, an atmospheric resting space and a sewing room. All were really impressive, but none were over-achievable for any shed owner. The sheds still looked like sheds, the space was small, but the sheds were incredibly well styled and the designers had used colour and light exceptionally well. I took away A LOT of shed inspo.
The winner of the Grand Shed Project was the Reading Snug below, which Grand Designs presenter and judge Kevin McCloud picked as he felt it was "the most inventive use of the restrictive space".
My personal favourite however, somewhat unsurprisingly, was the pink-tinged cocktail drinking den designed by Bayswater Interiors. It was literally the ultimate she-shed:
Overall I thought the Garden Shed Project was a really fun idea, and a great way for visitors to get inspiration not only for their shed, but any small, unused space such as a garage or conservatory.
If you love the idea of a really glam shed check out Garden Hideouts who can build you a beautiful garden room from scratch:
The other interior feast was the Grand Room Sets. The brief for the stylists was around the theme of 'TV', and the stylists had to aim to dress the rooms "with products that are easily accessible to visitors and are either in stock or online from current British retailers, manufacturers and designers". I thought that concept was ace. I hate seeing interior items and products that I really want to buy, only to find out for one reason or another I won't be able to. Outside each room was info about the designer, as well as a shopping list for each item featured and where the visitor to Grand Designs Live could purchase it.
The six Grand Room Sets were styled around the TV shows of Victoria, Game of Thrones, Only Fools and Horses, Blackadder, Homes By the Sea and Breaking Bad.
Only Fools and Horses is a favourite TV show of mine, and the Room Set for this show designed by The Other Door Interiors was meticulous to detail. The Farrow & Ball bamboo wallpaper was exactly like the wallpaper in Peckham's finest gaff when it was in fashion the first time round. The bar area with the 'Alright Dave' brass text, and the DIY gold bar, were genius. The Other Door Interiors got it spot on by nodding to the TV show, while at the same time using current trends in interiors (plates mounted on the wall, cheese plant leaves, pineapples) to achieve the look:
I also really enjoyed the 'Victoria' show set with some really beautiful interior items that I'd never seen before. Designer Bryony from Sauced Interiors really introduced me to some new interior retailers that I've since been Googling.
Did you visit Grand Designs Live this year? What were your thoughts on the exhibition? What was the best thing you saw there? Let me know in the comments section below....