Unless you've had your head buried in sand recently, you'll know that the Ideal Home Show has been taking place in London over the past few weeks. I usually go to the show every year, because well, who can resist a whole show packed full of house, home and interiors stuff, right?
For those of you who don't know, the Ideal Home Show is an annual event in London (although it also runs in other cities later in the year) and suppliers from all walks of the home design field set up stalls and displays to showcase their wares.
Aside from the supplier stalls, there is also a complete mock up of a show home, which you can explore. This year we were treated to two separate show homes, a 21st Century Cottage and a block of modern apartments.
To be entirely honest, I was a little disappointed in the show homes this year. On the positive side, the schemes were all very competent, and any of us would be proud to own a home like the ones on show, but they just all felt a little... well... pedestrian. There was nothing that made me go "ooo!" and want to rush out and buy it. I just didn't find them especially innovative or stylish I suppose and I go to the show looking for inspiration. Maybe that's just me, though. Here are some pics of the interior design and perhaps you can see what I mean?
That said, in the rest of the exhibition, there were some really innovative and exciting suppliers on show. Green Matters UK were there again this year, displaying their amazing 'Living Walls', which are not just fantastic for the environment and improving the air quality of your home, but they look pretty neat too, don't you think?
Now, although I was disappointed by the show homes, the absolute highlight of my trip every year are the room sets, created by the talented stylists at Good Homes magazine. After my experience in the show homes, I wasn't holding my breath about the room sets, but I was delighted when I saw them, as they were as beautiful as usual.
What I love about the Good Home room sets are that they are always so cohesively put together, yet you feel as though you could create the look in your own home. They are aspirational, without being out-of-reach.
As those of you who know me will understand, I believe that home design should be accessible to all, and these room sets fit in nicely with my philosophy. In fact, Good Homes even provide a supplier list at the show so that you can go away and shop the look yourself.
Let's take a look at some of the six room sets they had on show.
The stylists went for a modern take on a retro vibe with this blue and pink living room set. See how the furniture legs are tapered and there are several graphic and geometric prints, giving a nod to mid-century styling? The choice of blue is right on trend, especially those darker blue elements, as seen by Dulux's colour of the year: Denim Drift. The pink adds a softer, more feminine side to the look, all beautifully tied together with some accent copper pieces. My own living room uses these colours, but after seeing this room set, I'm sorely tempted to get a little bolder with the blue.
Oh man... that throw. Mmmm. Let's just focus on that for a second. This is the Tatton throw, and it's hand-knitted by Dunnknit designs, using unspun chunky merino wool. You can check out their Etsy store here. I mean, the rest of the room set was pretty too, but this stole the show for me.
Quite a bold colour choice for the walls of this dining room set (it's Plush Parlour by Crown) but they get away with it because everything else is kept quite simple. I love the light relief given to the strong purple colour by the accents of mint green too (Opal Silk by Crown). Aside from the colours, the floor was a bit of a talking point too, with highly patterned "Zeina Galena" tiles from Walls And Floors.
I do like a wooden framed kitchen, and this room set didn't disappoint. Mixing the colours of your cabinets within the same palette is a great way to add interest to a room which, let's face it, can be a little bland. These Laura Ashley wall cabinets are light grey and the base cabinets are anthracite.
Keeping the worktops wooden (rather than a white granite or composite surface) brings warmth into the scheme. Loving the peg board around the walls, which bring a Shaker-esque feel to the room, and complement the cabinet style too, of course.
Now, I've kept some treats behind for you as I don't want to ruin the show if you're heading there over the next week. There's plenty more to see. The Ideal Home Show (London) runs until 9th April 2017, so get there if you can.
If you've been this year, what did you think of it? Drop your comments in the box below to let me know.