I was lucky enough to grab a place at the press preview slot before the doors opened to the public which was fantastic as it allowed me to gather an abundance of features, news and interviews to give you all.
This years Ideal Home show certainly showed consumers that it’s 103rd event was perfectly up to date with the most current trends and topics within interior design and architecture. Eco-friendly and sustainable interiors were a huge focus this year, with Linda Barker demonstrating how-to seminars about up-cycling and architect George Clarke, refurbishing Ken and Deirdre Barlow‘s Coronation Street house into a sustainable retreat.
There’s no doubt this green theme has grown from the current economic state of the country, as people start to tighten their belts any means of saving the pennies will be popular.
An Ideal Corrie refit
In celebration of Coronation Streets 50th anniversary, a replica of Ken and Deirdre Barlow’s Weatherfield terrace house was transformed into a green sustainable home to highlight the extent some existing homes are wasting energy and money . The force behind the make over was TV personality and architect George Clarke, who modernised the house from top to bottom with energy efficient gadgets and appliances which could help save families in similar homes, up to £250 per year on energy bills. Visitors were able to walk around a replica of the famous couple’s home and then into George’s mirrored eco-refit home next door, to see the difference.
The internal layout of the traditional terrace house was modified in keeping with 21st Century living, with an open plan flow from front to back along with an extension and loft conversion to add space. George lead us into the kitchen first, where he pointed out the main eco features. The kitchen tops were made from crushed glass, sourced from used bottles thrown away in the bars of London’s Westfield shopping centre, the cupboards from recycled timber which are reformatted into shape, the LED energy lights used gave out 90% of light instead of heat and the extension is double glazed built to create more light and space.
He stressed to the group that making a home green isn’t a huge struggle, ” What I’m trying to do with the house is try to make people understand that just the simplest things make the biggest difference”.
The timber flooring in the living room is fully sustainable from B&Q and the fire installed completely natural and doesn’t project any toxic fumes, which also eliminates the need for a flu and a chimney. In order to create light within the centre of the house, as terrace properties receive the majority of light at the front and back, George installed a sky light in the roof and a frosted plane of glass in the upper hallway where from below, you could see people walking across which was rather freaky.
The bedrooms, like the rest of the house had insulated walls and under floor heating, combined with energy efficient lighting and furniture. One feature which caught my eye was a designer light created by Plumen, which I first spotted in The Designers Block at this years Birmingham Interiors. It’s the first designer energy efficient light bulb and is available from B&Q for £19.95. Another interesting green feature was a chair in the front bedroom, the frame was sourced from reclaimed trees and the rest from the remnants of used coffee beans.
In order to make our usage of water more efficient, as well as an up-graded energy efficient boiler system and solar panels for hot water, George installed HansGrohe taps and shower head in the bathroom which pumps air into the water to create maximum water pressure with minimum water use.
The most interesting discovery of the tour was the world launch of Eco Friendly Tiles. Now these tiles are like no other, when light hits a tile, it turns that light into oxygen. Roughly twenty-five tiles are equal to one tree’s exertion of oxygen. Eco Friendly Tiles are the first Carbon neutral tile company in the UK and prices are still being set for these little wonders.
Many of our homes reflect Ken and Deirdre Barlow’s Coronation Street terrace and are in desperate need of a green re-vamp, George Clarke is urging people to MOT their home to save money and cut our carbon footprint;
“There are over 25 million existing homes across the UK. Many are of poor environmental standard and wouldn’t come anywhere near close complying with current building regulations. Yet despite these figures, so many of our existing homes aren’t even doing the simplest things to reduce this footprint… If every UK existing home was given an Ideal Eco Refit the UK property market would be transformed.”
The Ideal Home refit will also form a part at the inaugural Climate Week 21st-27th March.
A guided tour of the houses with George Clarke
Linda Barker – Chic Styling
At the other side of the event, household name and Interior Designer Linda Barker, was showing the public how to keep up to date with the hottest design trends without spending a fortune. Her first Chic Styling seminar was packed to the brim with spectators and in her introduction she announced loud and clear to crowd, ” it’s all about maximalism, gone are shades of cream, white, cappuccino and definitely magnolia.” Linda emphasised that today’s trends are wall-papering, crafting and designing within the home.
This refers to the new trend of up-cycling is becoming the biggest craze within interior design and it’s not a coincidence people are choosing to make-do and mend with the current economic climate. Linda firstly took a white bedroom set of drawers and in a Blue Peter style demonstration used PVA glue and discarded wallpaper cuttings to mask the drawers and finish with a rough chic inspired piece of furniture.
Linda followed with a lamp she bought from a charity shop for £40 which she had decorated using cuttings from old scarves, putting them along the stand and around the shade. Again, by using simple PVA glue the lamp was transformed into a colourful patchwork light – this one came from her daughter’s bedroom.
Linda also demonstrated how to make a cashmere blanket from used or second-hand jumpers which can be stitched together, a cake stand compiled from un-used plates and cups, an outdoor chandelier created from jam jars and odd crystals, she then finished off with a home-made book shelf in the shape of a bird house – it can be decorated how you wish and keeps your page!
Watch Linda’s how-to seminar and learn how to pimp out your old furniture.
Up-cycling is the hottest new craze
Ideal Homes for Heroes
Owners of the Ideal Home Show, Media 10 decided to look back on the hundred and three-year history of the show, and found in earlier years, the show took part in supporting the country’s troops and raising. This spurred Media 10 to dedicate this years annual appeal as “Ideal Homes for Heroes” , in conjunction with ABF Soldiers Charity in a bid to raise £150,000 for the cause.
In doing so, traditional army uniforms were sourced and used to create an army themed room design. A light was created from dozens of flat caps, the table encased flags, jackets and medals, next to the bright red and tartan patchwork chairs, encrusted with gold buttons.
Comedian Jason Manford appeared at the press launch in support for the appeal, where he stood alongside Interior Designers Amanda Lamb, Julia Kendal and ambassador for The Soldiers Charity, Corporal Andy Reid, who lost both of his legs and his right arm in an IED while serving in Afghanistan in 2009.
Lee Newton talks to thedesignhub about the appeal
Princes Foundation traditional Eco home
One of my favourite parts of the show was the Princes Foundation show home, which was designed in a traditional British style but with an eco twist. And a twist it was! The Georgian like exterior, (similar to those on streets of Kensington) disguised the rustic heritage interior which was a delightful surprise.
The entrance hall was decorated with black and duck egg blue square tiles and the stairs were painted in neutral tones to highlight the chic colour scheme which flowed into each room and up to the first floor.
The house didn’t rely on gadgets or modern materials, instead the design had a cottage feel, with much of the furniture reclaimed. The solid and hard feel of the furniture was softened with cotton throws, felt cushions and a blazing fire. This natural house represents how sustainable living doesn’t have to follow the ultra modern and hi-tech design which many stereotype. The roof, walls and floor of the house are highly insulated and solid clay block structures installed, trap pockets of air that keep warm in the winter and cool in the summer which reduce heating bills considerably.
The main bedroom was designed in a French chic style, boasting a grand ivory bed, feminine silky fabrics and pastel tones. The en-suite was stylistically Victorian, with a checkerboard tile floor, iron towel rail and patterned fabric blinds. The teenage boy’s room was a fantastic combination of first world war elements like the traditional steel bedstead, fighter plane pictures, toy figures and union Jack colour scheme.
The house is a re-creation of “The King’s House” designed by C.Beresford Marshall, which was a huge attraction at the 1935 Ideal Home Exhibition. This was a brick-built house to HM King George V by the Royal Warrant Holders to mark his silver jubilee
Overall, the show proved that even though it’s lifespan exceeds one hundred years, The Ideal Home Show is still at the forefront of design and architectural topics relevant today. Not only that, the organisers demonstrated how large events can stay in correspondence with current economic issues and adapt to social changes. The highlights above were certainly attention grabbers, but the lack of an interesting and independent designer showcase, like The Designers Block at Birmingham Interiors, was disappointing. Large sports car pitches showing off the latest model seemed to be of more significance, hopefully next year the show will reach new heights and knock me off my feet once again.
Images and video are copyright of Kellie Hill