After a delayed train from Sheffield, getting lost in Manchester and missing the bus and disorganised security staff at Event City I finally made it to the Red Tape (well green ribbon) opening of the Ideal Home Show 2015 for the start of their 4 days.
Whilst Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen entertained the crowds with his great sense of humour Amanda Lamb did that posing nicely for the cameras thing (ok yes I am very jealous of her ability to wear such amazing heels all day long!) The ribbon was cut and we were in......
House Beautiful: Home for Life
We were taken to look around House Beautiful's modular show homes, Home For Life by Julia Goodwin, Editor for House Beautiful. She explained how the Home for Life is a modular house featuring a stunning wall of glass at the front to flood the interiors with maximum light and increase the feeling of spaciousness, it has been designed to reflect the changing patterns of family life.
After buying your plot of land you custom build your own house; choosing room sizes, flooring, kitchen and bathroom styles as well as the windows and exterior finish. The house is then constructed off-site and delivered on the back of a lorry to the prepared plot of land where it can be erected within 24 hours. Unfortunately, for them, the Event City space was not designed to fit a house inside and they had to leave the upstairs off. What I did see however was lovely and I came away with some great ideas - I am totally having a chalkboard strip in my new dining room!!
The Home for Life really deserves it's own post to do it justice and I will bring this to you soon.
With my press pass I was given a copy of the lovely glossy latest House Beautiful and Create Your Dream Home magazines which are available to buy at the show. Again as soon as I have had time to snuggle up and read them I'll be telling you all about it.
I then went off to see what the rest of the show had to offer, here are some of my highlights........
These were 4 individual rooms each designed by a store in the Intu Trafford Centre; each set offering their own take on the ideal way to style your home for the new season.
Next took you to the "Country Club" styled living room with subtle cornflower blues and whites.
BHS had gone to the "Vintage Market" with a bright mismatch of objects.
Dwell had brought some "Summer to the City" with white furniture offset by bright colours.
Debenhams had designed a "Summer Dinning" experience with pastels offset with wood which I loved.
Ideal Super Theatre sponsored by Orbitsound
I listened to 3 really inspiring talks in the Ideal Super Theatre., I'll be using them later on this month as a basis for some further blog posts.
How to make a House a Home with Amanda Lamb.
Amanda delivered her 5 simple rules to make your house homely, whether you are staying put or moving on.
Colour! with Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen
Laurence Llewelyn Bowen told us why we should turn our backs in beige in the home and why we
should experiment with others in the spectrum.... like purple.
Is clutter cramping your style? with Amanda Manson from Orderly Office and Home.
Amanda makes a living from decluttering and covered the clutter hot-spots in a home; how their clutter builds up, how to tackle it and how and where to let it go
Ideal Food & Drink Theatre sponsored by Stoves
There were some really good talks going on here but I only managed to make it to 1 which was an unscheduled demonstration of how fantastic an induction hob is for melting chocolate and making an amazing sauce.
Ideal Gardens: Unique Tables
I really loved these outdoor tables with the fire pits in the middle, perfect for summer evenings
Ideal Interiors: Housing Units
A 65 year old, family run business, Housing Units is a furniture shop in Manchester. They have 200000 square feet of home furniture and interior design ideas featuring 30000 different products across 26 amazing departments. They had brought a small selection, and their Doorman, with them today.
They are also bringing with them the chance to win a coffee machine by having a selfie taken with their doorman and uploading it to their twitter or facebook pages.
Ideal Home Improvements: Smeg
Smeg is a company I've heard a lot about and after seeing their products on display I can see why. They are an Italian home appliance manufacturer, established over 60 years ago, based in Italy, however they have grown to have 17 major subsidiaries worldwide. Smeg UK being established in 1989. The product range includes a vast choice of Italian inspired cooking appliances - ovens, hobs, range cookers and extractor hoods – as well as an ever expanding range of refrigerators, and washing machines.
Retro (Victoria and 50's style) is their current collection and I was really taken with this stunning food blender in red to match all my other appliances and huge 4-door fridge freezer (I may even manage to fit the families weekly shop into one if those!).
Ideal Shopping: Great Mirrors
Great Mirrors were so shiny they stopped me in my tracks. They are a family run business which specialise in mirrors whether you are after traditional Art Deco or designer mirrors, hi-tech bathroom mirrors with built in radios or a small mirror. They also stock a range of bedframes and practical Ottomans to complete your room.
How beautiful is this round one at the top?!
Ideal Shopping: Root Candles
I love candles; chocolate, raspberry, cookies, orange, cinnamon, you name it I love it. I'd never heard of Root Candles before but had looked them up before I went as I was intrigued. Root Candles are made from the natural beeswax and soy blends with essential oil fragrances and vegetable based dyes. Each Root candle is carefully handcrafted using processes mastered through five generations of craftsmanship combined with the latest in manufacturing technologies. They claim to be Americas best candle since 1869 and after buying some for myself I can see why.
I lit the Apple Harvest one last night and the room filled with the scent of crisp green apples. I didn't have to walk out the room and come back in to reignite the senses as you do with so many candles the scent was there all the time. I can't wait to try Tiramisu and the sellers personal recommendation Blackberry Mango.
I don't normally buy votives so was pleased to discover the website sells tea lights in all the variations, I'm sure I'll be shopping there soon.
Ideal Shopping: Culinary Concepts
This stand sold some really pretty things. I was drawn in by their unusual looking candle, then discovered they were candle pins - what a great idea for brightening up boring white pillar candles. My favourite had to be the seashore range.
Culinary Concepts was started over 15 years ago, their mission was and remains to this day, to create a company that specialises in designing innovative items for the tabletop and home - not only beautiful, but functional and affordable.
Ideal Food & Housewares: KISAG Trio Peelers
I'm a sucker for anything that's going to make life easier and these peelers would definitely have done that.
They come in 3 designs, each suitable for a different fruit or vegetable....
Green - Thinly peels hard fruits and vegetables such as potato's, carrots, apples and more. .
Orange - Creates thin Julienne sticks with one simple stroke - a great alternative to a cheese grater for grated cheese.
Red - Peels soft fruits such as Tomatoes, Kiwi and Mangoes.
I forgot to go back and buy them but have discovered they can be purchased online - yay.
Ideal Food & Housewares: Nova Multi-Quirl Whisk
As above - you know me and gadgets. another one I had to fight to resist. This whisk is great, we make a lot of angel delight with my kids and this gadget looks set to make it a breeze. There really is very little effort involved, all you have to do is push the top down and the whisk spins. There are two rows of quirls at the bottoms, and these loops create the air which makes for extremely powerful and strong whisking.
I'm certainly adding to my Christmas wish list.... if only the handle came in red!
Ideal Food & Housewares: Yumsh snacks/ Ten Acre Popcorn and Crisps
Yumsh range of Ten Acre Hand Cooked Crisps are packed full of flavour and taste, we sampled a few and I can promise the chicken soup really does tickle the tastebuds. They come in 8 different flavours, each with really unique names such as The Day Sweet and Sour Became Friends and
When Hickory got BBQ’d.
The popcorn also has a great crunch while still having that squeaky element. They come in far more
unique flavours then your normal cinema would sell and again each have a great names like Cornelius Popperley’s Sour Cream and Chive Popcorn and Captain Theodore’s Lime and Sea Salt Popcorn.
Why the names? Well if you pop over to their website there is a range of books you can read online which explain the stories behind each and every one.
All the Ten Acre range come with market-leading Free From+ credentials meaning they are all Gluten, Dairy and MSG Free, as well as being Vegan, Vegetarian, Halal and Kosher certified.
I meant to bring a selection home to try but dashed back before I went home and they were really busy so I picked up some of the Lime and Sea Salt and we can't stop tucking into them, especially at 80 calories a serving.
Ideal Interiors: 1Wall
I love our dining room wallpaper. It's a feature wall showing a map of the world, but being wallpaper this isn't 1 map - this is lots of little maps.
I was drawn to the 1wall stand as they were displaying just what I was after - 1 large wall mural map and with moving to a new house this is the perfect opportunity to re-decorate and try something new,
They had lots of other murals at the show (with over 100 online) from as little as £25, one for every room of the house and defiantly worth considering before I spend money on more feature wallpaper.
If you've been I hope you had as much fun as me, would love you to share your favourite stands below.
Disclaimer: I was offered a pair of tickets to the Ideal Home Show, Manchester and the prize in return for writing a couple of posts, All opinions are my own, the companies mentioned are my own selection and have not been consulted about this post.