The show was held at the Olympia, which isn’t a venue I’ve ever been to before. It is absolutely enormous, and rather beautiful, with a stunning ceiling and galleries all the way round. Purely on an event coverage note, can I just say how lovely it is to work in a venue with natural light? No trying to take photos that look decent in that horrid orange light that convention halls always seem to have!
I made a quick visit to Hillarys, and recognised a lot of the new fabric range we got to test out at their Crafternoon event. I still think the patterns are gorgeous.
The show was enormous, with sections for Interiors, Home Improvements, Gardens, Technology, Fashion & Beauty, Food and Houseware, Shopping and Show Homes. The Interiors had a great mix of stuff, with everything from classic oak furniture through to retro diner furniture. Unsurprisingly, I made a beeline for the Smeg fridges to gaze at their prettiness. I am obsessed with Smeg kitchen goods. So pretty, so 50s, so perfect. The Garden section was great too, with a section of show gardens from the Young Gardener of the Year Competition. Six gardens can be seen, and you vote for your pick to win the People’s Choice Award. All the gardens were beautiful, and the smell as you walked through was gorgeous. I was particularly taken with a garden which used a fish tank as the base of a bench!
The Fashion & Beauty section, I was less taken with. A lot of the stalls were very similar to each other and rather suffered from a pet hate of mine: pushy sales people. A lot of the clothing and accessories looked cheap, and not all that different from what you might see in those cheapy clothes shops or own market stalls. However, I did find some very pretty (and incredibly reasonably priced) scarves to buy, and more than enough gorgeous shoes and jewellery to drool over. The Food & Housewares section was up next, which had the standard array of gadgets you’d expect, and a whole lot of delicious food. We sampled a beautiful red wine, and spent quite a while debating what to choose for lunch. Left to my own devices, I could have happily spent most of the day in the Food area, nibbling on sweets, olives and breads.
The queues for the the various Show Homes were ridiculous all day, so I gave those a miss, but I did have a good explore of the various show rooms set up by the Ideal Homes magazine. I particularly liked the bedroom set up, as the colours were so warm, and pretty. I wasn’t convinced by the way the walls had been half painted in an almost sunset effect, but the soft tones were perfect for a restful, cosy sleeping space.
If you were renovating your home, or conducting some major decoration, you could easily spend an absolute fortune on beautiful things at the Ideal Home Show, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much there was to buy that was affordable. There was plenty of inspiration to, from simple uses of colour through to bigger ideas on how to future proof your home.
The day was fantastic, and I came away full of ideas I can use in KissHQ. Big thanks to Hillarys for sending me!