Very excited to be attending Grand Designs Live for the first time this coming Saturday, and not only because it’ll be a whole day without having to sing a nursery rhyme or change a nappy (thanks Nanna!) We have so far decided against applying for the show, but hopefully this event will give us loads of food for thought and hopefully give us the chance to make some good contacts! It’s running for five days (from 19th – 23rd) and is broken up into 6 different areas: GRANDinteriors, GRANDtechnology, GRANDkitchens, GRANDbathrooms, GRANDgardens and GRANDbuild… One of the challenges we have found so far is that the majority of window manufacturers seem to be in the South-East. And with glass being such a huge element in our build, it’s ideal that the key players in the structural glazing world will be there for us to actually sample their frameless systems and try out their sliding mechanisms, rather than having to trek across the country for individual appointments. Nowhere else (outside of London) will we be able to test out these technologies, one after each other, to sample usability and decide if that extra 3mm sightline really does make the difference that the price suggests! Another element we’re keen to get some more ideas about is the staircase – the options seem endless and it is something we are wanting to make a statement with: hopefully we will see something that we hadn’t even considered before.


In the GRANDtheatre there are 6 talks throughout the day. On Saturday there will be two talks from previous GrandDesigners (hosted by Charlie Luxton), two talks based around Daniel Hopwood and Sophie Robinson’s ‘Great Interior Design Challenge’, a talk about ‘Making Flat Pack Unique’ and, at 1pm, “Top Tips For Planning Your Own Grand Design” – I expect we’ll head over for this one although an hour out of the day seems a long time! From what I can see, Kevin McCloud isn’t hosting any of the talks on our day. He’s talking about the potential impact of Brexit on the UK property market on the Friday, I can imagine that getting a little heated…

Also this year they have an Ask The Expert feature, where you can book a free 30 minute consultation with an expert in one of 12 different fields! These include: architectural technology, structural design, project management and heating/ventilation. Even though we are still in the very early stages of our project, we felt that we had probably made most of the decisions about the different options already, and might just cause problems (and costs!) for ourselves if we start changing things about. We may still book in to talk to one of the home automation/technology experts though as we’re suckers for a money-saving/faff-preventing gadget!

I’m really looking forward to a day of creative thinking, future planning, idea gathering, contact making and excitement building!