Monday, 21 May 2012

Grand Designs 2012

I loved Grand Designs 2011. 

There was lots to look at and lots to listen to.

Maybe it helped that my dad was there to keep me company and, if you can believe this, his enthusiasm matches mine when it comes to anything to do with houses and homes. His dad was an architect and I think it's passed down in the blood. 

Grand Designs 2012 ?
Lots of filler.

Whereas GD11 equalled interesting products on exhibit; informative and useful talks that were balanced just right - ie. no talking down to prospective homebuilders - at GD12 there was nothing new, except it would seem that the current climate around the globe has led to desperate self promotion.

My ear was to the ground every time I turned up at a potential presentation that looked good on paper, but all I heard was 'I am x; my company is x; we aim to x etc etc'. Yes a couple of minutes verifying that you are qualified to speak is all good but any longer and your audience are bound to wonder why they started listening in the first place. After all, as a punter all I have to do to find out this info is to read a company leaflet or .. to google them. If I've paid for a ticket and made the effort to turn up in person, I want a little more for my money.

Same with GD Kevin

Now I love Kevin. I find his pomposity endearing because it is backed up by a wealth of logic, intelligence, charisma and, lets face it, product knowledge. He knows what he is talking about. 

I liked a small exhibition of Kevin's heroes; which I'll show you further down the page. Good for him: promoting something he really believes in.
Then again, interesting as it was to see a GD couple from one of the GD TV shows interviewed by him on the stage.. did it really give me anything more than the TV programme did? Probably not.

All that being said, I did manage to single out a few guilty highlights which I will reveal to you; so the trip wasn't wasted. 
But would I go next year... no I wouldn't. Shame. 

I think GD has fallen victim to trying to appeal to too many and, in so doing - in trying to appeal to the masses - it has diluted itself and lost its wonderful vitality.

Enough pontificating. 

After all, I don't do it like Kevin does it.

Here we go:

Two of Kevin's Green Heroes:  

by Hulger & Samuel Wilkinson:

Designed by Hulger & Samuel Wilkinson, this beautiful baby is the first of its kind as the world's first designer low energy lightbulb. It uses 80% less energy than the traditional incandescent light bulb and lasts around 8 times longer. The name Plumen comes from the “plume,” the decorative feathers of a bird and “lumen,” the unit of light. 
In 2011 the Plumen 001 was awarded the Brit Insurance Design of the Year, one of the world’s highest profile international design awards. It has also been recognised by renowned design collections around the world including the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Finnish Design Museum and the Cooper Hewitt collection, based in New York. 
In February this year it also joined  the permanent collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Craftsmanship & Design are key with this talented south London based team. These chairs are made from reclaimed hardwood and Victorian floorboards.

For instance, I loved the 
a towable beach hut
tiny but perfectly formed
with a double bedroom, shower room & loo, 
bunk up a ladder for the kids
and a living/kitchen/diner
super cool second home

A cosy bedroom for Mum & Dad, with a hideaway for the kids (don't worry the sign was for the show only!)

 Plenty of neat storage solutions & a little stove for keeping toasty 
on cold evenings
Alongside all mod cons


Another pint size home on display was the eco-'Perch', comprising an open-plan bedroom/living space & kitchen, bathroom & a separate bunk room for the kids Organic in form and not requiring planning permission, this beauty can be constructed on the ground or amidst the treetops. An escape pod fit for the 22nd century. 





To be continued...

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Homes Around the World

Today's house from around the world comes from 
Brazilian Architect Marcio Kogan 
Upcycling on a large scale
Linear and exciting
Thinking outside the box whilst expanding its limitations
How satisfying


Tuesday, 8 May 2012

The cheapest home imaginable

I'm busy planning my house.

Yes my whole house.

It may not be a great architectural masterpiece 

And it's never going to be a 

Grand Design

But I've come to realise over the years that you 
shouldn't judge a book by its cover, particularly 
not where homes are concerned

And I've also come to realise that

a HOUSE is ALL about HOME.

So I'm currently putting the nitty gritty part to one side and heading straight to the end goal: 

What type of home do I want to have?

What ideally would I like to have in it?

Every day as part of my job I visit houses that are in the process of morphing to homes. Each is different; fulfilling the needs, always budget dependent, of the inmates.

My home needs to be comfy, restful, inspiring.

I need light, a place to chill, 
a place to dream and to scheme.

I don't want to be surrounded by too much stuff though I confess to being a terrible hoarder, so I need somewhere to hide it all

I need clever storage solutions 

Even in its infancy my house list is becoming quite long.....

I'm afraid I have already fallen in love with and bought a gorgeous light fitting from my second home, Ebay. Here it is:

Gorgeous huh?

I have been looking at tiles for walls

for floors...
For anywhere really

I've been looking at flooring itself:

At beautiful kitchens like this:

 though in reality my kitchen still looks like this:


(you see why I like to dream)

But still, I'm enjoying the process of planning and allowing my home to develop its own personality guided by mine.

And what's so fantastic about this stage of home planning is that I don't even have to venture out in the current constant rain. 

I can google to my heart's content - from my iPad, my laptop, my iPhone. 

It all looks wonderful right where it is, 

with very little effort on my part 

My heart is happy, my budget blown; but still I rest assured that my home is still in the cheapest place for it to be... 

My Head

For inspirational home ideas check out:


Happy Homes to you


Hi all, Hope you've had a good weekend. I now have a new website so do take a look: