Ideal Home Show 2015

As I mentioned last week, I'm a bit of an interiors and architecture freak so I was thrilled to be invited along to the Ideal Home Show. The day I attended was picked very carefully so I could be in the presence of my two favourite home TV presenters (yes, I have a list!), Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen (my childhood hero, FYI) and George Clarke. To say I was excited would be an understatement!

Anyone know where I can buy some lurid green astroturf? I genuinely want to deck my garden out in it!
The Ideal Home Show started way back in 1908 and was originally here, at the Kensington Olympia. This year, it returned to its beautiful home- seriously, look how stunning that ceiling is! Victorian architecture makes my heart sing! (Told you I was an architecture freak!)

We arrived just in time to catch Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen's first presentation at the theatre area. Unfortunately we were stuck at the back so couldn't hear a huge amount but, from what I did catch, he was an engaging and witty speaker, filled with comedic asides. After learning that purple bedrooms are prone to seeing more... ahem... "action" and why black is actually a very flattering colour in room as well as on people, Laurence announced that we could buy copies of his book from the side of the stage... and he was signing them! I'm telling you, my heart leapt! 

Somehow, thankfully I managed to avoid telling him that he inspired me to be an interior designer (imagine the conversation- "Oh wow. How are you finding it?" "Erm... I decided to teach instead") and that I used to play Changing Rooms as a kid and would always take on the role of him, once throwing a cat behind me- complete with shocked meowing sound effects- in the rush to finish off the room (Not a real cat, I hasten to add!) Instead he complimented me on my coat- I only went and forgot to wear my Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen dress!- and, on seeing my My Little Pony phone case, expressed his desire to paint the ponies in the field opposite him different shades of pastel colours to shock the drivers. My sort of person! Apart from me garbling "Ooh, I do love a good sticker" when he offered me one, I got through the whole experience without embarrassing myself. 10 points for Becky!
Straight afterwards, I headed back to where Rich had grabbed a couple of front row seats in time for George Clarke. His presentation was more about his shows Restoration Man and Amazing Spaces which was a little redundant as most of the people there were avid viewers of both, as evidenced by the show of hands at the start. Nevertheless, he was a very engaging and energetic speaker. Trying to get a good photo was next to impossible as he never stopped moving! Of course, through the whole thing, I was just hopeful that he would also do a book signing and, to my delight, he did!
Again, I managed not to humiliate myself. I didn't tell him that I think he has the loveliest voice on TV and instead we just spoke briefly about my hometown which he apparently knows well. By now, I was all giddy at meeting two people I adore, so we tracked down the onsite Pizza Express for a bite to eat.

The Ideal Home Show is split into seven areas- Garden, Technology, Fashion & Beauty, Shopping, Food, Interiors and Home Improvement. We started our exploration in the home improvement area and spoke to Steve at British Gas, who very kindly offered a no-obligation consultation to see how much money we could save by switching to them.
Using a series of questions, Steve was able to quickly work out how much we'd save on our gas and electricity by switching to British Gas. The good news was that we would make a saving with the fixed rate tariff, which was what we were thinking of getting. With this option, our bill prices would be frozen until August 2016 so we'd always know how much our bills are. However, British Gas also offer a Fix and Fall tariff in which there is a maximum fixed rate but if for any reason the rate falls, you pay the cheaper amount. Since we're on a meter, they also offer USB keys so if we suddenly run out of gas or electric, we can instantly pay for more without needing to go to the shop. How convenient is that! We were very impressed and would happily have switched there and then (Rich was all for it) but, as we're renting, Steve was very helpful in making sure we had permission first and didn't pressure us at all. Instead, he's booked us in for a callback so we can speak to the landlord before signing anything. It was so refreshing to speak to somebody who clearly put customers first. 
The British Gas hub was next to the Smeg stand and of course I couldn't resist looking in all the fridges! This one looks perfect for storing my Diet Pepsi! By the way, did you know Smeg also sell washing machines that are cunningly disguised to look like their fridges? I really, really want the pink one! 

Surprisingly, given the state of our garden (which you will never see because it looks like an overgrown scrubland), the garden section was one of my favourite parts of the show. There were some truly innovative products, like rotating garden pods, which Rich has promised we can get one day! I'm holding him to that one... 
Of course I couldn't resist hopping on and trying out all the products. This is a Casada Powerboard Vibration Plate and I left desperately wanting one. Unfortunately it was a little out of my price range at £750 but, since it usually retails for £1200, I can appreciate that it's a pretty big discount. If you want to buy anything expensive for your home and garden, get it from an exhibition as the offers are incredible! 

One of the parts I was most looking forward to was the show homes, and I was overwhelmed by how much detail had gone into them. Even the exterior looked like beautiful homes. As you can probably tell, this one was modelled on Downing Street.
The interior was stunning. Obviously I prefer a little more of a pastel colour palette but I love the mid-century hints. You wait until I share the rose gold dressing table on Instagram!

We both had a fantastic day and I left filled with inspiration... and still a little giddy at my celebrity encounters, to be honest! The Ideal Home Show is open until Monday so you still have time to make a quick visit before it shuts up shop for this year.


  1. I wouldn't say I've ever been massively interested in interior design (although I did use to be obsessed with DIY SOS...) but all this looks soooo cool! I wish I lived nearer so I could pop in xD Sounds like you had a great time.

  2. I need to go to this at some point in my life - FELLOW INTERIOR FREAK OVER HERE!
    Looks like such a fun day out & it's amazing that you got to meet those two!
    Maeve // Thrift O'Clock

  3. I keep on saying to my Mum about how we should go to this one year, we spend an embarrassingly amount of time watching home design programmes and are possibly addicted to homes under the hammer so this would be right up our street! Hopefully we'll get there next year :)

  4. I'd LOVE to go to the Ideal Home show, especially once I have my own place as living at home/in student accommodation means interior design is basically impossible. Love the show homes, that's so cool!

    Emma x
    Writing Essays With Wine

  5. I used to love Changing Rooms! My favourite was always Anna Ryder Richardson though. Sorry but true :) Looks like you had a lovely day x

    Roxie ♥

  6. This looks like so much fun!! I wish I could have gone.
    Emma Xx

  7. This looks amazing! Laurence Llewellyn Bowen - such a legend! I had the Changing Rooms dollshouse when I was was fantastic.


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