For interiors lovers, the yearly Pilgrimage to the house-and-home-Mecca that is The Ideal Home Show is a calendar highlight. I’m sure I remember my own Mum attending when I was small, and as I’ve developed my own passion for the latest in home design, it’s been an event that I’ve been super-keen to go to myself. So when the fab bods at Kinetico offered me a chance to go the London Olympia and sniff out the latest in home appliances, decoration, furniture, food and innovations, I totally jumped at the chance
and I might well have squealed a tiny bit.
The actual event is HUGE, much bigger than I was ever expecting (there are hundreds of stands, plus areas hosting informative talks and demonstrations). So, after grabbing a coffee, and gathering my thoughts, but not before getting sucked in by a very convincing chap from The Cats Protection League (I will now be paying 6 quid a month for my very own pen of cats somewhere up north), I was ready to rumble. I decided to mostly bypass the beauty section on this occasion, in the interests of interiors/home research, and after spending a day perusing some truly awesome stands, I can bring you my picks from the show:
The first stand to really catch my eye because I’m such a lover of photos, and because we’re looking to add a few photo walls to our home later this year, was ‘Ayers & Graces’. They are the No.1 supplier of reproduction antique mirrors and picture frames in the UK, and oh-so-very pretty. I would love a combination of these frames on the wall of our stairway, once our loft conversion is complete.
Best of British:
Not everyone’s cup of tea I’m sure, but this fabulously lairy sofa by ‘Make Me A Sofa’ would be a real focal point in a muted living space. I loved it, and it felt pretty comfy too!
One of the reasons I was so keen to come to The Ideal Home Show courtesy of Kinetico, was because I was genuinely keen to chat to the guys on the stand to find out more about the brand. Even before they’d got in touch with me, I’d seen a telly ad in my doctor’s surgery, and heard from other sources, that their water softeners really helped with eczema, a condition that Freddie in particular suffers from. We also live in a Hard-Water area (SE London), and our taps and appliances often become victims of that annoying affliction, limescale. Water softeners such as those from Kinetico protect your home from such limescale damage.
After chatting to the tres-knowledgeable staff on the stand, they explained that their water softeners remove the impurities that cause limescale and that can also irritate sensitive skin such as Freddie’s. Anything that can relieve my boy of his itchy bod will always be something worth considering.
I was also pretty impressed with Kinetico’s ‘Kube’ Advanced Water Filitration system, which provides you with filtered water straight from your existing tap. You can cook without chemicals, and your tea and coffee has a new-lease of life! A water ‘win’, and truly innovative product.
Like a wayward pigeon, I saw the homing beacon sign of ‘Smeg’ a mile off. I just can’t get enough of this iconic brand, and being a Smeg fridge owner myself (mint green here), I always have huge affection for it. Their 50s style range of kitchen appliances is to die for (I’m eyeing up a new kettle), and I’m sure no one minded me
much stroking the beautiful products in a trance-like state.
Best Food-related Product:
These ‘polycarbonate vacumn’ (say what?) containers by ‘Nova UK’ were my pick of the food section. Whilst I’m not usually drawn in by food storage boxes masquerading as posh tupperware, the guy on the stand was so enthusiastic I couldn’t help but be won over. For as it happens, these are most certainly not posh tupperware, but a super hi-tech way storing and preserving the food in your fridge, by essentially vacuum-packing it. Ever wondered how those diet and fitness gurus on Instagram manage to prep a week’s worth of salads, without it going limp by day 5? Well, they’re probably using some of these. These babies keep things fresh for WEEKS.
If money were no object:
There were several massage chair stands at the show, and after pounding the isles for a couple of hours, I was in need of a well-earned rest. The guy from the Sasaki stand let me try one of these (for AGES I might add, I think I was in one of these for 20 minutes before he came back. Not complaining mind!). I got some amused looks from passers by, but they were worth it for the heaven that was a turn in one of these chairs. The downside? You’ll have to say buh-bye to the best part of 5K! Ouch!
My head was immediately turned by the beautiful Burleigh pottery stand. Anyone who knows me, knows that as well as the mid-century homeware that I sell, I also adore anything with pretty florals. The English handcrafted tableware has been in production since 1851, with the stand showcasing the new Coronation Meadows Collection, produced in collaboration with Highgrove, and inspired by HRH Prince Charles’ Coronation Meadows project.
To update your kitchen:
If you’re looking to update your boring kitchen with some funky tables and chairs, look no further than the cheerful, retro-inspired diner range by Cola Red. The black and white chequered table (complete with chrome trim) would make a fabulously bold statement. I love the baby blue stool too!
Like a moth to a flame, I was fluttering around (arf, arf) the most amazing lighting stand, featuring some statement lighting concepts by ‘Jam Jar Lights’. I couldn’t get enough of the giant hanging bulbs (pictured), and have been wracking my brains ever since to find somewhere for these to go in our house.
For your mini-mes this summer:
One things I was surprised about at the show was the apparent lack of Children’s design, especially furniture, beds etc, which I was rather disappointed about, especially since we are going to be giving Sasha a brand new room by the end of the year. What did cheer me up though, was coming across this adorable mini outdoor table, benches and chairs by Riverco Trading. The owner, Peter, handmakes everything to order, and at £199, the above set is something I’m seriously tempted to order for my little ones. Too cute!
Browsing the stands, there were a few pieces of art that really stood out for me. I still can’t decide if I would give them house room or not (although I’m veering towards a ‘yes’), but each one would definitely be a talking point! I really, really do want the Oxo r2d2 (stocked by Generation Gallery Manchester) on my kitchen wall though!
and some more Awesome Artwork:
With a resident stall already in East London’s Spitalfield’s Market, ‘A Book on One Page’ creates fascinating literary prints, made up of the entire works of a book. I fell in love with the ‘Alice in Wonderland’ one, and would love this print for Sasha’s room.
As I was nearing the end of my day, my eye was caught by these beautifully intricate pop-up greetings cards by ‘Dragon Greetings Cards’– great to send to a special person in your life who appreciates the tiny details.
My Bargain Buys:
I thought I was extremely restrained throughout the show, especially when so many fabulous potential purchases were dangled before my greedy eyes (it also helped that I deliberately left my credit card at home), but I couldn’t leave without buying anything. The little purchases that quenched my spending thirst, and made me a happy lady, were these beautiful Easter decorations from the ‘Sass & Belle’ stand. Reduced from £6 to £2 each, they simply had to come home with me- I just need to find somewhere good to hang them now!
So that was my Ideal Home Show… I found it a brilliant experience and would definitely go again next year. There’s always something really satisfying about finding that dream home-buy, that little interiors gem, or clamping your eyes on that brand new product before anyone else does!
So What do you think of my picks? Have you been before? I’d love to hear!
The biggest thank you for Kinetico partnering with The Spirited Puddle Jumper and for sending me to the Ideal Home Show, and generally being awesome at their stand!