Innovation reigns at Grand Designs Live 2019

Grand Designs Live, proudly sponsored by Anglian Home Improvements, closed its doors on Sunday the 13th October at the 14th edition of the show. Hosted once again by Grand Designs guru Kevin McCloud, the show was packed with over 400 carefully curated brands, and an array of expert talks and demonstrations affording visitors the chance to discover current trends, and explore the latest technologies and designs across Build, Kitchens, Bathrooms, Gardens and Interiors.

This October’s event was one of the most exciting, engaging and informative to date, with a focus on pioneering products across the housing industry, in everything from building materials to interior furnishings and everything in between. The all-new Innovation Trail comprised of nine ground-breaking brands that are changing the landscape and nature of home building and renovation. The trail incorporated the world’s first Milk Bottle House, by Six Miles Across London Limited (SMALL), demonstrating the kind of green-minded and design-friendly innovation that Kevin McCloud, and Grand Designs Live choose to champion. While Modern Method of Construction (MMC) specialists Built & Spaces, showcased their innovative, adaptable and sustainable approach to construction; a 200 square-metre interactive space that was custom created for Grand Designs Live, produced in under 8 weeks and assembled onsite over 2 days.

Kevin’s Green Heroes were also included in The Innovation Trail; these design-conscious eco-friendly brands and their products were hand-picked by Kevin himself, and included BIOFASE Avocado Seed Cutlery & Straws, by 4eco Limited, handmade, biodegradable composite interior products from That’s Caffeine, By Atticus Durnell. Along with fungus and yeast-based bioplastic Korvaa headphones, and Chip Board, a biodegradable alternative to MDF, both designed by Finnish studio Aivan in collaboration with scientists.

To coincide with National Home Renovation Week, Grand Designs Live launched the Home Renovation Clinic, located within the popular Ask An Expert area, which gave visitors the opportunity to get advice from members of The Federation of Master Builders about their upcoming home projects. Those looking for advice on everything from Kitchen Design to planning permission and Interiors, the Design & Build Forum hosted an array of industry experts each day of the show. While the Grand Theatre saw talks, seminars and panel discussions dispensing advice from seasoned experts in renovation and first-hand experiences from designers and home-owners who have refurbished homes, from Grade III listed mansions, to modern townhouses, to 1970s bathrooms and beyond. In addition to these informative talks on the Grand Theatre, Kevin McCloud was joined onstage by Grand Designs director Marc Beers as they discussed unseen footage and just some of the hilarious bloopers and mishaps from both side of the camera throughout the years.

Richard Morey, UK Managing Director for Media 10 said of the show:

The new features and content we have produced at this show has been really exciting to create, as it is what we, at Grand Designs Live, are truly passionate about; housing and homes from self-build to renovations and everything in between, combined with innovation across the whole industry, from design and planning right up to the finishing touches that make a home. Our visitors want to see the latest technology for construction and beautiful decorative touches, but they also want to see the movement towards environmentally conscious products and methods that continue to grow as this topic becomes ever more important to us all.’

Also new to Birmingham for 2019 was the Under The Stairs Project, which saw a series of 8 installations, each imagined by a different interior designer. This competition focused on the increased use of unconventional spaces for a variety of uses; finalist’s designs included everything from a more traditional, but beautifully designed storage area from Amanda Dawn Clothier, to a discreet desk space, complete with bike storage, as imagined by Johanna Davies, to a gin-themed garden area and bar from Samantha Theakstone and even a home gym by Pritpal Chana! Judging took place at the show and Zoe Perks of Beautiful Rooms by Zoe was named the overall winner with her under the stairs Speakeasy-style bar.

Brands on show at Grand Designs Live 2019 included Anglian Home Improvements, Internorm, Sightline Aluminium, Kutchenhaus, Hydropool, EgoItaliano, LexusBora and Maxlight to name but a few. Virtual Worlds debuted their innovative ‘4D kitchen and bathroom design software’ at the show, which allows customers to step into their dream design and test it out, opening cupboards, assessing the space and even standing under the shower; drawing much interest from renovators and self-builders alike.