Ideal Home Show: Inspiration overload

As you'll have seen from my Show Gardens at the Ideal Home Show post this year I've been along to the Ideal Home Show for the first time in may years. Before going I planned to share posts on some garden bits and some house bits and I was totally unprepared for the onslaught of inspiration that I'd get in a relatively short amount of time.  So as I sat reviewing and editing my photos this week, I've revised how and what I'm going to share with you into a few more posts than I originally planned. That means the posts for the next few days will have an Ideal Home Show slant.

Today's post is a little photo-heavy but it's also a reminder of just how much and how varied the stands at the Show are; plus it's a way of me keeping a little part of them as even if I'd bought everything I liked there I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have wanted (or been able) to carry it around all day! Or in truth, been able to afford it.

I love this chest and it's imperfect finish, MOH doesn't. I like how it looks lived in, he wants to give it a good rub down and repaint it... Sadly I've got nowhere to put it so while I like it, it's not something that's ever going to be a realistic purchase, well not right now anyway...

I also like the eclectic mix of frames, pictures and mirrors in the next few pictures. The glass frame memory keepers are a great idea and something I've looked at before. And while I like this, and I do want a picture wall in our study the one I have in mind is a little bit more coordinated, as I want black and white pictures in black frames - which I think will give a different look entirely.

Artwork is something I struggle with though. I'm fine with collecting pictures, memories and our photographs for the black and white picture wall I mentioned above, but I want something more than this in our main living room so I was keeping an eye out for anything that grabbed me.  I saw lots of lovely prints - including the cow one, but nothing that I'd want to hang on our living room wall and look at every day.

Although since the Ideal Home Show I have made progress in the "Art for the Living Room Wall Department" - well when I say I, I mean the Royal I, and MOH has spotted an abstract picture that doesn't offend me and looks as if it will be a good match for the style and colours of our living room.  I'm waiting for that to be delivered so let's hope it works out.

Throughout the whole show you were bombarded with colour - from the jewel-like lights above to the various knobs on show, see below. I thought this was an ingenious way to display the knobs but also looked very pretty and would pretty any piece of plain furniture - who says you just have to add two functional knobs, why not add more?

I was very taken with these candles, the wax is like little polystyrene balls and you add the wick to the top. Their burning time is much extended apparently and I think they also look effective alongside some roses and in a wooden box. If I had a coffee table (which we don't and it's not something we're getting mostly because I'd walk into it everyday and because I don't think it suits our living room) then this would definitely be on there. Don't get me wrong in the right space a coffee table is absolutely the thing to have, but I don't think it'd work here and would quickly collect all of our other junk!

At this next stand I was like a butterfly high on nectar, flitting from one display to the next and not working out which I liked best. Which was a shame really as this was a stand that I could have bought quite a bit from, but because there was so much choice and so much to choose from in the end I walked away, after quite a few longing looks and perhaps a few strokes of the wooden things.  Soon though I might be brave enough to look them up online!

I like things to have a place and for them to be in that place. MOH if he's reading this is probably rolling around the floor laughing at this as he thinks I'm messy (I don't always agree!) I like things to be in their own space, but am happy with higgledy piggledy-ness so having a system like this of boxes on a wall - aptly named Box On A Box - would be perfect for me. They're something I'm going to investigate for our spare room, where I want to store my shoes and MOH wants to store his records to see if something like this would work for us (and our price range).

In the garden section I discovered these patterned numbers and letters, if only I could think of a use for them then I know I'd be happy with them. I still haven't but aren't they pretty?

In fact in the garden section I was drawn more to metal objects, the lamps below would look great on the patio with candles in - hmm there's an idea, we've been thinking about how to get more light on our patio - ideally we wanted something solar powered, but I'm sure I could work something out.

And how useful would this camper van cooler be? Whether it's for beer, fizz or soft drinks, it's a fun way to keep drinks cool and slightly more stylish than a garden trug or dustbin. Water features too were plentiful and this stand had just about every type you could imagine and probably more.

I love the silver ball type, and one day in one garden I'll have one. So far the only water features I've managed in my garden's has been a leaky bird bath and a plastic crate which has filled up over winter! I'm sure I can do better than those.

And this would be the water feature to end all water features, although I'm not sure I'd want the maintenance that comes with them. But I think every hot tub should have a rubber duck having seen them bob along, and around and around here!

So as I said at the start, inspiration overload - and there's still the show homes and the room sets to come. But not today, as I'm off out into the garden to do some more pottering about...