I'm still working through and editing my photos from Grand Designs Live in London earlier this year, but I thought it was about time I shared more of the Grand Room Sets. There were six at the show and each of them different. As with every room set I think I've ever seen, there's things I like and things I don't but each time I'm amazed that a blank set can be relatively quickly be transformed into a normal looking and functional room!
1. Normal is boring
This theme for this room set by Owl Design was the colour black and they took their initial inspiration from a stormy summer sky over the sea. That gave them blues and greys mixed with yellow which you can see on the walls.
It's a fun and colourful look, but I wouldn't have known that the inspiration was the colour black - well until I read the board anyway. I'm not sure about the geometric patterned floor, although it's effective here I think I'd spend time with my eyes identifying the cubes and blocks and probably send myself into a tizz.
But I did like the artwork, and I tend to agree. Normal is boring. And those tiny terrarium - how cute and dainty are they?
2. Marsala zone
This room by Charlotte Froud uses the Pantone colour of the year for 2015, Marsala. She's matched its earthy tones with cool blues, greys and black. The copper accessories and metal lighting and bold geometric prints which bring the look together and the result is a fun and modern room.
3. Dining in elegance
This room set by Fleur Ward she says started with the wallpaper and that inspired the other items. I've mixed feelings about the wallpaper; I like the colour, but I'm less keen on all that swirling. It brings back memories of painting techniques frequently used on Changing Rooms and in no doubt many houses around the country. I'll admit I had some too, but nothing quite like this.
I like the chairs in racing green leather, I'm not sure you can ever go wrong with these and they look comfy for a fabulous meal. You know the sort, the ones you wish would never end and the ones where you've eaten far too much! I think they need something contemporary with them though, just to bring them to life.
It was the lights in this room that I really liked; they have a feeling of time gone by but are new and made by a local craftsman. I like the informality of the group of lights in what is quite a formal and luxurious room. Oh and maybe the pink swung me a little too!
And just look at that rug. I bet you weren't expecting that. It's suede and I think if I were to have this I'd spend far too much time stroking it, which in itself is a good reason for me not to have it. But it is gorgeous!
4. Colour and fun in the kitchen
This kitchen by Amanda Neilson has clearly taken its inspiration from Mondrian with those blocks of primary colour. The colour block theme continues with the furniture and that rather funky SMEG fridge. The information board at the show said it had been designed "as a multi-function room for eating, entertaining and even a bit of dancing, we included highlights of gold and special lighting features to bring the room to life."
The music streaming is bound to get the party started - and if you fancy a dance then there's this rather glitzy floor and of course a disco ball. Just what every kitchen needs, as I'm sure we've all been known to dance around our kitchens at some point!
5. Cool, soft and subtle "en plain air"
This room set by Mathilde Kubisiak embraces cool, soft colours mixed with subtle warm tones in a minimalistic setting. The room uses mobile furniture and innovative storage and makes use of recycled materials too and there's a definite relaxed feel about the room. It's a nice calming colour way and I'm particularly keen on the green used on the walls.
The blinds at the window are interesting. We rarely use blinds in our living rooms, and if we do they're usually uniform and functional. But by using three different designs the blinds become a feature in the room. I must admit I'm less sure about the "trapeze" wall art above the sofa.
I do like the low level bench - it looks a great place for storage and to display items, for me though it's a little too cluttered, but I like the concept - and being low level, it isn't too intrusive into the room.
6. Grand Exotica, colour blocking at its most daring
This design by Tracy Andrews is a media-related, library room which aims to "conjure the serenity of the colonial style and balmy rain forest." And it's certainly eye catching, but I like it.
The colours used - greens, white, yellow and blues - all work well in nature and make for a striking room set off by that vibrant, larger than life exotic wallpaper. What I particularly like about this room, apart from the yellow which I've always had a bit of a thing for is how the wallpaper has been hung almost as artwork. It set's the sofa off and almost becomes a piece of art itself.
It's the type of room that my dad would ask for sunglasses, and it would certainly cheer you up wouldn't it?
Each of these rooms stand out in their own way and while we may not have the time, inclination, money or bravery to replicate these rooms in our own homes, I think there's elements from each of them that can inspire our next project. Are you inspired?