Celebrating its first birthday, The Ideal Home Show, sponsored by Express Bi-Folding Doors, is back in Manchester this weekend at EventCity.
Based on the multi-award winning London show with a Northern Twist, the 4 day event, will offer seven sections each dedicated to making a house a home, including: Interiors, Home Improvements, Food & Housewares, Technology, Gardens, Fashion & Beauty and Shopping.
Featuring an impressive 300 exciting exhibitors, the iconic British Home Show offers a great day out and a unique shopping experience for the whole family, packed with fantastic features including a fully built Show Home, inspirational Room Sets, top chefs at the Food & Drink Theatre, the relaxing Restaurant and Champagne Bar, as well as the spectacular Ideal Super Theatre, filled with talks and demonstrations.
The show will also see a host of famous faces, from industry experts to household celebrities, who will offer advice and tips throughout the four-day extravaganza. These include interior designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, well-known architect and TV presenter George Clarke, top foodie Gregg Wallace, gardening expert Diarmuid Gavin, TV presenter and Model Amanda Lamb and everybody’s favourite Money Saving Expert, Martin Lewis.
We got a chance to sit down with Amanda and Laurence to discuss everything from interiors to fashion and beauty;
How often to do you change your interiors?
I have been in the house just over six years, and I’ve already been through two kitchens, 1 bathroom and 2 colour schemes. I get really twitchy too so I keep looking on Rightmove.
Your the ambassador for Fashion and Beauty this week; How have you made this transition?
It’s years as working at model and working with some amazing makeup artists. Whenever I’m being made up for advertising and campaigns I’m always asking what’s that they are using. I’m also really scatty at the moment and I forgot all my makeup as I was heading up to the Ideal Home Show in Scotland so I had to re-buy everything and the airport! And then I discovered this amazing foundation! Its Bobbie Brown, blends in really well and its a serum too! (Amanda let us try some, we agree! Its amazing!)
What are your top 3 beauty products?
At the moment they have to be this new foundation, Bobbie Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation as well as Becca Highlighter Drops for your foundation and Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster drops. I also love getting my eyelashes permed instead of wearing fake lashes, they make my eyes itchy.
What are you most looking forward too about this weekend?
I love Manchester, its like my second home; its where my husband’s family is from. The atmosphere is crazy! Some of the stands look great so I’m really looking forward to seeing whats out there too!
Out of all the countries you’ve been filming A Place in the Sun, who would you say has the best interior style?
I don’t think you can go far wrong with the Italians. They have such a great sense of style and presence. Australians as well, because of the culture and lifestyle, and they really understand the environmentally friendly builds too. French and Scandinavian’s designs are really good as well.
What are you currently working on?
I’m doing a new series of Selling Houses with Amanda Lamb and also a top secret ITV show that I’m desperate to talk about but I can’t! But its a big new show, and a total departure from what I normally do! Thats all I can say!
Where would you say you get your own fashion inspiration from?
The older I get, the more I learn to dress for myself and my shape, not to conform to what the magazines are telling me to wear. I know what works well for me and my shape. Wrap dresses are great for me, I’ve always had hips and boobs so this kind of style has always worked for me. I tried the ‘Heroin Chic’ look in the 90s when I was modelling and it just didn’t work for me. I think the older you get, the more confident you become with your shape and style.
The people I adore looking at are nothing like my shape but I think Kate Blanchett is amazing! Always pushes it a little but looks amazing. Kate Winslett, she is curvy by Hollywood standards and I love how she dresses. And Kate Beckinsale…basically anyone called Kate!
What are you looking forward to most about this weekend?
This has become such a huge phenomenon! It was absolutely rammed last year and what I love about the show, is seeing how much visitors love it! Like everyone else, I’m also here on the look out for things for the home.
How often do you decorate your home?
I tend to go in seven year cycles where I rip it up and start again. But I always go around moving things and fiddling all the time. I often road test new collections at home so some rooms feel 4inches smaller because of all the wallpaper!
You’re known for your flamboyant style and we’ve seen your home on Through the Keyhole; what would your top tips be to add colour to your home if your too scared to move away from beige?!
You have to want to add colour and print to your room. Theres no right or wrong way of doing it, if it is expressing your personality. Its really important to follow through how you present yourself and how you decorate. Its all about framing your personality. There’s a hierarchy to this and there are always rooms that will be more personal that others; the bedroom will always be more personal than living rooms, hallways will have a sense of propriety to them. I think its important to come home from work to a home that welcomes you, supports you and revitalises you.
What are you currently working on?
I have done a BBC documentary that comes out in July which looks at my company in China and the growth of interior design in Asia. We are quiet a big deal in China! I think its because China has never had a high street designer before.
I’m doing a lovely series called Laurence’s Extraordinary Ordinary Houses for the BBC, its kind of an antidote to George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces. Its like a ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ for houses which then informs my makeover. Its about getting people to be more respectful of the age of their houses and looking at the history of the people that have lived their previously. We can’t escape the past of this country and we shouldn’t.
Out of all the places that you’ve been to, who do you think has the best interior style?
In UK terms, I definitely think Manchester. (not promoted we assure you!) The people of Manchester are very design literate and design focused. They think a lot about clothes and style and they think a lot about their homes. I think they are also very individualist about their homes. I sell more products here too; My wallpaper is made in Blackburn by Graham and Brown and is shipped and sold all over the world and on Littlewoods.
If I was decorating my home on a budget, what would your top tips be?
Get a bigger budget! Sell a Kidney! Buy my kit from Littlewoods! It’s not about budget anymore, a show like this proves it. You can go around and choose a sofa that’s actually affordable but then you see a mirror which is extremely expensive. Its the style that drives it, not the money. I think thats an area where we are really leading the world-in the erosion of the snobbery in style.
I’m guessing you’ve worked with quiet a lot of celebrities over the years; is there anyone that hasn’t like what you have done?
Yes I have; I have my favourites. Linda Barker…she fucking hated it! She hit me with one of my own large paper poppies! We’re just very different people with different tastes.
What would you tips be for getting the home ready for summer?
This is very dull but have your windows cleaned! You’ll get 18-20% more light in with clean windows! In Scandinavia, they redecorate every season to reflect the weather, such as velvet curtains to keep the drafts out in winter, then take them down in the summer, white wash everything and put pastel or gingham covers over the sofa’s. Spend £100 on some cushions, a throw and a lampshade and the room will look completely different.
We also looked around the amazing Home for Life by House Beautiful. This gorgeous 2000 square foot capsule home is custom made and designed for you in a factory and delivered to your plot of land! It features three bedrooms and bathrooms, an open plan kitchen dinning area and a roof garden!
The Ideal Home Show is on at EventCity all weekend from 10am-6pm. You can spend the whole day their thanks to their Champagne Bar sponsored by Hydropool (Happy Hour is 5-6pm!) and you can dine at the Gregg Wallace Pop up Restaurant where they are offering a set menu with a choice of two or three courses.
To book tickets visit www.idealhomeshowmanchester.com or call 0844 209 7366
Prices for Ideal Home Show, EventCity, Manchester:
Adult – £12.00 In Advance, £15.00 on the Door
Concession (over 60) – £11.00 in advance, £14.00 on the Door
Children aged 15 and under go free when accompanied by a paying adult (Max 2)
Advanced tickets transaction fee of £1.70 applies
Groups of 10+ from £6.00
Venue: EventCity, Urmston, Manchester M41 7TB
Follow the Ideal Home Show on Twitter http://twitter.com/IHS_Manchester
By Emily Parker