London’s Ideal Home Show is now in its 110th year, but despite my obsession with interior design, I’ve never before managed to visit. So, when Oak Furniture Land invited me to spend a day exploring the 2018 show and report back on my finds, I jumped at the chance.
After a quick stop in the press centre to pick up my press pass and grab a coffee, I headed straight to one of the show’s highlights: the Good Homes Magazine room sets, this year created by stylist Kate Mcphee and the magazine’s Style Editor Jess Taverner. There were six in total, all encompassing pieces from a multitude of brands, and all brimming with easy-to-replicate ideas for stylish, practical living.
The Luxe Dining Room instantly caught my eye thanks to its elegant gold and blush-pink colour scheme and black marble flooring. The focal point was a glass-topped table by Oak Furniture Land, flanked by stunning pink chairs from Calligaris. A decadent smoked-glass mirror, black and gold wall hangings and a pair of low-hanging pendant lights added impact, and I loved the orchid garland suspended from the ceiling in the centre of the room – a great styling idea for spring gatherings.
Next up was the Family Living Room – a warm, inviting space dressed in on-trend earthy hues such as ochre, terracotta and rust-red. The centrepiece was Oak Furniture Land’s beige ‘Gainsborough’ sofa – a timeless design which will last for years to come and which can easily be updated with different cushions and throws. Open display shelves, a gallery wall, a rattan footstool by Danish brand Hübsch and Oak Furniture Land’s striking orange ‘Sydney’ armchair provided the perfect finishing touches.
I was also very taken with the Wellness Bathroom, which had the feel of a high-end boutique hotel with its waterproof wallpaper (a very clever idea!), freestanding tub and plum Jasmine pouf, and the colourful and multifunctional High-Tech Media Room. The latter was styled around the versatile ‘DELAKTIG’ platform, which was created for IKEA by renowned British designer Tom Dixon and which can be configured as a sofa, a bed, a daybed and more. A jazzy patterned rug by Camille Walala, Oak Furniture Land’s ‘Morgan’ footstool, which has handy storage beneath a lift-up lid, and Sony’s ultra-short-throw projector, which I have in my own home and love, completed the line-up.
But my favourite room set was the Botanical Bedroom, decorated in restful shades of jade green, sage and duck-egg blue. They say plants make spaces healthier by purifying the air and releasing oxygen, so this room must have been very healthy indeed! The focal point was a wooden four-poster bed intertwined with ivy; there were also hanging planters dangling from the ceiling, and a dressing table topped with terrariums. Oak Furniture Land’s ‘Shutter’ double wardrobe and ‘Jasmine’ poufs were the perfect additions to the space.
After oogling the room sets, it was time to mooch around the rest of the show. Exhibits which I found particularly inspiring included a garden room styled by Jordan and Russell from 2LG Studio. It was minimalist yet luxurious, with sleek white kitchen cabinets, beautiful brass taps, a snazzy wall organiser by Vitra that I’m now coveting for my own home office, and worktops which looked like terrazzo (a key trend for 2018) but which were actually made from recycled yoghurt pots and other plastics by innovative Smile Plastics.
There was also a contemporary beach house spread over two levels, with a soaring pitched ceiling and breezy tongue-and-groove walls. It looked like the perfect coastal hideaway, and I could easily imagine myself curled up in front of the wood-burner with a glass of wine, listening to the waves outside.
In addition, I enjoyed browsing a trio of bathroom room sets created by Victoria Plum. One was a decadent take on a pretty country style, with a traditional roll-top tub and huge floor-standing gilded mirror; another was a dark and moody industrial-inspired space, with striking monochrome floor tiles and a double-ended tin bath. But my favourite was an Oriental-inspired bathroom, complete with a Japanese-style paper screen and a water feature filled with live fish set beneath glass in the floor!
But the show wasn’t just about interiors. There were talks from the likes of Phil Spencer and Charlie Luxton, as well as all sorts of edible treats – not least a food hall packed with street-food stands covering everything from Indian curries to Mexican burritos. I’m part Canadian so I made a beeline for the poutine truck, before heading to the rosé bar for an after-lunch treat.
I came away from the show brimming with inspiration for my own home, as well as a couple of bags of sweet treats from the hard-to-resist fudge stand. All in all, a great day out! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for more home inspiration and over at my blog!