Spring is without doubt my favourite time of year. It marks the end of short, grey days (supposedly) and the welcomed introduction of new life and fresh starts. For our family it’s a much more sociable time of year. Rather than hiding under blankets hunched over a warm brew, the curtains are pulled back, the light starts to flood in and we start to feel a sense of get up and go!
There’s plenty of scientific evidence to suggest that additional exposure to natural light boosts our sense of wellbeing and also leaves us feeling more energized and productive…spring clean?…go figure! It’s no wonder we all reach for our paintbrushes at this time of year and start thinking about home improvements.
Aside from cheerful daffodils, bleating lambs and charming blossoms there’s another reason to be grateful for this glorious time of year…the launch of one of my “must see” annual events: the Ideal Home Show.
I had high expectations of the show this year, having seen the lineup of talented designers and architects who’d jumped on board to showcase their talents. With more than a decade’s worth of visits under my belt, the Ideal Home Show has yet to disappoint. If you’ve got any home improvement projects on the horizon, then you’re guaranteed to find an array of design tips and ideas to take away with you.
As a self-confessed colour-addict I was eager to see lots of vibrancy and bold design solutions.
I’m forever persuading friends and family alike to make bold colour choices in their homes. It’s no surprise then that almost all of my highlights from the show involve colour.
Good Homes Magazine was exhibiting some absolutely dreamy room-sets, but the one that particularly caught my eye was the botanical bedroom, which featured a top drawer idea. Cue the ombre radiator! I’ve been so inspired by this room that I’m currently taking a break from painting my wardrobes using the same ombre technique!
My next colour fix came from the Anglian Home Improvements stand, which featured stunning composite doors in innovative designs. First impressions are everything, and these gorgeous doors make one heck of a statement. I’ve never been a big fan of composite products, but I have to say the market is moving in a new direction, and if any company have me converted it’s got to be Anglian Home Improvements. The only thing I can take issue with is which one to choose!
The doors weren’t the only impressive product showcased by Anglian, either. If you have a love-hate relationship with your dated conservatory they might just have the perfect solution.
The conservatory was the design breakthrough in the 90’s, offering an additional light-filled space that could be used as a dining room or a quiet place to sit and enjoy the garden. Fast-forward 20-30 years and some people would argue that conservatory designs are dated and many have become a dumping ground for the overspill of children’s toys and clutter.
It might seem a mere fantasy to rip it all out and build a luxurious extension in its place, but perhaps like me you weren’t aware you can have your existing conservatory roof updated with a contemporary solid roof offering better insulation as well as improved aesthetics. If you’re worried about the loss of light, they can also install sky light windows! From an onlooker’s perspective, you wouldn’t recognize the original build. It’s a winning product for sure!
In addition to these forward-thinking design proposals, the Ideal Home Show promises a fully kitted-out show home which, in my personal opinion, is the main event. Imagine my delight when I discovered that the vivaciously-bold and daring design genius Sophie Robinson had been signed up to style this year’s pre-fab build!
If I could sum up this year’s show home in just one word it’d be one of my favourite words of all: colour (of course).
Oh, my beating heart! What wondrous delights there were to be discovered behind the front door? The children’s rooms were particularly impressive; the obvious choice in a nursery is to use calming and muted colours but Sophie has challenged this perception head on and I’m loving it. Anyone who’s ever taken an infant to a baby sensory session will appreciate the effect it has on sending them into a deep sleep for the afternoon! This nursery provides the perfect environment for an infant; the stunning wallpaper by Lucy Tiffney provides a sensory sensation and the mood lighting is perfect for inducing sleep. It’s really rather genius.
In the older child’s bedroom, the stunning mural is a real talking point and just check out that statement carpet! Sophie’s use of feature flooring is continued throughout, and I particularly loved her unique and yet oh-so-simple strategy to bring colour into a bathroom. When I clapped eyes on this space I had a real, “now why didn’t I think of that?” moment.
It was so refreshing to see such a bold and vibrant palette throughout. Sophie delivered her usual pattern clashing strategies and maintained her 100% track record in delivering the wow factor.
And it got me thinking…why are so many homeowners afraid to use colour in their own homes? As I moved from one inspiring space to the next, I could hear my sentiments echoed in the responses of every other onlooker. There was a wave of ooooooh’s and ahhhhhhh’s!
Statistics reveal that nearly 85% of consumers cite colour as the primary reason for their purchase. Bold and vivid colour has been reported to improve energy levels, productivity and mood.
So if it’s good enough for our phone cases, clothing and cars, it’s a great choice for our homes! Colour is a powerful reflection of personality but I truly believe it works both ways. Happy, vibrant home = happy, vibrant inhabitants!
Chloe Spillett was the winner of Anglian’s #StyledByMe competition in 2017. To check out her home design blog, click here.