The everyday experiences of a young family taking on full home renovation

Decorating and interiors, Home renovation, Kitchen extension

House at Olympia

I took some time away from work and the renovation to visit House at Olympia yesterday. It’s so exciting that our project is finally getting the stage where we can start thinking about the surfaces and fittings (not quite furnishings just yet).

I had a lunch appointment and had to be over on the other side of town at Taste of London in the afternoon so I only had a couple of hours at the show. I needed to make sure I used the time wisely so I made a list of the things a) I needed to buy and b) I wanted some inspiration on before making a purchase.

The list went: kitchen floor tiles, kitchen splash back tiles, matching kitchen feature lights for over the island, a sofa, a sideboard.

I’ll start with highlighting a few things I loved but either couldn’t commit to didn’t need…

The first stand I saw as I entered the show was the Design Guild Mark stand. Really beautifully displayed furniture, all simple, sleek and oozing understated cool. My favourite piece was the Cross Leg Lounge Chair designed by Magnus Long for The Conran Shop. Even at its sale price of £1,600 it was unfortunately out of my price range, but it’s no doubt worth every penny.

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The second was a bed that I don’t need but really want. I could just imagine it looking so lovely in our master bedroom, crisp white sheets, big plumped up pillows… I’d never get out of it. That said I know Liam would hate it so it would never work anyway. The Camelia Upholstered Bed by Button & Sprung, RRP £875 for a kingsize:

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The third, and my personal showstopper piece, was this gorgeous Fiona Macdonald Otto Sideboard. Tailor made and custom size options available, you can chose to have glass or timber shelves, or even a cutlery draw if you so wish. It’s just utterly beautiful; but at £5,850 it will have to go on the wish list for now…

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Dreaming aside, I did actually have a productive morning as I made some important house purchases. Two birds in one, I bagged the kitchen floor and splash back tiles both from the Tiles Direct stand.

As soon as I saw the wood effect ceramic floor tiles, my bags were down and shoes off. They had the exact tiles I wanted covering the their stand floor and I was dying to know what they felt like under foot.

The Expo Off-White tiles come in two sizes, I went for both which will alternate and hopefully make the floor look even more authentic. And I even remembered to check they’re compatible with underfloor heating! They are actually the best wood effect tiles I’ve seen and because Tiles Direct is an online business they were really affordable too – made even more so by the 15% show discount. In total they cost just over £800 for 22sqm with free delivery (which made up for the slightly dodgy customer service). Expo_Off_White_C

I went for the Country Blanco tiles for the splash back (see image below, top layer), which came in at under £200. I’m going for a herringbone layout with light grey grout. With white units and a silver grey Corian work surface on the kitchen island, it’s all going to look great. After weeks and months of mud, dirt, dust and concrete, it’s the first time in ages I’ve been able to visualize what the end product is going to look like. I’m excited!

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Finally I came across Culinary Concepts, I was drawn to their stand thanks to their gorgeous range of lighting with the of-the-moment filament light bulbs that I love. I almost bought two of the Large Aldgate Hanging Lights in Burnished Copper for above the kitchen island but I wasn’t 100% sure so decided to ponder the thought of them, discuss with Liam and decide later. Still undecided as yet!


If you’re wondering what to do this weekend, House is on Saturday 10am-6pm and you can book tickets here.


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