What’s in store at Grand Designs Live 2022 Birmingham

by Francesca

The sessions, exhibitors, and speakers not to miss at the grand home event plus Kevin McCloud reveals the best, worst, and most mind-blowing moments of 25 years filming Grand Designs

Full of inspiration and expert advice, Grand Designs Live is gearing up to open its doors from 5 – 9 October at NEC Birmingham with hundreds of brand-new exhibitors and exciting talks across four live stages from familiar faces including Kevin McCloud, reality TV stars Billie & Greg Shepherd, ambassador for the Right to Build Task Force Richard Bacon MP, architect and broadcaster James Furzer, chef and sustainable living expert James Strawbridge, designer and upcycler Max McMurdo, and the decluttering duo Style Sisters. Innovative and fresh new features, including an incredible recycled Green Grads ‘BRICK’ central bar installation, will combine to create a show guaranteed to spark ideas for your own grand design.

Here are some of the not-to-be-missed talks and features taking place across the four theatres throughout the five-day event. The Grand Designs Magazine Theatre partnered with ABC+ Warranty will host industry experts covering a range of topics, including:

25 years of standing in mud. Kevin McCloud 05 Oct 2022, 13:00 – 13:45

Go behind the scenes with Kevin McCloud as he takes us through the best, worst, and most mind-blowing moments over the 25 years of filming Grand Designs.

Right to Build. Kevin McCloud in conversation with Richard Bacon MP 05 Oct, 15:00 – 15:45

Looking at the Help to Build government equity loan, available to people in England who want to custom build or self-build their own home. This session will look at Mr Bacon’s review on how to scale up the delivery of self and custom build homes.

Architecture & wellbeing in support of World Architecture Day 2022 05 Oct 12:00 – 12:45

Kunle Barker will host a panel discussing Wellness Architecture – designing built environments to promote the harmonious balance between physical, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual wellbeing while regenerating the natural environment.

Self-builders with big ambitions but no experience 06 Oct, 13:00 – 13:45

Billie and Greg Shepherd, reality television stars, have a growing portfolio of properties but no experience in the world of self-build. Join Kunle Barker as he interviews the couple who took the plunge and built their dream home.

Each day visitors will be able to hear the captivating stories from households showcased on the current TV series of Grand Designs and The Streets. ‘Meet The Grand Designers’ features Ruth Grimshaw and Rob Glass of the Blacking Mill in South Lakeland on the 5th October; Leah & Craig Lewis’ sustainable timber-clad custom build on 6th October; John & Julia McCormack’s modernist self-build at Graven Hill on 7th October; Iain and Jenny Shaillady who transformed their 150 year old bothy in Kinross on 8th October; and Maite and Carlos who had ambitious plans to build a bold, Spanish inspired home on 9th October.

Inside Green Living Live powered by myenergi, which runs alongside Grand Designs Live, the Sustainable Future Theatre will host informative sessions devoted to issues around sustainability, including:

Helping households to achieve Net Zero
 05 Oct 11:00 – 11:45

myenergi want to help demystify energy to allow people to take control and decarbonise their homes, Tom Callow will be talking about how consumers can start doing this right now.

No bills  07 Oct 15:00 – 15:45

James Walsh looks at the cost of moving to Zero Carbon.

Tools and tips for upcycling unloved vintage furniture  07 Oct 12:00 – 12:45, 08 Oct 15:00 – 15:45

Using a combination of traditional crafts-woman-ship and eco-friendly design, Ally at Restoration Hut advises you on the best methods, products and tools to achieve the professional finish you’re after.

New to Grand Designs Live Birmingham is the Interiors Theatre, the place to find a mix of upcycling demos, interior inspiration, makeovers, as well as talks on organised space and de-cluttering. The UK’s leading authority on professional upcycling for interiors, the House of Upcycling, will feature five member artisans on the stage. From furniture restoration and refinishing to upcycled lighting, artcycling (using furniture as a canvas for art) to decoupage, this is a unique opportunity to learn about the skills used by professionals to create designer-upcycling.

Psychology of Colour  05 Oct 12:00 – 12:45

Sarah Twigg Doyle will lead you through the process of harnessing the power of colour psychology to tailor the right palette for you, as well as creatively mixing together old and new, displaying collected treasures in an imaginative way to tell the stories of your home.

Do designers play it safe?  06 Oct 13:00 – 13:45

Keith Myers challenges conventional design strategies and explains why it pays to be more adventurous.

Minimalism – Creating calm in the home through detox & design Oct 08 12:00 – 12:45

Join the Style Sisters for a lesson on reducing clutter, gaining better organisation skills, plus tips for down sizing your home.

The new ufurnish.com Theatre will present the latest ideas for furnishing your grand design. Get ready for exciting talks from home furniture and furnishings brands, interior designers, and surprise guests. Timetable to be announced very soon.

Also not to be missed, The Self-Build Simplified talks will take place throughout the show in partnership with The Federation of Master Builders. Resident experts and Grand Designers from the TV series will form a panel for dynamic Q&A sessions exploring the various aspects of their self-build projects and more.

The Energy Saving Trust will be hosting a Q&A on changing the way we heat our homes with the insights and analytics team on why we need to decarbonise heating systems in our homes, present options and solutions, practical guidance, and offering guidance on where to go for support.

A much-loved and increasingly popular feature is Kevin’s Green Heroes. For this show, Kevin has personally chosen a brand-new collection of the best conceptual, useful, and eco-friendly ideas and products which will go on display across the five days. Kevin’s new Green Heroes comprise innovations that conserve wildlife such as insects and bees, use recycled materials, and help to make eco-choices more affordable. https://www.granddesignslive.com/whats-on/kevins-green-heroes

On Saturday 8th October at 1pm, don’t miss the Mini Grand Designers awards presentation on the Grand Designs Magazine Theatre. Grand Designs Live and Kevin McCloud have tasked pupils in Year 5 at Fordbridge Community Primary School in Solihull with becoming ‘Mini Grand Designers’ by designing houses that they would love to live in. The brief was broad; houses could be any size, shape, colour, and pattern, using any materials they liked. The children let their imaginations run wild, combining practical features with fun and fantasy ideas. From over 60 entries, the ten shortlisted entries will be displayed at Grand Designs Live with the Judge’s Choice and People’s Choice winners to be announced. https://www.granddesignslive.com/whats-on/mini-grand-designers

Following their popular and interactive space at Grand Design Live in May at ExCel, GREEN GRADS were challenged to make a centrepiece hanging mobile for this show using the May show’s carpet waste. GREEN GRADS applied sustainability’s three core maxims:  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and the results can be seen hanging above visitors to the central bar. The concept, called BRICK, is by Michael Czerwinski, co-director of GREEN GRADS and founder of Studio Tucktite, who delivered the design, working with the GREEN GRADS and their founder/curator Barbara Chandler.

His challenge was impact without carpet contamination. Thus, BRICK has only minimal stapling and some sewing. No glue and no plastic tape. It can be completely taken apart and all components separated for recycling. BRICK’s cascading cluster expresses our regard for the humble brick, core component for so many Grand Designs. And the project will continue to build.  Before the next hang, the GREEN GRADS will add to the carpet bricks slogans and words that mark their individual sustainability commitments. https://www.granddesignslive.com/whats-on/bricking-central-bar-installation

Grand Designs Live is also offering free ‘Ask an Expert’ sessions; one to one appointments where visitors can sit down with an expert and discuss your own grand design. Specialists include RIBA architects, interior designers, financial, planning, and eco experts. They’ll be available to talk about project management, design, self-build, upcycling, renovation and more. Bring your plans, drawings, and budgets to get the most out of your session. Appointments can be pre-booked using this link, or turn up on the day to secure one of the additional slots available on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Regardless of what stage your build project is at or whether you’re renovating one room in your home, the show features all the information and inspiration you need for your very own Grand Design project across 4 show sectors; Grand Build, Grand Kitchens & Bathrooms, Grand Interiors, and Grand Gardens.

Whether you’re starting from scratch with the planning regulations for a new-build, renovating a period property, or extending your current home, the Grand Build Hall has 1000’s of the latest and innovative products for your project. With a huge selection of self-build supplier’s all under one roof, you’ll find the latest developments in sustainability and eco-technology as well as tailored, one-to-one advice at the Ask an Expert feature.

Sponsored by Quooker, Grand Kitchens & Bathrooms offers cutting-edge appliances, well-known brands, expert advice, and some of the sleekest designs for your home. From fitted to freestanding, clean whites to striking colours, visitors will find an array of design and storage solutions to help get the most out of their space.

It’s not just about bricks and mortar – the way you furnish your home is fundamental to its atmosphere and comfort. Whether you’re looking to kit out a new home or simply want to give your existing schemes a refreshing update, you’ll find everything you need to create a modern and stylish interior in the Grand Interiors hall. It’s packed with beautiful products from individual designers and hundreds of items that are not readily available on the high street.

The best homes link indoors and outdoors to make the most of your space. Grand Gardens sponsored by Hydropool is full of contemporary garden products, from hot tubs and swim spas to barbecues and outdoor furniture, to make your garden an active part of your home.

This year, Grand Designs welcomes many new exhibitors alongside regular attendees.

These Fair Hands will make their Grand Designs Live debut, a family run business based in Hampshire making bespoke house signs carved in Corian® and oak and personalised gifts in solid oak.  “We love meeting with prospective customers face to face to discuss projects” says Paul Balint, founder of These Fair Hands, “however during the pandemic with the temporary cessation of shows, we invested in our website to make it easier for our customers to order online”.

Visit Ring at Grand Designs Live and experience its range of smart security devices, including its giant interactive Ring App to explore its Video Doorbells, Security Cameras and Alarm. Why not test your screwdriver skills in the Ring battery change challenge? Whoever can change the battery the quickest will win a Ring Indoor Cam!

Module Incorporated Ltd has developed a new system for ready to assemble furniture. Module’s product allows assembly and disassembly of furniture and without the need for screws/nails or glue. Asif Rafiq, Director of Module Incorporated Ltd said, “We are a true start up working from the garage for last 4 years and progressing when we had funds to do so! We are really excited to showcase our products, made from premium materials and with the ability to disassemble, allowing for easy flat packing/transportation and re-assembly, as well as customisation.”

550 Interiors has just signed a contract to sponsor West Bromwich Albion Football Club, as well as launching new products. They create personalised and designer indoor and outdoor tiles, and will have a new range of mega tiles and feature walls on display at Grand Designs Live.

Key exhibitors to watch out for include:

Kutchenhaus, offering free design inspiration and expert advice for kitchen renovation projects.

Insul Hub Ltd, presenting ISOTEX, the premier choice of wood-crete building systems. ISOTEX uses blocks made from cement-bonded wood fibre. 

Fortis Aluminium, manufacturing a range of thermally efficient, highly secure door systems in the UK. 

Ego Italiano, showcasing their innovative and customisable sofas, armchairs and furnishing accessories. 

Great British Awning & Blind Company, offering a wide choice of high-quality awnings, blinds and pergolas, available in a range of colours, styles and finishes.

Custom Garden Rooms, presenting their high quality, timber framed Garden Rooms and Garden Annexes, created to your bespoke specifications.

Bio Fires Online, showcasing their bioethanol fires and fireplaces, designed for outdoor or indoor use.

Alto Energy, with bespoke ground source and sir source heat pumps.

Hydropool, offering premium quality hot tuns and swim spas.


For more information, visit Grand Designs Live at www.granddesignslive.com

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