Ideal Home Show

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Ideal Home Show
Ideal Home Show 2013

Flex those tool-wielding muscles, because it's time to embark on a brilliant but ambitious DIY project once more, or at least consider one, thanks to inspiration from the Ideal Home Show. Dedicated sections focus on home improvements, interior décor, gardens, gadgets, food and homeware, and there's a whole 'Ideal Village' filled with show homes like the '21st Century Cottage' to gawp at. Celebrity names due to appear are architect George Clarke, Interior Designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, TV Presenter and Author Katie Piper, Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis, and building expert Clive Holland. 


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I'm going to be moving later this year and so an exhibition that promises 'ideas and inspiration for your home' sounds like just what I need to see!

So I go along hoping for some useful tips like 'creating a garden from scratch', 'building an outhouse that doubles up as a cinema room', and 'clever space-saving ideas', but despite the name, the Ideal Home Show taught me nothing I don't already know.

There was nothing particularly different or innovative to buy either, just the usual knife sets, mops and giant wooden giraffes.

It was also far too busy and made worse by being so warm, I just couldn't wait to get out.

I left with no new ideas, no must-have gadgets of the future, just some free brown sauce.


This used to be the place to pick up inspiration for redesigning your ideal home, and now it's nothing but a unwieldy amount of vendors, selling every possible product (except, apparently,  gas barbecues and bathroom tiles, neither of which I could find). The 'Gardens' section has a lot of hot tubs and modernist gnomes, but unless you are looking for replacement windows or new garage doors (for both of which there are a multitude of vendors), you'd be better off at B & Q or Homebase or Matalan for design ideas. Upstairs are some interesting vendors of jewellery, cosmetics and clothing, as well as home and tech items, but basically this is shopping mall with market stalls. The street food vendors are a nice diversion, but only attend this show if you get free tickets, and don't pay to attend when you can go to Westfield or Brent Cross for free.


Unfortunately The ideal home show is not what it used to be, previously an iconic week in the refurbishment and build industry. The products and exhibitors annually seem to be further and further away from quality home build and design products. If you are actually doing a refurbishment project, I would recommend 100 percent design at Olympia. The ideal home felt more like the QVC channel, if you fancy a magic mop or a knife set this would have be the show for you, but if you are actually looking for inspirational bathroom/kitchen suppliers or interior products this is very limited. My highlight was the street food area upstairs.