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What Makes A Grand Design

Posted by Mark Godsell-Fletcher on

Many years ago the term 'Grand Design' would have been just that, a design that was grand.  Nowadays it conjures up one thing in our minds, a fascinating home with intriguing architectural design that has been the vision of its owners.  Grand Designs has shown us there is a way to self build, inventively restore and create incredible spaces that inspire, question and most of all amaze.  Throughout the years we have watched as the families of these buildings have been pushed to their limits, financially, mentally and emotionally.  We watch in awe as they initially unveil their shell of a building and describe their final vision.  We sit, our hearts willing them along to succeed, unsure whether they will make it to the end.  A Grand Design is not just a property, its an evolution, a creation, a journey. There have been many Grand Designs along the way, do you have a favourite?  One Grand Design is on the market, would you like to take a tour? Nestled in a beautiful part of South Wales is Kemeys Folly. Avid viewers of the TV programme will have see this 1720's Grade II listing hunting lodge be painstakingly and lovingly transformed yet it still has kept its character and heritage. The original three-storey tower sits majestically whilst its contemporary glass extension feels like blending with the landscape that surrounds it. I don't know about you, but I could never tire of the breathtaking views, nor of the incredible space this gorgeous home offers. Kemeys Folly, on the Market with PA Black Kemeys Folly, on the Market with PA Black Kemeys Folly, on the Market with PA Black Kemeys Folly, on the Market with PA Black Kemeys Folly, on the Market with PA Black Kemeys Folly, on the Market with PA Black [caption id="attachment_5175" align="aligncenter" width="620"]    Kemeys Folly, on the Market with PA Black Kemeys Folly, on the Market with PA Black[/caption] But what if you are seeking some Grand Design inspiration of your own, where can you go?  One of the great places to start is Grand Designs Live, the UK's top home show based on the popular TV series presented by Kevin McCloud.  I have been going for a few years, and each time I always find something new or discover something fascinating.  You see Grand Designs Live has many seminars that will provide you with a wealth of information and advice from leading experts.  George Clarke is a regular presenter at Grand Designs Live, sharing his love for building and architectural design.  George is the presenter of several very successful television series including Channel 4’s Restoration Man,  The Great British Property Scandal and George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces.  His utter passion for each project, together with his warmth of character has made him a favourite in our living rooms. I was honoured to have the opportunity to exclusively interview George about his relationship with Grand Designs Live a couple of years ago, I asked him why the exhibition was so important to the self build industry?  "I think its vital for the self build industry, because its about exchanging ideas and exchanging information.  I always think that the people coming to Grand Designs Live are well informed anyway.  They tend to come with a project in mind, whether its building a house or putting in a bathroom suite, and they really want to know what the best products out there are and the best value for money.  And I think you can't put a value on that to be honest."George Clarke As George said, your Grand Design doesn't have to be a big self build, if can be even decorating your apartment's terrace.  Each year the Grand Designs Live Garden Designer of the Year competition is held.  In Birmingham in 2013 applicants were tasked with the challenge of creating ‘The Urban Kitchen Garden’ showing an ‘outdoor space that is both practical and stylish’.  Liz Ackerley from Poppyhead Consultancy won with her stunning entry ‘Gourmet Retreat Garden’, what made her design so interesting, was how she showed you could make even a small space completely alluring and incredibly beautiful. [caption id="attachment_5176" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Poppyhead Consultancy, Grand Designs Live 2013 Poppyhead Consultancy, Grand Designs Live 2013[/caption] Next time you are looking to DIY, renovate, extend or build.  Remember this is your Grand Design, so research, ask the experts, seek inspiration and most of all, what ever you design, let your passion and personality shine through. Your inspiration could start here! GDL_EXCEL_2014_logo Grand Designs Live, the UKs top contemporary home show, returns to ExCeL London from 2-10 May 2015, and we have a ticket offer for you. £10 weekend tickets** If you can’t attend during the week or would prefer to come at the weekend we also have a great £10 ticket offer on weekend tickets. Simply log on to, follow the link to book your tickets and enter the code CITRUS10 to claim. Or call the ticket hotline on 0844 854 1348. **T&C’s – Transaction fee of £1.70 applies per order. Tickets must be booked in advance. Offer ends 1st May 2015. Offer valid on standard admission tickets only. Saving based on the door rate.

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