The UK’s leading contemporary home show, Grand Designs Live, returns to London’s ExCel Centre from the 4th – 12th May 2013 for its 9th consecutive year. Here are the top ten things not to miss at this year’s show: 

1. Get your hands on the latest ‘green gadgets’ in the all new Eco-Tech House

The number of electrical appliances, products and gadgets people typically own has trebled since the 1970s* pushing up UK consumer bills and emissions. The ‘Eco-Tech House’ will prove that it is possible to be eco-friendly without compromising on cutting edge technology.

2. Celebrate the first ever National Self Build Week at Grand Designs Live

A series of major announcements and debates on the future of self build in the UK will mark the UK’s first ever National Self Build Week. Guest speakers at Grand Designs Live include Mark Prisk MP (Housing Minister), Gregg Barker (Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change), Kevin McCloud, George Clarke, Tom Dyckoff, Charlie Luxton and many more.

3. Kevin’s Green Heroes Exhibition is back

Chairs that create enough electricity to charge your phone, a 5 inch piece of paper that extends the life of fresh produce, a plug-free coffee machine and a self-cooling water carafe are amongst the highlights you’ll find this year.

4. Enjoy the GRAND Village showcase

The 2013 Grand Village will bring to life the very best elements of Kevin McCloud’s and George Clarke’s recent hit TV shows. Visitors will be able to learn first-hand from the Low Impact Living Initiative (LILI) how to make their own ‘Man Made Home’ like Kevin, whilst the stand out ‘Tree Tent’ from George’s ‘Amazing Spaces’ will also be displayed for visitors.

5. Back by popular demand: RIBA’s ‘A place to call home’

Due to its success at the Birmingham Show last year, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) will once again be exhibiting A Place to call Home. The exhibition looks back over the last 250 years of the everyday British home, from the first Georgian terraces through to today’s housing developments and flats.

6. Take some time out in the VIP Lounge

Visitors are able to pre-book a VIP show experience, courtesy of Miele. The VIP ticket experience, priced at £39 per person is available now online at www.granddesignslive.com and guarantees fast track entry to the 2013 show, a dedicated VIP cloakroom and shopping bag drop, as well as exclusive access to the indulgent Miele VIP lounge where champagne and complimentary coffee awaits after a day’s shopping amongst over 500 exhibitors.

7. Visit the ‘Garden Designer of the Year’ show gardens

The ‘Garden Designer of the Year’ competition aims to uncover and showcase the best of the nation’s garden design talent. The four best design entries inspired by the Grand Designs ethos are being built at the show, ready to be judged by the celebrity panel including celebrity garden designer James Alexander-Sinclair and Kevin McCloud. This year’s spectacular show gardens include an Aqua Hideaway concealed by living walls, as well as an industrial chic ‘Up-cycled Green Getaway’ made from up-cycled doors, metals and timbers.

8. Ask the army of experts at Grand Designs Live

For those planning to take on their own home project, renovation or self build, there is a free consultation service offered at Grand Designs Live in the ‘Ask an Expert’ Centre, sponsored by VELUX. Top industry experts from the architecture, design, project management and finance sector are on hand to offer FREE 30 minute consultations on all aspects of visitors own Grand Design plans, however big or small it may be.  Visitors might even spot Kevin McCloud or George Clarke in the advice centre sharing their experiences and top tips. Consultations can be pre-booked now via www.granddesignslive.com. Throughout the duration of the show, there will be screens showing a live twitter feed using the #askanexpert.

9. Indulge in food heaven in GRAND Kitchens, sponsored by Miele

At the centre of a foodie paradise where visitors can sample and purchase a wealth of culinary delights and kitchen appliances, visitors will find the interactive Live Kitchen Experience from Miele boasting a wealth of top chefs and celebrity guests cooking live on stage as well as the GRAND Restaurant where visitors can dine whilst soaking up the full atmosphere of the show. Look out for Miele’s brand new appliance range being launched at the show, comprising of over 200 products.

10. Seek Interior Inspiration in the dedicated GRAND Interiors section

GRAND Interiors offers a wide range of top quality furniture and accessories to suit all homes and styles – it’s a great place to start for those looking to furnish a recently completed home or refurbish a room.  Three room sets have been specially commissioned by Grand Designs Live to further fuel inspiration for visitors. Interior stylists Jo Bailey, Lizzie Chambers and Katie Monckton will each create a room set based on the following three principles: mood, personality and function.

THE ESSENTIALS

VENUE:

London ExCel, One Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, London E16 1XL

PRICES:

Weekend advance (includes Bank Holiday Monday): £12 Weekday advance: £15*. Kids go free On the Door: Weekday – £16, Weekend – £19

TIMES:

Saturday 4- Saturday 11 May 10-6 / Sunday 12 May 10-5

BOOKING:

Visit www.granddesignslive.com or call 0844 854 1348