If this is too early for you then I’m sorry* but this post is Christmas related, so if you’re one of these people who denies that Christmas is happening until December, please do feel free to tootle on along and I’ll catch you on my next post! I promise I won’t be offended!
For those who are still here, HOORAY! I’m not the only one who goes absolutely bonkers for the most festive time of year, probably at a horrendously inappropriate time – i.e. summer.
If you share this childlike giddiness for the holidays, then this collection of what can really only be described as Christmas Porn below, is just for you.
Living nearby to Event City in Manchester has its ups and downs. Downs = traffic if you want to get somewhere nearby and there is a show on. Ups = they host great events throughout the year, and some of them, I get really excited about. On this occasion, I’m talking about the Ideal Home Show at Christmas in Manchester, which I visited on Sunday.
For those who may not be au fait with these shows, the Ideal Home Show is an interiors event where you can find exhibitors in interiors, furniture, DIY, and general homewares. There are often companies which fit into food and drink or technology, but generally it’s a decent mix of companies and independent businesses looking to improve your home life. I don’t think it’s got the quirk or character that events such as Home In The North have (an event which also took place this weekend and I sadly couldn’t make this time around – damn that husband of mine for having a birthday!), but for the general consumer I thought it makes for a good day out, in the same way that you might take a stroll around a retail park one boring Saturday.
I personally love wandering around them because it’s not something I get to do as much as I’d like, and if you’re in the market for a good piece of furniture, they’ll often have show discounts on, so you may even pick up a bargain.
This show was the same as its normal event, but as if Santa had thrown up Christmas dust all over the place. You still had all your interiors-related stands, but in addition to Christmas decorations, lots of festive lights, plenty of trees, and also many coming under the category of ‘gifts’. I did actually find this a bit weird being offered a teeth whitening, eyebrow wax or back massage at an interiors show. It felt a little out of place but as I was visiting with my makeup-mad sister, we did indulge briefly.
For this event I skipped a lot of the stands except the Christmas-themed ones because its the festivities I wanted to see, and Joe has give me permission to put up our tree this week so I was a woman on a mission to get Christmas ideas. I was just so excited to see fake snow and the pretty lights. I mean, it was like I was a little kid again – can you tell it’s my favourite time of year? Had I visited with the hubby, I think we’d have spent more time over near some of the power tools area, and may have even stopped for lunch at the fancy shmancy restaurant there hosted by Gregg Wallace (Buttery biscuit base, anyone?) which looked so beautiful full of waterfalls of white lights.
I will say, I saw plenty of families at the show, and I think having Santa there outside made it a good family day of which I saw a lot of very happy and excited kids. And certainly a much more interesting day of Christmas shopping than your normal online adventure.
I admit, I only stayed for approximately an hour and a half as I needed to cut my trip short, convinced I had gone into early labour (false alarm people!) but I felt in that time I saw enough. There was nothing particularly new at the show that I hadn’t seen before at the stand alone Ideal Home Show, but did it get me giddy enough for Christmas and want to do lots of shopping? Absolutely.
However, that’s not to say I didn’t still see anything I liked just because it wasn’t new to me. Here are a few of my highlights of the show in lovely cameraphone glory. Didn’t quite fancy whipping out a proper camera when I thought I was about to birth a child and everything 😉
Fake snow? Yes please!
Flameless candles were a big hit at this show. Whilst I’ve never paid much attention to them before, they’re looking more realistic than ever, and with a baby on the way I’m on the hunt for child proof festive decorations!
Full room sets decorated entirely for Christmas were adorable. I’ve never been very good at “theming” Christmas in our house, unless “throw some glitter on it and add as much colour as possible around the tinsel” is a theme? Displays like this help rubbish people like me piece together a lovely homey reception room for the winter season.
I found a new love for the white/brown decorations this year, following a bit of a Nordic theme. Our current Christmas collection is purple and ice blue which we’ve had for a couple of years now and I think I’m a bit bored of it. Having Norwegian family I do have a few trinkets around our home made from cold metals decorated with brown twine, with that aged white effect over them, but I’ve never even thought of making it into something more over Christmas. Maybe this is the year I start with a new theme…
One of my favourite parts of the show was the lighting. I think it’s one of my favourite parts of Christmas decorating – seeing that lovely twinkly glow when the days start getting darker. And seeing the collection below from Think Gadget made me realise how bloody boring my own lights are! You can tell from the pictures I chose that I’m more of a silver/chrome gal rather than colour or copper. I wish so much that I’d bought the leafed lighting you can see below. I can just see them hanging from my dresser in the lounge. Damn that false labour rushing me!
And we can’t neglect the absolutely bonkers-yet-incredible-in-equal-measures entrance dsisplay. WOWZER.
Over by the candle displays, I loved this hexagonal shelving wall. Sure it was just a part of their stand but if anyone can tell me where they sell shelves like this, I think I’ll need to know!
…and just a few final things I thought were adorable, including messages of happiness, your typical Christmas snowman and this adorable miniature bucket advent garland which actually I think could make for a fab DIY project.
So what do you think? Did you go to the event? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Whilst it’s not the Christmas edition, I’ll be back to the original show next summer when it returns as my mum will be looking to redecorate her house and she’ll be looking for inspiration. Will you be there? Give me a shout and say hello!
(*not sorry at all. It’s almost Christmas yaaaaaaay)
Thank you so much for the event’s main sponsor GoCompare for inviting me!