So, we went to the Homebuilding & Renovation show at NEC Birmingham last weekend.
I had to be dragged along, as last year’s event had been a big disappointment to us, with few of the small, artisan exhibitors whose unique and bespoke pieces I always prefer. This year was better and we actually picked up some options on three pieces we need for the village house.
We’ll start with range cookers, Trev’s obsession right now. Not likely to find an artisan model in our budget, but we have very restricted criteria which narrows the choices right down.
Firstly, the space by the chimney in the kitchen will not accommodate anything larger than 90cm and I am NOT, repeat NOT, doing any more demolition!!!
Also, our kitchen is on the first floor next to the living room. This is not unusual in French properties, but it raises the question of load and weight that you just don’t get with ground floor installations. This eliminates Trevor’s favoured heavy Aga, Everhot, Esse range cookers .
It’s a good floor, but it’s still plank and joists.
Trev, the serious chef would also consider one of these big, stainless steel jobs with an obvious commercial kitchen influence, such as Viking http://www.vikingrange.com/
However, we are not feeding the 5,000 ( been there, done that, got the tee-shirt) and we keep coming back to the French flavour Elise- top left and above right-
Back to the artisan stuff- we met Anand Parmar at his AMAZING stand with his beautiful hand made copper pendant lamps showcased. He mixes new and reclaimed materials stylishly, a real artist. His website is still being built, but I was very impressed, nice guy too. http://blackcrystallighting.co.uk/
My favourite is the copper coolie shade in the middle of photos with it’s vintage/antique brass top. Prices around £150-£200, which is crazy low for these one-off pieces designed your own spec. I want two pendants, one over the sink and one over the main worktop
We also looked at options for wrought iron hand rails on both sets of stairs. Why aren’t you buying from a local French Ferronier? you ask.Because so far, what I want is too expensive sourced locally. I do try to buy French where I can but this is a budget driven project
Two exhibitors below- https://www.phg-uk.com/ and http://www.oldfieldforge.co.uk/oldfield-forge-ltd—the-forge.html