As the celebration of local design talent returns with a weekend of inspiration, we review what’s in store
Design lovers and interiors enthusiasts are in for a treat when the Cambridge Home + Garden Show makes a return over the weekend of 30-31 March.
It’s the second outing for this event, which enjoyed a bustling debut in September 2017 and returns to the Guildhall to showcase the very best in home and garden design, with a Cambridge focus. Serving up an abundance of inspiration, visitors can expect a packed exhibition hall, plus talks, professional advice and a pop-up café to relax in. From creating a beautiful floral tableau to making a lampshade, there will also be hands-on workshops to enjoy over the course of the weekend.
The show is the brainchild of Jennifer Chong, who spotted a gap in the market for an event which highlighted the local design industry.
“As someone with a passion for interiors and having worked in the industry for a while, I have always enjoyed live experience events to pick up design inspiration and find out about new ideas and products. Until recently, these were almost entirely based in London but when I noticed regional events being held all over the country, I started to wonder why we didn’t have anything like this in Cambridgeshire, or even East Anglia,” she explains. “It felt like Cambridge needed an event to celebrate the design talent in the region and showcase the fantastic local businesses we have.”
If you’re planning a project in your home or garden, from a design update or a new piece of furniture right the way through to a complete renovation, there’ll be plenty to admire among the stands, which will showcase everything from fabric to flooring ideas. Though diverse, the carefully curated exhibitors all share one thing: a commitment to providing first-rate products and services.
“I look for people and businesses who are experts in their field with a genuine passion for what they do,” says Jennifer. “These values are inherent in independent businesses which is why I’ve placed such a strong focus on independents when curating the event. I haven’t excluded bigger brands, but I’m careful who to include to ensure that those who are involved will offer the same care and attention to customers and clients. I believe it’s the businesses that make up our local design industry that make the event unique.”
Building on the winning formula of 2017’s event, this year’s show will include a main exhibition hall, plus a pop-up café from Novi, who’ll be serving delicious drinks and tasty treats throughout both days. Not to be missed this year is the Victorian room created by main sponsor Cambridge Classics, which will give visitors a chance to see some interiors fashions from history on the main stage.
If you’re looking for completely unique new furniture for your home, check out Andrew Goyder, a Cambridge craftsman who creates elegant, bespoke chairs and other pieces that celebrate the beauty of real wood. Another local furniture maker sharing his work will be Adrian Parfitt, who has been a woodworker for the past 50 years, during which he’s created pieces for Oxford and Cambridge Universities and countless individuals. If you’re keen to learn the art of woodwork yourself, he also offers one-to-one tuition, suitable for both beginners and those at a more advanced level. Call by at his stand to find out more.
The Art Hound Gallery, usually found at Burwash Manor, will be showing off some of its collection, which focuses on Pop, Abstract and Urban art, plus Cheryl Warren will be showing her own large oil paintings, which are ideal for adding wow factor to your walls.
Cambridge Classics, a local business now in its 19th year, supplies wooden double-glazed windows and doors for your property, as well as renovation packages and hardwood window/door shutters, while Art of Flooring will be on hand to show you round its range of top-quality carpets, vinyl and solid wood flooring.
For those looking to refresh the design of their home and in need of a helping hand, AZ Interiors is an award-winning interior design studio which specialises in creating an interior to suit a client’s lifestyle. From layout to lighting, they’ve got years of expertise in helping clients unlock the full potential of their living spaces. You can also imagine the high-tech possibilities of your home with Customised Home Technology, a company that creates Smart Home solutions which can give you control your lighting, security, TV and more at the touch of a button.
If you want to bring a bit of the outside in, new Cambridge company Small and Green will be on hand to tempt with hand-made terrariums and exquisite plants in beautiful pots, or to take a bit of the inside outside, check out the Cambridge Garden Studios stand, where you can learn more about their bespoke, luxury garden rooms, studios and offices.
Image: AZ Interiors
Image: David Hall Kitchen and Furniture Makers
There’s a busy line-up of speakers over the course of the weekend, including a look at how to increase light and space in your home with local company Go Glass, and a talk on how decluttering can heal your life, with Suzzy Smith from Suzanne Designs. Those seeking to add some art to their interiors will be spoiled for choice with talks from Natasha Dawn from The Art Hound Gallery, plus Cheryl Warren and Beau Brady from Beau Brady Interiors.
For expert advice on designing a sustainable small garden, keep an ear out for Ben Cijffers from Cultivate Gardens Ltd, and for tips on avoiding common interior design mistakes, seek out speaker Alicia Zimnickas. A hit at the last event, Ask Me Anything returns to give visitors the opportunity to take part in a free 30-minute design consultation with a local professional, so be sure to take along all your burning design and interiors questions.
Image: Philip Clay Designs
There will be four workshops running over the course of the two days, including two dedicated to creating a colour wheel. Hosted by Philip Clay Designs Ltd, these sessions offer a chance to explore colour with husband-and-wife design team Philip and Keighley, a furniture maker and textile designer. You’ll find out about the history and psychology of the colour wheel, then have the chance to paint your very own, creating a beautiful piece of art of your own to take home. You can also make yourself a gorgeous lampshade with the help of The Cambridge Fabric Company, who invite you to join them for a workshop that’s ideal for beginners.
Wild Rosamund, the renowned Cambridge floristry company run by Bridget Davidson, will also be leading a session on creating a stunning miniature tableau using flowers, foliage, vintage containers and props. Booking for all is open now at the Cambridge Home + Garden Show website.
Need to know
What: Weekend-long home and garden design show featuring a packed exhibition hall, expert speakers, hands-on workshops and a pop-up café from Novi.
When: 30 and 31 March.
How Much: Free, but tickets can be reserved online for speedy entry.
Details at camhomeshow.com