We took our annual wander to the Excel Centre to check out Grand Designs Live, where middle England goes furniture shopping. It’s very easy to get lost staring at gardens, flooring and exotic bathtubs before you remember you live in rented London accommodation and that 85% of things there are of no use to you. But that 15% contains just the right levels of magic to keep us going back time after time.

There were also sort of amazing “house of the future” type things – a cardboard coffee table, a coffee machine that recognised your fingerprints, nano computers, electric cars and a wonderful technogym.

We also spent a fair bit of time with Samsung – who subtly used their stand to point out that we already live in the future and have an amazing array of connected living tech to hammer that point home.

The Samsung connected home displayed the brand new NX300 camera, flagship F8000 Samsung Smart TV with voice and gesture control and ecobubble washing machines that injects air bubbles into water to improve detergent dissolving efficiency.


We also saw the ES9000 Smart TV, which packs a dual core processor and built in camera in its super-slim 7.9 millimetre curved bezel. It has a rose-gold-coloured finish making it the shiniest TV set outside of King Midas’s house.


My favourite part was the Samsung gallery room which partners with s[edition], the leading platform used by the world’s most recognised artists to distribute art digitally through connected devices and screens. The s[edition] Smart TV App transforms the living room in a personal art gallery. s[edition] works directly with more than 40 of the world’s leading contemporary artists to bring their art to screens including Damien Hirst, Shepard Fairey, Tracey Emin, Jenny Holzer and Yoko Ono among others. It’s not quite the same as having prints on the wall but it’s a great way to add a lot of flair to your living room.

Grand Designs Live is on at the Excel Centre in London from the 4th to the 12th May. For more info head to Grand Designs Live.