By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.


Grand Designs Live competition to get a second outing at the NEC

Grand Designs Live’s Under The Stairs feature will be reimagined at Birmingham’s NEC this October following the success it enjoyed at the London show in May.

A new series of eight installations, each imagined by a different interior designer, will be on display only at Grand Designs Live from October 9-13 2019.

With a focus on the rise in the use of unconventional spaces, Grand Designs Live have chosen eight ‘exceptional and pioneering finalists’ to bring their ideas to life at the show. They will aim to use colour, materials and patterns to ‘achieve some impressive spaces’.


The competition is designed to be an ‘imaginative and exciting feature’ which will inspire visitors and encourage them to take home new ideas, information and supplier contacts.

“With a diverse range of creative and clever ideas to transform Under the Stairs spaces; the designers will dress the rooms with products which are easily accessible to exhibition visitors and are either in stock or online from current retailers, manufacturers and designers,” a press statement for the event said. 

“Every under-the-stairs room has a unique purpose, imagined by each designer and their needs, ranging from a workspace, to a storage area or an at-home gym.

On October 9, the winner of the competition will be announced on the Grand Theatre stage, with judges including Kevin McCloud (presenter of Grand Designs on Channel 4), Jenny Gibbs, Principle of the KLC School of Design, and Harriet Forde, President of the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID).

The installations of the eight finalists are profiled below:

Amanda Dawn Clothier - www.quartersinteriors.com 

The most traditional use of the ‘Under the Stairs’ space has been reimagined by Amanda Dawn Clothier, as a luxe area to store and display beautifully designed shoes and umbrellas; contrasted with plush unique furnishings and a very chic colour palette. This design is the perfect marriage between function and style.

Andrew Jonathan Griffiths – www.andrewjonathan.design  

A space to work, relax and switch off, this beautifully designed room is the embodiment of what most people look for in housing today, a room that can be used for a multitude of purposes. With space at a premium, Andrew Jonathan Griffith’s imagining of ‘Under The Stairs’ is multifunctional and speaks to modern living - a calming nook to read, relax or meditate and a comfortable spot for casual home-working from the laptop.

Air purifying plants, a colour palette inspired by nature and mix of natural textures helps the space achieve some of the benefits of biophilic design.

Helen Crouch – www.conceptandcompletion.co.uk 

With a relaxing calming tropical wall print, plants creating a healthy atmosphere, twinkling lighting in the sloping ceiling and calming music, this is the perfect sanctuary for relaxing, with a Hanging Baby day bed, complete with crib canopy and baby bathing and changing area, the colour palette of gold and soft greens create an adaptable relaxing area for all to by night, when baby is in bed.

Johanna Davies – www.johannadavies.co.uk 

This discreet desk space allows the homeowner to plan weekends with friends while making sure their tech is charged and everything is ready for the next day in the office. The bike storage (affixed part way up the staircase on the outside of the space) allows safe storage of a bike inside whilst not using valuable floor space. All finishes and accessories have been selected for being sustainable, low in VOC and made from natural materials where possible.

Pritpal Chana - www.pcarchitects.co.uk 

This under the stairs gym is an incredible use of space, allowing homeowners to keep fit at home. Sleek integration of equipment and retractable storage optimises space, while still allowing for an array of weights and machines to be included. An energising colour palette makes this gym appealing, while additional touches like a mini-fridge and protein shake mixer make it feel like a premium gym.

Samantha Theakstone – www.samanthajanedecor.co.uk 

This indoor garden is designed with gin in mind!

Homeowners can grow their own botanicals to achieve the perfect G&T, and create a natural, calming space in the home. The interior materials embrace natural textures including wood and rattan, with a rustic feel, colours echo a monotone Scandi colour palette, with green accents and vibrant plant life.

Zoe Perks - www.beautifulroomsbyzoe.co.uk 

This under the stairs cocktail bar plays on the secrecy of the old-fashioned speakeasy with all the glitz, glamour and maximalism of the 1920s. We love the idea that such a space could be concealed under staircase, such a typically unglamorous area, ready to be revealed when the mood takes; a hidden space of decadence, fun and indulgence.

Lynsey Hoskin - www.ashevilleinteriordesign.com 

Lynsey’s under the stairs room, Iconic Movie Night, demonstrates a fun and indulgent use of the space embracing elements of retreat and escapism. The execution will be a luxe finish including metallic walls, earthy textures of marble, concrete and art deco elements; with nods to some favourite iconic films.

Designs from these finalists will be on display at Grand Designs Live, at the NEC, from October 9-13 2019. For more information, visit Grand Designs Live.


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up