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Kevin McCloud inside our Room Set at Grand Designs Live in Birmingham

When I received an email from Media 10 informing us our design concept inspired by the humanoid race, the Na’vi and their environment from the movie Avatar was selected to appear along three other designs from a set theme of ‘Famous Place that Never Existed’ at the ‘Grand Designs Live’ in Birmingham I was thrilled!

Dagmar's Design Concept for a Room Set at Grand Design's Live Based on Avatar's Mythical Planet Pandora

Dagmar’s Design Concept for a Room Set at Grand Design’s Live Based on Avatar’s Mythical Planet Pandora

Grand Designs Live returned to Birmingham on the 19-23 October 2016 with much to celebrate. With over 60,000 visitors and 500 exhibitors the event is based on the Channel 4 TV series, and presented by a British designer, writer and television presenter Kevin McCloud.

Kevin McCloud opening the Grand Designs Live

Kevin McCloud opening the Grand Designs Live

The Grand Room Sets sponsored by Anglian Home Improvements aimed to inspire and encourage so visitors could take home ideas as well as helpful supplier contacts for their very own GRAND design. All the room sets aimed to be designed with products that are easily accessible from British retailers, manufacturers and designers. Four shortlisted interior stylists/ designers including myself brought our own design ideas to life with this year’s theme which included Somewhere Over the Rainbow, The Lost City of Gold, The Emerald City and our Pandora.

Grand Designs Room Sets Designer's Atelier

Grand Designs Room Sets at Grand Designs Live in Birmingham

I was asked to undertake the complete ownership of our room set, including design and implementation. With a month’s gap between two shows, Decorex International where we launched our very first Kaleidoscope Collection and Grand Designs it was a somewhat stressful affair. I was responsible for the delivery of the set in its entirety including onsite management and the removal of the furniture and fittings post show.

Room Set Flat Plan at Grand Designs Live Birmingham

Room Set Flat Plan at Grand Designs Live Birmingham

Here I am inside my Room Set at Grand Designs Live in Birmingham

Here I am inside my Room Set at Grand Designs Live in Birmingham

Clamp Pendant Lights by Decode London Unpacked and Ready for Assembly

Clamp Pendant Lights by Decode London Unpacked and Ready for Assembly

One month and a half in to the prep for Grand Designs it was becoming clear that all the unusual pieces of furniture I proposed to use for the room set at the show were not available for loan for variety of reasons. I was so disappointed! For a moment, I thought I’ll strip, paint myself blue and lie on the sea grass flooring…Yes it could have been a hit!

As I was heading for a grand DISASTER, I accepted that I wouldn’t be able to turn my design concept into reality with the show due to open in two weeks. I redesigned the whole room using some of my own furniture as well as pieces from our Kaleidoscope collection. I even bought Fabio Novembre’s ‘Him Chair’ from the original design concept, which failed to arrive for the show, so now I have a naked male companion in my lounge as a reminder that when life doesn’t go your way sometimes it’s best to go with what you have, make lemonade so to speak and then maybe you will also end up with a naked male in your lounge.

Him Chair designed by Fabio Novembre

Him Chair designed by Fabio Novembre

As you see in the final design I replaced the emerald green colour with blood orange so the new colour scheme reflected Avatar’s image below. I was lucky to have stumbled across Decode London at Design Junction who were more than happy to loan their Clamp pendant lights for the show. At Decorex I have met Jiri Tokar from Crystal Caviar who shipped a breath-taking crystal sculpture from Czech Republic just in time for the show and Farrow and Ball showroom in Solihull were of great help when I needed some extra paint for the walls.

Our Famous Place that Never Existed takes its Inspiration from Avatar's Mythical Planet Pandora

Our Famous Place that Never Existed takes its Inspiration from Avatar’s Mythical Planet Pandora

You are probably wondering why I took this challenge on so close to Decorex.. When I first heard about Grand Designs competition with a set theme of ‘Famous place that Never Existed’ I was immediately drawn in as it appealed to my love for the unusual. Despite all the setbacks I greatly enjoyed the process of translating the environment from the movie into an actual interior as Avatar is such a feast visually! And what’s not to love about lush colours where spectacular creatures dance and splash (and fight).

The film rightfully elevates the Na’vi’s harmonious relationship with their environment reminding us that living peaceably with our surroundings is still a good thing as the trees, the forests and everything in them are not merely part of a natural ecology..

One of the film’s philosophical underpinnings as stated by James Cameron is that “the Na’vi represent that sort of aspirational part of ourselves that wants to be better, that wants to respect nature, while the humans in the film represent the more venal versions of ourselves, the banality of evil that comes with corporate decisions that are made out of remove of the consequences.”

And here’s the result!

Designer's Atelier's Room Set which takes its Inspiration from Avatar's Mythical Planet Pandora

Designer’s Atelier’s Room Set which takes its Inspiration from Avatar’s Mythical Planet Pandora

Designer's Atelier's Room Set which takes its Inspiration from Avatar's Mythical Planet Pandora

Designer’s Atelier’s Room Set which takes its Inspiration from Avatar’s Mythical Planet Pandora

Look who’s come to visit? Yes, this is my little boy Sebastian!

Designer's Atelier's Room Set which takes its Inspiration from Avatar's Mythical Planet Pandora

Designer’s Atelier’s Room Set which takes its Inspiration from Avatar’s Mythical Planet Pandora

Designer's Atelier's Room Set which takes its Inspiration from Avatar's Mythical Planet Pandora

Designer’s Atelier’s Room Set which takes its Inspiration from Avatar’s Mythical Planet Pandora

Designer's Atelier's Room Set which takes its Inspiration from Avatar's Mythical Planet Pandora

Designer’s Atelier’s Room Set which takes its Inspiration from Avatar’s Mythical Planet Pandora

Designer's Atelier's Room Set which takes its Inspiration from Avatar's Mythical Planet Pandora

Designer’s Atelier’s Room Set which takes its Inspiration from Avatar’s Mythical Planet Pandora

Pandora's Room Set Suppliers

Pandora’s Room Set Suppliers

And here we are on stage with Sophie Robinson & Daniel Hopwood.

Sophie Robinson & Daniel Hopwood, Grand Theatre at Grand Designs Live in Birmingham

Sophie Robinson & Daniel Hopwood, Grand Theatre at Grand Designs Live in Birmingham

On Stage, Grand Theatre at Grand Designs Live in Birmingham

On Stage, Grand Theatre at Grand Designs Live in Birmingham

On Stage, Grand Theatre at Grand Designs Live in Birmingham

On Stage, Grand Theatre at Grand Designs Live in Birmingham

On Stage, Grand Theatre at Grand Designs Live in Birmingham

On Stage, Grand Theatre at Grand Designs Live in Birmingham

It was great to receive a photograph of Kevin McCloud inside our Pandora room set! I can’t even tell you where I was at this point, maybe I was snoozing back stage, it’s hard being an in demand designer!

Kevin McCloud inside our Pandora Room Set at Grand Designs Live in Birmingham

Kevin McCloud inside our Pandora Room Set at Grand Designs Live in Birmingham

And lastly I would like to thank Decode London for supplying Clamp Pendant Lights, Farrow and Ball for supplying Drawing Room Blue Paint, Crystal Caviar for supplying Crystal Sculpture by Michaela Smrcek, Crucial Trading for supplying Seagrass Flooring and Designer’s Atelier for supplying furniture, accessories and kaleidoscope art from The Kaleidoscope Collection exclusively created for Designer’s Atelier by Ewelina Mlynarek. I would also like to thank Media 10 and Grand Designs Live for giving me an opportunity to be part of Grand Designs this year!

Pandora Room Set Suppliers at Grand Designs Live Birmingham

Pandora Room Set Suppliers at Grand Designs Live Birmingham

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