I'm not kidding guys, I was awake until 1am (!) last night looking for the specific dining room light as the electrics are all going in next week. I started my internet search at 8pm! That's 5 hours wasted trying to find a bloody light shade that if you looked at, is so generic. What's actually wrong with me??
If you've renovated before you'll understand the time pressures involved with every little decision. You have to choose a light switch now because your electrician is fitting it in a few days time. Well, mix that with my perfectionism and wanting every decision to be well thought out and it's a recipe for wasting lots of hours scouring the internet for one small but important detail.
What's really needed is a store that brings together suppliers you love in a way that you can physically see the lights in front of you and also have someone on hand to ask for colour and material ideas, because lets face it, hubby ain't gunna care until it arrives and he doesn't like it.
I honestly think home and living trade shows are such essential events for inspiration and crucially – supplier details. For trade buyers (hotels, retailers and architects) it’s the place to source products that keep customers (like me) happy, and to build up a list of companies that really appeal to you. Most of which will sell much more than lighting.
When you're renovating, the more options you can choose from, be it from suppliers direct or your favourite stores, the faster you can make product decisions, giving you more free time to chill – or clean!
Autumn Fair is the where the inspiration begins. Returning to Birmingham's NEC from 3rd-6th September 2017 it's this season's most attended home and gifting trade event. With more than 1,300 exhibitors across 12 sectors including a fantastic Light Show for renovators, buyers and online retailers to peruse.
The Light Show, returning for its third year at Autumn Fair, is the UK’s only dedicated home and decorative lighting trade platform. In partnership with the Lighting Industry Association, this sector is THE place for trade buyers to discover innovative, creative and decorative lighting.
So here's what I recommend, if you've got some big projects coming up in your house (and it's never too early) listen out for what’s new at Autumn Fair this year. Check out the trend-led, fresh designs making notes on what colours, shapes and sizes appeal to you and where they could sit in your home... then write down the suppliers and product names (if you can). This will be an invaluable little black book when you come to decorate.
What about if you're a trade buyer and can't make the event in person? You're on an indian summer holiday or you can't travel that far? The Autumn Fair website has a whole list of exhibitors that you can explore and discover so I would strongly recommend having a search on their website to build up your little black book and provide customers with the very best lighting available.
Collaborative post with Autumn Fair (all opinions my own)