TV presenter and architect Charlie Luxton talks top trends
The Homebuilding and Renovation Show came to London this September and was the perfect chance to uncover the latest trends in architecture and interior design, talk to specialists and experts, and discover the latest products. In the run up to the event, we catch up with celebrity architectural designer and television presenter, Charlie Luxton.
How did you get involved in architecture?
I grew up on a farm so I always used to build dens and tree houses. I was also really intrigued with art and design from a young age and this came from my father who was a graphic designer. I found his job very interesting and he got me into drawing and design at an early stage in my life. I went on to go to university and complete my degree in the field.
What is the premise of the Homebuilding and Renovating show?
I think the main thing that stands out at the shows are the experts and the amount of knowledgeable people visitors can talk to about their projects to explore their potential. Talking to people is one of the most important parts about homebuilding and renovating. Also, there are lots of great suppliers which makes it different to other shows as they are relevant to people doing real projects.
What will be your role in the show?
I’ll mainly be on stage talking about topics such as the design process, sustainability and ways in which visitors can really make the most out of their houses. I’ll also be meeting with individuals who want to discuss their projects at the Ask the Expert section and providing advice.
What is a big trend for renovation and building this year?
Architecture is not like fashion where trends come and go. There have been recent trends of people undertaking more extensions and renovations rather then moving. This has to do with the cost of relocation and people are now more aware of what can be achieved through renovation that they didn’t know before.
Eco-friendly conservation and renovation is a big thing at the moment, how will the show reflect this?
Sustainability is a big part of all modern construction and I think within the industry it’s been a much bigger issue for longer than it has been in the consumer’s consciousness. There are plenty of sustainable technologies, techniques and information that you can learn about at the show.
A tip I provide to a lot of my clients that I really believe in is to do less, better. Instead of planning to do a number of things and later on realising you don’t have the money to do it, doing a couple of things at a high standard is more beneficial. Don’t skimp because you’ll regret it.
Are there any renovation projects that stick in your mind as particularly forward-thinking?
At our project Bell Barn we used woodfibre and lime to insulate an old building. Careful design allowed us to introduce Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery (MVHR) to make a super sustainable home from a previously unconverted listed building.
What are your tips for maximising your renovation budget?
A tip I provide to a lot of my clients that I really believe in is to do less, better. Instead of planning to do a number of things and later on realising you don’t have the money to do it, doing a couple of things at a high standard is more beneficial. Don’t skimp because you’ll regret it. Do your research and know what things are going to cost before you plan to undertake a project.
What is your top tip for those looking to renovate but who don’t know where to start?
Getting great architectural advice is always the best starting point. Find a local architect or designer and let them help you with designs. It’s sometimes easy to lose track of the project in front of you so starting with professional help at a very early stage will be extremely beneficial.
What are your favourite on-trend technologies and products you’ve spotted this year?
Right now I’m really into all these smart home technologies that are coming to the market. The latest devices can now actually control the heating, roof lights as well as lighting and security systems, allowing different aspects of the home to work together.
In addition, especially with the recent hot weather, I’ve been using Internorm external louvres that come down the side of a property to prevent it from overheating. With the abundance of sunshine nowadays, people need to be really aware of overheating as it can cause serious damage to a building.