The Ideal Home Show runs from October 27th-30th at the RDS Simmonscourt Pavilion in Ballbridge Dublin 4. Upwards of 26,000 people are expected to visit over the bank holiday weekend in search of building and decorating solutions and inspiration.
What about timing: The show opens Friday, October 27th, at noon and closes at 7pm. On Saturday and Sunday the opening hours are 10am-6pm; on bank holiday Monday, 10am-5pm.
Tickets: are available on the door at €15 each for adults; €10 for OAPs and students. There's a 33 per cent discount for those who book online at idealhome.ie
Getting there: The festival is in the Simmonscourt complex of the RDS with acess from Simmonscourt Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4; it's close to the city centre so pretty accessible. Public transport is advised as there is limited parking in the area. The transportforireland app or website is a good bet to compare ways to get to the venue. Next door, the RDS main complex will hos the Metropolis music show on Satruday and Sunday. If you travelling to either event in the mid afternoon, the organisers advise getting the Dart to Sandymount from which its a five minute walk.
Be aware the Dublin Marathon is on Monday 29th, from 9am and there will be traffic disruptions and closed roads. Ideal Home Show organsisers suggest checking dublinbus.ie for information on routing issues. The Irish Times will have good overview of how the marathon affects travel and getting about in the city on irishtimes.com.
By car: Limited parking in the Simmonscourt area of the RDS (pre-book parking for €6 per day via parkbytext, but you need to print off your confirmation as proof.
Drop offs and collection: on Anglesea Road or Simmonscourt Road. Dropping off and pick up are not allowed on Merrion Road.
By bus: From the city centre (stop 405 on Nassau Street opposite Kilkenny shop), Dublin Bus routes 4, 7, and 7A go roughly every five-10mins to the RDS, journey time is 15minutes. These routes stop outside the festival entrance on Merrion Road. Buses to Donnybrook Bus station, a five minute walk to the festival entrance, include the 84x, 145, 46a and 145.
How big is the show? It's vast, with 240 stands spread across almost three acres so wear your walking shoes. Exhibitors range from high-end kitchen and bathroom suppliers, to window and door suppliers, furniture makers, lighting specialists and appliance outlets vying for space with the latest vacuum cleaners, reclining armchairs and decoartive art pieces.
Any fancy vegetable peelers? Yes, there are many small stands selling gadgets of all kinds, including amazing veg peelers as well as juicers plus crystals, mops and tinkly fountains.
Is there a showhouse? Yes, right at the back you will find a ready made house with different room featuring up to the minute design ideas. The year the showhouse has been curated by Wicklow interior designer Collette Ward.
Want some tips on renvating and extending? There's plenty of it. The Irish Times Home & Design Theatre will have talks each day on a wide range of subjects from downsizing and decluttering to one off building with architects and quantity surveyors available to give advice.
What kind of talks? Here's the schedule of the Home&Design Theatre:
Friday, October 27th
1pm: Introduction to The Irish Times Home & Design Theatre followed by the quantity surveyor versus the architect : head-to-head discussion between Patricia Power of the Society of Charters Surveyors Ireland and Declan O'Donnell, founding partner of ODKM Architects. Hosted by Irish Times interiors expert Alanna Gallagher.
1.45pm: Dave Dempsey of Noel Dempsey Kitchens in Wicklow chats about What's Cooking in Kitchen Trends.
2.30pm: Muriel Simpson of interior designs firm House & Garden talks to journalist Frances O'Rourke about how best to stage your home for sale, with all the expert tips and tricks of the trade that will help get you the best price for your property.
3.30pm: Want to upgrade your kitchen without breaking the bank? Architect, interior designer and regular Irish Times columnist Denise O'Connor of Optimise Design is on stage to show just how it's done.
4.15pm: Gardening guru Fionnuala Fallon comes fresh from the garden with tips on how to grow your own seasonal cut flowers. Enhance your garden and cut your florist bill in one presentation.
5pm: Ditch the magnolia. Sarah Drum and Lisa Marconi of indie furniture retailer and interior design practice talk to Irish Times journalist Orna Mulcahy about using strong colours and bright paints effectively. No more whiter shade of pale.
Saturday, October 28th
11.30am: Find out how incorporating the Chinese principles of feng shui could bring positive energy into your home with expert Nina Kati. It could change your fortune, cookie.
1pm: Love vintage and antiques? Find out how to use them to best effect in your home as Róisín Lafferty of Kingston Lafferty Design (KLD) shares top tips.
2pm: Got a building conundrum? Now's your chance to get it sorted with the help of quantity surveyor Patricia Power from RTÉ's Room to Improve.
2.45pm: Dream home design on a bootstrap budget? If that sounds too good to be true, don't miss TV3's Anna Daly as she explains just how it's done.
3.45pm: Siobhan Lam of leading lifestyle and interiors store April & The Bear talks Instarooms, showing us how social media is not just capturing but creating some of the hottest new interiors trends.
4.30pm: Classics don't age and they won't let you down. Carol-Anne Leyden of CA Design talks about the furniture design classics that work in every room.
Sunday, October 29th
11.15am: Who says neutrals have to be bland? Get a fresh new take on neutral palettes as Martina Tolarova of La Maison Design shows how to shake them up to best effect for Irish homes.
12.15pm: Got a question about a building conundrum that's driving you nuts? Catch up with Noel Larkin of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland to find the most effective solution to your property problems.
2pm: Dream home design on a bootstrap budget. TV3 presenter Anna Daly shows us how to create the home of your dreams when your budget is more of a nightmare.
3pm: Irish Times consumer specialist Conor Pope and the Permanent TSB team tell us how, when, why – and whether – to release equity from our homes.
3.45pm Investing in sound. Billy Peat, Bang & Olufsen on the future of audio visual systems in the home.
4.30pm Sarah Renyolds, Organised Chaos says Banish clutter forever.
Monday, October 30th
11.15am: Find out out how to decorate the house this Christmas in a way that's not just festive but stylish too, with the help of the design team from home furnishing store Harvey Norman.
12.30pm: Want your house to be a showstopper? Wicklow-based interior designer Collette Ward, the creator of this autumn's Ideal Home showhouse, talks about creating that show house effect at home.
2pm: Interior designer and specialist colour consultant Orla Kelly offers step-by-step tips to making the right colour choices for your newly built home.
2.45pm: TV presenter and fitness guru Kathryn Thomas comes back from her travels to share the simple steps that can lead to a happier and healthier home.
3.30pm: Experts Regina Rogers Fallon and Ciara Drennan from iconic Irish paint brand Colourtrend show how to choose the perfect paint tone for different rooms and answer questions from the audience.
Are there other talks? Yes, plenty: The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland has a Build & Extend Theatre, again reflective of the current surge in building. "Planning applications for one-off homes are estimated to be up more than 40 per cent, a fact we see in our own survey figures too," says Sean Lemass, managing director of SDL Exhibitions, which runs the Ideal Home Show.
Meanwhile, Revenue has a large stand where advice will be available on initiatives such as the Help to Buy and Home Renovation schemes while Sustainable Energy Ireland will offer information on energy grants – information that can save you money, says Caitriona O’Connor of SDL. “Visitors will be able to talk to architects, then walk across to Revenue together to find out how much their schemes will save you, to get a clearer picture of your budgeting. And then, of course, you can go across to the Permanent TSB stand and sort the finance.”
Also at the show is the Colourtrend Interior Design Forum, featuring seven specially designed rooms by designers such as Arlene McIntyre's Ventura Design, Jackie Tyrrell Design and Katharina Gummelt of Xiu Feng Shui.
Any last minute advice? If you like decent coffee, bring your own.