Jonathon at Grand Designs Live London May 2019

I’ve found that on this crazy furniture painting journey of mine that amazing opportunities just come my way without me really looking for them! One such opportunity was the chance to demonstrate my unique painting techniques at Grand Designs Live at London’s Excel in May 2019 was one of them and have one of my projects, this upcycled cocktail cabinet featured on the Grand Designs Live blog!

For the first time the show team created an Upcycling Hub with Marcie K and Reloved magazine and invited several of the industry’s most fabulous upcyclers – Ray Clarke Upholstery (what a wonderful and talented man), Muck n Brass (we celebrated Cbeebies presenter Zoe Pocock’s birthday while we were there), Albert & Edward (with amazing atmospheric lighting), Touchwood Vintage Designs (lovely Linda and her decoupaged pieces) to have a presence with a demonstration stage area for the public to get up close and personal with the sort of techniques we use daily to save old furniture from landfill and create new and exciting pieces of home decor.

nick and jonathon grand designs

I was there with Julie from New Vintage and fellow furniture painter and student in my Painted Love Academy Nick Spencer (pictured above) from The Rocky Crystal Interiors in Norfolk. Nick is an awesome painter and produces loads of really fabulous pieces for Julie’s shop on Battersea Park Road in Battersea which is a favourite haunt for stylists, artists and designers. A truly great place to find quirky one-off pieces whether new, antique, vintage, retro or refurbished. Julie prices to sell and the stock is changing daily so it’s always worth a visit! Before the show I popped down to Nick’s workshop in Dereham to prep some pieces together for the stand and showcase the sort of thing we do.

We attracted some really big crowds over our sessions and really fired people’s imaginations on what can be achieved with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. We showed my Faded Grandeur, Marbling (which is a free video when you register for the Painted Love Academy) as well as Industrial Rust and Saltwash Verdigris – both techniques are similar but use different colours and processes to transform plastic pots to look like authentic aged metals.


I am very lucky that I have family in London so whenever I am offered the chance to be part of a show or exhibition in the capital or to host an event like the recent Iron Orchid Design reception for UK stockists at the Elgin, it’s a wonderful chance to stay with my sister in law in Pimlico and be spoilt! Not only that I like to visit art galleries, museums and exhibitions and soak up London’s huge energy for inspiring and stylish interiors.


I am thoroughly looking forward to doing it all again at Grand Designs Live in Birmingham this autumn Interiors Day, Friday 11th October, only this time it will be just me and Nick on the Design and Build Forum. We will be showing a few interesting techniques over 2 sessions, first at 12.30 to 1.15pm then finishing off at 2.30 to 3.15pm. We hope to be at the show early so plenty of time to meet friends and colleagues for a quick coffee before or between sessions. Who else is going? It would be great to see you there. 

Here’s the sort of thing you can look forward to if you’re around:


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