Green living and artisan design combine at the Ideal Home Show

Still four days to go until the start of the 2012 Ideal Home Show in London and already this year's exhibition is shaping up to be a memorable event.

According to the Daily Telegraph, one of the highlights is set to be the Arts and Crafts Eco Home designed by the Prince's Foundation and inspired by the 19th-century Arts and Crafts movement.

Eco-friendly living has been a significant trend in the latest home designs for several years now and this looks set to continue this year.

But the Arts and Crafts Eco Home demonstrates that it is possible to combine the latest energy-saving building techniques with traditional artisanal design.

The house uses as many natural materials as possible and is 70 per cent more energy efficient than current building regulations require, but its decor is inspired by old-fashioned traditional crafts, incorporating stained-glass windows, decorative ironwork, linocut wallpaper, traditional joinery and handmade English tiles.

Hank Dittmar, chief executive of the Prince's Foundation, told the newspaper: "We believe that sustainability comes from rediscovering local materials and craftsmanship and creating beautiful, well-built homes with real character that will hold their value."

Other highlights of this year's show include the Santiago House, designed by architect Alex King of Designalexable and his retired father Edward, which aims to solve the problem of overcrowded city living.

The slim building is built across four floors, made of six prefabricated modules and clad in ceramic and aims to provide flexible space that can be used by families for a number of purposes.

For example, as a unified family house, the ground floor space represents the main kitchen/dining room, but could also be used as a self-contained unit for elderly or returning family members or for rental purposes with minimum alterations.

If you're planning on visiting the capital for this year's Ideal Home Show, why not make the most of your trip and treat yourself to a stay at one of the top hotels in London?

The Ideal Home Show takes place at Earls Court form March 16th to April 1st.

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