Taking to the high street can offer helpful benefits to your home renovation, as well as helping to support your local area. 


delayed shutter image of a busy high street 1

Image: Getty Images


Online shopping may have been a lockdown life-saver, but it has its drawbacks in comparison to the real thing, especially when it comes to a home project. The ability to see and feel products before you buy them is incredibly useful in the decision-making process, and may in fact lead you to discover finishes for your home you've never considered before. 

Fortunately, for those still shielding or unable to visit shops and showrooms with ease, new virtual shopping technology provides the closest thing to the full retail experience you can get without leaving the house. Brands like Quooker have developed its digital offering so that you can now schedule virtual appointments to explore its full range from the safety of your own home.

Of course, the freedom to get back onto the high street comes the responsibility of doing so in a calm, considered manner. So please remember to shop safe and protect yourself and others by wearing a mask indoors and practising social distancing at all times.

The Grand Designs magazine team is working alongside Quooker as part of the Love Your High Street campaign for 2021, so here’s five benefits the high street can offer to your home renovation project. 

Visit showrooms

Whether you're searching for a new kitchen, bathroom or even bifold doors or windows, a home renovation project usually means a serious investment. Undoubtedly you'll be keen to make the perfect choice, and while it's possible to explore your options and work on a design virtually, it's hard to get a true idea of both the functionality and aesthetics of a product without getting hands-on with it. Even when ordering samples of products such as tiles or flooring, it can be hard to gauge how these designs will play out over a larger scale on an entire floor or wall. 

If you take a risk with an online order for your home renovation, there are a few issues that could arise if you're not happy with your purchase. Large, bulky items can take up space and cause unwanted hassle to return, while if you're on a strict timeline for your build, you could find yourself with delays that prevent the project from progressing. 

Inspect quality

matt black kitchen tap from quooker - why shop on the high street - grand designs  

Image: Quooker

One area you won't be able to assess through online shopping or a virtual tour is the quality of a product. How does it feel in your hands? How sturdy do the mechanisms feel? While you may be looking for the best deal on expensive products for your renovation, sometimes the price is too good to be true, and if you haven't been able to inspect the quality in real life, you might not find this out until it's too late. 

Take a test-run 

Whether you want to try out an appliance, check the functionality of integrated storage in a cabinet or even put a hot water tap to the test before you commit to a purchase, high street stores and showrooms often offer space to trial their products ahead of buying. This means you can invest in a design that really works for you and that you'll be comfortable using as part of your new living space. 

living room with glazed windows - shop the high street - grand designs

Image: Jefferson Smith

Meet the team 

Finding the right design team, especially for a kitchen or bathroom project, is an essential reason to head out to your high street showroom. While you can make virtual appointments to meet designers keen to bring your dream space to life, if lockdown has taught us anything, it's that human interaction isn't at its absolute best through Zoom. Meeting designers in real life can be a great way to find someone who really understands your ambitions and brings the very best out of your vision for your home project. 

Discover something new 

When it comes to a forward-thinking home renovation project, there may be specific things on your wishlist for your new space. However, you can guarantee that there are also a raft of new ideas and products out there that will either supersede your expectations or add fresh fodder for your renovation inspiration. Heading to the high street offers you the opportunity to browse, explore and ask questions in a way that online shopping can't replicate. 

Love your high street logo

For more information about the Love Your High Street campaign and to find your local Quooker showroom, visit the Quooker website or call 0345 8333 555

Kevins Column

Grand Designs Live: Ask an Expert Weekend 22-23 May 2021

Discover free home project advice and product recommendations from the comfort of your own home. Register now to express your interest.
Home Improvements

How much does an air source heat pump cost?

Find out what an air source heat pump is likely to cost to buy and to run
Home Improvements

How to plan your kitchen storage

Follow this guide when planning the storage in your new kitchen to ensure your scheme is well-organised, easy to use and has room for everything...
Home Improvements

A view to thrill – a stunning Surrey home with weathertight sliding doors

Sliding doors and windows can open up a home and deliver security, weather protection and incredible views. We look at a beautiful case study from...
Home Improvements

Grand Designs launches a sustainable sofa collection

Discover what is available in the Grand Designs collection of sustainable and stylish sofas, armchairs and accessories, manufactured by furniture retailer DFS.
Home Improvements

Which is the best front door to buy?

Choose the best front door for your property with this guide to selecting the best design
Home Improvements

Why your home needs custom made timber doors and windows

You can boost your home’s look and security with bespoke timber doors and windows, made exclusively for the UK