It’s a good thing the National Home Show is ten days long, because I got through a teeny tiny portion of it yesterday. If you’re planning on going, write a review on HomeStars and receive $7 off your $15 ticket.

Here are the highlights of what I saw:

The Dream Home. The theme of the Dream Home is “Luxe for Less.” The home is designed by Structured Creations and Robert Sennett Design, built by PROBUILT and styled by Janette Ewen. I think the items that struck me the most were the chandeliers — from Rona. You heard me right: Rona. Oh, and the chaise longes? President’s Choice from Loblaws. So the next time you go out for a bag of milk, you might need to bring the mini van.

The Dream Garden. Featuring over 32,000 square feet of beautiful garden settings, as if the grey days and snow weren’t enough to make you wish winter away, a walk through this section will have you counting down ’til spring.

I visited with Connie Cadotte of Garden Retreats Inc.  and admired the exhibit she’d put together with several other companies. The bridge over the quiet fountain and reflecting pool invited me to stay awhile, the pergola had the one thing many are missing: a retractable shade awning complete on a remote-controlled monorail unit. The interesting thing to note was that 90% of the plants were perennials in the exhibit (over $20,000 worth) and were on loan from a local nursery and all can be reused.  Some of the interesting garden sculptures were made from plywood that would have gone into landfill.

Landscaping: Jan Gelderman Landscaping

Decking and Pergola: Deckmasters of Canada

Awning: Shade FX Pergola Canopies

Another fun exhibit was the “bsq landscape design studio” — that’s “b squared” — not a typo. The exhibit is a converted shipping container and is about as efficient as you can get. bsq can pack up the entire exhibit and set up at the next gig without any hassle, there’s little waste and it’s easy to do. The electricity needs are simple: four solar panels generate enough electricity to run two computers for 5-6 hours per day as well as their super efficient LED lighting. The idea for the shipping container came out of the group’s desire to be environmentally conscious in practice as well as design. There’s a green roof on one of half the roof while the other half has a cafe table and chairs from which you can sit and admire the other exhibits.

While you’re at the far end of the Home Show, don’t forget to visit the Market Place where two of my favourite stores have exhibits:

Flik and Company Interiors (booth #6200) has a combination of old and new furniture, antiques and beautiful accessories. Their French influenced pieces are reproductions made from salvaged pine by a company called Antiques 2000. The carved detail in the pieces is beautiful as is the rustic painted finish. In contrast with the French influenced wood furniture is the sleek, urban upholstered sofa made by a local company, Statum Design, exclusively for Flik. There are loads of gorgeous accessories too.

My Back Shed (booth #6301): I must have a thing for French Country (or robin’s egg blue…or both), because this is another stunning exhibit. The reaonably priced King Louis chairs would have been great for my bedroom, but I think getting one of them home on the subway would have been a trifle awkward. There are other accessories to turn your ordinary home into a French farmhouse or chateau, depending on your budget. It’s well worth a look.

Finally, two exhibits I’d be remiss if I didn’t pass along.

Fraktals Chocolates (booth #6204) Regarding their “spectacular chocolate cashew buttertoffee.” Frankly, I don’t think “spectacular” is a strong enough word to describe this treat. “Awe-inspiring?” “Give me the entire container please”….something of that nature would be better.

Earthworks Pottery (booth #6207) has an interesting display of not just decorative but also “useful” pottery, like the clay carrot you put in your veggie container to control moisture. There are loads of other products from wine bricks to mushroom keepers to apple bakers. Worth a look.

Posted by Team HomeStars

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