I have the tendency to go a bit crazy when thinking about home improvement. Don’t get me wrong – I love our house. But although I thoroughly enjoy some of the vintage touches like the laundry chute and milk bottle delivery box, there are a number of updates on our to-do list which can get overwhelming for someone who’s impatient (like me!).
You would think, then, that the Great Big Home and Garden Expo would be sensory overload. But after going in with a game plan on Saturday, the expo helped narrow down and organize our home improvement goals.
We started the afternoon by walking through the exhibitors. Thanks to Scott, we stayed on target, systematically browsing each aisle. We even met a few contractors to add to our list for our eventual four-season room and kitchen upgrade.
I’m happy to say I only got distracted a couple of times and bought only one small garden chotsky (tiny gnomes are my weakness).
While in the vendor hall, we stopped by Creative Construction Solutions’ Idea House where we found some inspiration for the family room we’re re-doing. From paint color to Timan Custom’s window treatments, the plan for the room finally has a sense of direction. And even if it is only a wish list item, I kind of want North Coast Integrated Technologies’ thermostat-lighting-security system.
It was then off to my favorite part of the show – the Garden Showcase. Although I hate gardening, I love showstopping gardens (as long as they are in someone else’s yard and I don’t have to weed them).
What made this year’s Show Gardens even more of a don’t-miss for me was that they were themed around classic tv shows. For the most part, the gardens impressed. I think that Brian-Kyles Construction‘s Yogi Bear, The Ohio Valley Group‘s Fantasy Island, and CK Stonescapes/Tri-R Stone‘s Flintstones gardens overall captured their tv shows the best. The stone carver live-carving a Dino statue was a great touch.
However, my favorite part of the entire showcase was the fountainwork in Complete Outdoor Installation‘s Batman Garden (surprise! I love comic books!).
Besides the fact that my office at home is decked out in comic book memorabilia, I really liked owner Zach Goebelt’s incorporation of Batman details in the stonework.
In particular, he had handcrafted a one-of-its-kind fountain that had Batman villians Joker, Catwoman and the Penguin as the fountain faces. A hilarious touch was that the water coming out of their mouths fell on stone replications of the Bat symbol in the fountain’s base. So they were literally spitting on the Batman.
Of course, it helped that Goebelt also had a “Bat Cave” behind the garden display, featuring some very nice Batman memorabilia along with a video demonstration of how he constructed the fountain.
While we were in the Garden Showcase, we ran into WhyCLE and CLEGuy scoping out fences and riding lawnmowers for their new house. You can read about their experience here.
We ended our day at the Main Stage for John Hall’s talk, 25 Design Tips Towards that Perfect Kitchen. In addition to running The Hall Design Group, Hall also teaches a variety of courses for individuals who want to learn more about kitchen design.
It was helpful to see some of the different options out there for kitchen lighting, proper spacing for kitchen islands, and the different styles of kitchen cabinets and countertops. This last one was important for us because that’s the part of our kitchen we’ll eventually be focusing on.
If you missed the first weekend of the 2012 Great Big Home and Garden Expo, you have all week and this weekend to check it out. It will be at the IX Center through Feb. 12 (show dates and times).
Tickets are $14 at the door for adults, but buy your tickets online before the show and save $3. Tickets for children 6-12 are $5, and 5 and under are free.
Plus, Clue into Cleveland readers can save even more: Use the code “CLUE” when you’re buying tickets online and Adult tickets will cost only $10 – a total savings of $4.
Purchase tickets here and hopefully you’ll likewise find the inspiration you’re looking for.
Disclaimer: I was offered two tickets for myself and two to giveaway to a Clue Into Cleveland reader. The opinions expressed and events I choose to cover are 100% my own.