As we dig out of winter it’s time to start thinking of the season to come - building season. Once spring is here, the hammers, shovels and paint brushes bloom and homeowners across the country get to beautifying the insides and the outsides of their homes. To give them a head start, Home and Garden shows are cropping up across the country, from little community shows to full scale conventions. To catch up on what’s new and what’s trending I jumped on down to The San Diego Home/Garden Show and saw what a medium sized, consumer level show had to offer.
First, here are some video highlights...
Papay Designs Lighting Fixtures
These jumped right out at me with their wow factor colors and sinuous look, but they also survived the way-home mental recap of the event where enthusiasm can fade as practicality takes over. Visually exciting and unique, Papay Designs’ fixtures are functional design in action. There’s “nothing bedazzled” Zach and Marcus (the entire team in the shop) will tell you. The bases and legs are mid-century minimal and the shades are 21st century tech, with fiberglass in popping colors and made with sustainable materials instead of petrochemicals. You can also look for new designs rolling out soon.
eleven39 Concrete Furniture
That’s right, concrete furniture. Concrete countertops are already familiar, but this ancient material is branching out. Just take a look at Don Welsh’s creations at eleven39 that go far beyond a simple sidewalk – benches, coffee tables, planters and what really caught my eye, chairs. These chairs are a swoop of concrete for the base with a welded steel backrest bolted in place. They’re not light, but they can be lifted and moved by one person. This material plus Don’s artistry make for a combination of weighty and elemental with modern and whimsical. Indoors or out, one of these pieces can anchor a room or accent it.
Buddy Smith Art Glass
Where the Papay fixtures are new tech, Buddy Smith’s stained glass and leaded and etched glass windows are made with techniques that go back centuries. This artisan handcrafts each piece and designs range from gothic and churchy, to floral, to geometric and modern. He’s also a licensed contractor, so he does the installations himself. When springtime decorating is upon you, consider art glass as a way to brighten and color your space.
SafeRacks Garage Storage
Of course these aren’t as eye-catching or fun as the other things here, but the SafeRacks overhead steel racks are a smart and practical design. We could all use more space for our stuff, and these customizable garage racks are an excellent solution for when you start your spring cleaning. Made in the USA, they can support up to 600 pounds, plus you can add hooks designed to hold bikes or ladders or other odd shaped items.
A New Backyard
This winter was a rough one for most of the country, so when the weather finally turns inviting you want to take advantage of it and spend as much time outside as you can. You can go small scale or all out, base it on plantings or base it on a deck or other feature. Here are the two examples from opposite ends of the spectrum that jumped out at me.
Old World – The team at Epic Landscape Construction created a truly epic landscape of stone walls and floors, a fireplace and chimney with a reclaimed wood mantle a bubbling, iron fountain and cast iron accents that look like relics, but were custom forged in their shop. This is the look to go for if you want your landscape to still be impressive in 100 years.
New Century – If your speed is more chill, take a look at the creation of Eco Minded Solutions. Gather around the fire pit or relax on the deck specially designed so you can back in your airstream or 5th-wheel to complete the space, increase your lounging area, provide a ready-made bar/kitchen, and still be able to roll away with it when you hit the road. Make sure to include a lime tree to garnish your cerveza.