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January 01, 2015

Homexpo 2015

Homexpo presenters bring design and investment tips home


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The above quote was perhaps the most famous William Morris quote, the 1800s textile designer and innovator in the Arts and Crafts movement in England — and it is a mantra that is still one of the most important in home style today, says Sarah Richardson, one of two popular HGTV stars who will have seminars throughout Homexpo January 16–18, BMO Centre, Stampede Park.

“These are incredibly wise words to live and design by, in my opinion,” says the award-winning designer who has hosted and co-produced a series of decor and lifestyle HGTV shows.

And it isn’t hard to do:
“Get rid of the clutter, pare back on everything you don’t need or don’t use, then move it all out of the room while you repaint in a fresh colour,” says Richardson.

That will “make a huge change — and if you do-it-yourself, it will only cost you the value of the paint.”

The key after that is to simply reintroduce your furnishings “one piece at a time and it will all feel fresh and new.”

And that, in turn, leads back to Morris’ quote: Love what’s in your home or get rid of it, says Richardson.

Even if your first home is a modest size and your budget is tiny, you can create a uniquely-yours design if you follow that advice.

“Make use of all the vertical space you’ve got and spend a bit of your budget on storage solutions so you aren’t overwhelmed by clutter,” Richardson says — especially important if you are living in a smaller space, such as a condominium.

“Try to find pieces that do double duty to get the most out of all your purchases. Tables with drawers and storage are key to help conquer clutter, and mirrors help open up a tiny room.”

The other presenter at Homexpo 2015 is back by popular demand, and Scott McGillivray has even more information to share on making the most of your home’s potential.

McGillivray is not only the award-winning co-creator, executive producer and host of the hit HGTV series Income Property, but he is a full-time real estate investor, contractor, writer, educator and speaker who has worked in over 25 cities and on over 250 properties.

One of the best ways to increase the home’s potential revenue source — and a way to help people get into home ownership as a result — is by building a secondary suite, he says.

“A suite provides a source of income for the new homebuyer, and the construction of a proper suite increases the value of the home by at least what you have put into it, whereas an illegal income suite provides little, to no value for the property at all,” McGillivray says.

His passion lies in educating homeowners to make smart renovation and investment decisions that deliver financial rewards. The huge crowds at last year’s Homexpo lined up to see McGillivray — and he didn’t disappoint. Lots of practical, do-it-yourself ideas to bring income to your property — and his winning personality didn’t hurt, either.

More budget-conscious shopping ideas from Richardson:

“Shop vintage stores, garage sales and flea markets.

“My first published design story was a loft apartment that I shared with my best friend. It was filled with furnishings from flea markets, estate auctions and yard sales, and it made the cover of House and Home Magazine with a lamp that I bought for $2.50, a $10 chair, a $40 table, and some found treasures.

“You need to never forget that great style and budget are achievable goals, but you have to be willing to put in a little effort to save a lot of money.”

Richardson, the busy design guru, has 15 years of experience working on five TV series renovating 300 rooms as well as running her Toronto business, Sarah Richardson Design Inc. But she isn’t resting on her laurels.

Richardson spent the summer renovating a 65-year-old cottage on a remote island for a new TV series, has recently signed on with Good Housekeeping magazine as their home design director, and has a growing line of signature products including custom furniture, a fabric line for Kravet Inc., and a stationery collection exclusive to Hallmark Canada.

You’ll learn this and a whole lot more with Richardson’s and McGillivray’s seminars Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Homexpo — and that’s just the start.

Destination Renovation returns with top renovators on hand to talk one-on-one to you about your projects, and new this year is our Condo Showcase, where multi-family builders have information about their latest condominium projects to help you.

Top your visit off by visiting the many booths chock full of the latest products, services and information to help make your home your castle.

Check the website for details and times and connect with the show on Twitter (@HomexpoYYC) and on Facebook ( for a chance to win tickets.

Look for more information on the accompanying articles on Homexpo — and see you at the show!

Destination Renovation is the place to get information
Did you know that residential renovation and repair last year alone accounted for $2.4 billion in investment value? That maintains and improves the largest single wealth-builder for many Calgary families in a lifetime.

And that’s only expected to grow, as more and more people choose to upgrade and improve their homes in this bustling city where the population is swelling and newcomers come here to make a new life.

That’s why Homexpo 2015 is the place to get all the information you need to make your home your castle. Not only are the suppliers and manufacturers there with booths displaying the latest and greatest in products and services for homes, but the Canadian Home Builders’ Association – Calgary Region show features Destination Renovation.

Destination Renovation has some of the city’s leading renovators all in one convenient location. You’ll be able to talk one-on-one about your home, get the information you need to do your job and find out what you need to know about the processes involved in the transformation.

Presenters this year will have a wealth of advice as well, including the popular TV hosts Scott McGillivray and Sarah Richardson. Check the rest of the articles on Homexpo for more information.

Top design tips from Sarah Richardson

Sarah Richardson, popular host of five shows on HGTV, including the Sarah series, is a major presenter at Homexpo, January 16–18, BMO Centre, Stampede Park.

You will pick up many important tips to help make your home your castle. Here are her top Do’s and Don’ts of decorating:

• Buy what you love.
• Buy vintage.
• Use natural materials whenever possible. “They just feel better.”
• Support artisans and craftspeople who create unique elements that give a home soul.
• Dare to be different and create a home that is a signature expression of your personal style.
• Know that you can live in style no matter what your budget. “It’s not about how much you have, but how well you use it.”
• Make the design process a collaborative effort and involve your partner or family in the decision process. “It’s more fun to work as a team.”

• Buy knockoffs. “There are so many creative people in the world and there’s no need to ‘get the look for less’ with a knockoff — you just get less.”
• Splurge on the first big ticket item you see. “It’s the number-one regret I’ve heard when I meet new clients. Make sure you measure and think about a whole plan before you buy.”
• Try to follow the trends. “They are introduced to keep the marketplace excited about new ideas and you can never stay on top of every trend. Your home should be a cohesive and consistent style statement and not an all-consuming passion.”
• Be afraid to have fun. “Your home should be a welcoming and happy place, so be sure you decorate for your lifestyle to achieve the best results.”
• Overspend. “You need to embrace your budget and live within it.”

Homexpo Quick Facts
: Canadian Home Builders’ Association – Calgary Region annual renovations and home innovations show
BMO Centre, Stampede Park – Hall D and E
January 16 – 18, 2015
Friday, January 16: 2 – 9 p.m. Saturday, January 17: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sunday, January 18: 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Adults: $12, Seniors/Students: $10, Children 12 and under: Admitted FREE
Special Guests And Presentation Times:
Scott McGillivray – Friday evening and Saturday daytime, Sarah Richardson – Saturday daytime and Sunday morning
Specialty Areas:
Condo Showcase, Destination Renovation

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