“We’re not looking for anything in particular. We just like to come and walk the show. There’s always something new and interesting in products and design,” says Santa Clara resident Caryn Linn, at the South Bay Home Show September 11 with her husband and parents.
Held at the Santa Clara Convention Center, the show featured more than 150 vendors touting everything from triple-pane windows as the wave of the future to linens made from bamboo fibers by Hotel Comfort and a Legacy TV-box that allows you to stream—for free—thousands of programs, movies and music channels (www.legacy-innovations.net).
Then there were the long-established products such as Tupperware and pots and pans by Kitchen Craft, which has been making waterless cookware in Wisconsin since 1906.
“First I used the product, then I found myself demonstrating it,” says Kitchen Craft Chef Buddy Weaver as he entertained his audience, actually getting them to laugh about vegetables and vitamins.
“I’m a cupboard chef. If it’s in the cupboard, I cook it,” says Weaver.
The three-day home show September 11-13 featured different how-to seminars and demonstrations each day. Designer Cesar Chavez (www.designbycesarchavez.com) was the featured presenter Friday, offering decorating ideas and demonstrating low-cost do-it-yourself projects.
Why not decorate your ceiling? Wall paper it, paint it or add faux beams. Divide a single room using folding screens, storage shelves, drapes or pony walls (a cut out in a wall). Search Craigslist for free or low-cost items you can freshen up to change the look of a room.
“I like to inspire people so they can do their own thing at home,” says Chavez, demonstrating how to make attractive candle holders using small glass dishes from the Dollar Store, plastic spoons and gold spray paint. Even easier, Chavez makes a decorative throw pillow by opening up a double-layer placemat, stuffing a pillow inside it and closing the end using iron-on tape.
Saturday, kitchen and bathroom remodeling guru Steven Katkowsky provided the ideas and laughs, talking about “Going in Style.” Sunday, the Carey Brothers, home building and renovation experts, talked about “Home Maintenance for Dummies.”
Not to forget the pets, the head trainers from “Sit Means Sit Dog Training” (www.sanjose.sitmeanssit.com) were on hand to discuss their personalized, mobile services.
“We use a balanced approach and see success in three weeks,” says Ryan Tu-Hai Ngo, service owner. “I have a degree in psychology, and I want to help people with their animals. Most of the training is with the owner. Once your dog is happy, confident, obedient, and under control, you can have a new life style.”
“Contractors are the busiest they’ve been in eight years,” says Joe Milligan with World Class Shows, Inc., the sponsor of the South Bay Home Show. “The economy has turned around. As long as the interest rates stay where they are and the stock market is good, people can afford to remodel their house and take equity out.”
“We came to look at options for counter tops and our pool,” says Joan Mendoza from Morgan Hill. “It’s good to talk to more than one company, to different vendors in one place—without much pressure, hopefully!”