“There is no better way to start 2012 than focusing on home improvement and at the same time creating a greener environment,” says James Kuenzi, General Manager of South Bay’s 32nd annual Art of Home Show at the Santa Clara Convention Center January 20 – 22.
“It’s a state mandate to reduce our carbon footprint and become more efficient,” says Faye Rachford, an energy upgrade specialist at Ecology Action, on the home show’s main stage. “Most people know they need to do something and want to, but they don’t know where to start. The Energy Upgrade California program for homeowners is where to start.”
Energy Upgrade California’s program encourages homeowners to make energy-saving upgrades to their homes, beginning with a whole-house assessment by a certified green participating contractor. The state-sponsored program (www.EnergyUpgradeCA.org), which runs through December 2012, offers homeowners rebates of up to $4,000 based on how much energy is saved by their upgrades.
In keeping with the green focus, the home show’s more than 120 home improvement experts were happy to share their energy-saving advice. Master Chef Sir Roy Salazar, culinary project manager/director at University Electric Home Appliance Center in Santa Clara, lauded the efficiency of cooking on an induction heat cooktop as he made champagne soup with Beluga caviar lentils for show attendees to sample. Master Chef Julie Tan, Salazar’s wife, assisted.
Contractor Steven Katkowsky of Steven’s Incredible Kitchen Machine (www.StevenKatkowsky.com), a home show presenter for 31 years, gave his sage, green advice on “Going in Style” — remodeling bathrooms—and “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Finding a Contractor.” Except for his new anecdotes and jokes, it’s all in his book: “Danger! Construction Zone.”
“We’re the only local company that makes and installs pullouts,” says Drawer & Shelf Solutions owner Walt Watkins (408-826-7903). “Western Dovetail in Vallejo makes our pullouts. It’s a certified green manufacturer using Forest Stewardship Council (www.FSC.org) domestic hardwood.”
Show attendees Steve and Debbie Sharrah of Santa Clara came looking for a kitchen contractor and checked out Energy Star appliances with University Electric. They changed to dual-pane windows and doors and insulated their home as part of a remodeling project about three years ago.
“It reduced our utility cost and increased the value of our home,” says Steve, an energy-saving advocate going home with new green ideas.
Sunday’s Wine Garden featured Sonoma County’s Mutt Lynch Winery (www.muttlynchwinery.com). Its four-footed little mutt mascot Foxy helped promote wines such as Foo Foo le Blanc Sauvignon Blanc and Chateau d’Og Cabernet Sauvignon. Wines from Napa Valley’s Spelletich Family Cellars (www.spellwine.com) were also featured.
It would be tough to leave South Bay’s Art of Home Show without admiring the cute cats and dogs available for adoption through Friends of San Martin Animal Shelter (FOSMAS). Unfortunately, none of the animals brought to the show were adopted this time. But visit www.fosmas.petfinder.org to see FOSMAS’ current adoptables. Adopting a homeless animal is recycling with a heart.