Sunday, March 05, 2006

Home & Garden Show

Yesterday, my mom & dad called to see if I wanted to go to the Home and Garden Show with them. I've never been to one, so I told them to pick me up on their way downtown.

I was totally surprised at the number of people that visited the show. We ended up parking in a ramp a good ways away from the convention center and walking in. There we in the ballpark of 1000 exhibitors - all things house and garden. Even Tim Silva from This Old House was there signing autographs for the faithful.

It was fun wandering up and down the aisles seeing what was new and trendy in house building, remodeling, redecorating and repair. My dad is a structural engineer and was interested in the metal roofing and the log home builders. Turns out the log supplier for my parents' cabin was at the show, so we looked through his books to see if he had photos of my parent's cabin on display. My mom likes to watch the product demonstrations and was interested in what the concrete stamping companies could do, which I have to admit is pretty impressive.

I also ended up running across a few booths of interest. The first one caught me by surprise. I had been planning a road trip to the Shell Lake Furniture showroom to order a side table for my livingroom. I visited their showroom a couple of years ago and bought some picture frames and a small step stool.....but my real purpose was to pick up information on their furniture line. Now I am ready to order, so it was good to be able to talk to the company rep. and ask her a few questions I had. They had some custom kitchen cabinets on display that were spectacular.

Not too long after, I ran across the booth from Prairie Woodworking. I've been meaning to stop into their shop on East Lake Street for a while. They advertise custom made radiator covers that look very nice. I was interested in seeing if they do other woodworking. Turns out the booth was manned by the "company owner, woodworker, floor sweep", Tim Granlund. Good news is that he knows the "bungalow" style and does do carpentry in things non-radiator. He is now on my short list for the window seat and colonnade projects I have planned for my upstairs. I like working with local companies where the owner is actually doing the work.

The North Prairie Tile Works has also been on my radar for a while and I was happy to see their booth at the show. I have it in the back of my mind that I would like a tile backsplash behind my stove (is that what they are called?)...eventually. It would be nice to be able to get those tiles from a local company.

The previous owner of my house did something funky when he painted (gasp!) the stucco of my house. I chatted briefly with the Donnelly brother at the booth about my "situation" and took a card from Donnelly Stucco. Having soemone come out and tell me what I can do about the stucco is on my "to do list."

Cold Spring Granite had some pretty impressive pieces of granite on display (and also gave me a few flashbacks to my college days as I went to school not far away from their pits - and the CS bakery).

With the exception of the $3.75 I had to pay for a glass of Coke, all-in-all it was a very fun afternoon! I've decided I may need to get a part time job at one of those booths.

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