Spring = Home and Garden Shows

The crocus is up and it’s time for home and garden shows at expo centers and massive sales displays at your favorite home improvement stores. St. George had their Parade of Homes last month, Salt Lake and Utah Valley’s Parades of Homes come in early Summer and Cashe Valley usually puts one together in September. You can shop your to your heart’s desire for all the design trends in home construction. Here’s what I’ve been noticing in and outside new homes in the past few years that you will certainly see more of at home shows and garden centers:

INSIDE-Colors: Oh thank God. I swear, Utahn’s in general have the worst taste in décor. I see a bazillion homes a year and am so pleased when I’m able to take buyers into a house that has been well decorated with color instead of the usual taupe or pewter blue walls. Every year there is a color announced to the world, the Pantone choice that sets all trends in fashion and design. This year it’s Emerald Green. You can’t paint your whole home this color unless you’re a leprechaun, but you certainly can use it for accents in pillows, furniture and and/or a single wall.

The TV box: TV screens for actual television, movies or gaming are multiplying in homes like rabbits. They are in the bedrooms, baths, living areas and garage workshops. The first time I saw a TV screen in a bath room I knew the world was ending. Now that I understand much of our youth go home and play killing games for fun on the game console for hours every night, I can see why designers are building movie-house like rooms in virtually every new home they build.

Baths and Kitchens: Home shows are where you go and ‘ooooh and ahhhh’ over amazing appliances, like touch screen wine coolers for your private stash and fantastic colored refrigerators and stoves (like in the Utah ‘Up’ house). I don’t often plug stores in this column, but check out the sales rooms of Mountainland Design to get your cooking ‘want’ fix. I have gone to fundraisers at their showroom and paid no attention to the festivities as I walked around and touched every handmade sink.  Also, knobs are IN.  Star Hardware in Salt Lake specializes in just knobs and pulls. They can be really expensive or rather a good buy, and are a great way to add color/design to a ho-hum bunch of cabinets.

OUTSIDE: Gardens are in. Recycling is in (as it should be). I find many home buyers want some kind of small garden, a ‘Utah salsa garden’ with a tomato or two, cilantro, and a pepper plant. Gardening trends are for mixes of flowers and vegetables and more raised beds for old farts like me to play in so we don’t have to bend down too far!  Also folks are going back to the idea that grandpa had… to build a permanent cooking and prep area right in the back yard for summer fun. That coupled with a trend back to large screened in porches and shaded seating areas, backyard living is back. You can always get terrific outside furniture at places like Leisure Living but find a mason or rock worker to help you build a groovy BBQ with gas. 

Chickens are also very popular now, and legal.  Non-profit Wasatch Community Gardens sponsors the annual ‘Tour De Coups’ of local back yard chicken coops. There are some fabulously crazy artists out there building homes for their feathered friends. This non-profit sponsors so many classes and events, check them out at www.wasatchgardens.org.