Top 15 Picks for the Home & Garden Show

A couple of designer friends invited me to attend The Great Big Home + Garden Show 2013 with them.  I had never heard of the show.  It sounded like a fun day and a great opportunity to see what vendors had to offer at the consumer level.  I was unable to attend the home and garden show with my friends on Friday, but was able to go on Saturday.  Accompanied by my dad, I traveled to Cleveland’s I-X Center in search of the best and most unique products that The Great Big Home + Garden Show exhibitors had to offer.

My dad and I spent Saturday afternoon walking through the home show.  As we were leaving the event Andy Curtis, a friend of mine and the owner of QRS Construction, texted me that he was going to the home show on Sunday and wanted to know how it was.  I almost told him, I thought for a moment… I then asked Andy if he’d like to make a game out of it.  The game was simple, walk through the home and garden show and see if he could pick out the products that I found most interesting- plus one single item that would be a Christmas sensation (in the early 90’s I rented kiosks in shopping malls during the holiday season to sell the newest and hottest products on the market- this still interests me).  With nothing to gain or loose- but pride- Andy agreed to play along with me.

I received my first text from Andy as he left show…

“Fabric walls…

What!?… The sign said, “Touch Our Walls”.

wood walls…”

I’m feeling heat exit the fireplace from the bottom center while the glass remains cool. (Isn’t it hard not to notice the wood wall?)

I had to laugh out loud… he nailed the first two!  I’m not surprised because Andy and I work very well together, and we play off of each others design ideas.  Both SoftWall Finishing Systems and Finium engineered hardwood wall panels have great features that offer attractive and creative solutions for almost all of your interior wall design needs.

Andy complements my design work, and then adds, “glass fireplaces…HA”.

Three for three…damn he’s good and he knows it!  (He’s the best, and that’s exactly why I enjoy working with Andy).  Fire glass is the coolest, or should I say the hottest?  Fire glass looks awesome inside a fireplace, but I find it even more mesmerizing when used in a table top or planter design- see for yourself…

I asked if he liked the palm trees…he said,  “Yes…I took some info on them…lol”.  (Should I give him this one since I prompted it? lol)

Designer Palms are designed and hand built to order- making each palm a copyrighted work of art.

I noticed that Andy didn’t give me a Christmas sensation.  Andy told me that he didn’t go through the home decor section, so I let him off the hook.  Here is what Andy missed and what I feel will be the next Christmas sensation from The Great Big Home + Garden Show of Cleveland…


If the INFINITY LIGHTS display doesn’t get your attention…I don’t know what will.

What I love about INFINITY LIGHTS are that they are crazy crafty cool!  These lights allow you to be the designer and create your very own cool light fixture by interlocking the pieces in a variety of ways. Prices start at $25 which seems to be the right gift price range- I know it is for me.  INFINITY LIGHTS draw a big crowd and that’s exactly what kiosk owners want during the holiday shopping season.  I saw INFINITY LIGHTS walking out of the show like crazy (Andy did admit to seeing one as it left the building, but didn’t know what it was).

Andy played a good game and hit everyone of my top three picks, but there were many more exhibits at the home and garden show that I found worth taking a closer look at.  In no particular order here are the other products that made it onto my list of top 15 show favorites…

Thomas LeGault sold his paintings faster than he could paint them- there were sold signs hanging on wet paint signs all around his booth.  I simply love Thomas’ paintings.

Thomas is painting over a photograph for his daughter- all other paintings are original on canvas.


Todd & Martha Adams, owners of Adams Joyful Creations, have various artists creating beautiful ceramic tiles for their business.  These tiles are ready to hang on the wall or the backing can be removed (by soaking in water) to install the tile into a custom backsplash.  I also picture framing these tiles.

Ceramic Tile Art.

 Silkworks silk embroidery is truly a work of art.

Silk embroidery in the works.

Stunning silk embroidered Chinese Dragons.

These colorful wood picture frames are hand-crafted by the Amish and sold through Schrock’s Heritage Furniture.  I like the design style of these frames…they’re different- the frames have mass and the cool color palette pops against black.

Hand-crafted Amish picture frames.

Sherwin Williams booth made the top 15 because you can’t very well decorate without paint- not to mention Sherwin Williams had plenty of coupons and color samples to entice homeowners into starting a new painting project.

Dad, is this the color you’re looking for? lol 

Wine Barrel Designs offers wine inspired decor and furniture made from retired wine barrels, and this really appeals to the up-cycler in me.  These barrel designs would look great in any rustic wine cellar or bar.

Re-cycled wine barrel bars and tables.

Masterscape creates water features and outdoor spaces that any man would love to view in his yard.  I thought that this was pretty clever and would give my husband the go ahead on it- in the right setting of course lol.

Masterscape’s water feature.

I’ve seen Granicrete before- I have samples of it- but I’ve never seen custom lights created with it.  Granicrete Cleveland West gets creative with granicrete and custom crafts lighting, lighted agate tables, and lighted back splashes with it.

Custom Granicrete Lighting and product color samples.

Lighted Agate table.

ShadeTree Retractable Deck & Patio Canopies will turn your hot deck or patio into a cool new “outdoor room”.   I’ve got my own patio project in mine for this stylish, architectural, and functional outdoor product.

ShadeTree’s Sunbrella fabric shades glide open and closed on tracks.

Stone Solutions created their custom kitchen booth out of Walnut and backlit Onyx.  This wood was beautiful and smooth to the touch while the lit Onyx was just plain gorgeous.

This kitchen is glowing.

There were a tremendous amount of exhibitors at The Great Big Home + Garden Show, and it took my dad and I several hours just to get through it all.  I didn’t share photos of everything I saw at the show, but that doesn’t mean that the show wasn’t chuck full of great products for everyone of all ages.  There were also a few products that I walked past asking myself…why are there so many vendors selling that item when I wouldn’t even think about buying or selling it?  I thought I was missing something until Andy asked, “did you see all the hot tubs?  What’s up with that?”.  I know, right!?  I was thinking the same thing!  Andy and I are still on the same page.  Hot tubs are costly, high maintenance, and short lived (they quickly become a dinosaur on your deck or worse yet inside your home).  My suggestion is that you take the money and spend it on a Jacuzzi bathtub for two in your master ensuite…it will be fun, relaxing, and add perceived value to your home.  Come to think of it…why didn’t I see a Jacuzzi bathtub exhibit?

I thought The Great Big Home + Garden Show was well worth my time.  I will be attending this event again to keep up with what’s going on in the home and garden circuit.  Maybe I’ll even round up some friends for a game of Did You See That!? and share with you our top show finds.  Until then…visit the home improvement events in your area and share what you feel is a great product and/or vendor with me- thanks.

by Gina Paris

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