Apr 29, 2016

With the start of summer just around the corner folks are being bombarded with tips and ideas for their backyards. Most of us love spending the warmer months outdoors – but what do you do if you have really limited outdoor space? Sure, you’d hang a chandelier bird feeder with pride and invite all your friends to join you on your new extra large outdoor sofa, but just you don’t have room. Fear not. We’ve found six fun and easy ideas for your petite patios that’ll have you saying, “space schmace”. Check ‘em out below and get ready for summer.

Rugged Beauty – We’ve all accepted the idea of outdoor furniture being more than simply plastic chairs, right? Well, we’re encouraging homeowners to take this concept one step further and invest in outdoor rugs. They allow you to have more fun with your color scheme and create a cohesive look for your small space.

Playful Pallets – There’s lots to love when it comes to pallet furniture. It’s great for the environment, has such a fun and funky feel, and is fairly customizable. That last point has huge implications for your outdoor space. If you’ve got a little or uniquely shaped outdoor area, create furniture that’ll fit it perfectly.

Textured Treat – Add depth to your area without taking up too much room. Use blankets and pillows to create an inviting seating area, even though you don’t have space for a couch. The variety in fabrics and patterns will make things more luxurious.

Harmonious Hangout – You create the ideal space for hanging out when you make space for your stuff to hang. Maximizing vertical space can save you a lot in the long run.

Layered Love – Perfection is all in the details, and we’re loving this tiered herb garden. Not only do the herbs add gorgeous greenery to your balcony, they’ll make your cooking more delicious, and having them on a rack means you aren’t sacrificing too much space.

Beautiful Bed – Ok, we might never get up if we had this on our patio, but that’s kind of the point, isn’t it? Just because you don’t have room for large furniture, doesn’t mean you have to get only teeny tiny pieces. We love the idea of the “half day bed”. It’s a nice, big, comfy piece – it’s just not as large as its counterparts.

We hope these balconies have inspired you to tackle your small space and make the most out of your outdoor decor. For more tips and ideas, make sure to connect with @HomeShows on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Have a small space you’ve styled nicely? Share a snap with us! We’d love to see what you’ve created.

Apr 20, 2016

This Friday is Earth Day. While you may be overwhelmed with messages about appreciating our planet and becoming more environmentally friendly this week, we want to make sure the notion of the importance eco-consciousness lasts beyond April 22nd. Consider the simple tips below to help reduce energy consumption at home. These ideas are easy to adopt, and can help you save money and the planet. Try implementing them today and develop a more eco-friendly lifestyle for Earth Day and years to come.

Turn Off & Unplug

Did you know that items like TVs and computers continue to draw power even after they’ve been turned off? To help limit energy consumption, ensure that in addition to turning them off when they aren’t in use, you unplug these types of products. Is it a little cumbersome? Sure. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Not only will it help to reduce your energy bill, it also reduces the amount of energy your household wastes.

Know When to Use Major Appliances

Most energy providers will apply a discount or credit when you use major appliances during off-peak hours. Doing your laundry or dishes outside of peak hours (peak hours are usually right before and after work during the week, but check with your provider for specific times) means that you aren’t contributing to the grid getting overcrowded, and you’re able to save a bit of money. Now that’s what we call a win, win.

Timers are Your Friend

If you haven’t put your indoor and outdoor lights on timers, what are you waiting for? We understand that exterior and hallway lights help deter burglars and pests, and can make you feel more comfortable at home. What’s not comfortable, however, is having these lights on all night long. Reduce energy consumption without compromising on safety by putting your lights on a timer. You can set when they turn on and off, creating additional security for when you aren’t home.

Full Is Better

Doing a half load of laundry or running the dishwasher when it isn’t full can increase how often you’re using these appliances. Efficiency is important for major appliances. Wait until these items are full before using them. Does that mean you might have to do a couple dishes by hand if you run out of forks before the dishwasher is full? Yes. Will you sometimes have to wait longer than you want to wear your favorite top? Sure. But that sacrifice is worth it.

Tip: Always make sure you’re washing your clothes with cold water. Washing machines consume so much energy because the water has to be heated up. Washing in cold water greatly helps to reduce your energy consumption – plus, most laundry detergents are formulated for cold water.

Blind Leading the Blind

Using your blinds to block out the sun on hot days can significantly cool down the temperature in your home. Give your air conditioner a bit of a rest during the summer by strategically closing the blinds when the sun is shining. Similarly, help your furnace out by opening the blinds on sunny days in the winter.

Green Products

Eco-friendly products like light bulbs, windows, doors, and appliances, can all contribute to reducing your energy consumption and bills. So the next time you need to get a new light bulb, grab the energy efficient ones. They may be a little more expensive, but you’ll see a return on that investment. This is true of windows, doors, and major appliances as well, however these items need to be replaced less frequently. When it comes time to upgrade them, consider the environmentally friendly option (although it may be more expensive than the regular model).

We hope these tips help you and your family to live a little greener this Earth Day and all year long. Have some eco-friendly ideas you want to share with us? Tweet or Instagram your best advice to @HomeShows or share it with Home + Garden Events on Facebook. We love hearing from you!

Apr 19, 2016

At Marketplace Events we love our friends, fans, and followers. And to help show how much we appreciate and value your support, we hold a series of giveaways on several different channels (via Facebook, email, on our websites, and more) every year. Congratulations to the winners of this season’s giveaways!

  • Velena Adams, Scotts Snaps Sweepstakes (Minneapolis Home + Garden Show) 
  • Christy Coates, Scotts Snaps Sweepstakes (Facebook)
  • Lauren Gerber, Smart Home Sweepstakes (Winnipeg Home + Garden Show) 
  • Emily Hall, Scotts Snaps Sweepstakes (Des Moines Home + Outdoor Living Show) 
  • Brian Henderson, Scotts Snaps Sweepstakes (Capital Remodel + Garden Show) 
  • Bridget Nagle, $500 Smart Home Sweepstakes 
  • Rosemary Norton, $250 Post-Show Consumer Survey 
  • Pavel Posrednikov, $500 Smart Home Sweepstakes 
  • David Stone, Scotts Snaps Sweepstakes (Cleveland Home + Remodeling Expo) 
  • Regina Shepherd, Scotts Snaps Sweepstakes (Raleigh Home Show) 
  • Patricia Taylor, $500 Smart Home Sweepstakes 
  • Kevin Troio, $250 Post-Show Consumer Survey 
  • Cynthia Toupin, $500 Smart Home Sweepstakes 
  • Sharon Underwood, $500 Smart Home Sweepstakes 
We hope our home shows have helped to inspire you to spruce up your space and that the prizes you’ve won will allow you to do so. Want to see your name on that list next season? Make sure to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Stay tuned to see what our next giveaway will be (hint: it’s a doozy!).

Apr 15, 2016

Spring is here and you know what they say: April showers bring May flowers. Are you ready for this rainy season? Just as grey skies and weather warnings have us bringing out our rain boots and jackets, it’s important to ensure that your home is protected in the event of a storm. To spare you some headaches and a few costly repair bills, we’ve outlined our top four home maintenance items to tackle this (and every) spring.


Gutters collect rain and help move it off of and away from your home. Uncovered gutters will fill with debris (leaves, sticks, rocks, trash, etc.) over time and should be cleaned out regularly. Unkempt gutters are unable to adequately move water away from your home; instead it will pool in the gutters and overflow onto your roof - which can cause serious damage. Cleaning out your gutters twice a year (in the fall and the spring) can help save you from major repairs.


It’s a good idea to assess your roof after the snow has melted. The several inches of white stuff that’s been on your roof for two or three months can hide damage. Once it’s gone grab a ladder (and a pal; don’t do this on your own!) and see what shape your shingles, flashings and chimney are in. You want to make sure that everything is attached properly and in good condition. Winter weather hits roofs very hard, so it’s important to ensure yours has fared well when things start to warm up or else you could be at risk for water damage when your first major rain storm hits.


While you may look at your lawn and yard in terms of gardening and landscaping regularly, how often have you thought about your grading? The slope of your outdoor space can have a big impact on the state of your indoor space. If your yard slopes away from your home, there’s nothing to worry about. However, if your yard slopes toward your home, you might be in trouble. Rain, like everything else, has to follow the laws of gravity. If your home is at the bottom of a downward sloping lawn, water will follow that slope, pooling around the base of your home and seeping into your foundation. This can cause all sorts of damage. Setting up your lawn so that it is flat or sloping away from your home is a must-do.


Here’s hoping you sealed all your cracks before the winter, but if you weren’t able to take care of this chore a few months ago, it’s still valuable to do it now. Go through your home and caulk all the cracks in the walls and around windows and doors you see. These holes allow air to seep out and pests to get in. Sealing minor cracks will help make your home more energy efficient and deter unwanted bugs and rodents from making their nests in your space.

Taking care of these chores will help make your space more comfortable this spring and summer, and these little home improvement projects can prepare for your next big renovation or remodel. Not feeling confident enough to tackle these chores on your own? Connect with a local pro in your area and see how they can help with your space. Referral based websites like Angie’s List and HomeStars can put you in touch with the right company. Looking for more advice, ideas, and inspiration for your home? Follow @HomeShows on Twitter and Instagram, and like Home and Garden Events on Facebook.

Apr 8, 2016

What is it about springtime that signals the start of DIY season? Yes, there are many who undertake projects all year long, but for some reason there seems to be a flurry of home improvement activity as the temperature begins to rise. Perhaps it's the bright spring sunshine illuminating your dated decor, or the prevalence of inspiring spring colors, patterns, and trends, or maybe we're all just feeling invigorated after a long winter's rest. Regardless of your motivations, we're excited to share some new projects to help cultivate your DIY ambitions. We know that starting a DIY entirely from scratch can be a lot of work and usually requires a certain level of skill that not every homeowner possesses. So we decided to share our 10 favorite IKEA hacks - simple projects you can try to make your otherwise conventional IKEA furniture look more beautiful and luxurious. Check out great ideas from some of the best bloggers our there and get ready to get your DIY on.

We're not IKIDDING you, these are from IKEA!

Stools - This Little Street shows us that removable wallpaper in fun patterns turns regular stools into works of art! Perfect for children's rooms or just jazzing up your own space, these stools are super easy to make. Get the full tutorial here.

Cabinets - You might not know this, but switching out the knobs and top part of this cabinet make it look like a custom built-in. As Made By Girl proves, it's the little details that define IKEA furniture, so transforming these pieces isn't usually a huge undertaking. Get the full tutorial here

Image via Made By Girl

Side Table - This IKEA table was only $30, but you wouldn't believe it - heck, you wouldn't even believe it was from IKEA. Style Me Pretty used marble contact paper and copperleaf to give this side table a serious upgrade! Get the full tutorial here.

Image via Style Me Pretty

Entryway Table - Just because a piece of IKEA furniture doesn't fit your exact requirements when you first buy it, doesn't mean you can't make it work. Using paint and a little carpentry, The Sweet Beast turned this shelf into the perfect entryway table. Get the full tutorial here.

Image via The Sweet Beast

Tote - Ok, so this isn't exactly for your home, but the hack from Melissa Esplin was so creative we had to share it. I guess what we're trying to say is, we totally love this tote. It's more complex than the other hacks we've shared, but the end result is so stunning you won't believe this bag was once a pillow case. Get the full tutorial here.

Image via Melissa Esplin

Window Bench - Mommy Vignettes is the genius behind this creative upgrade. A cushion, some legs, and a bit of carpentry turn this shelving unit into a window bench. Get the full tutorial here.

Image via Mommy Vignettes

Bathroom Vanity - The Golden Sycamore went a little rustic with their hack and we approve. A touch of milk paint changes the feel of this IKEA vanity, making it look a lot more luxurious, expensive, and unique. Get the full tutorial here.
Chair - Turn a boring, plastic desk chair, into something more fluffy, original, and comfortable. Our very own Digital Marketing Director, Joanne Carry, is responsible for this creative hack!

Image via Snapguide

Lamp - Cape 27 fill the inside of this clear IKEA lamp with paint creating a bright, adorable piece of furniture. $23 well spent! Get the full tutorial here.

We love lamp!

Bookshelves - Centsational Girl added some faux crown molding to these simple bookshelves and painted their interiors a rich color to make them look a lot more high-end. What a great idea! Get the full tutorial here.

We hope these hacks help to inspire your next DIY project and show you how a really simple undertaking can have a huge impact on a space. Are there other IKEA hacks you've tried that we haven't listed here? Share them with @HomeShows on Twitter and Instagram. We'd love to hear about how you've made your furniture better!

Apr 5, 2016

Green thumbs get out of here! This blog is for all those who, despite their best efforts, have a hard time keeping houseplants alive. It’s never that you intend to kill them, it’s just that for some reason your houseplants always seem to die. Don’t be embarrassed and don’t change a thing - unless you don’t give your plants water, air or sunlight, ‘cause baby, every plant needs those to live. Here are five types of plants that will thrive in (almost) any environment. Pick up a few today and add a little green to your space!


Not only do pothos plants not need nutrient rich soil to survive, they don’t even need a lot of bright light – in fact, they don’t do well in direct sunlight. One of the reasons folks love pothos plants so much is that they can survive in low light (perfect for the office) and can be grown in either water or soil.

It’s important to note that this is a poisonous plant. Eating it can cause pets and children to feel very ill.

Spider Plant

Ok, this plant may sound horrifying, but it’s not – trust us! Its name reflects the adorable little pods that sprout out from the mother plant (they look like little spiders dangling from the web). But more importantly, it’s seriously easy to care for. Whenever upkeep advice encourages you to let a plant dry out in between waterings, you know it’s low maintenance. This little guy can take whatever you throw at him, just remember to water him occasionally and he’ll be fine.


Jade plants are thought to be symbols of good luck, and lucky you, they’re easy to care for too! Jade plants don’t require a lot of water, but they do need some. Don’t water them on a schedule, instead just touch their soil. If it’s dry, it’s time to water your plant.

Snake Plant

Like the spider plant, this beauty also has an unfortunate name. But just as you wouldn’t judge a book by its cover, don’t judge a houseplant by its name. Snake plants received their name due to the striking resemblance their leaves have to snake skin. They also grow vertically, which means they’re great for small spaces! You can water them sporadically, and interestingly, they need less water in the winter than any other season.

Fake Plants

People tend to overlook using fake plants in their decor. Yes, some fake plants can look really fake and add an unwanted 1980s feel to your space. But, fake plants can also look really pretty too – especially when displayed in the right way. Succulents are the hottest thing in gardening right now, and fake succulents can look fairly convincing. Try displaying them in a terrarium with a little top soil and some fake moss. They’ll add some green to your space and will never die, because they can’t.

We hope these low maintenance plants help you confidently add some green to your space. Want more gardening tips, tricks, ideas & advice? We’ve got you covered! Follow @HomeShows on Twitter and Instagram, and like Home and Garden Events on Facebook.

Apr 1, 2016

The beginning of spring means that folks are about to start tackling the projects they were inspired to try at their local Marketplace Events home show. To help keep your creative juices flowing and continue to share advice, we’ve rounded up the top tips our home and garden experts shared with us this year. Read on for ideas from your favorite industry stars, including Drew and Jonathan Scott of HGTV’s Property Brothers, Alison Victoria from DIY Network’s Kitchen Crashers, and Dr. Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell from the Cooking Channel’s The Fabulous Beekman Boys.

On Home Decor Trends

Food Network’s Restaurant Impossible star Taniya Nayak says, “Don’t worry about following trends; do what makes you happy!”

Taniya at the 2016 Salt Lake Home Show

Alison Victoria of DIY Network’s Kitchen Crashers reminds folks that, “Timeless design is hard to figure out for most people, but when it comes to your kitchen…avoid the ‘fads’. Kitchens are the hub of the home. They are also the most expensive room in the house, so make sure to select timeless hardscapes (ie. Cabinets, countertops, appliances). Have fun with the backsplash or the cabinet hardware so you’re not breaking the bank when you change them out down the road.”

Alison at the 2016 Philly Home Show (photo courtesy of Chorus Photography)

On Finding the Right Person for the Job

HGTV’s Two Chicks and a Hammer star Karen Rominger encourages homeowners to “Interview multiple contractors. Pick someone whose price is not at the top or bottom of the price range for services in your area.”

Her daughter Mina Starsiak values references. “Pick someone based on referrals. And don’t always go for the cheapest. Sometimes you get what you pay for.”

Karen and Mina at the 2016 Des Moines Home + Outdoor Living Show

On Improving Curb Appeal

Matt Muenster, star of HGTV’s and DIY Network’s Bath Crashers, explains that upkeep doesn’t have to be expensive. “Keeping your home looking its best doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive. Sweep the dead leaves off the sidewalk. Mow the grass. Add potted plants on the porch. A tidy house is always appealing and can fit any budget.”

Matt at the 2016 OKC Home + Outdoor Living Show

Of course John Gidding, star of HGTV’s Curb Appeal: The Block, has something helpful to say about curb appeal. “Toss out those old, gold house number stickers! There are many newer styles of house numbers in black, nickel and stainless. Roll out the welcome mat! There’s no reason to hold onto that same muddy mat year after year. Welcome mats make a great style statement. They’re affordable and come in a variety of colors, shapes and motifs.”

John at the 2016 Indianapolis Home Show

On Choosing Your Next Project

Andy and Candis Meredith, stars of HGTV’s and DIY Network’s Old Home Love, feel you should “Do your research! If you do things right the first time, even if you’re starting small, it will save you a lot of time and money down the road. If you’re on a budget, spend the money on projects that could become safety issues, such as electrical. If you can’t afford a total renovation right away, try to make your home as comfortable as you can.”

Andy and Candis at the 2016 Salt Lake Tribune Home + Garden Festival

Stars of the Cooking Channels The Fabulous Beekman Boys, Dr. Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell, have a great idea for getting creative with your space: “Take a photo of your home during every season, but actually look at it during a different season. For instance, study the winter home during the peak of summer. Having different perspective will help you think creatively.”

Brent and Josh at the 2016 Des Moines Home + Outdoor Living Show

On Making the Most of Your Outdoor Space

Drew and Jonathan Scott, stars of the HGTV series Property Brothers, have a rugged tip for your backyard. “Outdoor area rugs can really make a space feel more comfortable and inviting. Also clustering plants in pots of different heights is easy and doesn’t involve any construction.”

Drew and Jonathan at the 2016 Minneapolis Home + Garden Show

HGTV’s Vacation House for Free and DIY Network’s Yard Crashers star Matt Blashaw has an idea for livening up your flower beds: “I’m a big fan of fresh mulch. I consider mulch the paint of the backyard. A fresh coat laid in the flower beds brings a fresh look to any yard.”

Matt at the 2016 Oklahoma Home + Garden Show

We hope these tips help with your next home project. Want more advice? Make sure to follow @HomeShows on Instagram and Twitter, and like Home and Garden Events on Facebook. We’ve got lots of ideas to inspire you.

Mar 24, 2016

Easter is this weekend - are you ready? One of the best parts of this spring holiday (besides all the chocolate, of course!) is making Easter eggs. As fun to decorate as they are to hide and seek, Easter eggs are a fabulous tradition enjoyed by folks of all ages.

To help add some style to all your simple dip dyed eggs, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite Easter eggs from a few of the best bloggers out there. Try your hand at these clever creations and spice up your Easter basket.

Groovy Galaxies - These Easter eggs are out of this world! As Allison from Dream A Little Bigger explains, all you need is dyeable eggs, paint, brushes and cups to create these celestial beauties. Get the full tutorial here.

Cute Cacti - These sweet creations from Delia Creates have us prickled pink! Green dye, terracotta pots, a fine tip marker and some pink tissue paper come together in an Easter egg that can definitely handle the heat. Get the full tutorial here.

Intricate Indigo - We’re big fans of these marble eggs. The team behind Alice & Lois made them using nail polish, nail polish remover, and water – genius! Get the full tutorial here.

Brilliant Babouchkas - Anyone with eastern European ancestry or an appreciation for eastern European culture will flip over these unique eggs (we did!). Arguably the most adorable on our list, Amaryllis from OhOh Blog has some serious painting skills, so take your time putting these together. Get the full tutorial here.

Terrific Typography - These gorgeous glam eggs will pop in any space and are the perfect platform for all of your Easter puns. Lovely Indeed used printed letters, but if you’ve got a steady hand we’re sure you could paint ‘em on too. Get the full tutorial here.

Sweet Silver & Speckled - A great addition to any Easter tablescape, these marvellously minimalist eggs are simple to create. Erica from Fashion Lush used a toothbrush, some paint and vinegar to create the speckled look (can you believe it?). And the silver eggs are just spray painted. Get the full tutorial here.

Cool Cones - Paint a cute little face on an egg and we’re pretty much sold, but turn that egg into an ice cream cone first? Oh man! We are loving these sweet soft serve creations from Karas Party Ideas. Get the full tutorial here.

We hope you enjoyed these egg-cellent Easter eggs and that you and yours have a wonderful holiday weekend. Tackle any of these ideas? Be sure to share them with us (@HomeShows) on Twitter and Instagram. We love seeing your creations!

Mar 21, 2016

Last January we started our search for the 2016 Home + Garden Trendsetter of the Year - someone to take over from reigning champion, Leanne Lee (the Diva of DIY). Several bloggers entered and in February we narrowed it down to three: Serena Appiah, Allison Griffith, and Denise Sabia.

To help showcase their social media prowess, these talented DIYers mobilized their fans and promoted their entries, receiving several thousand votes in just under three weeks!

Once the social voting portion of our contest was over, it was on to the Denver Home Show! Serena, Allison, and Denise wowed our audience and celebrity judges, The Fabulous Beekman Boys, with presentations on succulents, power tools, and painting techniques. Although all three performed beautifully, we could only crown one winner and, factoring in social voting, audience approval, and the judges' scores, we are thrilled to announce the 2016 Home + Garden Trendsetter of the Year is: Serena Appiah.

Congratulations, Serena! 

We can't wait to see the amazing things you bring to Marketplace Events and our Home Shows.

Stay tuned to see which Marketplace Events Home Shows Serena will lend her talents to this fall!