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Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Urban Barn’s Next Top Designer: Reloaded is fast approaching. This fall at the Vancouver Home + Design Show from October 16-19, three up-and-coming interior designers and decorators will take on the ultimate micro-management exercise: creating a 150 sq. ft. space with $5,000 worth of Urban Barn furniture and home accents for display. Urban Barn Creative Director, Sebastien Fauteux, has two top-secret design requirements up his sleeve, and you’ll have to follow along to find out what they are.

Visit the show this October and vote for your favourite design and you could WIN a $5,000 gift card to Urban Barn. We know, we spoil you!

We know you’ve been waiting patiently to meet the last finalist, so without further ado, say hello to Joanna Kado! Joanna is a recent graduate and interior designer who puts her passion for stylistic solutions and natural knack for design to good use, creating “green” dream homes. 

Meet Joanna:
An Interior Design Diploma graduate from BCIT, Joanna is now a freelance interior designer. With her passion for enhancing spaces and creating design solutions that are as stylish as they are eco-friendly, we’re certain her finished project will get people talking.

Signature design style:
Mid-century, eclectic and colourful.

Favourite way to spruce up a home for under $100:
Change up your accessories. Throw pillows, blankets, vases and wall art can change a space drastically on a budget.

Worst current design trend:
Edison bulbs. They’re so overdone, inefficient and not eco-friendly.

Top three Vancouver spots to shop for home decor:
Your neighborhood antique store, Urban Barn and CB2.

Dream design-forward city to live in/visit:
There are so many! If I had to choose just one, it would be Barcelona, Spain.

Design motto to live by:
A person’s individuality and lifestyle should be expressed within their environment by designing to first functionalize, then personalize.

We can’t wait to see what Joanna comes up with! Follow her design progress on Twitter and Instagram. Don’t forget to buy your tickets to see her creation in person!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Home + Garden Trendsetter of the Year: The Search Continues...

We would like to thank everyone who applied to be the Home + Garden Trendsetter of the Year! We received entries from many innovative home decor, garden, lifestyle and DIY bloggers, but unfortunately only three contestants could be selected to participate in the next phase of our trendsetter search. While we had to make some difficult choices, it is with great pleasure that we introduce our finalists: 

To give you a taste of what they can accomplish if selected as the Home + Garden Trendsetter of the year, each finalist has submitted a short video containing their best home and garden tips, or a DIY project.

Here’s where you come in!

Check out the videos on our Facebook page and vote for your favorite. Who do you think has the best advice, style and personality? Who would you pick to be our Trendsetter of the Year? Let us know by sharing your choice on Facebook.

The three contestants will present live at the 2014 Orlando Home Show. It is there that the winner will be chosen and named the Home + Garden Trendsetter of the Year. Of course, your votes will also be taken into consideration!


Visit our Facebook page, watch the videos, and make your voice heard. We can’t wait to see who you think the Home + Garden Trendsetter of the Year should be!

Did you know that connecting with us on Facebook has perks beyond getting to see these fun videos? Right now you can get two tickets for the price of one to the Marketplace Events home show of your choice when you like us on Facebook. What are you waiting for? Like us today, save on your tickets, and get voting!  

Thursday, August 21, 2014


This fall at the Calgary Home + Design Show, we’re proving that chef really does know best. From September 18-21, 2014 at BMO Centre, catch your favourite foodies as they dish out delicious dining ideas on the Trail Appliances Cooking Stage. From sweet to savoury (and always insanely scrumptious), these chefs have something in store for everyone.

Before you meet them on stage, say hello to our talented line up.

Chef Corbin Tomaszeski
Celebrity Chef

Chef Corbin earned his claim to fame in the Food Network’s Crash My Kitchen and has since made a flock of faithful fans. This fall, catch him doing double-duty hosting and judging the Samsung Cooking Challenge: Tag Team Kitchen. He’ll select the winners (along with a panel of esteemed local culinarians) and the top home cook will walk away with $5,000 worth of Samsung Chef Collection appliances for their own kitchen.

When: Saturday, September 20 at 1PM (Samsung Cooking Challenge: Tag Team Kitchen) and Sunday, September 21 at 12PM (cooking demonstration)

Chef Tomo Mitsuno
Executive Chef, Goro + Gun

Born and raised in Osaka, Japan, Chef Tomo Mitsuno attributes his love of cooking to his grandfather, who always encouraged him to try new food. Before seeing him on stage, you can meet this busy chef at one of his many restaurants in Calgary, including: Blowfish Sushi, Wild Orchid, Ubu Lounge and his latest venture, Goro + Gun. 

When: Saturday, September 20 at 5PM and Sunday, September 21 at 1PM 

Ashley Rogers
Lead Gelatiere, Fiasco Gelato

If it’s something sweet you’re after, you’ve come to the right place. A Vancouver expat, Ashley Rogers traded her love of flaky pastries for frozen desserts as Fiasco Gelato’s Lead Gelatiere. We can’t wait to see what she has in store – we know it will be delicious.

When: Friday, September 19 at 3PM

Sharon McCormick
Owner, Poppy Innovations

Goodbye bran! Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring. The desire to create healthy and tasty dishes led Sharon McCormick to open Poppy Innovations, offering “gate to plate” programs and workshops that teach about growing, harvesting and cooking. Share in Sharon’s enthusiasm for fresh cooking and learn a thing or two about cooking with ingredients that are as delicious as they are wholesome.

When: Friday, September 19 at 1PM and 4PM

Carolyne McIntyre Jackson & Jodi Willoughby
Owners, Crave Cupcakes

Have a sweet tooth? Then you can’t miss this sister act. Carolyn McIntyre Jackson and Jodi Willoughby teamed up to create Crave Cupcakes in 2004 to bring their love of good old-fashioned fresh baking to Calgary. With a decade of sweet treats under their belts, we promise you’ll leave inspired to create your own oh-so-good solutions.

When: Friday, September 19 at 2PM

Catch these culinary innovators and more this September at the Calgary Home + Design Show.
Remember, it pays to buy your tickets online! 

Get Smart: 5 Awesome Ways to Make your House Smarter

How smart is your house? It might seem like a silly question, but with so many technological advancements over the past few years, our homes now have the capability to get smarter and smarter. While we’re not quite talking about a robot butler for every household, there are some new, neat ways to control the systems in your house. If you feel like getting a little space-aged in your home, check out the cool gadgets below.

1. Baffle burglars - Lock your door with your smartphone using the Goji Smart Lock. See who comes to your door, share key codes with guests (permanently or for a specified amount of time), and lock and unlock your door from anywhere in the world.

Image via Goji

2. Light up your life - Use your smartphone, tablet, or computer to adjust your lights with Philips Hue. Hue's wireless LED lights and multi-platform app let you take your home lighting to a new level. Turn your lights on, off, to a different setting, or to a different color altogether. The free app makes it easy to do from anywhere, so you can always set the mood.

Image via Hue

3. Be "thermosmart" - Heat or cool your home the better way with the Nest Thermostat. The Nest Thermostat learns your heating and cooling habits so it can anticipate the temperature you'd like, and power down when you aren't home. It boasts being able to, when properly programmed, reduce your heating and cooling bills by 20%. You can also access it remotely using your smartphone or tablet.

Image via Nest

4. Chill out - Cool your small space with the Aros smart window air conditioner. Aros works a lot like Nest, where it learns from your schedule and preferred settings, so it can quickly conform to your needs. You can also use it to not only save money by being more energy efficient, but also to stick to your budget - you can set it to stop cooling beyond a certain dollar amount.

Image via Aros

5. Lighten your load - Do laundry the better way with 6th Sense Live. 6th Sense Live lets you start and stop your laundry anywhere, anytime, with your smartphone or tablet. It will also advise you of the best times to do laundry based on energy prices, let you know whether or not you should be adding more detergent to your load, and notify you when your laundry is done. Whirlpool also offers 6th Sense Live technology for dishwashers and refrigerators

Image via Whirlpool

Need help keeping your home looking as smart as the appliances in it? Get inspiration at any Marketplace Events home show. Check out the shows coming up in your area - US shows and Canadian shows.

It's also a really smart idea to like us on Facebook. Not only will you get updates and information on our home shows, you'll also get access to exclusive ticket deals. Right now when you like us on Facebook you can get two tickets for the price of one to the home show of your choice. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


The countdown is on until Urban Barn’s Next Top Designer: Reloaded takes centre stage at the Vancouver Home + Design Show. From October 16-19, three up-and-coming interior designers and decorators will go head-to-head in the ultimate micro-management exercise: creating a 150 sq. ft. space with $5,000 worth of Urban Barn furniture and home accents for display, plus two top-secret design requirements assigned by Urban Barn Creative Director, Sebastien Fauteux. 

Better yet, you get to vote on your favourite look – and one lucky voter will win a $5,000 gift card to Urban Barn. Could it be you?

To tide you over until October, allow us to introduce you to the second of our three finalists, Dexter Dolores! A Vancouver-based interior designer, Dexter is more than up for Urban Barn’s challenge and can’t wait to share his small-space savvy at the Vancouver Home + Design Show.

Meet Dexter:
Design comes naturally to Dexter. He studied at The Art Institute of Vancouver where he was awarded Top Graduating Portfolio of the Interior Design Program. His affinity for bespoke modern and classic interiors have shaped his career in the luxury residential industry.

Signature design style:
Contemporary edge with classical sophistication.

Favourite way to spruce up a home for under $100:
De-clutter, rearrange large furniture and incorporate a few cost-effective decorative elements. 

Worst current design trend:
It’s not the worst, but mid-century modern needs to stop, for now. Those iconic pieces will always be iconic, but complete mid-century modern interiors look like a caricature of the era.

Top three Vancouver spots to shop for home decor:
Once a Tree Furniture, Urban Barn and Mint Interiors.

Dream design-forward city to live in/visit:
Definitely New York. It’s a bit cliché, but NYC is a must on every designer’s list!

Design motto to live by:
I believe that an interior should reveal its elegance and story through the textures within.

Follow Dexter’s design journey on Twitter and Instagram at @dexdolores to check out his progress. And buy your tickets to the Vancouver Home + Design Show early to make sure you see his finished product!