Sep 3, 2015

Calling all up-and-coming teen chefs! We’re searching for Calgary and Vancouver’s most talented junior home cooks to go head-to-head in the Samsung Junior Chef Challenge at the upcoming Calgary Home + Design Show and Vancouver Home + Design Show

With Samsung’s premium home appliances, including the new Flex Duo Electric Range with Dual Door, at the ready, talented home cooks ages 12-17 are encouraged to enter the competition in hopes of coupling up a local celebrity chef. Contestants will have the possibility of being paired with Michael Dekker from SAIT, CRAFT Beer Market’s Eric Mah, Craig Scherer from Trattoria Burnaby and Blacktail Restaurant + Lounge’s Geoff Rogers.
Each competitor will be tasked with creating an entrĂ©e and dessert with three mandatory secret ingredients over the course of one hour. Based on judges’ scores, the winning competitor will be crowned the Samsung Junior Chef Champion, flush with a Samsung Home Appliance prize package valued at over $5,000.

Do you, or someone you know, have what it takes to win the Samsung Junior Chef Challenge? Head to the Calgary Home + Design Show & Vancouver Home + Design Show contest pages to enter. For more information, rules and regulations, please click here.  

Be sure to arrive early to catch all the action on the Trail Appliances Cooking Stage in Calgary on Saturday, September 19 at 11:30 a.m. and on the Vancouver Magazine Cooking Stage in Vancouver on Saturday, October 24 at 12:00 p.m. Visit our Facebook page to save on show tickets - right now you can get two for the price of one!

Sep 1, 2015

With a growing number of Triangle residents rehabbing older homes, Kevin O'Connor will be at the Raleigh Home Show sharing tried-and-true secrets from inside the many seasons of the original PBS hit series This Old House. As the show's host, Kevin will bring Raleigh audiences the biggest and best projects, and share never-before-aired video and photos from the PBS archives and his private collection.

But before he gets to Raleigh he's answered a few of our questions to give folks the inside scoop of what to expect from him at the show, and the experiences he's had leading up to this fall. Check out our brief interview below.

MPE: What can guests expect to see at your presentations at the Raleigh Home Show?

Kevin: "I will share a sneak peek of the upcoming season of This Old House, which includes the restoration of an 1850s Shingle Style Victorian home and the building of a new reproduction New England farm house. Both projects are rich in historical details. On one we'll save the old property, while on the other we'll reproduce it. I will also dig deep into some of the best tips, do's and don'ts, and greatest transformations of everyone's favorite room: the kitchen."

MPE: What is the craziest thing you and the crew have unearthed when renovating on This Old House?

Kevin: "We found an old cannon ball lodged into the side of a 150-year-old Greek revival house during one renovation. The project was less than five miles from the historic Lexington and Concord battle sites of the Revolutionary War, and while we couldn't confirm the origin of the cannon ball, in my mind it surely came from British guns as they retreated back to Boston Harbor."

MPE: What is the number one pieces of advice you have for first timers when it comes to renovating and older, historic home?

Kevin: "Your project will take longer and cost more than you expect. Nobody can see behind walls and when you renovate an old house there's lot of trouble behind those walls. Be ready for the unexpected, stay flexible and creative, and enjoy the ride."

MPE: What is the biggest issue with renovating an older home?

Kevin: "The ravages of time. Time takes its toll and brings with it all sorts of problems - rot, decay, sagging walls, and peeling paint. As much as I love an older home, there's plenty about 'older' I don't like. Older pipes and wires are no fun. Older plaster is messy, older insulation is ineffective, older furnaces and boilers are inefficient. When you renovate, so many of these things need to be changed without taking away the charm, and that can be a challenge."

MPE: There are so many great old homes in the South, including in Raleigh. What do you love about Southern architecture and homes?

Kevin: "Porches. Porches. And porches! There is nothing more inviting than a good porch and the South has them in abundance. It speaks to a way of life that tries to beat the heat, but also about Southern culture - open, friendly, and welcoming."

Kevin will be appearing live at the Raleigh Home Show September 11th & 12th, don't miss him! The Raleigh Home Show is the place to find the latest home decor trends, garden ideas, and home improvement and renovation experts. Sage wisdom and fun stories from Kevin O'Connor is just one of the many reasons to join us at the show.

Don't have tickets yet? Right now you can get 2-for-1 tickets on our Facebook page. Treat a friend or family member to the show - we can't wait to see y'all there!

SEPT 11-13, 2015.

Planning on sprucing up your space for fall? One of the areas of the home that can see the most change on a seasonal basis is the living room. Throws and pillows are easy to replace, and are a great way to incorporate the latest trends into a room without making a major investment or commitment. The potential for fluidity within your living room means you can try new things out, get a little festive depending on the upcoming holidays, and continue to adapt your space as your family changes.

If you’re feeling inspired to make a change, we’ve got to ask: which of the two living rooms below would you try and emulate? Do you prefer Option A’s warm grays and welcoming art? Or are you more interested in the fun patterns and bright space that Option B presents? Where would you rather gather your family for game nights or host a book club?


Image via My Full House


Our Choice: Option B

Although we can appreciate the coziness of Option A, our heart lies with Option B. Yes, it’s a little showy and the patterns are a lot for the eye to take in, but we find that charming. Option A is neutral and soothing and perfect for a small space, but our dream living room is a bit funkier.

Don’t agree? We want to hear from you! Connect with us on Twitter or Facebook and let us know what you think. 

Did you know that connecting with us on Facebook has perks beyond sharing your thoughts on home decor? It's the place to get celebrity style tips, home show updates, and ticket deals! Right now you can get 2-for-1 tickets to the Marketplace Events Home Show nearest you when you visit our Facebook ticket deals. 

Aug 29, 2015

If you look at an old wood pallet and envision a coffee table, prowl your local thrift store and see a second life for that old dresser, or can frequently be found with your nose buried in Pinterest, you just might be part of a growing breed known as Upcyclers.

Triangle area Upcyclers won't want to miss the Raleigh Home Show, which takes over the Raleigh Convention Center September 11-13, 2015. The highly anticipated annual home and garden show features the Diva of DIY herself, Leanne Lee. Leanne will be sharing her best upcycling ideas, so folks can learn how to better decorate their living spaces and improve the environment.

Just starting to get into this hot trend? Leanne recommends that beginner Upcyclers equip themselves with the ultimate DIY Tool Kit. Check out what items Leanne thinks are must-haves as you enter the fun world of upcycling.

"So let's get you on your path to upcycling. Here's what I suggest getting to make projects go more smoothly since you'll have them on hand." - Leanne Lee, Diva of DIY

Upholstery Supplies
  • Tack puller
  • Upholstery staple remover
  • Asst. upholstery tacks
Paint Supplies
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • Wood filler
  • Assorted colors of spray paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Calcium carbonate (to make your own chalk paint)
  • Painter's tape
  • Whizz mini paint rollers and cages
  • Sanding masks
  • Pre-mixed Bondo
  • Drop cloth
Cleaning Supplies
  • Krud Kutter
  • Shop rages or terry cloth rags
  • Rubber gloves
  • Magic Erasers
  • Toothbrushes
Power Tools
  • Ryobi Drill
  • #2 Phillips bit
  • Ryobi Mitre Saw
  • Sawzall
  • Forstner bit set
  • Drill bits
  • Stripped screw & bolt extractor
  • Palm sander
Hand Tools
  • Wire cutters
  • Pliers
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Utility knife razor blades
  • Box of assorted screws
  • Adjustable wrenches
  • Allen wrenches
  • Hammer
  • Wire strippers
  • Rubber mallet
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Permanent markers
  • Safety goggles
  • Assorted clamps
  • Cutting mat and rotary cutter
  • Press & Seal
  • Wax paper
  • Ruler
  • Level
  • Thick work gloves
  • Balling wire
  • Tool caddy
  • Twine
  • E6000
  • Mod Podge
  • Hot glue gun
  • Wood glue
Can't wait to see Leanne at the show? Get more DIY and upcycling advice and ideas on the Diva of DIY blog!

Leanne will be appearing live at the Raleigh Home Show on September 11th, 12th, &13th, 2015. Don't have tickets yet? Right now you can get 2-for-1 on Facebook. Take advantage of this exclusive offer today!

SEPTEMBER 11-13, 2015.

Aug 28, 2015

We're thrilled to announce that The Flower Pot will be a part of the Raleigh Home Show. This local business is the talent behind the show's Garden Market, which will be located in the lobby of the Raleigh Convention Center for the duration of the show (September 11-13, 2015).

The Flower Pot is the one place you can find unique gifts for all occasions, order beautiful flower arrangements, plan your special event, and stop by for the latest in home decor for the holidays or year round decorating. Whether you're in need of a gift, flower arrangement, or event coordinator, The Flower Pot is the place to go!

But before you see their beautiful floral displays and unique home decor items at the Raleigh Home Show, we chatted with The Flower Pot team to get a sneak peek at what they're planning. Check out our brief interview below.

Describe your products:

"We are a full service florist and specialty boutique that provides fresh cut arrangements for all occasions. Providing simple elegance in all of our arrangements."

What are your best entertaining tips?

"Fall is a great time to do outdoor entertaining. Add a few outdoor pillows to your old patio set and create a beautiful outdoor living space."

Will you have any show specials?

"We will be providing wrapped fresh cut flowers and unique garden containers, indoor/outdoor decorating accessories, and outdoor pillows. We will also have one-of-a-kind, repurposed wood furniture and other decorative pieces."

What's your biggest gardening pet peeve?

"Not pruning or cutting off dead blooms on your green plants. Pruning and proper care allow new blooms and foliage to appear, which is much prettier than dead blooms."

What's the strangest client request you've ever received?

"Delivering a cut flower arrangement to a grave and reading the enclosure card out loud."

What's your favorite part about the Raleigh Home Show?

"Meeting new people and educating them on flowers, etc."

Anything else you think folks should know?

"We will be in the lobby throughout the entire show so you can conveniently purchase flowers and unique home and garden items."

The Raleigh Home Show takes over the Raleigh Convention Center September 11-13, 2015. Whether you're planning a home improvement project, trying to update your decor, want to meet your favorite home and garden celebs, interested in refreshing your landscape, or looking for a fun activity for the whole family, the Raleigh Home Show is the place to be!

Don't have tickets yet? Right now you can get 2 for the price of 1 when you visit our Facebook page. Treat a friend or family member to the show - we can't wait to see you there!

SEPTEMBER 11-13, 2015.

Labor Day is fast approaching and although we all love a long weekend, there’s always something bitter sweet about this one. Yes, we get to stay out on Sunday and sleep in on Monday, but once it’s passed, summer is essentially over. School will be back in session, most will be back at work full time, and the season will begin to change. The sun’s already setting earlier and rising later, Labor Day just makes it more official.

Don’t be sad. You’re forgetting one very important thing: it isn’t Labor Day yet. So let’s make the most of the final days of summer. To aid in this pursuit we’ve come up with our Top 5 things you have to do before September 7th. Check it out below and soak up summer before it’s gone.

Color Fight – Learn how to make colored powders while it’s still warm out and challenge friends and family to a color fight. Much like the Hindu festival of Holi, where participants dance, play, chase, and cover each other in colored powder, you and yours can run around throwing colorful powder on one another. This activity makes for great pictures and great memories to keep you warm as the seasons change.

Water Balloon Slip ‘N Slide – Most of us have had a turn down a Slip ‘N Slide at least once, but it probably wasn’t covered in water balloons. This unique idea looks like an absolute riot, and perfect for the sizzling days of August.

Image via Hallmark Channel

Friendship Bracelets – This activity is a little bit of a throwback, but we’ve got to admit we’re really into it. If you’ve ever been to summer camp (day or overnight) you’ve most likely toiled with embroidery thread or gimp to make bracelets for your BFFs. Try making some for family and friends, and wear them as a reminder of better, warmer days.

Image via Honestly WTF

Star Gazing – Grab a kiddie pool, some blankets, and your kids or significant other and head outside to watch the stars. This is a great date for the whole family, presenting a fun opportunity to bond and reminisce about the summer while getting back to nature.

DIY Planter – Celebrate the end of summer by make something you’ll enjoy all year ‘round: a planter. We can’t stress how much we seriously love this craft. One of the many reasons we’re fans of this DIY is that it’ll add a little green to your space during the bleak winter months. Plus, its little freckly face is beyond cute. They’re using this planter for herbs, but you can use it for just about any small plant.

Image via By Wilma

We hope these activities help you make the most of the final days of summer. Do you have an end of summer tradition? Make sure to share it with @HomeShows on Twitter or Instagram!

Don’t be too sad after Labor Day ends. Sure, summer will be over, but fall means it’s time for Home Shows! Embrace the new season by getting 2-for-1 tickets to the Marketplace Events Home Show nearest you. Check out our Facebook page to take advantage of this exclusive deal.

Stylish decor doesn't always have to break the bank! Knowing where to save and when to splurge helps you achieve a budget-friendly, designer-inspired look.

Have fun with our quiz, asking you which look costs more. Your guess could win you $10,000 worth of La-Z-Boy furnishings! Visit, the Ottawa At Home Facebook page, or the Ottawa Fall Home Show (Sept 24-27 at the EY Centre) to test your bargain hunting.

Will you be able to tell which look costs less? To help you prepare, we're sharing our go-to steps to make a room look like a million bucks, on a budget. Check 'em out below and get ready to tell Ottawa At Home which look is the real bargain.


A common theme in luxurious decorating is an emphasis on neutrals. Why? Neutrals tend to lighten a room, which instantly makes it more open, airy, and welcoming. When decorating a space, avoid dark and heavy colours, which can close things off, making everything appear smaller and dreary. Instead, focus on using beige and off-white tones. Try keeping most of the bigger aspects of your room, such as walls, couches, and floors, as neutral as possible.

Image via How To Decorate


Having a room that is complete monochromatic tends to look bland and unappealing. When choosing the colours for your room, decide on a contrasting accent piece that will be an eye-catching pop of colour. If you're struggling to find a colour that complements the rest of your room, find a colour wheel with the colour of your room on it. The colour opposite it on the wheel will be the perfect complement to your space.

Image via Daily Digs

If you're unsure about a colour, find flowers that are the same tone and put those in the space as a trial. They can be switched out easily, and ensure you don't have to spend money on accessories that don't complement the rest of the room. Once you've decided on a contrast accent colour, incorporate it with pillows, throws, lamp shades, small detail decor pieces, or even an area rug. For the design daring, try painting a whole wall a statement colour as an accent.

Bold Statements

Having a statement piece in your room will serve as a focal point. It draws your eyes in and creates intimacy in the room. Including a bold statement in your decorating also means you can leave the rest of the room fairly minimal; the ultimate high-end chic. Our favourite bold statement pieces are big, colourful paintings, bold patterned area rugs, and unusual light fixtures.

Create a Larger Looking Room

Nothing looks more luxurious than a spacious, well-decorated room. That being said, we don't all have unlimited space at our disposal. If you're struggling to open up a room, here are several tips to create your ultimate space.

First, anything that draws the eyes upward elongates the room and gives the effect of higher ceilings. Accomplish this in three ways:
  1. Hang your floor length window coverings a couple of feet above the windows
  2. Strategically place shelves higher than you normally would
  3. Consider painting the upper half of  your wall white or a lighter colour
Second, when trying to create the effect of a more spacious room, avoid dark colours and heavy fabrics at all cost. These close up the space and immediately make the room stuffier.

Image via Hooked On Houses

Lastly, mirrors are the old design stand-by for good reason: they work. A large mirror acts as a second window and creates the illusion of double the space.

So now that you know all there is to know about forging a more expensive looking room, are you ready to tackle our contest? Find out now!

Speaking of finding great deals, right now you can get 2-for-1 tickets to the Ottawa Fall Home Show when you connect with us on Facebook. Save big and treat a friend to the show!

SEPTEMBER 24-27, 2015.

Aug 25, 2015

Looking for some fun and funky ways to make your decor pop? We find a little self-reflection tends to help. That’s right, we’re talking about mirrors! Incorporating mirrors into your home, beyond their necessary spot in bathrooms and bedrooms, isn’t just for wicked queens. These surfaces can add a lot to your space – like drama, light, and interest. Not sure what we mean? Read on to see several ways you can use mirrors in your decor.

Trick the Eye – Use a large mirror to make a small space seem bigger. This is a classic trick and one you’ll see again and again, sometimes without realizing it. The mirror reflects the room, giving the illusion of more space.

Image via House Beautiful

Any Surface Will Do – Mirrored furniture is a trend we can absolutely get on board with! Not only do these pieces tend to look great, their reflective surfaces keep places light, and add a unique look to a room.

Image via Style Me Pretty

Sometimes More is Better – Using several smaller mirrors to create a mosaic can have a wonderful impact on your decor. With their simple frames, they add drama without totally overpowering the space.
Add a Little Drama – Creating a focus point by incorporating a dramatic mirror into your space can be a great idea. We like this twist on the popular sun burst mirror. The frame is still very eye-catching, but the actual mirror is larger than what you’d see with traditional sun burst mirrors. It’s dynamic but still brings a brightness to the room.

Image via Harpers Bazaar

Fashion and Function – Putting mirrors on your closet doors is one of the most genius upgrades. Not only will it make your bedroom seem larger and brighter, it also helps immensely when you’re getting ready.

Image via Inspiracionline

Don’t Forget Your Garden – Mirrors don’t just add to your indoor space, they can add to your outdoor decor as well. They make gardens feel larger, more whimsical, and visible from more areas inside your home.

We hope you find these ideas for incorporating mirrors into your space helpful. If you’re looking for more home decor tips and trends, make sure to follow @HomeShows on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

And don’t forget to Like Us on Facebook! It has more perks than simply getting home decor and improvement advice. Right now you can get 2-for-1 tickets to the Marketplace Events Home Show nearest you when you connect with us on Facebook. What are you waiting for? Grab your tickets today and treat a pal to the show!

Aug 24, 2015

We're pleased to have award winning home builder, Stanley Martin Homes, as the Official Home Builder of this year's Raleigh Home Show. Stanley Martin Homes builds new homes and creates neighborhoods, all with an environmental focus and an emphasis on providing community value. They're one of the largest home builders in the Mid-Atlantic Region, and pride themselves on understanding the unique wants and needs of homebuyers.

Before Triangle area folks can connect with these expert home builders in Booth #109 this fall, we chatted with them about their services and their plans for the Raleigh Home Show. Check out our brief interview below!

Describe your product or service:

"We build new homes with curb appeal on the outside, smart floorplans on the inside, and we build them in locations close to where you work."

What's your best gardening tip?

"Fertilize well. Choose perennials. Water early in the morning. Weed once a week. Create a mote."

Do you have any show specials folks should know about?

"Single family homes, townhomes, and condos in Raleigh."

What's your biggest pet peeve?

"Pests and animals that ruin your garden!"

What's your favorite part of the Raleigh Home Show?

"Getting in front of people and letting them know what Stanley Martin is all about."

The Raleigh Home Show takes over the Raleigh Convention Center September 11-13, 2015. With hundreds of home improvement experts, home and garden celebrities, and gardening professionals, it's the must-attend event of the season.

Don't have tickets yet? Right now you can get 2-for-1 tickets on Facebook. Grab a pair today, and treat a friend or family member to the show. We can't wait to see you there!

SEPTEMBER 11 - 13, 2015.