Annual show keeps home, garden wares local

Photo Courtesy of Show Technology – Brian Santos, better known as the ‘Wall Wizard’ on his HGTV program, performs a recent paint workshop. Santos and HGTV’s Donna Moss will be at the third annual Collin County Home & Garden Show this month in Allen.

By Chris Beattie,

Published: Friday, February 3, 2012 12:12 PM CST
With more than 175 vendors — its largest showing yet — the upcoming third annual Collin County Home & Garden Show is set to run the home-improvement gamut.

“It will have something for everyone, whether they’re trying to purchase or just looking for ideas,” said Pam Rogers, corporate sales director for Show Technology, the show’s promoter. “If you can imagine it, it’s there.”
The show, which sold out vendor space in November, will run Feb. 17-19 at the Allen Events Center, off Stacy Road in Allen. It will feature its largest-ever array of exhibitors, boasting everything from landscapes, appliances and countertops, to cabinetry, spas and home security systems.

The show’s move from Frisco to the “brand new, state-of-the-art” facility in Allen happened just in time to accommodate the recent and current growth throughout northern Collin County, Rogers said.

“The community there is building faster than the roads,” she said. “It’s just been so well-attended and well-received in the market; there’s so much desire to participate because the community has really embraced the show.”
Donna Moss and Brian Santos from HGTV will be at the show to provide interactive seminars on their respective expertise, during which they’ll answer visitors’ questions and help solve their home or garden dilemmas.
Moss, dubbed the “Queen of Bling,” hosts HGTV’s “Donna Decorates Dallas” and will be available for questions, autographs and demonstrations Saturday, Feb. 18 and Sunday, Feb. 19.
Brian Santos, host of the TV show “Wall Wizard Workshops,” will share eco-friendly painting tips and techniques at different times throughout the weekend.
“The neat thing about Brian is he does a very interactive, hands-on seminar that really allows the guests to be involved,” Rogers said. “It’s a unique opportunity to get a professional opinion.”
Show Technology hosts similar shows around the country, but because of its San Antonio base, Rogers said the company’s top priority remains in Texas, particularly in places quickly expanding like Collin County.
All vendors come from the D-FW area, she said, and thus keep the improvement — in and outside the home — within their immediate surroundings.
“It allows the people in the community to interact face to face with their local businesses,” she said. “It helps build jobs, drive money into the community, and it keeps the dollars local.”
Offering everything “from the front door to the backyard,” Rogers said, the annual exhibition contains every option of home improvement — facets as simple as garden graters or as complex as home theaters. And it’s all in one place.
“You don’t have to drive around or shop around at different competitors,” she said. “Everyone is there, so you can look at one countertop then walk down six booths to see another.”
Pest control, plants, bathtubs and beds are just some of the featured products and services at the show every year. Gourmet food tastings, salsas and jams will be available for guests who build up an appetite from their constant booth browsing.
Potential visitors can access show details and vendor appearances at They pay once for the entire weekend and can come and go as they please.
In a rough economy, few residents have everything they want and need for their homes, which is why the show’s vast, central selection could be peaking at the right time.
“Home improvement is a multi-billion dollar industry; probably the number one investment people have is their home,” Rogers said. “With the current state of affairs, they can’t just move, so they have to improve.”
The Collin County Home & Garden Show will run 2-7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17; 10 a.m. — 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18; and 11 a.m. — 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19. It will be at the Allen Events Center at 200 E. Stacy Rd., Suite 1350, in Allen.
Admission is $9.50 for adults 17 and older, and $7.50 for seniors 65 and older. Children 16 and under get in free.

Home and Garden Trends for Spring

SAVANNAH, GA –Hundreds are flocking to this weekend’s Home and Garden Show for the newest ways to spruce up their home this spring.
But if a new hot tub or wood floor isn’t in your budget, there are plenty of things you can do to transform your house from drab to ‘fab’ on the cheap.
Brian Santos is “The Wizard” of home makeovers, and he says a new look is as easy as a can of paint.
“Get a can of paint for 30 dollars and an afternoon. Paint is probably one of the most affordable and practical things in decorating.”
But if you want the wow factor, Brian says skip the lack luster neutrals and go bold instead.
“Our real train of thought for color right now, is exuberance. We are coming out of a war, when we have economic disaster, we are looking for things to lift the spirit and open your heart.”
Blues, yellows, even different shades of orange… bold colors on their own, but use them together for an extra pop.
“A real hot new thing that we like to call right now is graphics. Graphics are really tone on tone- black on white beige on gray. We are doing it to complement simple lines; from a couch, to table or art work.”
He says it’s a great way to add interest in a room for not a lot of money.
But it doesn’t stop at paint. Those looking to stretch the life of their furniture are giving it a little TLC and restoration.
Jimmy Ginn of Earl Ginn’s Custom Furniture says he stays busy refurbishing antique items.
“People are starting to realize that what they have is better than what they can buy. They are updating to keep it in the family and to be more cost effective with the money they do have.”
Travis Williams is in the upholstery business.  If he isn’t recovering clients’ chairs or sofas, he is selling them the fabric to update their furniture at home.
“It’s a lot better to reupholster stuff than go out to buy new because what you have might fit the space just right.”
Thanks to a popular new decorating website called “Pinterest,” those looking to re-vamp their home are getting edgy ideas for “do it yourself” projects.
Experts at the show say the re-styling trend is picking up for many reasons. First, people just don’t have as much money as they used to, and second, DIY is fun, and it feels good to take something old and make it new again.
Santos agrees.
“It started being an economic thing and now what happening is people are getting the satisfaction. so we are seeing this mix of old versus new, young versus old, we are seeing how it’s all fusing together.”
Over all, leaving more money in your pocket to do more projects around the house.
The Home Show continues Sunday at the International Trade and Convention Center.