The beginning of the year is a natural time to think about home improvement and where better to start than the 2023 Home and Remodelling Show?
“It’s anything and everything to do on the inside and the outside of the home — it’s all under one roof,” says designer and All Things Home columnist Sue Pitchforth of Decor Therapy Plus, who is hosting the main stage and is also one of this year’s presenters.
She never misses a show. “I’m a designer; anything to do with the house, I’m there,” she laughs. “I’m looking for inspiration and that’s the perfect place.”
This year’s show, which runs Jan. 19-22 at the EY Centre, features about 170 vendors representing almost all aspects of home improvement and repair.
“It’s a much-needed return to normal for the show, which was significantly smaller in 2022 as it rebounded from the pandemic,” says organizer Robert Johnstone of Expo Media, who urges homeowners to visit “to meet face to face with hundreds of home professionals to get started on those 2023 dreams and aspirations.”
Along with the vendors, there’s an impressive list of industry experts presenting talks on various subjects, headlined by always-popular celebrity contractor Bryan Baeumler.
Although Pitchforth has heard Baeumler speak several times, “I still take away something different,” she says. Besides, he and his family always have so much on the go that “enquiring minds want to know, what are they up to? There’s always some crazy story.”
Other speakers include:
- Sascha Lafleur and Josée Sigouin (West of Main) — 4 mistakes to avoid when building a custom home
- Chris Mulholland (Amsted Design-Build) — How to turn your renovation dreams into reality
- Organizer Kathy McEwen (Second Set of Hands) — Quick and easy secrets to an organized home
- Emma Terrell (The Urban Botanist) — Live demonstration on transforming a space with green walls
- Karen Vejprava (Habitat ReStore) — How and why to reduce, recycle and restyle (with the ReStore)
- Paul Kealey (EkoBuilt) — Net Zero: A smarter, healthier home to meet the new building code
- Bettina Vollmerhausen (Ottawa Tool Library) — On finding tools and advice for your projects
- Anita Murray (All Things Home) — 2023 trends in new homes, renovations, design & decor
Pitchforth will be sharing how to refresh a room on a budget, “little tips and tricks that you can do to really amp up your space.”
She’ll also highlight a fascinating long-distance project she did virtually with almost no budget.
“I had a client who moved to P.E.I. She has a five-bedroom house and we furnished her whole home for $1,000,” she says. “You don’t have to spend a ton of money to get the look.”
In keeping with the theme of her talk, she’ll also share how she curated the furniture that decorates the main stage, which was all sourced at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
“We handpicked everything to pull something amazing together,” she says. “You never know what you’re going to find … People need to know what treasures they have there.”
Other show features include:
- Presenting sponsor FairSquare Group Realty Brokerage will have a large interactive space that will “merge various aspects of the real estate, financing and renovation process, with their partners Desjardins and RenoAssistance,” Johnstone says.
- The Urban Botanist presents a rotating local market.
- The Perth Brewery will host a beer garden.
- Along with decorating the main stage, Habitat for Humanity will have a large pop-up ReStore on site.
- Dala Décor is holding a furniture sale and a contest.
- Bennka Landscapes will create a large garden and backyard display to chase away the winter blahs.
Sue’s tips for making the most of a home show
To get the most of out it, Pitchforth recommends you plan your visit.
Speakers: Check the show website to see when speakers are scheduled to talk and what they’ll be sharing so you can coincide your visit with their presentation.
“For me, being a host now a few times, it’s fascinating to hear (all the speakers),” she says. “I learn something all the time. And there’s really nothing better, I think, than to hear from a speaker who’s passionate about what they do, who wants to share their passion and knowledge … That’s a neat interactive thing that happens at the home show, which really doesn’t happen anywhere else.”
Vendors: Figure out what you’re looking for, what things you want to learn about your house and go through the exhibitor list to see who’s there, then see if any of those people are also speaking, Pitchforth says. When you’ve identified vendors you want to visit, mark them on the show map so you get to them first. You can also check the show’s website for any show specials vendors are having.
Then do some due diligence before talking to them; look them up online — that might help you with your questions, she says.
“Most homeowners don’t think that they’re well-armed with information, but you can be, you can learn prior to going. Gather some information so that when you’re meeting that business, you’re speaking a little bit more knowledgably … You’ve got to put a little bit of time into it, but I think you get so much more out of it.”
For more information on the 2023 Home and Remodelling Show, visit ottawahomeandremodellingshow.com.