25 Things to See and Do at the Great Big Home & Garden Expo: 14-25

(Hint: You can use these tips and trends indoors and outside your home as well.)
International Exposition Center (I-X Center),
6200 Riverside Drive
(state Route 237 near
Hopkins International Airport)

Feb 6: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Feb 7: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Feb 8: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Feb 9: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Feb 10: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Feb 11: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Feb 12: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Feb 13: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Feb 14: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

$11 - when purchased
online at greatbighomeand

$13 - adults at the door

$4 - children ages 6 to 12

Free - children 5 & younger
14: Find a bargain
Everything must go on the last day of the show, Sunday, Feb. 14. Clearing out the I-X Center means great deals for you because all the products and plant material on display will be available for purchase at rock-bottom prices.

15: Tiptoe through tulips
Get plenty of tips to transform your backyard into an outdoor oasis. Stroll through an amazing Garden Showcase featuring 21 idea-filled gardens created by top local landscape design firms. Each garden has a popular song theme. See how it’s done; then let your favorite tune inspire your own backyard.

16: Hot products
Check out products on display down the main aisle, Innovation Avenue. You’ll find trends in design, décor, improvement and convenience. Here are a couple things we love:
  • Vinyl art decals from Single Stone Studios. Use your imagination to create custom decals that can be applied to any smooth surface.
  • Custom furniture from Justice & Company. The eco-friendly furniture and accent pieces include wood, stone, glass and metal for each piece.
17: Design in layers like Christopher Lowell
TV host and décor guru Christopher Lowell, whose first design studio was in Chagrin Falls, will be on hand to help make design something everyone can understand. Do-it-yourselfers will want to hear from the man who developed the process of designing in seven layers. His Web site, christopherlowell.com, has the skinny on the process plus design tips and trends. As the site tells us, the seven-step process is a matter of tackling whole-room décor one layer at a time, like this:
  • Layer 1: Paint and architecture (moldings, mantel)
  • Layer 2: Installed flooring (any floor surface that is wall to wall)
  • Layer 3: High-ticket upholstery items (sofa, love seat)
  • Layer 4: Accent fabrics (area rugs and drapes)
  • Layer 5: Non-upholstered furnishings (the workhorses of the room, end tables, chairs, coffee tables)
  • Layer 6: Accessories (pictures, mirrors, candlesticks)
  • Layer 7: Plants and lighting
18: Get gardening gear
Shop for everything you need to keep your yard beautiful this year in the Lawn, Garden & Outdoor section of the exhibit floor, located just outside the Garden Showcase. Pick up a new spade and simplify your garden digging efforts in four easy steps:
  • Cut sod into 12- to 18-inch strips.
  • Dislodge sod from the roots.
  • Roll up sod strips to reuse in your yard.
  • Work the soil (loosen up to a foot deep, mix in fertilizer and rake). Voilà — the bed is ready for plants, landscape fabric and mulch.
19: Cast your vote
Vote for your favorite Belgard Garden, encompassing more than 2,000 square feet and designed by premier landscapers, in the Belgard Landscapers Challenge. Belgard is a brand of brick paver, and professional landscapers pull out all the stops to create beautiful patio and garden designs with them. Get a few ideas if you’re in the market for a new patio this spring.

20: Plan a play-ground
Let your kids have some fun in the Kids Zone sponsored by Playground World. (Also, register here to win a Rainbow Play System.) If this activity has your kids dreaming of their own backyard set, consider all the pluses to getting one:
  • Playground systems can be customized not only for size and budget but with accessories to fit kids of every age and interest.
  • Little details such as switching out regular swings for tire swings or hammocks and replacing a ladder with a rock wall can make a big difference in how your children play.
  • Don’t get too discouraged if your yard is not level; sets can be adjusted to sit safely on uneven ground.
21: Score on designer digs
If you like what you see in the model homes, you can take some décor items home with you following the close of the show on Sunday, Feb. 14. You’ll get great deals on products displayed in all three of the idea homes and maybe find that inspiration piece to design your room around.

22: See the cat walk
Visit the Pet Pavilion and watch the Q104 Pet Fashion Show on stage Saturday, Feb. 13, to discover new ways to pamper your furry friends. For example, you can arrange a ride in the stretch cat-a-llac pet limousine. It’s a real limo that drives pets around town — to the park, the lake and even McDonald’s drive-through before returning to the Barkley Pet Hotel and Day Spa in Orange Village. See the vehicle at the Barkley’s booth in the Pet Pavilion.

23: Accessorize your garage
Learn how to trick out your garage, enjoy musical entertainment from some great local garage bands, and sign up to win a garage (worth $16,000) at the Great Garage Giveaway, sponsored by the Great Garage Co. and WGAR 99.5. You can customize your garage — from the outside in — just as you would a home. Here are some suggestions:
  • Put an octagonal window in the gable to match an octagonal window on your house.
  • Use shutters in complementary colors.
  • Install carriage lamps — or whatever lamps match your home’s style.
  • Include custom details like a cupola with a brass animal statue to honor the family pet.
24: Crash a wedding
Love will be in the air when WNWV 107.3 radio hosts a wedding ceremony in the feature gardens on Valentine’s Day. See how the pros pull off a wedding; then steal those ideas for your own special day.

25: Indulge your inner gadget geek
Shop for everything from cookware to shammies in the Gifts & Gadgets area of the show floor. Savvy shoppers can expect to walk away with such items as gourmet drinks and mixes, kitchen appliances, waterless cookware, designer-inspired purses and wallets, steam mops and more. It’s “As Seen on TV” meets Home Shopping Network in a gadget junkie’s paradise.

<< See ideas 1-13

Share this story: