A growing trend in home renovation is "aging in place," the buzzword for safety renovations that allow the aging baby boomer population to remain independent and in their homes longer. This bath design by Independent Lifestyle Solutions allows a homeowner in a wheelchair to roll up to the sink or into the shower, where a built-in bench offers seating while bathing.
FIVE TRENDS TO WATCH
• Faux treatments make a comeback on cabinets.
• "Age in Place:" Renovations that allow senior adults to safely remain in their homes longer.
• Stone laid in mosaic patterns.
• Outdoor living spaces.
• New lighting designs: the Edison bulb and modern industrial.
Sources: Local business owners
Did you break out with a bad case of spring fever after this week's balmy temperatures?
If you're already dreaming of grilling out on a new patio or you've started a spring honey-do list, the annual Tri-State Home Show next weekend may have the resources that can turn your wish list into reality.
Teresa Groves, executive officer of the sponsoring Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga, says the expo will fill 100,000 square feet in the Chattanooga Convention Center with the latest in home products and services. More than 225 vendors in 470 booths are displaying kitchen and bath products, countertops, flooring, windows, doors, roofing, lighting, siding, patios, grills, pools and more.
"We like to say everything for your house is under one roof," says Groves. "Instead of driving from business to business, come see them all in one place."
Groves says a trend she continues to see growing is the inclusion of an outdoor living/entertaining space. She attributes it to the "staycation," homeowners saving money by relaxing at home instead of traveling on vacation, a move that gained followers during the Great Recession from 2007-2010.
"Homeowners decide to fix up their back yards for outdoor living and have vacation in their own yard," she says. "We have a new company coming with outdoor kitchens; we have pool companies, landscapers, companies for people wanting to put decks or sunrooms on their house."
David Smith, owner of Grass and More of Dalton, Ga., will build just such a dream patio setting for his home show display. Smith, the Best in Show booth winner at last year's Home Show, plans a raised patio done in pavers complete with putting green, landscaping and two waterfalls.
The investment he makes in his elaborate displays -- between $15,000 to $18,000 in materials and labor, he says -- is returned in business and the name recognition his company reaps.
"It's a good show for us and it's our chance to show out," he says. "We've been doing the Home Show for probably 13 years or so. It's a proven show, one of the best in this area including Nashville and Knoxville, and even competes with what Atlanta does.
"With the amount of traffic that comes through, serious people coming to look for home ideas, it's one of the great marketing and advertising tools we have and we take advantage of it each year."
IF YOU GO
* What: 48th Tri-State Home Show.
* Where: Chattanooga Convention Center, 1150 Carter St.
* When: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Feb. 28-March 1; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, March 2.
* Tickets: $7 ages 17 and older; $2 senior adults discount on Friday; $1 discount to anyone bringing a canned good for donation to the Chattanooga Area Food Bank on Saturday or Sunday.
Mark Benson, owner of Southern Cabinets and Lighting on Gunbarrel Road, is another business owner who has had a booth at the expo for several years. He'll be unveiling the newest in lighting designs that he discovered at January's national lighting market in Dallas, Texas.
Benson says that, while pendant lighting remains popular locally, especially in new construction, the coming trend in fixtures is the Edison bulb.
"It's the old, Edison-look light bulb. They are big, oversized and some are tubular, but you see the filament running up through it," he describes.
Benson says he has seen a shift in the Chattanooga market since opening in 2004.
"When I opened, everybody wanted traditional. Now we're seeing a shift to contemporary, more modern products such as hammered metal, iron -- the modern industrial look. I think a lot of this has to do with how many people have moved into the Chattanooga area, the revitalization of downtown," he says.
Faux treatments on wood are making a comeback, too, especially in kitchen design, says Rhonda Mathis of Wood Hollow Cabinets in Dalton. Wood Hollow builds cabinetry custom-made to consumer's specifications.
The faux finish fad includes "a lot of glazing and other finishes such as distressed wood or knotty woods that have holes in them," Mathis says.
Another trend Home Show visitors should expect are products to help baby boomers "age in place."
Dan Ringhofer, co-owner of Independent Lifestyle Solutions with Barry Payne, says there are alternatives and products available to improve a senior adult's independence and safety in their own home, providing them an alternative to assisted living. The two men are making their debut at the Home Show to get that word out.
"We'll have examples of bathing equipment that makes bathing easier and without assistance," Ringhofer explains. "We'll have a kitchen environment that will demonstrate what's available in the market to assist people with bad knees or bad backs in getting into storage areas or people in wheelchairs who want to be able to roll up to the sink and clean dishes."
These renovations "don't have to look institutional. It can all be done where it is attractive," he adds.
Groves says that, in addition to collecting canned goods for the Chattanooga Area Food Bank, the Home Show will also make donations to the Chattanooga chapter of American Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga from its show proceeds. She said these nonprofits were chosen for their direct connection to home ownership: one builds homes, the other helps homeowners in times of disaster.
Contact Susan Pierce at email@example.com or 423-757-6284.
Susan Palmer Pierce is a reporter and columnist in the Life department. She began her journalism career as a summer employee 1972 for the News Free Press, typing bridal announcements and photo captions. She became a full-time employee in 1980, working her way up to feature writer, then special sections editor, then Lifestyle editor in 1995 until the merge of the NFP and Times in 1999. She was honored with the 2007 Chattanooga Woman of ...