Fall is in the air. Leaves are turning, the weather’s just a little bit chillier, and pumpkin spice everything is everywhere. But for the DIY crowd, nothing is more exciting than the return of the Calgary and Edmonton fall home shows.
Alberta’s home market is just zooming along, and the number of new homeowners in the province continues to rise. The real estate research website wowa.ca indicates that there has been a more than 10 per cent increase in home sales in the province over the past year.
Whether you are one of those new homeowners, have lived in your home for decades, or are still looking for that special house, fall home shows are the perfect platform to visit for home design advice, home savings and lifestyle tips and the proper tools and materials to turn your house into a dream home.
If you live in Calgary
Colleen Pastoor is positively giddy about her first appearance at the Calgary fall home show. She is a 10-year veteran blogger and author of the Lemon Thistle blog, where she writes about home renovation, design and home improvement tips. She says she is eager to share her expertise with the audience on the main stage.
Her main topic is on how to plan a DIY room makeover. “I’m so looking forward to sharing my room makeover planning framework,” she says. “I’ll discuss the steps I take for every space I take.”
What may be particularly interesting to some homeowners is that she will be touching on how to be an Airbnb Super Host. Turning your home into an Airbnb can help you pay the mortgage down or put extra cash in your pocket, and the insights Pastoor learned from completing her own Airbnb project in Calgary will be helpful.
“I spent more time in Calgary than I did at home to complete this project,” she says, adding that she fell in love with the city in the process. “That’s why I’m doubly excited to be invited to participate in the Calgary Home Show.”
The Kamloops, B.C. native started blogging about a decade ago. “I have been privileged to teach live workshops, speak at conferences, and share tutorials on television. Last year, I released my first book, and we opened our new Airbnb in Calgary for bookings. This year, I’ve been focusing on creating resources for others to take on their own DIY home projects.”
Casey Matulic, show manager for the Calgary show, says there is even more to look forward to. “We’re really proud to bring in new partners for this show and ensure that attendees get the top tips, tricks and inspiration for any home improvement project they may be want to tackle for the end of the year.”
If you live in Edmonton
Amanda Lwanga from Linger Design was slated to give her debut design presentation at the Edmonton Home Show in March 2020 when COVID-19 cancelled the event two days prior to opening. But from that massive letdown, Lwanga has bolstered her home design expertise and is now – more than ever – ready to hit the big stage.
A career environmentalist, Lwanga will be bringing a greener touch to the DIY and home design process.
“I spent the first five years of my career presenting to audiences across Western Canada on environmental regulations, but this will be my debut in terms of design.”
She will focus on how her company works with this philosophy in mind when she hits the main stage. “We’re in the business of leaving the world more vibrant than we found it – more beautiful, more thought-provoking, more inclusive, and more sustainable,” she says.
“We have expertise in environmental engineering, sustainable architecture, interiors and events. We have a unique understanding of the interconnection between environmental science and art. I’ll be presenting a master class on sustainable evocative Interiors. Our market has a gap regarding high design for interiors (think Versace) and sustainability.”
Lwanga had her eye set on a career as an artist, architect or designer, but says these were never options her African parents would support as anything more than a hobby.
“After getting my undergrad in environmental engineering and a master’s in sustainable architecture, I reached the peak of my career and was in the running for a management position. But I also cried in my car regularly when I pulled up to the office. After 11 years of trying to please everyone but myself, something in me snapped. I started my design firm while on stress leave. Autonomy, design and art were my therapy as I started to find the real me.”
She hasn’t looked back since, and her presentation at the show will be a milestone in her design career.
Kristy Cairns, group manager for the Edmonton show says Lwanga’s success story is just one of many inspiring stories at this year’s event.
“Our fall show is a great way to kick-start the colder months and find the motivation to start a home improvement project you may have left to the end of the year. It promises to be chock full of great inspiration, including appearances from HGTV celebrity guests, local pros and some incredible features.”