REALTORS® serving Calgary and area

Sept. 19, 2013 | CREBNow

Coming Together

Celebrating 30 years this year, the Calgary Home + Design Show continues to inspire and educate visitors on anything and everything to do with the home.

"We add new exhibitors every year and we recently added a cooking stage. The basics of the show are the same, but we're always trying to offer something new and exciting," said Jill Kivett, show manager. New and exciting comes in handy for Calgarians looking to spruce up their spaces and Kivett agrees the city has its fair share of design savvy.

"The city is young and vibrant with new houses and condos popping up all the time," she said. "With so many great retailers, it's hard not to get caught up in it."

As well as face-to-face access to more than 350 retailers the show provides visitors with local trade experts. This year's talents include Property Brothers stars Drew and Jonathan Scott, Calgary designer Alykhan Velji and Love It or List It Vancouver's Jillian Harris and Todd Talbot.

Harris, a former Calgarian, and Talbot are presenting For Love or Money on the Trail Appliances main stage.

"Todd and I have very similar theories when it comes to design, renovation and real estate," Harris said. However we have one major difference. I love splurging on the items that give your home the warm and fuzzies, and Todd is more about the practically and (return) on the investment."

"We both understand each others' theory, but we both have a hard time jumping on each others' bandwagon. The truth is, and we will discuss this at the show, a successful renovation requires a bit of both of these theories."

Talbot said the idea for the presentation "spawned" from both his and Harris' different personalities.

"I like to reverse engineer my strategy from an economic perspective to make sure that I have every contingency covered and that my choices will be great for me and also give me a return on my investment," he said. "The downside is that I sometimes sacrifice aspects of the process because I get too clinical and the end result needs a little more 'love' to make the space have a soul, and that's where Jill comes in — the great news is in this case you can have your cake and eat it too."

On Love It or List It, Harris and Talbot bring their theories to television showcasing families whose homes no longer fit the bill for them. The pair help families either fall back in love with and remain in their homes or list them for sale. When it comes to purchasing a new dwelling, Harris said one misconception homeowners might have is that the space is going to feel like "home" right away.

"It takes time, sometimes years, and that's OK," she said. "People go out and spend a bunch of money getting all new furniture and accessories all at once, but I think these items need to be slowly acquired to build a home with personality. If the home isn't custom, sometimes fixtures, lighting and little tweaks need to be made to put your stamp on it."

As well as the main stage, visitors to the show can check out other events such as the Ultimate Upcycle Challenge: Unhinged, Ask a Designer, Help Desk, CasaBubble and IKEA White Room Design Challenge.

"CasaBubble is this super-modern, high-design feature that has to be seen to be believed," said Kivett. "Think spherical, transparent bubbles with full wood floors and furnishings from IKEA, right in your own backyard.

"With the IKEA White Room Design Challenge, we're showcasing Calgary's next generation of designers. We have four teams of students from Bow Valley College hacking a white space full of IKEA furniture and accessories into a brand-new room. There is a lot of creativity happening this year."

For local foodies, the show has the Food Truck Eatery and Alley, Food Truck Throwdown and Western Living Lounge. The Calgary Home + Design Show runs Sept. 19-22 at BMO Centre. For more information visit

Tagged: Calgary Home + Design Show | Calgary Real Estate | Calgary Real Estate News | Love It or List It | Todd Talbot

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