As Seen in The Leader-Telegram:
Joanne and Greg Strozinsky ambled through the Eau Claire Indoor Sports Center on Friday afternoon, their jaunt taking them through sleek kitchens, outdoor edens and modern farmhouse interior designs.
The Eau Claire couple is planning to remodel their 1977 home now that their kids have grown up and moved out. They figured the Chippewa Valley Home Builders Association's Home and Garden Show would provide the ideas they need to get started.
"I don't have the vision (for the remodel), but these talented people do," Joanne Strozinsky said, gesturing at the bustling scene around her.
The Strozinskys were among about 5,000 visitors expected to attend the three-day show, which is celebrating its 40th year this weekend. Visitors have access to 130 vendors ranging from landscapers to custom cabinet makers to homebuilders.
Christina Thrun, executive officer of the CVHBA, said over the show's 40 years of operation, it's grown from a 1,000-visitor event to the current throngs of people looking for home inspiration.
In honor of the show's four decades, Thrun said this year's show is featuring themed days including seniors day (Friday), family day (today) and do-it-yourself day (Sunday).
"There weren't a lot of new things to talk about," Thrun said. "We wanted to find a way to get people excited about the Home and Garden Show again and appeal to different populations a bit more widely."
Those ages 55 and older received discounted tickets on Friday and could attend a number of seminars, such as downsizing, making a home handicap-accessible and choosing the right assisted living homes.
Linda and Matt Janiak, both of Eau Claire, were on their way to a seminar on Friday afternoon when they stopped to admire a large hot tub. The seminars aside, Linda Janiak said she comes to the show to learn about the latest home trends and products.
"I like the chance to see new and innovative products," Linda Janiak said as she leaned over the hot tub's edge. Jet streams lined the backs of each built-in seat, and a series of lights flashed from red to purple to blue.
Linda Janiak turned to her husband and asked him what had so far caught his eye at the show. He grasped a green event canvas bag close to his body.
"I'm just following you," he said, smiling.
Molly Filipczak of C & M Home Builders and Real Estate has been a vendor at the show since 2005. In terms of home trends this year, she said home owners are trending toward light colors, marble countertops and touches of gold.
She said her company returns to the show every year for the chance to meet people in person.
"It's a really nice place to interact with the public face to face," she said.
Also, check out Cody Filipczak in WQOW's "Eau Claire Home & Garden Show Underway".