Lifestyle Projects

Calgary Home + Design Show

October 10, 2016
Calgary Home + Design Show

I can’t believe that two weeks have passed since the Calgary Home + Design show!…  In July I was asked to create a workshop feature booth at the show for show attendees to come in to get hands on with some DIY projects.

From July until the day the show opened I refinished, and figured out, I planned, and connected with local business and makers, and worked on creating not only a workshop space, but a seating area and gallery wall that looked as if it could have been plucked out of a home and dropped into the booth.

Calgary Home + Design Show Booth Layout

Then came the invite to speak onstage during the Calgary Home + Design Show as the Urban Barn Ambassador… not once but twice during the event!… I felt very nervous and unsure about speaking onstage in front of a large group so I worked with a coach and spoke to professionals and friends about the fears I was feeling, and over the past few months began speaking in front of groups, at work, at toastmasters to build up exposure to speaking in front of larger and larger groups of people… and I’m staying in Toastmasters to keep developing my public speaking skills!

I wanted to recap and share the space with you, my readers, who are not located in Calgary so that you could checkout what I created and to share the amazing companies that came on board with me to make it possible!

Calgary Home + Design Show Workshop Booth Colour Palette

The top photo is a shot of my floor plan!… once I knew the size of the space I drew it out and also all of the furniture, to scale, that I wanted to put into the space to ensure that everything that I wanted to put into the space to share with the Calgary Home + Design Show visitors would fit… I also worked out my colour scheme for the space… I pulled together gold frames, the colour samples, a chair I’d refinished as well as a textured sheep rug… this was the feel that I was going for…

Calgary Home + Design Show Pergola Shop Drawing

That PERGOLA!… I pulled out a roll of paper and started some rough sketching… once I had a rough sketch of that monster I sent it to a dear friend Brett Kostka of Brett Kostka Design who then 3D modelled the structure from my rough sketch and rough dimensions. Brett 3D modelled the pergola and created the cut list for the material to build the structure.

Calgary Home + Design Show Workshop Series Feature Booth

The Cedar Shop jumped onboard with me when I shared my vision and drawing of the structure and supplied all of the wood – delicious smelling cedar – for us to build out the structure! I heard so many people walk by and say “mmmmm… that cedar smell!” I was floored with The Cedar Shop’s support of my space at the Calgary Home + Design Show with their supply of all that wood.

I could have just made the concrete floor work but I really wanted to create something special in the Workshop Feature Booth space.  I connected with Hardwood Direct and installer Mark Chittick of Upscale Hardwood… listen up folks, if you are located in Calgary and need someone to install your floor Mark Chittick is the guy that you want to call. He does quality work and you’ll be hard pressed to find a nicer dude around town… he’s good people!

Calgary Home + Design Show Flooring

When we got into the space the flooring went in first… it was quick!  Above is Mark of Upscale hardwood on the right and the Pickle on the left…

Calgary Home + Design Show Booth Build 1

Pickle was heavily involved in bringing this space to life… physically in setup and building the pergola in the space, packing up the trucks, loading everything in, right down to emotionally supporting me and being my number one cheer leader through the whole thing!

Calgary Home + Design Show Booth Build 2

Calgary Home + Design Show Booth Build 3

Another incredible local company that jumped onboard with me is Out of the Wood Work… they loaned this incredible table to the space for the workshops and then!? decided to giveaway the table to one lucky Calgary Home + Design Show attendee! BAM!… when Solomon offered to also give the table away in the booth my jaw hit my desktop!… These guys are making incredible rustic pieces right here in Calgary!

 Out of the Wood Work YYC

That was all of the big pieces… I was also working away before the setup on all of the decor bits and pieces… I stripped chairs and painted… and worked with Calgary Custom Upholstery to create completely unique pieces of furniture for the space to spark the conversation with visitors how they could take their own worn out pieces and create something unique for their own homes… to make their house their home.  I mixed burlap, with high end upholstery fabric and vintage grain sacks with 100% wool… I’ll be sharing the chair transformations in the coming blogposts.

Calgary Home + Design Show

Speedball Art generously sent a large stack of gold leaf to me, along with adhesive, sealer, and red base coat… stay tuned for an upcoming gold leafing tutorial… I had found a selection of frames at yard sales, second hand shops, and on buy and sell websites and created a variety of gold frames so that I could bring a large gallery wall into the booth space.

Processed with Snapseed.

Calgary Home + Design Show Gallery Wall Prep Calgary Home + Design Show Gallery Wall

Like all gallery wall setups I used the same technique to determine the arrangement of this one… after playing around with a scale drawing of the walls and frames I created a paper template of each frame – making sure to mark the hanger location so that hanging the frames would be a breeze… and it was!



We didn’t stop for any photos of us together during the Calgary Home + Design Show… it was just go go go the full week before until we had it torn down and the contents of the booth loaded back into our home on the Sunday evening!…


The Pickle did make me stop for a moment for a shot if one of my reupholstered beauties… and then I capture a sneaky shot of him while he was chatting with visitors about FAT Paint!


Oh yes!… I also spoke on the Calgary Home + Design Show Main Stage as the Urban Barn Ambassador… I gave 2 45 minute presentations about how one can turn their house into their home… I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous… I did prepare for three months… toastmasters, speaking coach, practicing speaking at smaller events… and then BAM… here I was on the Main Stage speaking to the show visitors!



Marketplace Events printed a HUGE poster of my head… which I received a few photos of 😉 Seriously without the support of my friends, family and followers I wouldn’t have made it through the weekend! I am so grateful for the incredible people that I have in my life… HASHTAG BLESSED would be an understatement right here.

I was also incredibly fortunate to have one of the owners of The FAT Paint Company come out to Calgary from New Westminster, BC, for the Calgary Home + Design Show… to hang out with us in the booth to chat with visitors about FAT and to do some FAT paint demos… once we started painting visitor questions started flying!


We all spoke with so many visitors during the event!…


There are hundreds of new FATties in the Calgary now! 😉


I ran a number of workshops out of the booth at the Calgary Home + Design Show… Here are a few of the FAT Paint Workshop attendees with their creations…



We had so much fun!… And the booth also hosted some sweet workshops by Alison Martin of amartincreative, and Maria Arseniuk of femme.broidery… and who could forget the amazing swag provided by amazing local makers in Calgary!  BIG FAT LOVE AND THANK YOU’s to Buttercream Clothing, Sunday Design Studio, Lacebrick Design, Lamb’s Soapworks, Amborella, Natura Soy, Dixie + Twine, Pin It Accessories, Ology Magazine, By Curated., Always Sunny Designs


Did you make it down to the Calgary Home + Design Show!?  What did you think? Leave me a comment below and tell me what you thought of the show!




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