The Style at Home show kicked off yesterday with a celebratory breakfast at Toronto’s Direct Energy Centre at the Exhibition Place, attended by the publisher of all three participating magazines, Deborah Trepanier, and their respective editors; Gail Johnston Habs, Editor-in-Chief of Style at Home, Erin McLaughlin, Editor-in-Chief of Canadian Home & Country and Aldona Satterthwaite, Editor-in-Chief of Canadian Gardening.
The ladies looked happy to be done with the enormous undertaking of bringing their magazine pages to life in 3-D, which despite some last minute tweaking by busy magazine people, did look quite enticing, (I got a first look at the ginormous space before the crowds hit.)
From the left: Erin McLaughlin, Gail Johnston Habs, Deborah Trepanier, Aldona Satterthwaite.
After an embarrassing amount of trips to the French Toast bar, I caught up with Gail Johnston Habs for a few questions about the show:
Elana Safronsky: How was putting this together different from producing an issue?
Gail Johnston Habs: Well it is different, but what it has in common with magazines is details — the number of details that go into producing a story [is similar to producing] an interior. In our Dream Bedroom Suite for example, the master bathroom and the dressing room are layered with amazing details and fabulous ideas that our visitors can take away.
Gail Johnston Habs, (cont.): Some things may be higher end than some people may be able to afford, but there are so many ideas that people can replicate in their own homes [on any budget].
E.S.: What’s the most exciting part of the show for you?
G.J.H.: The fact that it’s done! It’s not easy to put a show together like this, there are a lot of late hours, but it was just amazing walking in this morning and seeing everything looking absolutely gorgeous! Also, there are so many wonderful vendors here, and we know that our readers are absolutely passionate about shopping.
E.S.: What do you hope your readers will take away from the show?
G.J.H.: There are so many ideas here that people are bound to get inspired. Considering our rather dubious economic times, people are perhaps not necessarily thinking about buying a new home but of staying where they are. What they’ll get here is a close look at many ideas they can use to address their current living spaces. And, of course, we have many wonderful personalities coming from HGTV, and they support the same kind of philosophy that we have at the magazine, which is elegance that is friendly and accessible to people. So that is a great treat for our readers.
The craft station detail (above), in Canadian Home & Country’s "Make it Country" display (above right), is one of my favourite things that I saw at the show. I’ll be scouring my home for the free space that can accommodate installing that ingenious wrapping paper and ribbon unit.
E.S.: Is there anything new at any of the three publications that was launched in tandem with the show?
G.J.H.: We’ve basically relaunched our websites for all three magazines and they are amazingly different — they offer a fun experience and a lot of information. Some of it you’ll find in the magazines but there’s an awful lot on site that’s exclusive.
Having visited all the lauded stations I was certainly ready to go shopping! (Although what I did was go back to the office.)
This is the Dream Bedroom Suite (which included the previously pictured bathroom and dressing room), that, although it was the size of my entire house, was indeed luxurious, and full of great adaptable ideas.
The popular "High-Low" feature come to life, with two dining rooms put together on two very different budgets — aprox., $42,000 and aprox., $10,000 — see if you can spot which is which.
Here you can get your bearings, leaf through some design resources and get some one-on-one design help from IKEA experts.
This is Canadian Gardening’s Green Room, where throughout the weekend, editor Aldona Sattherthwaite, experts and Master Gardeners will hold presentation on flower arranging, container planting, indoor and outdoor gardening, planning your garden and decorating tips.
The HomeSense main stage, where at designated times, you’ll be able to catch Colin & Justin. The living and dining room displays are absolutely PACKED with stuff, all from HomeSense, and all quite affordable.
The very detailed "Make It Country" display — one of my favourites and an absolute MUST to check out.
Here you’ll meet Elizabeth Baird, Food Editor of Canadian Living, Glen Peloso, host of Restaurant Makeover and other fabulous chefs from across the GTA . They’ll be demonstrating some of their favorite recipes.
The Style at Home Show is on at Hall A, Direct Energy Centre, Toronto Exhibition Place until tomorrow, Sunday, October 19th, 2008. Find out more about the show!