You must have witnessed some trends come and go through your years directing the Waikato Home & Garden Show. What have you noticed about lifestyle trends in recent years?
There is definitely a renewed enthusiasm towards DIY, renovation, decorating, and furnishing. Lots of visitors come to the show purely to talk to experts about getting their home projects sorted. Whether it's talking to a paint specialist about injecting colour, getting the best show deals or finding out about how to get the most out of your renovation — we'll have everything from revitalising your kitchen with, to dealing directly with the builders to sort your renovation requirements. We are living in the year the plastic bag was banned.
Are people as passionate about helping the environment when it comes to their homes?
Firstly, what a time to be alive! If you're environmentally conscious, and you're doing up your home, there are some fantastic options out there for you. A major thing we are seeing is a change in the way we build and heat our homes, people are saving money on power and being gentle on the environment at the same time.
We are also seeing a massive surge in recycled materials, such as carpet, and at home sustainability, think home composting bins. If you're living in an apartment, or high-density area, it's all about vertical gardening — a great way to use up space and create that stylish effect.
What do you think the colour and decorating trends are at the moment? Is it true that Scandi is out?
If I have my interiors hat on, you should never focus on what's trending, but rather what you like!
If we're talking trends, which we are, then yes, we're moving away from minimalism and Scandinavian style. People are becoming more adventurous, bringing back colour and clutter in their decorating.
We are seeing big pops of colour through appliances and fittings, we've got painted baths, and bright yellow range hoods.
We are seeing a huge trend towards 'green living', bringing plants and greenery inside to make our houses feel like an oasis — people are realising it's okay for our houses to feel lived in!
Technology-based, innovative designs for housing are taking the world by storm. What have you seen that's exciting?
We have some great exhibitors at the show this year who are doing really ground-breaking stuff and houses are getting smart. To get a full picture of just how far you could go, the Samsung Smart Home will be showcasing the capabilities of a fully connected home — think controlling alarms and heaters from your phone, robotic vacuum cleaners and more.
There are also some small New Zealand businesses doing interesting things in the 'smart house' field. What do you think is an important product feature people look for when they're at the show this year?
As people's lives get busier and busier, convenience is becoming very important. They want smarter and more efficient ways of making the most of the time they have at home with their friends and family. The latest smart fridge has a screen on the front, and you can use it to order groceries directly and have all of your notes and diaries in one place — how easy is that for busy families?
What are the top renovation trends that are popping up?
For years New Zealand homes have been lambasted for being cold and damp, and it turns out Kiwis have had enough. Jon Ilffe and Baden Brown will present a seminar that advises visitors on how to renovate their homes so they are healthier, more comfortable and more energy efficient. Steve Wong will also be there to present a seminar informing visitors about asbestos risk management.
Tiny houses and the downsizing movement have been a hot topic these days. Can we expect to see tiny house exhibitors at the show?
Absolutely. Tiny houses are definitely a hot topic still, and are great options for people looking to get into their first house. We are also seeing lots of people looking into adding some extra rental value to their property and sleepouts and pods are a great option when it comes to this. Just pop it in the backyard and then when you've had enough, because it's not a permanent fixture you can simply sell it. You can have a chat to Sanders Cabins and Nadloc at the show for more information.
'Housing crisis' are two words that really get everyone going. Have you seen anything aimed at combating this?
I think the major breakthrough for the housing crisis would be from building modular homes — speed and how fast we can build homes is the question on everyone's lips. TDM Homes currently has a 10 to 12-week process from the initial consultation to construction and landscaping being completed, but they are aiming to get it to eight.
The most exciting thing is that everything is done in their custom-built Cambridge factory and the final on-site stage happens in only two weeks!
The show is Thursday 4th to Sunday 7th of October. Tickets are on sale at www.waikatohomeshow.co.nz