If there was one primary theme among exhibits in the 48th annual Tri-State Home Show last weekend, it was outdoor living displays. How-to ideas ranged from several models of outdoor fireplaces to children's play areas, decks, pools and elaborately landscaped stone patios complete with soothing water features.
The variety of products and wares ranged from the unusual - a one-ton trestle table made of knotty, natural Suar Wood complete with wood-slab stools for seating in Southeastern Salvage's booth - to updates on the newest trends in building or remodeling.
Wood Hollow Cabinets won Best in Show for an elegant display of custom cabinetry used in multiple settings that included bedroom, bath, kitchen and even closet organization.
More than 11,500 visitors passed through the doors of the expo, according to Teresa Groves, executive director of the sponsoring Homebuilders Association of Greater Chattanooga. Here's a roundup of the new and the unusual seen at the show.
Among the many examples of outdoor living spaces, this fireplace of natural mountain stone stood out for its tiered design, which gave it textural interest as well as its keystone detailing and flagstone hearth. Fireplace by ColorScapes Inc. of Dalton, Ga., and poured concrete floor pad by Austin StampCrete, both owned by Grant Parker.
Woven metal bed frame
Wendy Beaty of Beaty Fabricating Inc. in Cleveland, Tenn., designed this 7-foot headboard and 4-foot footboard made of 4-inch woven strips of black carbon steel and stainless steel. Beaty said she created the bed frame, which weighs 750 pounds and fits a king-size mattress, with an "eclectic loft-style condo" in mind.
New kitchen design
Pig House Cabinets of Ringgold, Ga., and Cornerstone Granite in Rossville partnered to build this cornflower blue model kitchen filled with new trends as well as custom features. Note the new, V-shaped, roll-out base cabinets that insert more storage into unused space. The contemporary, stainless-steel backsplash is a basketweave pattern that comes in 12-inch squares. Floating shelves are lit with tubular lighting strips inserted into custom grooves cut into the under side of wooden shelves.
As the severity of tornadoes in the Tennessee Valley has increased, so has interest in the installation of home storm shelters. A continual stream of visitors checked out the interiors of two Fiberglas styles from Safety 1st Storm Shelters. Owner Jeff Brock, right, said the in-ground shelters are available in sizes that hold six, eight, 10, 12 or even 20 people. The steel, weather-resistant, impact-tested door, shown upper right, is the only visible part of the shelter once it is installed.
Tiles laid in mosaic patterns is the latest trend in bath and kitchen design. Each circle in this glass and brushed chrome pattern contains five segments that are pieced together and installed by hand, according to Frank Walker of Louisville Tile of Chattanooga.
What's old is new in lighting
The latest look in lighting is a throwback to the early invention of the light bulb, an Edison bulb designed to show the filament within. These two styles from Southern Cabinets and Lighting show the bulbs used in an iron chandelier as well as a single bulb in a pendant fixture.
Bath safety for senior adults
Dan Ringhofer, co-owner of Independent Lifestyle Solutions, demonstrated the Acrylic Deluxe Walk-in Tub. Designed for aging homeowners who have trouble stepping into a traditional tub/shower combination, this model is accessed by an inward-swinging side door. Its 18-inch contoured seat is surrounded by eight water jets and 14 air spa jets. A digital panel controls the water temperature, FM radio, hydrotherapy jet system and chromotherapy lighting. Ringhofer said a bathroom's standard opening for a traditional tub is 60 inches, but since the walk-in is 54 inches in length, a coordinating accessory ledge is offered to fit the space left by the difference in size.