Weekend Outlook: There’s No Place Like the Midwest Home Show Nov. 18-20

After my husband and I moved into our home, we sat down and made a list of what—in each of our minds—would constitute our “dream home.” For a long time, Aaron carried that list around in his wallet. Some of the items included a bay window for me to sit and read, a spacious kitchen with a layout that actually makes sense, a large lower level with plenty of room for entertaining, a spare bedroom for overnight guests, ample storage space, and a family room with a wood-burning fireplace (more messy, yes, but there’s nothing like the glow of the fire, sound of logs crackling, and smell of burning wood!). Over the years, we have revisited that list and added or crossed off items. That list, to me, is what the Midwest Home Show is all about—envisioning your dream home (or maybe even just a dream room) and taking steps toward turning those dreams into reality. Instead of just yearning for a bigger, more functional kitchen, this weekend you can actually do something about it. Wouldn’t it be great to host a dinner party in the kitchen you’ve always wanted? Imagine the high-tech Wolf built-in convection oven and Cambria countertops and detailed cabinetry and open layout and sunshine pouring through the big, beautiful Marvin windows. Imagine how happy you’d feel in that kitchen. Maybe you’d finally stop having kitchen-envy when you visit friends and family. (Er, um, wait. Is that just something I do?)

Whether you know exactly what you want to do, or you just need a little nudge in the right direction, the Midwest Home Show is an excellent resource for major remodeling or minor home improvement projects. Not only will there be 200 industry experts under one roof, there will be beautiful garden displays—it’s so nice to see all that color in the cold, drab, maybe even snowy days of mid-November—and a host of interesting feature areas, including:

• The Third Annual Builders Association of the Twin Cities Foundation Garage Sale with deeply discounted furniture, cabinets, pictures, and lights. Don’t forget to bring measurements if you’re planning on buying a big item. You could even do some Christmas shopping here! [Feature area 448]
• Food and cooking demonstrations in the Cambria Holiday Culinary Kitchen. [Feature area 1430]
• Free professional design advice (bring your paint chips or fabric swatches if you have some color questions) and a creative tabletop design competition in the International Furnishings and Design Association pavilion. [Feature area 1531]
• An Ugly Closet Contest in the Midwest Home magazine Lounge. Snap a pic of your cluttered/ugly closet and write a brief note about why your closet needs help, and you could win a closet makeover by the Closet Factory. The Midwest Home Lounge is also a great place to sit down and take a break. [Feature area 601]
• Do-it-yourself seminars ranging from how to create a tile backsplash to replacing faucets and drains to installing plumbing, sponsored by The Home Depot.
• The Ikea station, with professionals ready to share creative solutions to everyday challenges in the home. (Unfortunately, they won’t be serving Swedish meatballs.) [Feature area 531]
• The Abitaré Design Studio Sample Sale, with high-end designer furniture, artwork, and accessories for sale at a fraction of the original cost. [Feature area 1547]
• The FamCave basement by Finished Basement Company, with industry leaders on hand to discuss basement obstacles, new trends/technology, and ideas on how to transform your lower level. [Feature area 1315]
• If you’re looking for a way to give back to the community over the holidays (either with your time or a monetary donation), representatives of the Greater Twin Cities United Way will be at the Home Show to explain how they provide building blocks to help local families in the region create pathways out of poverty. Many Home Show exhibitors generously donated to the Pathway out of Poverty at this year’s show, an example of how we can make a difference for families in need when we all come together.

I will be at the Home Show this weekend, eager to cross off another item on our “dream home” list. Will I see you there?

Tickets are $8 at the door or $4 when purchased online at midwesthomeshow.com. Military members (active and retired) and their families and those 17 years and under are free.