Thursday, February 24, 2011


One February 20, 2011, my wife and I went to the National Home Show that is hosted by Remax on the Toronto Exhibition grounds, National Home Show Website. We spent the entire day there looking at virtually everything there was to see. There were over 700 retailers and numerous seminars, demonstrations and exhibitions to see. I can honestly say that we left with a headful of ideas to consider and think about. Although we are almost finished renovating our home, there will always be new projects to consider and execute.

There were two model homes to review this year plus a 'Man Cave'. You never know exactly what to expect. Some years the model homes are over the top and have absolutely no resemblance to a home that any human being would call home. They are more or less an opportunity for designers to give vent to all of their design fantasies and their creative imagination. There are interesting to look at but usually I never go away with any practical ideas that I could use in out home.

This year was different. Both homes were very livable. Both my wife and I agreed that there were many ideas that we might be consider using in our home, either short-term or some time in the future. There were a lot of materials that were interesting that we never thought of before or we never thought of using in that way before. I am talking in generalities because if I start going into detail this post will become a short book instead of post.

I was interested in seeing the 'Man Cave' with all of the Neolithic connotations that it conjured up. I regret to saw that mostly the 'Man Cave' was a disappointment, at least for me. I guess every man has his own idea of what he would put in his 'Man Cave'. From what I saw, it was more like an overgrown playroom for men. Even the tools that they had were more of the casual, 'playful' variety instead of what I would consider serious tools and machines that should go into a 'Man Cave'. If I were to equip a 'Man Cave' I would divide it between my wood working equipment; table saw, bench drill, router, grinders, sanders, etc., my carving equipment, and all of my stained glass paraphernalia. It seems that my 'Man Cave' would be more of a studio than a cave. Maybe that is why I didn't find it to be that interesting.

I did see some wood related things that I took pictures of. One of the most interesting things that I saw were these small carvings of mountain climbers. What I found to be so interesting was the way that the carvings were exhibited. Because I forgot my camera at home you will have to bear with my photographic skills using my cell phone. The picture of the mountain climbers is a little blurry but after thinking about it the blurriness actually helps to portray the idea of motion.

I will have to incorporate this idea into some of the carving ideas that I have. I find this idea so entertaining that I might just carve my own climbers and pose them climbing up a wall.

Another picture that I took was of these ducks. The retailer was actually selling furniture that would go into a shower or sauna. My wife and I considered buying a bench for our shower until we realized that they wanted over $500.00 for the bench. I focused on the ducks instead and took a picture. One woman was so taken with the ducks that she bought two of them. They were considerably cheaper than the cedar bench.

You have to admit they are cute! Considering all the ducks that hang around Bayshore Woods I should carve a few ducks myself.

This next picture I took because I was just so impressed with the scale and sheer majesty of this carved eagle. It is part of the roof beam of the display log home at the show. The caption below reads, "The Finest Log Homes on Earth". The company is from British Columbia. I don't know if they are truly the finest log homes on earth but that eagle is certainly a fine specimen.

Lastly, I took this picture of an exhibit that was put together by a company that takes care of trees. They do pruning, tree surgery, tree removal, etc. A lot of what they had on exhibit was damage done to trees but not enough to kill the tree or stunt its growth. They had many, many examples of trees that grew around nails. spikes, splits, tears and other intrusions caused mainly by man. It is a statement and a testament to the robustness of trees. It is also a statement to the senseless brutality that we inflict on nature, usually for no good reason.
One of the exhibits was a cross-section of a tree stump. There was sign inviting everyone to guess how old the tree was. After a glance I guess that the tree was about 200 years old. After looking behind the question I saw that the tree was 169 years old. Since it was cut down in 1968 that would have have meant that the tree started growing before Canada was a country. It was stated that the tree was cut down simply because it was inconvenient. I know that trees have a finite life span, much as people do, but this one would have lived at least twice a long as it did before dying. We need to be better stewards of nature than we have been to this point. Nature may not need us but we certainly need them.

The National Home Show is still on until Febraury 27th. I would urge anyone who has any kind of interest in homes, renovating, design or furniture to go to the National Home Show.


  1. The mountain climbers posed on a wall is a cool idea! Another idea would have one using an ice pick that is actually the hook to hang it on the wall. Or maybe someone on a zipline suspended across the ceiling!

  2. I like the ice pick idea as well as the zipline suspended across the ceiling. There are a whole host of ideas that came to me when I saw the mountain climbers. I can envision mountain skiers, parachutists, etc. It is the idea of expressing motion across and within space that I find attractive. I will have to start putting some of these ideas down on paper before I forget them when the next interesting idea comes along. I believe that a sculpture should make a statement in the space that it displaces. There is a complete conversation that is initiated by these mountain climbers. I like that.