Headed to the Home Show? Keep these tips in mind.

Original Post from pigeon605.com

What comes before spring? Home show season.

In the coming weeks, home shows will take place across eastern South Dakota, including the massive Sioux Empire Home Show.

But if you’ve ever navigated the endless rows of booths, vendors and options, you know it can become a little overwhelming.

“The idea is to get the dream out of your head and into your home,” said Carly Ellsworth of Montgomery’s, who oversees outside design projects such as home shows.

“And it can be overwhelming, but there is so much available for help. That’s why, when you’re a Montgomery’s customer, we offer the Whole Home Experience to help you manage the project without any additional cost. When we know what you’re looking for, we can save you time and money by directing you where to go and how to shop.”

Ellsworth strives to make stopping by the Montgomery’s booth at a home show just like a miniature representation of the store itself.

“We change our booth each year, and we design it for the community whose show we’re participating in,” she said. “It’s 100 percent consumer-driven, so we’re looking at what consumers are looking for when they’re coming into the store, what the trends are and what you might not know as much about that we think should be elevated.”

The booth also is staffed with Montgomery’s designers ready to help guide you through your project or answer questions.

“We have a whole team of designers ready to help with the project from start to finish,” said designer Paula Kruetzfeldt.

“We become your project management helper, and that relationship can start in our booth, or you can come to the store anytime. And if you come to the store and connect with a designer before the Home Show, we can even help guide you during the show to make sure you see everything that interests you.”

Ready to prep for your Home Show experience? The Montgomery’s experts shared their advice.

First thing to consider: Your budget

“Budget is a big factor and determine that first,” said Corey McLaughlin, Montgomery’s senior manager for floor coverings.

He knows – after spending years as a contractor running building projects.

“If you’re looking at things that aren’t in your budget, you’ll struggle, and it can feel defeating. If we start with budget, we can ensure it’s a positive experience.”

Hone in on your ‘why’

We’ve all got one – the big reason why we’re hoping to refresh our space.

“One way to keep the process from becoming overwhelming is to focus on what’s important,” Kruetzfeldt said.

“That’s how we start narrowing down choices. So what’s important? Is it children, pets, color? What’s the key motivator? Most people don’t do this every day, and there are so many options. We want to make this a fun experience so that they’re enjoying investing in their home and making good choices.”

The need to engage

The Montgomery’s experts agree: The biggest mistake visitors to home shows make is seeing and not speaking.

“They browse but don’t engage,” Ellsworth said. “I can’t tell you how important it is to ask the right questions. Talk about your project. Show a picture. Ask for ideas. That’s what gives us life as designers and how our brains work.”

And, once you do, you’ll realize all the expertise waiting for you.

“For instance, if a homeowner is interested in a kitchen or bathroom project, we can suggest plumbing fixtures and faucets, appliances and cabinetry and help decide what type of sink could go in there,” Kruetzfeldt said.

“We can coordinate those things without actually supplying them, and over the years we’ve developed such valuable relationships that we can introduce you to the companies to best meet your needs. Once clients stop and talk about things, their eyes light up because they begin to realize all their options.”

Discussing flooring? Ask the right questions

Many homeowners come to a home show curious about ways to refresh their flooring.

“But anyone can sell flooring by how it looks great or because you like the color, but it may not work with your home or cabinets or counters or trim,” McLaughlin said.

“Ask if there are other items in your home affected by putting that flooring in your house.”

Curious about the trends? Here’s a peek

Not to spoil all the reveals of the Home Show, but if you’re hoping your home project will leave your space up-to-the-minute current, think warming up.

“We’re still going with an earthy, organic color scheme, but there’s increasingly a blend of warm and cool tones,” Ellsworth said. “I’m not saying gray is out, but it’s definitely shifted to warmer grays and taupes. Maybe an icy-cold blue but paired with camel. So we’re going to show how to mix both.”

Tech isn’t going anywhere, either.

“We’re seeing a big shift, from window treatments coordinating with smartphones and thermostats and appliances,” Ellsworth said. “As designers, it’s important for us to stay cutting edge, so just like our customers, this is a great opportunity for us to reconnect with people we know and see what they have to offer.”

Another tip: Ask for references

With hundreds of vendors, it can be hard to hone in on who is a match for your project, but visuals can help show if they’re a fit.

“As you talk with businesses, ask for pictures or to see examples of their work,” McLaughlin said. “We all have a different eye for quality, so what meets one person’s expectations might not for someone else. Ask them to show you their end result.”

And finally, ask about what you don’t know

A key question to ask while considering a home project is the one you might not know to ask.

“After asking a company to explain the details of what they offer, say to them: ‘What am I forgetting?’” McLaughlin said.

“That sparks the salesperson to tell you about the plumber or the electrician or the other costs and extras that might be needed. The idea is to have that conversation up front, so the road map is laid out, and you can make a value decision.”

Or, if you’d rather not be the one who has to ask what more it takes to get a project done, Montgomery’s Whole Home Experience will make sure it’s all covered for you.

“We’ll help you make the first decision go with the very last decision and everything in between,” Kruetzfeldt said.

Stop by the Montgomery’s booth at the following upcoming home shows:

  • Sioux Falls: Sioux Empire Home Show, Feb. 24-26, Sioux Falls Convention Center.
  • Aberdeen: Aberdeen Home & Garden Show, March 3-5, Brown County Fairgrounds.
  • Watertown: Watertown Home Show, March 4-5, Codington County Extension Complex.