Cabin fever takes hold of most of us in February, no matter how mild the winter of 2012 has been. Boredom usually ensues.
"Savor, Sip and Style" — a luxury home show in its sixth year at Turf Valley Resort in western Ellicott City— is just what the seasonal-affective-disorder doctor ordered. More than 75 vendors will gather at the Ellicott City hotel complex Feb. 18 and 19 to show, tell and teach you what spring has in store.
Though the main emphasis is on enhancing your home and landscaping, this event lives up to its catchy, alliterative hype and then some.
There will be a wide variety of libations to sip, from beer to vodka to an assortment from Boordy Vineyards, which will offer Seyval Chardonnay Vidal, Shiraz, Vidal and Sangria, for instance. Visitors can savor such goodies as creamery cheese, chocolate bark, homemade barbecue sauce and Greek specialties.
A cooking demonstration by Baltimore's own Father Leo Patalinghug, who a couple years back beat Chef Bobby Flay on the Food Network's "Throwdown! With Bobby Flay," will be a highlight. Short seminars are also slated by such local entrepreneurs as architects Judy Miller and Karen Pitsley, designers April Pardoe and Drury Lane Interiors and real estate expert Bob Lucido.
Despite the sour economy over the last three years, the all-things-to-all-people formula of this event has ensured that it remains well-attended, said Turf Valley's general manager, Pete Mangione.
"People who may be wanting to move, but can't get the price that they feel their house is worth, are deciding that if they're going to stay in their homes, then they're going to make them nicer," he said. "This is an upscale home show for people who are already in the market, or think there may be something they can do" to improve their homes.
"Besides, it's February! What else is there to do?" said Regina Ford, Turf Valley's marketing director. "People are craving spring and now they don't have to wait for it."
This is the first year that Turf Valley will manage the show, which had been operated in the past by a marketing firm that rented space at the resort.
"There's definitely a learning curve this year, but we're applying the principles of our bridal show, which we've held for 32 years," Mangione said. "We'll be fine-tuning it as we go."
Vendors will offer to renovate and redecorate homes with spring just around the corner.
Divano Designs will display furnishings in a style known as Hollywood Swank, according to Nittoo Singh, who co-owns the store with his wife, Ginny. The shop, which opened in April 2010 in the McGaw Court space formerly occupied by longtime Columbia staple Top Drawer, focuses on contemporary furnishings with an eye for the transitional.
The couple, who immigrated to Howard County from India in 1993, says customers are still spending in these difficult economic times when they see something they like.
"Consumers today are more careful and more cautious," but they still make purchasing decisions based on perceived value, Singh said. That's why this event is appealing, he claims.
"People are still investing in something better despite the economy because they know they will retain it for a longer period and it will pay for itself over time," he said. "Customers here are well-educated and come from diverse ethnic backgrounds, so we try to offer unique things and fresh ideas."
Sykesville-based Clockwork Builders will mount a photographic display of projects they've built for customers over the last 14 years.
"We find that people usually come in with an interest in a certain project, but others come to look and call me a year later when they're ready," said owner John Riley.
"This is a nice day for people to see what's out there as people are beginning to spend more gradually," he said. "It's not high-pressure; it's a little more laid back."
Lucido, who heads the Bob Lucido Team in Fulton, plans to talk about purchasing rental property as a means to pay off college tuition.
"Now is an even better time to do this than when I did it," said Lucido, who's been in real estate for 35 years. "This is a long-term investment; there are very few opportunities to make quick money."
Angelina Rivero, co-owner of Simply Divine Boutique in Maple Lawn, will offer a sampling of women's clothing, jewelry and accessories that cater to baby boomers, a store specialty that she describes as targeting classy women in their late-30s and older.
The shop, which features mainly Canadian designers, has been voted Best Boutique by the readers of Howard Magazine for the last two years, she said.
"This event gets you out of the moody, gloomy blues of winter and helps you get ready for spring," said Rivero, who co-owns the business with Kristin Lyle, the boutique's on-site stylist.
"It also keeps you on your toes with its diversity," said Rivero, about the wide-ranging event, in which visitors can make their way from looking at a sunroom addition to browsing classic fashion to munching a chocolatier's wares. "It's like trick-or-treating for adults."
Savor, Sip and Style, a luxury home show, will be held Feb. 18-19 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Turf Valley Resort, 2700 Turf Valley Road, Ellicott City. Tickets: $20 admission includes five libation sampling tickets and commemorative wine glass, 21 and older; $10 general admission with no libations sampling, 17 and older; $5 admission, children 12 to 17; children under 12, free. Payment covers both days, but only five total sampling coupons. Tickets are available at http://www.turfvalley.com/events or by calling 410-423-0812.