There is nothing like a home and garden show to make you want to start from scratch on your own home and garden, and the 27th Maryland Home & Garden Show this weekend at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium is no exception.
"I wish I'd thought of that." "Honey, we should think about doing that." And "Can I have your card?" will be the catchphrases at the Cow Palace until the show closes at 6 tomorrow night and we are all left with only our daydreams.
There are more than 500 exhibitors in more than 160,000 square feet, and that's a lot of ground to cover. So I decided to offer you my list of must-sees, thanks to a sneak preview from the folks at the show.
* No. 1 on my list, in keeping with the green theme of this year's show, the exhibitors at Cross Creek Farm (booth No. 349) will show you how to build a shed from "repurposed" materials. Not thinking about a shed? Take a look at their fantastic birdhouses, also made from reclaimed materials.
* At York Home Design Center (111), you'll find florals, geometrics and botanicals so outsized and bold they look like fabric samples. Look closer. They are wallcoverings.
* I would not begin my home makeover in the garage, but then, I'm a woman. True garage guys should stop and see Those Garage Guys (826) and Thompson Creek Interiors (218), which has a flat-screen TV mounted over a workbench.
* Number "faux" on my list has got to be imitation cedar siding made from polypropylene and imitation slate shingles made from recycled rubber and plastic. The roof shingles are half the weight of the real things and the cedar shingles come already distressed, but with none of the maintenance requirements. Check out Excel Remodeling Corp. (306) and Allied Remodeling Corp. (115).
* Grab your sweetheart and check out the cozy two-person hot tub at Regina Pools & Spas (301).
* A garage door doesn't have to look like a garage door anymore. It can look like the doors to an old-fashioned carriage house. See for yourself at Freedom Overhead Door (920).
* Just in time for winter, and higher heating bills, Yasuko International (527) has faux fur throws, incredibly luxurious to the touch. There's mink, polar bear and something called "Eskimo."
* Right out of The Beverly Hillbillies, Kingdom Billiards (723) will show you how your new pool table can convert to an elegant dining room table.
* Entry Door Impressions (832) will take your old front door, cut out the center and insert decorative glass panels in any number of sizes, shapes and styles.
* Make sure to stop at Bray & Scarff, just inside the exhibit's front door, and fill out a chance to win a new energy-efficient washer and dryer. Stainless steel is the preferred finish again this year in the sleek kitchen appliances and stove tops on display.
* There is food for the body, as well as the imagination. GT Roasters is offering pit beef, ham and turkey, plus Italian sausages, crab cakes and pulled pork.
* And there is food for the soul, as well. Take a break at any one of the water features, quiet gardens and stone patios constructed for the show, some no larger than my little kitchen.
* Try not to think about the miles per gallon when you step inside the giant RVs with their elaborate bump-outs. You would truly be at home on the road in one of these behemoths.
* Finally, the home and the garden are not the only things that are subject to makeovers. The show offers everything from teeth-bleaching booths to Botox treatments. You can get a flu shot, too, for $25.
if you go
The Maryland Home & Garden Show continues 10 a.m.-9 p.m. today and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. tomorrow at the Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Road, Timonium. Admission is $9 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for children ages 6-12. Free for children younger than 6; and active military, police and fire personnel with valid ID.