Home and Lifestyle Expo opens at Hearnes Center

Friday, February 26, 2010 | 6:24 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — A national trend toward smaller houses hasn't halted people's interest in spending money on their homes.

That's the way Annie Pope sees consumer response to the economic downturn.

If you go

What: The 50th annual Mid-Missouri Home and Lifestyle Expo.

When:  2 to 8 p.m. Friday,  10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday

Where: Hearnes Center

Admission: $5 for adults and free for children 12 and under.

Pope, executive director of the Home Builders Association of Columbia, said the most popular home improvement projects have been kitchen updates as well as media rooms and sun rooms.

"The reason these continue to be the most popular is because they improve the quality of life and help homeowners recoup their value as modeling projects when a home gets sold," she said.

The Home Builders Association's 50th annual Mid-Missouri Home and Lifestyle opened Friday afternoon at the Hearnes Center and continues on Saturday and Sunday. Organizers expect about 7,500 visitors.

There will be 125 exhibitors and seminars with topics such as "Alternative Energy" and "Women-Centric Home Design."

While remodeling projects remain a staple at the expo, vendors also offer innovative new technology for the home such as 3-D television.

Anne Moore, president of D&M Sound, said the 3-D televisions her business is selling were first featured at a consumer's electronic show in January and are just coming into production.

Another service being offered at the show is an interactive online quiz called "Women Centric" by Kliethermes Homes and Remodeling Inc. The purpose is to help women come up with floor plans and designs based on their personalities.

"We want women to feel that their preferences are being heard since they make 90 percent of the decisions in designing the home," Elaine McCrary said.

Even with new advances in home development, the home sizes across the country are decreasing, Pope said. "Smaller more sumptuous spaces are the wave of the future."


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