Like a pantry-full of ingredients or a palette full of paints, there’s something about a tradeshow floor that’s thrilling. And from the latest solar technology to beautiful wood and granite products, Buildex offers up inspiration in spades. Here are some of our favourite products and presenters from Calgary’s Buildex 2011:
Colin Campbell – rugs & carpets
We used to live down the street from Colin Campbell’s Vancouver showroom, and enjoyed popping by every so often to check out their new collections, and so it was nice to see them at Calgary Buildex. This years collections feature rich Earth colours and an inspired ocean and sky pallets. We loved the oriental meets west coast richness of the soft furnishings on offer.
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Perhaps it’s the winter winds that seem to be blowing all too early, but when we saw the array of contemporary fireplaces we had to pause and warm our hands for a while. If I can’t have a mod, conical Malm fireplace in my home, I want one of these cutting edge double glassed in gas or ethanol ones.
Geos – Eos’s solid surface countertops
Made from recycled glass, 3cm thick, and with the look of granite, Geos countertops may have replaced Paperstone in our dream kitchen. We loved they way they look like quartz but are a recycled product. The con is they have to be professionally cut, templates and installed—perhaps we’ll go Paperstone after all?
- Old world doors
If you can’t pack up and move to Hobbiton, perhaps one of these beautiful rounded top doors can get you at least halfway there. We’d love one on our home, and love the feelings of shelter, grace, and elegance that they engender. Not only would they up your curb appeal, but they’ll also hug you every time you come home.
When we saw their booth from across the room, it was like a mirage of Morocco—exotic and luxuriously rich in colour and gloss. Julian tile offers tile products that seem to go far beyond the norm, from producing beautiful mosaic pieces by contract, to uniquely shaped curvilinear tiles that might add a sense of dynamism and drama to nearly any space.
We couldn’t believe how far LED lighting has come in the last few years. When we saw these bulbs first a decade ago, they were pale and washed out, didn’t extend far, and we’re hideously expensive. Newer versions are truly bright and adequate substitutes for their incandescent brethren. Our favourite product were there chandelier lights, which while a little more on the glow side of the spectrum than the sparkle—were vastly superior to fluorescent versions we’ve seen.
Alberta Vacuum Elevators
I really don’t know if these are practical, what application they would have in an average home, or how much these cost. But I do know that I covet their space age cool. Small, tube sized lifts that whoosh between levels-beam me up!
Long summers on the prairies or in the Rockies mean that some of my favourite memories are of lying in a wooden room reading. I feel like we smelt the douglas fir even before we saw the richly textured wooden beams at the Canadian Timberframes booth. A company that constructs and ships the frames nationwide, they’re based out of Golden BC, where folks know what a log cabin should look like!
After walking in circles around the showroom floor, a single step on Dinoflex’s recycled rubber floors saw our feet sigh with relief. I wish they had them in the last dojo I got knocked out in. We’ll definitely be looking into their product for our own home gym. The variety of colours keep things interesting, while knowing how difficult it is to find a recycler for tires, I’m over the moon that somebody is making use of them!
Alberta Biomaterials Development Centre
Of several government agencies with presences at Buildex, we found ABDC the most intriguing. Lured in by a skateboard made of a composite of waste products, we were excited to find out about the different initiatives and government support for devloping sustainable products from crops and agricultural waste. What a relief to see an Albertan government initiative aimed at supporting something other than the energy industry.