Home Show has all the latest trends
Seattle Times staff reporter
As usual, the show — which starts next Saturday — will give homeowners (and would-be homeowners) an up-close look at the latest in home design, furnishing and landscaping.
According to Home Show spokeswoman Belinda Young, one major trend of the past few years has been an increased focus on the home as entertainment center.
Indoors, Young said, this trend means state-of-the-art home-theater systems. Game rooms are becoming more popular, too, sometimes at the expense of formal dining rooms.
Outside, features such as putting greens are becoming more common. And the "outdoor-room" concept is gaining popularity as well. Perhaps you'd like to assemble that "outdoor kitchen" you've been dreaming of — complete with $10,000 grill (with permanent overhead ventilation) and a weather-resistant outdoor refrigerator.
Young said home-automation products also are becoming more popular. "For the Northwest, environmentally friendly features are always a big, big thing," she added.
In that department, Young said, the most exciting new product is EuroSlate, which is being introduced to the Western Washington market at the Home Show.
EuroSlate looks like traditional slate roofing but is made of recycled tires. The material is supposed to be more durable than slate (it's resistant to moss and algae, and comes with a 50-year warranty), and it also acts as an insulator, which helps reduce energy costs. State Roofing, of Monroe, is the exclusive supplier of EuroSlate in Western Washington.
The first edition of the Seattle Home Show, in 1939, filled the old Civic Auditorium with 50 exhibits and one model home — a five-room bungalow. First lady Eleanor Roosevelt was on hand to kick off the event.
Over the years, the show kept up with changing times and trends, in various venues:
• It skipped a few years during World War II (that's why this is the 60th edition, not the 66th).
• In 1948, it moved to the National Guard Armory (now the Seattle Center House).
• The 1960 show featured a model family fallout shelter. Other displays that year showcased the new concept of "mobile living."
• In 1962, when Seattle Center was being prepared for the World's Fair, the show was held at Pier 91.
• In 1963, the show was moved to the Seattle Coliseum.
• In 1971, its theme, "Leisure Living," was exemplified by three model vacation/retirement homes.
• The show moved to the Kingdome in 1978.
• The inaugural fall version (called Seattle Home Show 2) was held in 1999.
• Both shows were held at the Seahawks Exhibition Center in 2000.
One constant of the Home Show has been the stewardship of the McDonald-Kalian family.
"We maintain a very hard work ethic," managing director Michael Kalian said. "Doing what you say you'll do — we pride ourselves on that." Kalian said the "personal service" that goes along with family ownership has resulted in "great relationships with all the exhibitors we've worked with over the years."
Kalian has been running the show since 1984, when he took over from his father-in-law, William McDonald (Kalian started working on the show in 1971 — the year of "Leisure Living"). McDonald started the show with his father and uncle.
The business now spans four generations; the Home Show's sales director, Tara Kalian (Michael's daughter), became associated with the event in 1997.
Michael Kalian sees the Home Show continuing for the foreseeable future. "Who would have thought it would have lasted four generations?" he said. "1939 was an interesting time in our country — as is now."
Information in this article, originally published February 8, was corrected February 11. The model home at the first Seattle Home Show, in 1939, was a five-room bungalow, not a five-bedroom bungalow as reported in an earlier version of this article.
Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company