Thursday, January 10, 2013
At the Greater Roanoke Home & Garden Show, you can find out about all the latest home trends. Stop by one of the workshops by Brian Santos, aka The Wall Wizard, to help you implement them.
Friday through Sunday, the Roanoke Civic Center will host the Greater Roanoke Home & Garden Show for the fourth year.
In addition to exhibits featuring the latest home trends, wine tastings by Fincastle Vineyard, interactive workshops for kids by Home Depot, and pet adoptions, Brian Santos, aka The Wall Wizard, will also be on hand to present workshops for local do-it-yourselfers.
Santos has been touring with his workshops for more than 20 years and has been in the paint and wallpaper industry for more than 35. He has also written 14 books and appeared on numerous TV shows, including "Today" and "Good Morning America." When he's not travelling with home shows and making TV appearances, Santos is the community outreach director for Habitat for Humanity in Tampa, Fla.
The Wall Wizard will present workshops at 4 p.m. on Friday, 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and 12:30 and 3:30p.m. on Sunday.
I spoke with Santos on the phone earlier this week to find out more about him and the workshops he's bringing to the Roanoke Valley.
Q: How did you become "The Wall Wizard"?
I had my own paint, wallpaper and insulation company, and I have a teaching degree. It seemed like a great way to combine all of those things by taking my knowledge on the road.
Q: What are some trends that we can expect for 2013?
The best way to understand where design is going is to look where fashion has been. We've seen a lot of color blocking and contrasting colors. We've also seen really vibrant patterned and metallics for this coming year.
We're going to see it in two ways. We're going to use high-contrast colors on walls and textures on fabrics. They'll have a touch, a feel and a luster to them.
Q: What are some of the most common mistakes beginners make when redecorating?
Mostly not having a plan. Typically what is really important when it comes to working with colors is to work with a color fan deck. It's a color palette that you can now take and see what the colors are going to look like in the rooms.
You can also go to Better Homes and Gardens website at www.bhg.com and we have color selectors in the computer. You can download a picture of your room and see what the colors on the walls will look like.
Another one of the big tips I have is don't start painting squares on the wall. I'm going to teach you three tips for selecting color properly in your room during one of my workshops.
Q: What are some classic techniques that anyone can do to spruce up a room?
I always believe that you should paint all five walls - the fifth wall is the ceiling. The best color for the ceiling is half the brightness of the color of the other four walls.
Also, all mouldings, doors and trims should be stark white. It creates a frame around where the color resides, unless it's [the trim] natural wood - which is a different consideration. A good fresh coat of white paint is always going to be classic, timeless, clean and fresh.
Q: What can we expect from you during the home show?
The real challenge is to come early. I'll give you 60 tips in 60 minutes, so don't come late. Be ready to be amazed, it is wizardly. It will answer the top 10 questions that people usually have about projects. It's about science and the art of illusion.
Given my background, I call it "marriage counseling." Everyone will come away with something. Women love it because it answers their questions and men love it because it gives them the process, and if something wrong happens, they can blame me.
The shows are funny, too. They poke at misconceptions and it really does show that we're just people and we have different points of view on how we see things.
There are tons of painting secrets, faux finish secrets and Quiz the Wiz, where people can come in and ask any questions about paint, refinishing and removing wallpaper.
Q: What's your favorite technique/tip?
Two words: No fear. It's a can of paint, are you going to let a can of paint intimidate you?
Q: Are there any products or techniques folks should beware of before bringing them into their home?
A lot of times it has to do with the new materials that are used on cement and garage floors. There's a lot of misconception about how they should be applied. In any project the problem seems to be in the preparation, not the installation. We'll spend a lot of time in the show talking about proper preparation. Manufacturers don't put out enough information.
Q: What are some of the easiest ways for people to make their space look larger?
Simplicity. We have too much clutter and too much stuff. I'd rather have one good-size couch and chair that is overstuffed, even in a small space, and then a good color.
Instead of having a lot of things on the wall, one or two pieces on a nice wall is all you need. Lighting is also important. Lighting is color and color is light. It can make a dramatic difference in how the room looks and feels.
Q: Paint or wallpaper?
I love wall coverings, because once you learn how to do them and apply them the art is on the material. The problem is that skill has been tossed away. If you're under 30 and I say "wallpaper" you think "screen saver."
When faux finishes came out in the late '80s they replaced wall coverings. But they [wall paper/coverings] are coming back, and the trend is organics. We're seeing cork, cloths and things like that balance out the high-tech chromes and steels. It's a dichotomy between organic and industrial.
Q: What are some basic tools/products people should invest in before redecorating?
The basics: a good brush, roller extension pole and ladder. All of those will be explored, and I'll tell you how to know it's good. I give a sense of what to look for and why.
My show is all about the "why." It changes the way people see the walls around them and gives them the empowerment to do things. Even if you do something wrong, it gives you the knowledge of how to correct it.
For more information on Brian Santos, visit www.roanokehomeandgardenshow.com/Celebrity_Bio.html.