The Tauranga Spring Home Show


Friday 17th October saw an influx of mature visitors to the Tauranga Spring Home Show lured by the day’s free entry to Tauranga’s major exhibitions venue at the ASB Stadium.

The already full carpark made it clear to me that there was significant interest in this event. There were some excellent highlights as well as the more usual or expected building, decorator, furnishings and product stands. I’ve left telling you what my absolute outright favourite was until the end of the article!

The Bay of Plenty is a regular competitor in and winner of the most sunshine hours for New Zealand and not surprisingly there was stand promoting the benefits of an invisible window film to reduce the amount of furnishing fading UV light. And no I couldn’t tell which side of the window had “invisible film” and the handheld meter certainly suggested that the invisibly covered side reduce the fading light

Watching local company 3DESIGN 3D machines madly producing vibrantly coloured little ninja figures to promote NinjaFlex “a cutting edge filament for 3D printers” was entrancing. And at the other extreme the Grange Spa Canine Resort display area contained bedding and accessories and specialty food and care products for the four footers in our lives. I loved the Majestic Interiors of Te Puke’s display of tiles. Favourite – Brasilia “the look of weather concrete and steel” – for me reminiscent of wonderful Doreen McNeil paintings with their merged and swirling oranges and greys

Local Wood Artist Peter Seaton had a display of quirky little arrangements whose tealight candles powered their movement. But for me it was Peter’s more traditional sculptural pieces which I wanted to take away – smoothly finished interiors against the remaining roughly textured exterior of grained native timbers – wonderful. Peter is Tauranga based email MJ’s Stuff – the card says “Peg bags, door stops, toddler swings” fabulous traditional canvas quality. I tell him “we had one of those swings” and yes it’s a modern interpretation of the old rope, metal and canvas/canvas little swing. I’m assured they’re very economically priced so if you want to take a look 07 544 407 or 027 2290761 – which tells us that this is also a locally based artisan business.

SarahC of Mangwhai Heads (north of Auckland) had a large stand with a great variety of brightly coloured outdoor art. It was interesting that SarahC was the only “artist” stand here today and while we were standing around at least two of her pieces were bought or collected! Sarah’s promotional card lists what she creates as well as her outdoor garden art.

There are moments when you don’t believe what you’ve seen. When I saw a giraffe driving towards me down SH2 the other week I did a treble take and then fell about laughing (while holding the steering wheel). The giraffe and his associates turned up at the Spring Home Show – they are Natureworks NZ Limited…the no poo zoo. I hope lots of children got to see these over the Home Show weekend – they were just fabulous. Barry Dick’s business card says “Animal Art, Fantasy Art, Works of Art, Egyptian Art, Prehistoric Art, Garden Art, Character Art, Mini Golf Courses.” And there’s a picture of the truck I saw jammed packed with creatures! This display was one which gave me a real burst of delight.

I’ve just eaten a little box sweeties I found in the bottom of my Resene paints bag. The last house and office I painted throughout was done in Pearl Lustre – lovely rich creamy white. I painted the ceilings and most of my office furniture the same colour. It was so nice live and work there. I love Resene test pots and have used them to create garden art and painted terracotta pots as well as try out colours (actually a selection of whites). Found a Resene habitat magazine and discount postcards in my bag. I picked up the roof paint colour chart – well perhaps early next year? There are two Resene shops here one in Tauranga at 47 Waihi Road (turn left just before the lights at the bottom of Waihi Road) Phone 578 4169 and Mount Maunganui at 91 Newton Street, Phone 572 0044.

Just loved the Zohar stand with their display of David Trubridge beautiful lights. Bamboo or hoop pine – sustainable materials and production. If you are coming down to Tauranga and Mount Maunganui take a look in Zohar Design & Art Gallery. All sorts of beautiful items whether you are looking for a gift, something to send overseas or just something beautiful for you. The only problem I tell Zohar is that it takes me so long to look at everything in the shop. And the staff and owners are friendly and helpful!

My friend wants to know how to use Porter’s Original Paints to crackle finish a piece of furniture she has. Over the years I’ve seen stylish magazine advertisements for the Porter’s range of paint finishes. I’ve always been intrigued by “milk paint”. The sheet we pick up today has “Duchess Satin, Chalk Emulsion, Liquid Bronze, Fresco, Liquid Iron and Liquid Zinc” Youtube has a series of How to… Here in Tauranga they are available through Versatile Products, 61 4th Avenue, Tauranga Phone 577 0195

There are also stands with sweets and food and Peter Blakeway is cooking up a burger storm in the packed cooking stage area. I love the promotional material for greentrading organic products. I’m not sure about the organic soapnut powder though – “…it works as a great face body and hair defoliant..” That aside the health properties of many of the products are exciting and Neem Oil insecticide “controls more than 200 insects/pests” Sounds like Neem is a crop we should be considering.

Well done the Garden & Arts Festival team and its Director John Beech. What an excellent promotional display for November’s biennial G & A Festival. The effort and creativity of this production was surely a taste of what we can expect of the Festival itself. I loved The Spruce Up Company’s wall of recycled wood slats and terracotta pots. The lime green spiderweb ceiling between the natural wood posts. Really good to see events leveraging off each other. Also interesting to see busy professionals like Michelle McDonnell of Landscape Design Limited who has been a trustee of the Garden & Art Festival for several years in appropriately hot pink loafers handing out the distinctive promotional booklets. (I’d put a display of them along the dashboard of my parked car before I went into the venue) I suspect John Beech was busy selling tickets all weekend.

Really looking forward to this year’s Festival which involves Katikati, Tauranga, Mount Maunganui and Te Puke in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. There’s so much to this ninth biennial festival. This year there is a new development a festival hub, The Lakes Expo Pavilion – displays, exhibitions, speakers, workshops and a cafe as well as a speaking programme, the garden & art trail

and the Sculpture Symposium. “Art work representing a huge range of creative endeavour will not only be shown in gardens but in Artstops along the trail and in other special art oriented events”

Take a look at the New Zealand Garden & Art Festival website

Congratulations to Sun Media (Sun Live and The Weekend Sun) for sponsoring the opening Friday of Tauranga Spring Home Show and enabling us to see and enjoy so much. I hope other Bay of Plenty event organisers will see how dramatically attendances can be increased by the sponsorship of a Friday free entry day or for performances an additional price reduced matinée session.

Rosemary Balu


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