All Decked out

As one of the showcase presenter’s at this year’s Calgary Home + Garden Show, Paul Lafrance provides a pretty good indicator of just how important the art of transforming your living space has become.

Host of HGTV’s new television show Decked Out as well as the mini-series Deck Wars, and creator, owner and CEO of his own design company, Lafrance has spent the last 15 years generating state-of-the-art custom deck designs across North America.

In that time, the popularity of shows like Lafrance’s — placing a priority on making the most of your house and home — has grown with stunning speed. The allure of maximizing the home’s potential, particularly in the backyard, is something Lafrance says owes much to the increasing pace of our everyday lives.

“We are on the verge of rebelling against the speed of culture,” he said. “We have all these wonderful technological advances, we have all this stuff that’s supposed to make our lives more simple and make our lives more peaceful, and we have never been more stressed out because we have never moved this fast before. And the need for people to actually find a place of rest to be able to breathe in and out has never been more paramount.”

In order to foster such a feeling, Canadians spent nearly $21 billion on renovations in 2011, with the average facelift coming in at a cost of $12,504. With so much money devoted to makeovers, it’s no surprise some of that attention eventually turns towards those areas outside of the home – an area Lafrance believes holds an inherent connection for Canadians, even if they aren’t quite sure what to do with it.

“There’s something about being out in nature that is very peaceful,” he said. “So many of us have this little patch of land that is directly out the back door of our house but we look out there and say ‘What could we possibly do out there?’”

Luckily there are people like Lafrance who have made a living figuring out just that. Drawing from a background in music rather than business, the designer said his inspiration comes from interacting with his clients.

“I come up with ideas based on [the fact] that I generally just dig people. Every single inspiration I have comes from communication with my clients.”

By doing so, and by stressing “quality over quantity” when it comes to backyard makeovers, Lafrance has helped thousands of Canadians realize the goal of having their very own backyard oasis. Key to making that dream a reality, he said, is providing something inventive that takes away from life’s unrelenting distractions.

“The reason why it has to be creative is human beings will take the path of least resistance,” he explained. “If it’s not something that draws you out – if it’s just a square box with a barbecue and some plastic furniture, you will be drawn to that computer screen to answer those piling up emails that are pressing on your mind.”

Sponsored by CREB®Now, Lafrance’s presentation The Backyard Revolution, will showcase that creativity for the thousands in attendance at this year’s Calgary Home + Garden Show. Along with Lafrance, the show will be welcoming fellow HGTV alum Bryan Baeumler, local personalities Alykhan Velji and Rosalyn Lazaruk and more than 650 exhibitors.

“The Calgary Home + Garden Show is ready to host the city’s largest exhibition of home and landscape design, decor and renovation ideas,” said the show’s manager Terri Higgins. “We’re looking forward to a busy weekend showcasing the city’s best products, services and experts all under one roof to inspire people to refresh their homes for spring.”

Visitors to this year’s show can also look forward to Food Truck Alley offering hungry patrons a selection of menu options provided by Fiasco Gelato, Noodle Bus, 500 Cucina, Sticky Ricky’s, Food Fighter and Vasili’s.

The 2013 Calgary Home + Garden show takes place Feb. 28 through Mar. 3 at the BMO Centre & Corral at Stampede Park. For complete information on this year’s show, visit Calgary Home + Garden Show.

Calgary Home + Garden Show Main Stage Schedule

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