People see, people buy: imagination turns houses to homes at convention |


Bonnie Moore takes a break from selling sunrooms to check out the jewelry at Andrea’s Duffle and Tote Collection Jewelry during the Home & Garden Show on April 10, 2021 at Central Bank Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Martha McHaney | Staff

2020 was the year the world stayed home: the COVID-19 pandemic confined most people to their homes for more time than they’d ever imagine, and what were once living room and kitchens became offices and schools.

After months of looking at the same four walls, many people found themselves on a home improvement. For Lexingtonians, The Home and Garden Show at the Central Bank Center was the perfect place to turn their dreams in reality.

The convention was hosted Friday, April 9 through April 11. On Saturday, Lexington residents found themselves in the convention center obtaining free samples and décor ideas. The floor of the showroom boasted a range of amenities for sale: hot tubs, cars, sun rooms were some of the big ticket items, though décor modeled after insects, specialty ellipticals to cure fibromyalgia and iced drinks were also offered.

“I want a pool, a fire pit, and I’m gonna extend some landscaping in the backyard with a little seating area, maybe a little secret garden,” Dianah Burton said. “I’ve got a lot of goodies and I’ve been looking at the hot tubs.”

Patrons of the show could walk from one end of the room to the other and find themselves needing a new garage door or whimsical fairy garden landscape in their backyard. Most people in attendance were wearing masks, but others had it just below their noses, and some vendors didn’t mind going mask-less at all. Many people didn’t mind this one bit, though.

“I think everybody’s being safe. I’m fine, I’m happy to be here,” said Lexington resident Jay Howland said. “When you get to a certain age, home improvements are what you live for.”


Patrons visit the the Home & Garden Show on April 10, 2021 at Central Bank Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Martha McHaney | Staff

Mini donuts, free samples and coffee lured in people from all over Lexington. The line was long for these treats as people got ready to explore the convention. Betsy Schein recently moved to Cardinal Valley from Kenwick and was looking for garden and plant inspiration for her new place.

“There’s a nice exhibition to make your own keychain from a Baby Lock sewing machine, too!” Schein said.

Young couple Sarah and Eric Forman were strolling around the home and garden show, excited that it was back this year.

“We don’t have anything specific in mind today, we just do this every year.” Sarah said. “Our favorite part has been getting to see everything, there’s been lots of free stuff.”

“We always end up spending more than we hoped,” Eric joked. “I didn’t know we needed a front door, now we do.”

With the vast array of dazzling items, attendees fought not to succumb to a room full of advertisements. Even some of the exhibiters, there to sell their own products, couldn’t stop themselves from looking at the goodies around them.

Bonnie Moore, who spent most of her time pitching a sunroom installation to patrons, decided to stop at Andreas Duffle and Tote Collection Jewelry, a shop featuring turquoise and crystal galore.

Hannah Prater checked out the Home and Garden show to get ideas about renovating her kitchen, bathroom, living room, basement and pretty much everything else in a new home.

“We’re getting some information on pricing and material offering and all that good stuff,” Prater said. “My dad’s a builder so he can double check and be like, well that’s legit.” She was even able to get her engagement ring cleaned.

This was the first Home and Garden show in Lexington since before the pandemic, since last year’s convention was canceled. Sales-wise, the event was a success – even if not all attendees followed the precautions. But as patrons headed back home to wait out the rest of the pandemic, they had new trinkets and toys to change up the four walls that they’ve called work, home and everything else in the last year.


Hudson Dean Owens takes a ride on a display tractor next to father Josh Owens during the Home & Garden Show on April 10, 2021 at Central Bank Center in Lexington, Kentucky. “Anytime he sees tractors, mowers or anything with wheels he gets right on it,” Owens said. Photo by Martha McHaney | Staff