The entertainment portion of the vendor show will be five designer showcase rooms, decked out by Quad-City businesses, giving show-goers ideas of what they might do in their own homes. You'll find an office, an outdoor space, a dining room, a master bedroom and a family room.

The 66-by-54-inch horse picture is an unexpected accessory in the home office designed by Jennifer Agan of Interior Image, Bettendorf, and it sets the tone for a room full of unexpected choices.

Others include peacock-blue walls; a white, high-gloss dining table instead of a conventional desk; and bold, white-and-black patterned drapes.

And instead of a traditional desk chair on rollers, Agan has selected a wingback with a zebra print on one side and black fabric on the other, accented with brushed silver nailheads. It is flanked by two clear acrylic "ghost chairs."

The point of Agan's unexpected selections is that an office can be more personalized because it is a private space, unlike the family room that is used by everyone in the house and seen by guests, she said.

Her imaginary client is a woman who uses the office mainly after hours. "It's a mix of style, color and pattern," Agan said.

A wall of plants, in your living room

You've heard of window boxes. Now take that same idea and put it inside your living room. Yes, a new trend in the plant world is "vertical gardening" indoors, accomplished by screwing planter boxes into interior wall studs to create living art, said Gretchen Ashley, a floral designer with The Green Thumbers in Davenport.

Vertical gardening will be part of the outdoor space created by The Green Thumbers, which will be half-outdoor patio with a paver floor and fire pit, and half-sunroom with outdoor furniture, artwork and plants.

The keys to a successful vertical garden are to use a lightweight soil medium (not real soil) in the box, to water the soil with a mister and to make sure that the plants you choose have the same sun and moisture requirements, Tenneil Downs of The Green Thumbers said.

Another plant trend is the return of terrariums that were popular in the 1970s, Ashley said. The store gets requests, sometimes several, nearly every day, she said.

Terrariums come in all sizes; one on display at the store is nearly 5 feet high and retails for $650. They can be much smaller, though, and the key to success is to select plants that will stay small, such as little ferns, ivy and baby tears.

Focus on American-made

Tim Schlicksup, the owner of Knilans' Furniture in Davenport, is showcasing American-made Stickley furniture in his dining room with a table, chairs and sideboard from the 21st Century line.

Stickely furniture is known for its Arts & Crafts styling and fine craftsmanship - pinned mortise and tenon joinery and dovetailed cross rails, for example. It is made in Manlius, N.Y.

Knilans' master bedroom will be furnished with a bed, dresser and nightstand from Harden Furniture's Bristol Channel collection. The solid maple furniture is a blend of rustic country and European styling, Schlicksup said.

It doesn't all have to match

A key point that Amy Anderson of Staged 2 Perfection, Rock Island, hopes to make with her family room is that furniture doesn't all have to match.

"The more contrast, the more interesting it can be," she said.

Her room will include an electric fireplace, a love seat, a sofa, and two accent chairs and rugs. Bright color choices - lime green, chocolate brown and red - are aimed at banishing the winter blahs.

 

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