Mike Holmes was there – Join me if you weren’t

Mike Holmes and Ann Watson after the International Builders Show

Mike and Ann after the “show for the pros”

Mike Holmes was at the International Builders Show (IBS) and the Kitchen & Bath Show (KBIS) in Las Vegas as part of Design and Construction week.

Along with Mike and 125,000 other professionals, I had the opportunity to see the “newest and greatest” in products and techniques for home remodeling and building.

This selfie, which Mike snapped, was taken on the airplane after the show in late January. Thanks Mike

Join me as I share the scoop on the “latest & greatest” in home products for Active Living – straight from the pros!


Ann at International Builders Show 2015

The Show & Active Living

Whether you are helping Sage Boomer, a pro-active Senior or a family caregiver, you will find lots of tips about products and services to match active lifestyles in our coming blog series.

This post is an introduction to the series that will move all around the home.

We will introduce you to Active Living Products featured on a product tour at the “home show of home shows” – where the product professionals interact with the service professionals such as remodelers, designers and builders.

But don’t worry, you don’t have to be into DIY!  The blog series will also include tips about finding the right professionals to create your dream home.

The Product Tours

IBS badge with Certified Aging in Place ribbon

My badge and green ribbon. The ribbon acknowledges my Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) designation from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

The IBS and KBIS shows featured over 3,700 exhibitors, many with beautiful products for the home. Believe me, it’s a challenge to see everything. To give you a perspective on the enormity of the shows, here is a picture of my badge on a small portion of the exhibit hall map.

My favorite events at the IBS show are the Aging in Place and Universal Design Product Tours. In small groups we go around the exhibit halls stopping at pre-selected manufacturers who discuss their products. The tours help me focus on the products that are beneficial for active living at home.

An Aging in Place Product Tour Group at the Warmup booth.

An Aging in Place Product Tour Group at the Warm-up booth. Photo courtesy of Warmup.

Active Living

“Active living at home” is a broad way to describe living in a home that supports your lifestyle both now and in the future. It is an inclusive term to describe Aging in Place, Universal Design, Accessible Design and other concepts and principles used by professionals.

Most of us want to either stay in our existing home for years to come, or plan a new “dream home”. At Sage in Home, we believe that it is a “smart idea” to select products for the home with active living in mind.

Sage Professionals help make small improvements for daily living, remodel or build a new home and offer Home Health products. Many are are Certified Aging in Place Specialist, like most of the people in the group shown above.

In other words, they are trained to understand and anticipate needs.

Qualified professional are more likely to “Make it right”, as Mike Homes would say.

Remodeler Central at IBSVegas2015

Back to the tour

The meeting place for the Aging in Place Product Tour was Remodelers Central.

Here I had a chance to chat with some of the other tour participants. Most were remodelers, builders and designers from across North America. Many were fellow Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) designees. And, like me, some have completed additional courses in Universal Design.

My Aging in Place tour group leaders was Dan Bawden (CAPS), a remodeler from the Houston area, and my Universal Design tour leader was Robert August from Colorado. At a ceremony held earlier in the week, Robert received one of the highest achievement awards this year from the NAHB.

Dan Bawden is a great example of a highly regarded remodeler that you will find in the Sage in Home directory of professional businesses. He was awarded CAPS educator of the year by NAHB in 2011. And, he has over 35 years of experience helping people love their home. His company, Legal Eagle Contractors has been the remodeler of the year for Texas and Houston several times.

Before and after bathroom by Legal Eagle Contractors

Always helping to spread the word about the benefits of Aging in Place remodeling, Dan provided me with these “before and after”  photos from a recent project. According to Dan –

“This bathroom illustrates how the principles of Aging in Place – safety, comfort and ease of use – can be used without sacrifice to beautiful design. To complete this walk-in in shower conversion (it was a 5 foot long tub before), we used a fold-down Invisia seat, linear drain and nice looking handrails. Our customer is thrilled to be living their active life in a home that suits their taste and style.”

On the final day of the show, I visited every company on each of the tours that I had not visited yet. I made lots of notes about the features of products that support active living at home. And, I took some photos which I’ll supplement with professional photos from the manufacturers.

Active Living Product Tour Series

Over the next year, I’ll be blogging about the products featured on the tours and sharing insights from the manufacturers.  24 companies in all will be featured, from all areas of the home. For example, Invisia – the manufacturer of the shower bench shown above –  was included in our tour.

Note: This blog series is not sponsored. The companies were selected by the NAHB and the products discussed were selected by the manufacturers.

Preview – Let’s start at the bottom – Underfloor Heating!

Back home in a cold weather climate, I can’t help but develop a bit of an obsession with underfloor heating.

I certainly wish that I’d added it to the basement office I’m using to finalize this blog. And, when I think of the shoveling required after a snowfall earlier this week, I have real regrets about not having snow melting products in my driveway.

Warmup underfloor heating offers comfort - sign up for tour on home page

Electric underfloor heating worth considering for basement renovations. Photo courtesy of Warmup.

I’d be as comfortable and relaxed as she is!

During the month of February, I’ll be publishing a blog about Warmup, an electric underfloor heating company.

From the Warmup team, I learned that comfort is only one of the many benefits of installing underfloor heating. It’s good for your health and safety also!

Looking forward to having you join me on the tour!


Ann brings the passion of a family caregiver to Sage in Home, having helped both her mother and mother-in-law renovate their homes for safety, comfort and ease of use. She is a “Sandgen” mother, caring for two children and providing support to older family members while working. Prior to becoming CEO of Sage in Home, she worked in the financial services industry for over twenty five years.

Her entrepreneurial spirit and vision helped to shape Sage in Home. She is a Certified Age in Place Specialist (CAPS), studied Universal Design and has been a guest speaker at Aging in America. She holds a Masters in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Commerce. In the past, she was President of the board of a children's enhanced learning program and Treasurer and board member of both the Nathaniel Dett Chorale and the Word on the Street.

Posted in Business Tips, Comfort & Safety, General, Home Health, Products, Renovating & Building Tagged with: , ,