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There's no place like home Some ideas for making your house a 'Staycation Station'

We've had "cocooning." We've had "nesting." Now a new word has entered the pop-culture lexicon: Staycation.

And for many, it's sounding pretty good. Especially in today's economy.

What a staycation is, of course, is staying put rather than taking off on pricey vacations.

It's about enjoying sites and festivals closer to home -- day trips, if you will -- but also fixing up your own digs, especially your backyard.

Staycation is the theme of this year's Buffalo Home & Garden Show at the Buffalo Convention Center, which opens Saturday and runs through March 8.

From awnings to appliances, sheds to sprinklers, pools to play sets, this is the place to check out what's new and get some ideas on making your own home the place to be.

Members of the Interior Design Association of Western New York have been busy creating this year's feature: the Staycation Station Lakehouse Rooms, which also include outdoor spaces inspired by lakeside living.

The "house" consists of a bedroom, bath, closet, kitchen and combination living/sitting/dining area with fireplace. There's also a front porch, outdoor kitchen, decking, water features and landscaping -- with the emphasis on "natural."

Think stones, boulders, tall grasses, 12-foot pine trees and, we kid you not, sand castles.

"It's not a very manicured landscape. It's as natural as possible, very minimal," said Jennifer Lee Fedeson, of F & S Design Studio, an exterior design company.

To further put visitors in a "lakeside" mood, a giant mural hangs on a nearby wall and sail cloth is draped over the outdoor kitchen area.

"We wanted a lakeside home but a little more upscale," said Ann Medinac, president of the Interior Design Association of WNY. The color scheme, for instance, includes of-the-moment shades such as moss, agua-blue, yellow and pumpkin.

Furnishings came from local furniture stores, antique shops and even designers' friends' barns -- for that eclectic look.

Many of the "staycation" ideas are ones people can borrow for their own homes -- and not all of them are expensive.

To enjoy your own "staycation" at home, for example, consider these elements:

* Live plants -- and lots of them -- throughout your home (some up-lighted).

* Pillows for lounging -- in front of a big-screen TV, of course.

* Eclectic, fun, exciting furniture and decor. In the bedroom here, for example, a silver picnic table and bench will serve as a dressing table. Two old, leaded glass windows are used as partitions in the bath. Decorative items such as old stamped containers, milk cans and crates also create ambience.

* An outdoor area suitable for relaxing and entertaining. A comfortable place for outdoor dining is especially nice. Don't be afraid to go a little exotic.

* A front porch you actually use.

* Warm, easy-on-the eyes surfaces, such as hammered copper (sink) and oil-rubbed bronze (kitchen fixtures).

* Artwork or photographs that take you away to a place you love. Here the theme is nautical, but it can be any setting you enjoy.

As in previous years, visitors also can count on celebrity presentations and design seminars; more than 400 exhibitors are here as well.

Some highlights:

* Shane Tallant, host of HGTV's "Designed to Sell," will appear this weekend on the seminar stage at the following times: 12:30 and 7 p.m. Saturday and at 12:30 and 3 p.m. Sunday.

* Award-winning architect David Jameson will speak at 7 and 8 p.m. next Friday. Jameson, president and design principal of David Jameson Architect in Alexandria, Va., most recently won the 2009 Institute of Honor Awards for Interior Architecture for his Jigsaw residence.

* Fans of ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" can check out the re-creation of one of the kitchens from an "Extreme Makeover" home, one located near Geneva.

* Two Western New York companies -- Complete Fabrication and Machine and Classic Window and Door -- were involved in the makeover project last summer.

* Finally, Ty Pennington, host of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and spokesman for home show producer Marketplace Events, has inspired and endorsed another highlight of this year's Buffalo Home & Garden Show -- "Ty Style Designer Rooms," created from his own line of furniture and accessories.




>Buffalo Home & Garden Show

When: Saturday through March 8 in the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday; 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Next Friday and March 7; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 8.

Tickets: $10 for adults, $3 for children ages 6 to 12 (5 and younger are free). Discount tickets are available online,

More information: Check out for attractions, contests, exhibitors, parking information and more.

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