KEAUHOU — Whether it’s remodeling a bathroom or building that dream home, the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce Hawaii Island Living + Design Expo is an opportunity to find out how to turn those aspirations into reality.
The free event, held at the Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa and continuing today from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., brings together a variety of businesses in the home construction and improvement industries all to help residents and visitors get that job done — whatever it might be.
“This is a great place to get inspired,” said Wendy Laros, executive director at the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, pointing to the opportunities for attendees to find ideas for new home designs, remodeling and decor.
This year marks the expo’s 14th year with more than 40 companies represented.
Kona resident Tina Le said she just bought a condo and is thinking of remodeling her kitchen and bathroom. She said when she saw an advertisement for the event in the newspaper, she thought it would be perfect.
It was her first time coming to the expo, and she said she’d encourage people to come out for day two today.
“Because if you’re thinking of remodeling your home or actually building a new house, this is a great place to come,” she said. “And then if you don’t come for that purpose, still have fun getting all the freebies and talking to people.”
Le said it was very convenient having everything in one place at the expo. It proved a great opportunity to find some businesses she didn’t even know were around.
Ron Plain, who lives here full time, and Cuba Plain, who lives here part time, also said they appreciated seeing a number of local businesses all in one place.
They said they’re looking at building a deck and potentially doing some remodeling at their home and wanted to see who the local contractors and suppliers are.
“It’s so much quicker to find out who does services,” said Ron Plain. “We know Lowe’s and Home Depot and HPM sell products, but learning who also provides services, whether it’s pool repair or kitchen remodeling or building a deck.”
Among the vendors represented at the expo is Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union. Corporate development and marketing manager Nellie Medeiros said they’ve been a supporter of the expo since just about the beginning, adding the expo provided a great chance to talk to people about how the credit union can help them finance their vision at whatever level of home construction or improvement they’re pursuing.
“And there’s many options,” she said. “So whether you’re the little guy trying to do it yourself or you’ve got a big project that you want to build a mansion, we’ve got it here.”
She said many people these days are seeing the benefits of improving their home not only for the sake of increasing the monetary value of their home, but also just making a more personalized home.
“This is how you want your house. You can make it so that it’s not just a cookie-cutter house,” she said. “If you want that, that’s fine, but then if you want something that is unique to your needs, to your family, you can do that too.”