Home renovation star pulls crowds at expo
CARPENTER turned reality renovation show star turned television host Adam Dovile has a soft spot for Ballina.
The popular winner of last year's House Rules - who now works alongside Johanna Griggs on Better Homes and Gardens - was the celebrity guest at Ballina's Home Sweet Home Expo on Saturday, sharing his down-to-earth DIY renovating tips to a keen local crowd.
"This is God's country, absolutely gorgeous," Mr Dovile said of the region.
"It reminds me of my childhood. It's got that community feel. Melbourne and Sydney aren't like that anymore," he said.
"I woke up this morning and I was looking over the river and I thought 'how good is this place'.
"I rang my wife and said 'it's supposed to be winter here'," he laughed.
A popular crowd puller at the Home Sweet Home Expo's second year, Mr Dovile had plenty of home reno tips up his sleeve.
One of those was encouraging aspiring renovators to learn when to do things themselves - and when to call in the qualified experts.
He advised people to use tradesmen strategically to ensure the most technical jobs were done right, and then finish the non-technical labour themselves.
Organiser Nadia Eliott-Burgess from Ballina Chamber of Commerce said the event's new home at the Ballina Homemaker Centre had hit the spot, despite some minor parking issues.
"We had such a big crowd of people at one stage people had to park up to two blocks away," Ms Eliott-Burgess said.
Other highlights included an interior design workshop, an animal show for children, locally made art and furniture and other homewares from the everyday to the extravagant.
Ms Eliott-Burgess said the event was an economic initiative of the chamber to promote Ballina as a place to buy and build.
"A lot of the exhibitors have done great business today but they also understand it's about promoting their brand so when it comes time for people to build they are front of mind," she said.
Ballina Chamber of Commerce chair Ray Karam said what made the event special was its community flavour and relaxed feel.
"People have their own space to come in and absorb it," Mr Karam said.