Savant organizers of the Charleston Fall Home Show yearly watch eager show-goers delve "inside architects' minds" and party within the confines of "kitchens, baths and all that jazz." But they also know the abode-i-philic journey commands fresh acts, and this time, it's interior specialists going head to head and speakers tackling Southern design.

"We’re anticipating strong attendance by the many homeowners continuing to improve their homes and build new custom homes," says Tim Barkley, the magazine publisher  responsible for the three-day residential roundup next Friday-Sunday at the downtown Gaillard Center.

"But it’s always a challenge to motivate homeowners to take the time out of their busy schedules to spend a couple hours at our home show," he says. "Which is why we’re continuing with several events that have been proven to be very popular."

The show's 13th year will include stalwart perks such as getting in free 11 a.m.-6 p.m. the opening day, enjoying live jazz and a beer and wine open bar with heavy hors d'oeuvres that night, discounted admission after 2 p.m. the next two days when gift bags and scented candles are aplenty, the lottery-like chance for three people to win a $2,000 fall home improvement prize packages, and "on the house" design consults with interior experts. Meanwhile, it's the third year that "we elevate local architects to rock star status," Barkley says, with the "Inside the Architects Mind" lecture series not just Saturday as the last two seasons but Sunday, too.

Next week's attendees can catch John Robert Leleux, keynote speaker and former editor of domino magazine, as he joins "a few prominent Charleston designers" Saturday at 1 p.m. and talk about how home styles from the South influence the rest of the country, organizers say. "Together, the panel will discuss the latest trends in decorating and how to create a home that is both timely and timeless," according to the show's supporters.

Leleux, a noted writer, is the brainchild of Southern Style Now Festival arriving Nov. 1-4 in Charleston. He will preview the expo "with particular attention" paid to its Traditional Home Showhouse at 36 Hasell St. — open to the public Nov. 1-Dec. 7.

At the same time, "We've also added something called 'Décor Wars,'” Barkley points out.

A select number of home furnishing companies will face the challenge of "strategically and artfully" decorating themed bookcases. The genres include Beachy/Coastal, Mid-Century Modern, Farmhouse and Nautical. Designers on hand will explain their works and pass along tips to attendees. But the audience is in for twist, as decorators learn beforehand, "Your client forgot to tell you that they have a few personal items that have great sentimental value that they’d like to integrate into the design." The crowd is asked to spot the personal items and vote for their favorite decorated bookcase, organizers note.

Other show perks include:

  • BBQ TV personality Jack Waiboer conducts a lecture Sunday called, "Lessons from a BBQ Pitmaster" and provides samples he grilled or smoked.
  • The $2,000 home improvement prizes consist of a Big Green Egg grill and accessories package, showroom-style garage-floor coating package and a "Light Up the Night" landscape lighting package.
  • Lowcountry gourmet gift bags given out free to the first 200 families after 2 p.m. are valued at $20 and include benne wafers, roasted pecans, key lime cookies, praline, Charleston tea and a starfish ornament. The scented candles given out free after 2 p.m. Sunday are worth $27.

At the custom show, homeowners will have chances to meet more than 100 of Charleston's top contractors and "can hire many of them for their home improvement projects," Barkley says. "For our local craftsmen, this show provides unprecedented exposure to potential customers and connects homeowners to the home professionals they desire," he says, "while enabling them to gather valuable information in one convenient place."

WHAT: Charleston Fall Home Show, sponsored by Charleston Home + Design magazine.

WHEN: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday Aug. 24, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday Aug. 25, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday Aug. 26.

WHERE: Gaillard Center, 95 Calhoun St. in Charleston.

PRICES: Free on Friday, $7 per person Saturday and Sunday ($2 per person after 2 p.m.). Children ages 13 and under admitted free. Kitchens, Baths + All that Jazz Home Show Party, $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Parking, $5 in the connected garage at 32 Alexander St.

MORE INFO: Visit charlestonfallhomeshow.com, CharlestonHomeAndDesignShow.com or call 843-577-7652.

For more information and photos, go to www.postandcourier.com/business/real_estate/jim-parker.

Reach Jim Parker at 843-937-5542 or jparker@postandcourier.com.