Today’s news:

City’s first Expo Design Center opens in Jackson Hgts.

Walk into the Jackson Heights Expo Design Center, a division of Home Depot, and one color is noticeably absent.

“You walk into a Home Depot and expect to see orange and concrete,” said Melissa Watkins, a spokeswoman for Home Depot. “There’s no orange at Expo.”

The new store, located at 73-01 25th Ave., opened last weekend and is the city’s first Expo.

The store is a full-service interior design center with eight showrooms, more than 50 complete kitchen and bathroom demonstration settings, and flooring, lighting, and other fixtures for the entire home.

“Oh, and there’s no lumber either,” Watkins said. “Expo picks up with interior design where Home Depot leaves off with the construction.”

The store employs about 200 people, and 80 percent of the staff at the Jackson Heights store is from Queens, Watkins said.

Expo also sells kitchen items like pots and pans, bathroom towels and decorative pictures; functions as a design center complete with a designer to offer planning advice; and offers installation of kitchens and bathrooms purchased.

The softer side of Home Depot is aimed at making interior design more accessible to the public, with a variety of products, including cabinets, sinks, bathtubs, flooring, lighting fixtures, and tiles all under one roof.

“Before this you would have to trek to eight different showrooms,” Watkins said. “You might have a hard time visualizing the design.

“The demonstration settings are like miniature dream homes that could actually fit into your home,” she continued. “The demonstrations are just examples of what you can do in your home. They help you visualize the design in a 3-D package.”

The store opened Saturday and held a preview and a fund-raiser Thursday night. About 500 persons attended the ribbon-cutting and charity event that benefited the Lexington School for the Deaf, across the street from Expo, and the Queens Child Guidance Center.

Reach reporter Courtney Dentch by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com, or by phone at 229-0300 Ext. 138.

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