Over the weekend Brooke (our social media manager) and I went to the Parade of Homes in the Raleigh area and it was so fun to get a feel of how other people in our new area are living and living large! The purpose of the parade is so that home builders and designers can show-off their portfolio through this open-house style walk-through of new builds. We’ve been to the parade in Idaho several times and always found it fun, so we thought we would give this a try as well! I thought I might share some of my thoughts and takeaways from walking through 9 new build homes (out of 50+ available). You can also watch all of the Instagram stories I shared in this highlight here.
There was a lot of emphasis on mixing materials on the exteriors. We actually didn’t see any non-painted houses, and all were mostly painted white. Just last week I said out loud I had the thought to paint the brick on our exterior. As pretty as they all looked, I think for now I got white brick out of my system and I feel so grateful for my red brick again. I did think though that if most of these houses were painted white, then that must be what people want right now and there’s nothing wrong with that!
This black and cream painted house was stunning, too.
Windows were another big takeaway. There were some houses that I loved the windows in and some houses I wish the windows made more of a statement. Seeing so many houses back to back, it became so clear that windows can really tell a home’s style story–modern vs. traditional. Almost all of the homes had a large emphasis on adding a lot of windows and I loved seeing ones with black exterior and white interior (something I’m considering for our home!). And an accent window like this diamond-paned window above a bathroom tub took my breath away. That light fixture, too!
Speaking of lighting, my favorite part was looking at how each designer used lighting to further tell the home’s design story. I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I’m really putting an emphasis on lighting in our home so I was enamored with all of the difference choices. Lighting matters and makes such a big difference!
I did note that every home I loved, I loved because of the really great lighting. In fact, my favorite home we walked through had the exact same bubble chandelier I purchased for our dining room and it definitely validated my love for it. Can’t wait for it to arrive.
The cabinetry was lit. No it was actually lit, some with overhead gallery lighting, and some even used led-rope lighting. A few homes had upper cabinets resting on the countertops and in a different finish. It feels like a kitchen hutch to me–really special and cool.
There we a LOT of built-ins. Built in shelves, built-in desks, built in credenza’s, and at one point I did think to myself that I did miss seeing some free-standing furniture.
Look at how great this corner turntable was in the pantry! It really helps maximize that corner space.
Every house we walked into had paneling, especially in the entry and dining rooms. I think the most successful ones kept it really classic, but this curvy moulding in the entry was a wow moment and unique!
I’m not kidding–EVERY powder room was wallpapered and I loved to see all the selections. I’m telling you it’s in, and almost all of them were bold. This one with Kelly Wearstler wallpaper was my fav.
Yes, I took photos of air returns! I’m officially inspired to switch out all the air returns in our house to something a little more pretty, yet discrete. These details might feel so insignificant but they really impacted me during the walk-throughs so I know they make a big difference overall.
And one home had glass knobs throughout the house. They felt so substantial and special and I couldn’t even remember what our doorknobs looked like so that was something to think about. Ha!
We’re new to the area and we don’t have a screened in porch or anything, and it’s safe to say our eyes were opened to the magic of indoor/outdoor living! It does make sense since the weather here has been incredible so far, but this was a whole new world to me. I couldn’t help but wonder what we could do at our house, especially since we’ve got plans to renovate our exterior soon.
We saw a lot of these grill outdoor kitchens which I just know Chris would love.
We are going to be putting a pool in our house and it was helpful to reaffirm that I really like when the hot-tub is seamless with the pool, and not separated. Dreamy!
Loved the fire features by the pool too, and I couldn’t help but think about how beautiful it would look in the evenings.
I joked in my stories about what was I going to do if I fell in love with a home and felt that “crap” moment since some of the homes were for sale. But all jokes aside, I actually couldn’t wait to get back to my own home with fresh eyes full of inspiration. It’s easy to walk away from new builds and feel inferior or start comparing your home to what you just saw, but I walked away so invigorated to bring out all the potential in our 30+ year home. Hope to make the Triangle parade of homes an annual thing!
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Last week, Chris and I had the incredible opportunity to travel to London for work. We were invited by Williams Sonoma and William Morris and Co to preview their newest collaboration and the inspiration behind it. It was my first time in London and although it was a quick trip, they brought us all over […]
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