If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Monday, November 2, 2015

More from the recent Parade of Homes

A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to visit and tour the Home Builders Association of Middle Tennessee's Parade of Homes at a new local development, Sherwood Green.  There were so many beautiful features incorporated into the architecture.  There was such craftsmanship in the design.  There were so many beautiful and innovative ideas by the decorators.  As a home-owner, aren't we always looking for ideas to make our home more interesting, pleasing, and welcoming?

I remember my mother and grandmother clipping ideas out of magazines and storing them away for when they could add such touches and adaptations to their own homes.  So, when touring the homes a couple of weeks ago, I took my camera along and snapped a few shots of ideas that I like and some that I may be able to adapt a bit.

First, the kitchen.
There were several elements in this kitchen that I liked. I tried to take pictures in this kitchen from several angles.  First of all, I love the hefty turned leg of the island snack area.  I like how it makes the island feel like a piece of furniture.  It inspired me to recall the turned columns that once were on the front porch of my parents' home years and years ago, too.
I also loved the surface area of the island.  I have been noticing counter surfaces, cabinet colors, etc. because I dream of a re-vamp in my own kitchen.  I thought I'd like to have a butcher-block counter surface, but these boards also give a nice utility, rustic, farmhouse look that might fit well in my house.  I like the different colors of the cabinetry.  The soft grey on the outer cabinets and the white on the island.  I'm not a big fan of the grey trend because I find it a bit dreary and not as cheery as coloring I prefer.  However, it worked in this particular house pretty well.  One of the things I noticed in this kitchen was the simplicity and naturalness of the decorations as well.  I like the pattern of the curtains.  I like the big basket on the island with pumpkins and Indian corn.  I like the bucket of ivy, the stack of small pumpkins, the featured pottery platter, and the lamp next to the small pantry in the corner as well.
One of the things I like and perhaps would consider adding to my own decor is the brick backsplash behind the cook top.  The archetictural elements for decor are nice, but I know my cooking and cleaning habits and those probably wouldn't look so nice after a few months of regular use.
I loved the design of this pantry.  I loved the glass door.  I'm not so certain that this would be feasable in my house because I don't keep my pantry showcase-viewing ready.  However, I do like the concept and design of the pantry.  I like the idea of walking in and perhaps, some day I can focus on nice canisters and sealable containers and organizational tubs, baskets, containers that would make any pantry look more like eye candy.  I also like the preserved boxwood wreath on the door.
I'm looking closely at pantries, I think.  Maybe that is because mine is a bit of a disaster right now.  Just organizing it would probably help loads.  However, I'd like to someday restructure so that I have a mud room and that might require a restructuring of my pantry as well.  The kitchen pantry shown above is not a very big one but it does have a cool chalk board sliding barn door.  First of all, the art work on the door makes it appealing.  While I do like the look of a sliding barn door, I think it takes up a lot of wall space and might not be the most practical thing.  I will admit, this one on the cool brick wall looks pretty, though.
The creamy, taupe color of this cabinetry seemed more cheerful to me.  Again, there was the tile with a brick-look backsplash over the cook top that I liked.  I also liked the topiaries flanking the cook top but don't know that live ones would look like this for very long since there isn't much natural light handy for them where they are sitting.  I also noticed the vent hoods in these houses since that is something I'd like to change in my own.  Both these kitchens have quite pleasing ones that add beauty and interest to the kitchen.
I think the look of this one might be most practical.  The only problem with all of these is that I once had a kitchen where the microwave was over the cook top and I loved that layout.  It was handy and efficient and utilized cabinet space well.  So, while I'm still gathering looks I like, I haven't landed on what might work best for me at this point.  One thing I've arrived at a decision on at this point is that I don't really like the look of subway tile.  It is a clean look but it looks far too institutional to me.  I like something that is warmer and more homey instead.  I did notice that this particular kitchen had cabinets that went to the ceiling.  I love those small box cabinets with lighting and glass doors above the traditional height upper cabinets.  I think it lightens the place up and makes efficient use of the space.  I have decided that is something I'd like to have.

Next up, the bathroom.
The combination in this small half-bath was quite interesting.  I like the stenciled walls and paint treatments in a lot of these houses.  This bold stenciled wall makes quite a statement in the small space and I'm all about that in some cases.  Not sure it is really my style, but I do like the look.  Then, there was the mix of modern and rustic.  There was the simplicity of the builder-grade mirror.  There was the modern chrome faucet.  There was the industrial look of the wooden shelf-top for the vanity.  There was the industrial look of the plumbing that was exposed.  Then, there is the nice creamy basin that looks more like an old ironstone bowl.  Quite the look when combined.  Again, it was a look that isn't really me but I do like the look.
The different textures in this shower were interesting to look at but it almost looks like a materials sample to me.  I love the large tile on the left.  I like the look of the stone floor.  However, I also know that when there is grout, there might also be mildew conditions.  So, those penny tiles and the stone-look floor might not work for me.  (That sure is a cute little fellow pretending to shower up in there, though, isn't he?)
I think I'd love to have a walk-in shower.  Some of them have seemed too dark.  So, one way to alleviate that is to have lots of glass.  I wonder how difficult that will prove to keep clean?  This shower has a combination of tiles and a little different look with half-walls of tile and glass.  Again, I like the diamond accent wall but think I'd like it better with larger tile.  I also like the look of the pickled plank tile but think I'd rather have large tile with very little grout.
The decor in this boy's bathroom was really cute.  The cabinetry is a nautical blue color.  I love the shape and color of the brushed nickel faucet and handles.  It looks especially good with the nautical light fixtures.  The simple mirror framed by rope is really cute, too.  The open shelving is nice and lends itself to lots of different storage options.  The rolled towels look good and the basket on the opposite side makes for attractive storage of items that might not be as attractive.  If there was any doubt that this bathroom has a nautical theme, that oar above the mirror and sconces seals the deal doesn't it?
This photo doesn't show it off well, but I love the basketweave tile on this floor.  It is so attractive.  I wonder if this comes in a more sandy color?  That might be nice to camoflauge dust or grass clippings that seem to show up on the light color of my light colored tile bathroom floors.  Plus, I love this cheetah print shower curtain in a cobalt and turquoise blue on a sandy tan field.  I've been noticing the cheetah print trend and want to add some of that to my decor.
Speaking of shower curtains, one of the things I noticed in several of the bathrooms was that the shower curtain drops from a curtain rod slightly below ceiling level.  That makes for quite a bit of yardage when the ceilings are ten, eleven, or twelve feet in height, but I do like that look.  I also liked this arched doorway leading into the guest suite!

The Laundry Room.
This was another place that I noticed things like innovative paint techniques.  This wall was also stenciled and the lightness of it appealed to me more.  I think that having an attractive laundry room certainly would make laundry duty more appealing.  The light fixture in this laundry room was also an accent piece.  As you can see, the washer and dryer were front-load models and were stacked on top one another.  I see this as efficient use of the space.  I would like to have a base for my dryer when I have to pull out a load of Mike's overalls.  However, I'm not so sure I'm sold on a front-load washer.  I hope I don't have to shop for those appliances any time soon!  The laundry room also seems to be a place where folks used bold prints for simple draperies and I like that trend as well.
If I recall correctly, this was also a laundry room with a bold wallpapered wall.  I love the detail on the Roman shade with the braid stitched insed the pleat and peaking out.
I like the concept of a built-in dog crate in the laundry or mud room.  I think that would serve our needs well, too.  This one was simple cabinetry with hardware cloth on the doors.
The opposite side featured open shelving with baskets.  This would work well for a family.  The person with laundry duty could fold on the space at counter height and sort the folded items into baskets for the owners to cart to their respective rooms and put away.  Or, it would work well for sorting different loads and when the basket is full that is an indicator to do a load of laundry.

Lots of good ideas for spaces with a utilitarian purpose were seen in these homes on parade.  There were lots of things to like and some that I questioned.  As I listened to others who were touring, I noticed that the opinions varied almost as much as the different groups making their way through the different rooms.  I guess that is why it takes all kinds to make the world go round.