Ideas from my Designer House Tour

designer home showcase
I had planned to share a picnic shoot today on the blog, but after the fun weekend I had I decided to share this experience instead {I’ll share the picnic tomorrow}. Saturday was one of my favorite days of the year – the Homearama designer house tour. This is where several builders come together in a single neighborhood and build fabulous custom homes to show off the latest and greatest ideas in home design. In this case there were 7 homes and the best part is that it was right in my own neighborhood! This was one street over from our house so we walked over and spent the day ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the homes. Oh, and did I mention there was wine and jazz too?

I had to take all the photos with my phone so the quality isn’t at it’s best but I just had to share with you some of  my favorite ideas from the event. The interiors ranged from grand and glamorous, to “green” and vintage, to modern eclectic. I wish I had a photo of every single room but that’s nearly impossible when working around crowds of people {and a limited phone battery}.

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  • The home above was the very last one and my phone died just as I took this last picture of the wine cellar. It’s hard to pick a favorite house from the group but this one certainly caught our eye because it was so different from the rest. It was rich in textures and details even though it had a monochromatic color scheme throughout. The moldings were over the top and every single room had an amazing chandelier. The basement could have been a stand alone apartment, and this incredible wine room had a tasting area with bar table and stools, plus these brick and wood storage walls. Also, did you notice the horizontal storage area is made from pallets?!

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  • The two photos above are from 2 different houses but are some of my favorite pass through areas between kitchen and dining room. The top pic is a butlers pantry that utilized the space as a drink station. The wall is a chalkboard wall and was “painted” by a local artist. I’m in love with it! I also love how the lights are built right in.
  • The lower pic is my dream pantry! Can you imagine having this ROOM as your pantry? The whole left side, cut out of the shot, is a wall of shelves, and where I’m standing to take the photo is a butlers pantry area. Doesn’t get much better than that!

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  • Some of the recurring details we saw were the wood slat walls above, and sliding barn doors {I forgot to take a photo of those}. I’ve seen this wall treatment on Pinterest and always loved it. It’s a great way to add interest to an accent wall. And I love that we see it here in both a natural wood, and a painted wood application.
  • Another great detail is the bench cushion covered in an “up-cycled” burlap bag. This was from the “green” home where they used lots of vintage and rustic elements, yet the decor still felt very modern.

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Other creative details I had to make note of :

  • An old vintage pot was recycled into a laundry room sink. We just about flipped when we saw this innovative treatment! Aside from the cool aesthetic of it, it totally reminds me of my grandmother and other “elders” I knew growing up in the country.
  • We’ve all seen tv’s hanging on the wall with a frame around it, right? That’s so 2008. This idea went a step further and applied the tv directly to the wooden frame, and hung it on curtain hardware. That’s right, the tv isn’t attached to the wall, but the frame. From what I could see, they drilled brackets into the wood {not the tv} and the television was held in place by the brackets. Very clever.
  • I thought this “grow” stick was cute too. The idea isn’t new but I liked the way the pennants mark the spots. Great idea moms!

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  • The house above was pure eye candy. I was just so impressed with the kitchen that’s MADE for entertaining – and holds over 150 bottles of wine! It’s wide open to the living room and the floors are a gorgeous hand scraped wood.
  • In the master bath, well, you can see for yourself how incredible it is. That huge walk in shower and tub are beyond fabulous.

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  • I thought this powder room was worth a photo because the shelf above the mirror was so unique and such a great idea. It’s definitely unexpected and adds drama up high.

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  • This teen/tween girls room was so adorable you’d never get her to leave home!

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These are some fantastic takeaway ideas we could all recreate:

  • A cork board wall. Maybe the best idea for a kids room since a chalkboard wall! My daughter loves to draw so I can’t help but think this is what I should do in her room so she can pin up her pictures. Just need to research it more to see how to adhere it to the wall without doing damage to the drywall.
  • Simple prints become wall art with a little decorative washi tape.
  • One of the boy bedrooms had a bug theme. Although that may creep some people out, these hanging jars with battery operated lights certainly would not! Such a cute idea for a night light too.
  • Who ever thought hula hoops could be darling wall decor? Two simple wall hooks were hung and the hula hoops create a fun geometric design to this little girls room.

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  • All the outdoor spaces were equally fantastic. Most had outdoor fireplaces and/or a fire pit. What I liked about the table above was the fact that the bench was made from the wooden slat. We also saw a fire pit with seats made from large wooden beams {like big railroad ties}.
  • Living in the ‘burbs’ means you either get a deck or a patio, right? Courtyards are for city dwellers in brownstones. That’s why I loved that this builder added this private courtyard off of one corner of the house. It’s the perfect place to enjoy morning coffee or afternoon wine, and a good book. And it’s completely unexpected!

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  • Finally, I just had to take a photo of this rustic bar from one of the bonus rooms. It’s just so cozy and serves as inspiration for when we are able to finish our own basement and bar area.

Did you get any great ideas from these houses? Here are my takeaways that I feel like I need to apply to my own house, stat!

  • We need to get crown molding put up asap.
  • Chandeliers! It’s all about the chandeliers!
  • Paint. Not looking forward to the process but it must be done once we have our final builder touch ups done.
  • I NEED to make friends with whomever buys the “wine” houses. Just sayin’.

Have a great day!

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About Chris

Chris Nease is a party stylist and home entertaining expert with over 15 years of experience. In addition to her work as founding editor of Celebrations At Home, Chris is an editorial stylist and contributor to Homes.com, Marie Callender's, and SheKnows. Most recently her work has been published in Woman's World, Yum Food & Fun for Kids, and Cottages & Bungalows.

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