Home Tour Ideas For YOUR Next Project!

Painted brick is a big trend right now and it looks great.

By now you must know that I LOVE home tours of any kind. Parade of Homes, Historic Tours, Open Houses, Model Homes, peeking in windows - oh, scratch that last one. I do NOT peek in windows. Home tours are jam-packed with ideas for your next project. Or mine!

I use home tours as a way to update my supply of decorating ideas for design consultations in the greater Raleigh area.

Here in Wake County, we have the absolutely fabulous Parade of Homes every Fall, sponsored by the amazing Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County. Builders, designers and every trade in the industry work their butts off to finish and furnish homes for potential buyers and loves of homes, like me. I try to see at least a couple of homes every year.


The Parade started this weekend, so today I ran out to Falls Reserve, a neighborhood near my house that has 3 homes in the Parade. These are priced in the low $1 million range. Tomorrow I’ll hit up a few in the $2 million range. I like houses in every size and price range. However, the higher the price tag, the more bells and whistles on display. We want to see bells and whistles, right?

And we get to see how trends are being used in brand new homes. Today I saw that gray is still king, as is shiplap. Butler’s pantries and special ceilings were in all 3 homes. All 3 had engineered wood floors and each master bathroom had a freestanding soaking tub. Each home had brick walls, inside or out, that was painted white. Now that I think of it, there was a lot of white everywhere.

On with the pictures!

Bold tile floor, clean, white shiplap and lots of storage are excellent ideas for Mudrooms.

This Mudroom was stunning. Look at that boldly patterned tile. Yum! That idea could translate to your next house project!

While my photos are all mixed up in this post, this home was built by http://www.homesteadbuilt.com/ They did an amazing job on the whole house.

Great storage ideas include cabinets, a bench and cubbies! The Parade of Homes is a huge supply of great design ideas for your home.

I like the wood touches on the bench and counter. Quartz counters were everywhere, but I’m seeing wood making a comeback in shelter magazines. Do you see the shiplap on the walls? All the shiplap I saw was more refined that what we’ve seen previously. It had a smooth, glossy finish. No more looking like it had just been pulled out of an old building!

Small laundry rooms benefit from a bold pattern on the floor.

Right off this huge Mudroom was a Laundry Room. I’m not sure I’d hang clothing in front of the window, but the room was gorgeous.

Speaking of boldly patterned tile floors, that was also found in the bathrooms. Look how well the tile on the floor and the tile in the shower coordinate. You can click on the photo to make it bigger. I know, you need to see the DETAILS! Then you can figure out how to use this idea in your next project!

A weave tile pattern with white grout is a great design tip that I would share in a 2 hour design consultation in Raleigh.

Nice tile pattern around this tub. I also like the plumbing fixtures.

A spacious bathroom still needs careful design. That bathtub is a wonderful shape.

Each house I went into had a freestanding tub in the master bathroom. Wouldn’t you like to take that tub out for a test bath?

Freestanding tub, tile floor, glass shower, custom closet, master bathroom design ideas, wake forest, parade of homes.

Another master bath with a freestanding tub. While we’re in this room, take a look at the style of molding around the doorway. Very simple. I like that a lot.

dark paint color, accent wall, bedroom, home office, wake county parade of homes

Accent walls are still a favorite idea of mine, so I was glad to see them everywhere. Above is a dark wall with added molding and below is a brick wall next to the Kitchen table. I should have touched that brick wall to see exactly what it was. I like how it looks - kind of coffee shoppy.

Brick accent wall, modern light fixture, mission style, great design ideas, wood floors

Brick accent wall, modern light fixture, mission style, great design ideas, wood floors

Dining room with rug, oval table, modern chairs, large windows and dark painted accent wall.

I saw quite a few dark walls and dark ceilings. They were paired with light colors on the other walls and big windows. Lots of big windows, letting in lots of light.

Master bedroom with large windows and accent wall.  Dark paint color.

A beautiful bedroom - but I want window treatments please! Just drapery panels flanking the sides and maybe some sort of remote controlled solar shades to control light.

I need to show you this screened-in porch:

Screened porch with stone floor, dining table and chairs, double sided fireplace, chandelier and edison bulbs.

This space spanned the entire back of the house. Spectacular. I love my screened porch, but this one is magnificient! Above is the view from one end.

Screened in porch with stone floor, double sided fireplace, white painted brick and shiplap ceiling.

And now I’m looking at the room from the other end. Double sided fireplace. Such a great idea!

Screened in porch furniture and iron railing.

This is the sitting area on one end. Comfy, comfy.

Farmhouse style screened in porch featuring white painted brick, shiplap ceiling and fun double ceiling fan.

Did you notice the painted brick on the fireplace? The white beaboard on the ceiling? The fun double fan? I put one of those fans in a project many years ago. They move back and forth and they’re not noisy!

Farmhouse style home with open shelving, tiled fireplace, shiplap walls and industrial light fixture with edison bulbs.

More painted brick in the wonderful Family Room wall. And bold tile. And shiplap. And beams on the ceiling (there were lots of ceiling treatments). And big wood shelves flanking the hearth. It’s very busy, but I like it. Interesting. Stimulating. I’d put a very calm painting over the fireplace.

Farmhouse style tiled fireplace wall with shiplap above wood beam mantel.

Here’s a closer view of the tile surrounding the fireplace. Definitely a focal point and FUN. Why is the firebox so small? I’ve seen this a couple of time. I want a big fire crackling in there on a cold day!

Bathroom with white cabinets and open shelving.

I saw lots of big, thick shelves. Even in the bathroom! There are 2 good sized vanities in this bathroom, so I would just keep my white towels and maybe a couple of trays holding pretty things on those shelves.

Farmhouse style kitchen butler’s pantry with barn door, subway tile, wood floors and white cabinets.

Butler’s pantries. Each house had one and each was quite different. Above you’re seeing a lovely wood barn door that opens to the butler’s pantry. Below you’re seeing a closer view inside the room. Luxurious space to make entertaining easy (and neat)!

Kitchen butlers pantry with wide plank wood floors, white cabinets, black honed granite counter and open shelving.
Pass through door in garage to kitchen pantry for unloading groceries.  Brilliant kitchen idea!

BEST idea seen today - in this photo, I’m in the garage. This little door in the interior wall leads to the pantry! It is, as the sign says, the grocery unloading door! The next photo shows the other side:

Here it is (click the picture for a closer view)! I back up my car into the generous garage, raise my trunk hood and unload the groceries right into the pantry! I love this idea and want to kiss the person who came up with it! Gold star!


Here I’m walking into another pantry that’s calling my name with its pretty blue cabinets and fresh white shelves.

Kitchen butler’s pantry with blue cabinets, open shelving, quartz counters and bar sink.

A full pantry with a bar sink and room for a fridge. No more garage fridge!

Butlers pantry with limed oak flooring, white cabinets, quartz counters and wine fridge.

This was my favorite pantry of all. While I like the idea of a door closing off the butler’s pantry, this one was an alcove in the kitchen. It has a closet to one side to stash away all the cans and and brooms, but the working part is right there on view, complete microwave, sink and wine fridge. It was very attractive and a great use of space.

Modern, transitional, contemporary, updated traditional home with metal railings on staircase and contemporary lighting.

I love me a modern staircase. This is a contemporary style home, but modern light fixtures were in all 3 houses. They looked great.

Farmhouse style traditional stairway with square painted spindles and mission style stained wood posts.

Even this more traditional wood staircase had an updated vibe with square spindles and handsome stained wood accents. Maybe those are balusters? I need to look up my stair parts. Notice the light fixture.

Blue bathroom cabinets with updated modern chrome hardware knobs and pulls.

A final detail - the hardware on cabinets and doors was fantastic.

It’s getting late and I want to push this post out to get you thinking about going out to the Parade if you’re in the Raleigh area. It runs for a couple of weekends.

Modern farmhouse style home side entry.

Oh, one more - I thought this was the prettiest side of a house that I’ve seen in a long time. I know, it’s as big as the front of many homes. But the Parade is a place to dream and look at colors and styles and light and space. I don’t want any of these houses - they’re way too big for us. But I want ALL of the ideas!

If you love home tours as much as I do, I wrote another post about a different one here. And then there’s this one, too.

I’m going to hit “publish” now. In the next day or two, I’ll come back to it and add things like the names of the very talented builders who did such an awesome job on these homes in Falls Reserve. They deserve to take a bow!


The three homes featured in this post were lovingly, beautifully and creatively built by:



Wilks Builders

I didn’t get a chance to see more homes the next day as planned. It was TOO HOT out! Maybe next weekend…

With sparkle and texture,