Friday, November 6, 2015

2015 Wake County Raleigh Parade of Homes!

Hey dolls! One of our favorite things about fall is the Wake County Parade of Homes. If you're not familiar with the event, it's basically an open house of hundreds of new construction homes in the area that spans three weekends.  The homes are usually well decorated and include countless design upgrades and enhanced features, with prizes given out for the best components of various homes.  It's fun to check out the new trends in architecture, home design and home décor and is also a really great place to get inspiration for our home projects.  
Our favorite home from this year - a waterfront Ange Home in Hidden Lake

This year we noticed a couple things right off the bat: there were significantly more homes in the $1,000,000 + range than in previous years and several of those homes would have been $650K-$750k three years ago when we were building our house.  To us, both of those things are positive indicators that the local economy is recovering well from the recession.  

After going through several of the $1,000,000+ homes, we also noticed a big trend that we've seen in other states but never in NC: a wall of floor to ceiling windows in the family room that fold up to open the entire back wall of the room to the outdoors.  We saw at least 4 houses with that feature, so it must be the next big thing in that price point. Our favorite was the one that's glass wall opened to a screened in patio of the same size, whose screens went from floor to ceiling and could be rolled up or down with a remote.  With that feature you could essentially double the size of your family room at a moment's notice and still have it screened from the outdoors if you wish. Very cool.

Another trend we noticed was SO MUCH GRAY.  We love gray, we get gray is trendy, we've recently added a lot of gray to our house in our latest projects, but holy gray!  Some of these houses had nothing but gray paint throughout with gray tile, gray cabinets and gray backsplashes.  I don't care how great a color is, if you're not contrasting it or enhancing it by pairing it with other colors, you're cheating yourself. I think with some trends people just get too carried away. My step mother-in-law said while in one of the grayest gray houses with us that she would feel depressed if she lived there because the whole house gave off such a rainy day vibe.

Possibly working in tandem with the glass wall and gray trends, we also noticed a subtle shift away from the more traditional style design and décor in favor of more modern designs.  This may because Wake County is urbanizing at one of the fastest rates in the country, because millennials are beginning to build homes or just because the market is favoring something new.  Regardless of the cause, it's worth noting.  

Other trends we noticed include bigger showers and bigger bathrooms (which the market was painfully lacking when we built in 2012 - honestly, the small closet factor was probably one of the biggest reasons we felt we had to build). Also, there were several hidden pantries whose doors looked like kitchen cabinets but opened into large pantries. 
Take a look at our photos from our time on the Parade and you can decide for yourselves about these new homes and new trends! We tried to grab shots of our favorite rooms and the most unique features. As you'll see, there was a lot of beauty on the parade this year! Our favorites were probably the Ange Homes in Hidden Lake in Youngsville. The floor plans were pretty creative, the finishes nice and the lake views were amazing!

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