Touring open houses is a favorite Sunday activity of mine. Weird I know….but I am a real estate junky.  Now with apps like Realtor and Zillow- I can’t help but check out the real estate available in the area.  I love to get ideas and inspiration from what I find. That is why I could hardly wait for the Madison Area Builders Association Parade of Homes.

The Parade of Homes is a two week long event that takes place in June.  The parade this year took place in nine highly sought after neighborhoods throughout Dane County.  Each of these newly constructed homes are open to the public where you can take in all the newest products, design, and craftsmanship trends.  There were nine sites this year with 43 homes. Each neighborhood offering a little something unique and different.

Last year you might remember my products were featured in two of the Parade Homes.

This year we bought our tickets and make the drive around Dane County to check out the homes for ourselves.  Visiting Parade of Homes is the perfect way to get inspired and spark your design imagination. We headed out and toured homes with different styles from farmhouse to modern and at all different price points. I am sharing the five things I learned from touring these homes decorated by amazing local designers.

  1. Statement Making Wallpaper- Wallpaper is making a BIG comeback! From the subtle buffalo plaid pink used in a little girls room to the elegant lemurs in the entryway to the bold graphic patterns in bathrooms, bedrooms, and even on the ceiling.  One thing is for sure, wallpaper is not making a quiet comeback and it is breaking all the rules.


2,  Technology- These houses and their appliances were LOADED with technology.  Basically you can control everything in your home with the touch of your phone.  We saw the latest appliances- refrigerators with a full touchscreen on the front door and cameras inside. The houses were loaded with built in speakers, security systems, cameras, and full entertainment systems my husband can’t stop talking about it.

3.  Entertainment- These homes are built with entertaining in mind.  Almost all of the homes had beautiful open floor plans. Full of space and built with areas for entertaining- enclosed porches, wine cellars, bars, cocktail areas, and one even had a full indoor basketball half court.  Unbelievable! These homes were built with families and friends in mind.


4.  Gold and Tile- Another design trend coming back- gold!  Gold accents have definitely made their way back into homes.  Gold hardware and light fixtures. But this is not the tacky 80’s brass fixtures.  These are rich and warm and full of elegance. The other design trend that we found in every home- TILE.  Tile in every shape and color. Gorgeous and used throughout the baths, kitchens, and entryways. We couldn’t decide which we loved the most.


5.  Farmhouse- The farmhouse style is still here to stay.  But it is taking on more color, more texture, and is making a more elegant performance.  There were touches of farmhouse in almost all of the homes we looked at. From barn wood to great textures to bringing in nature, each of these homes had a little farmhouse touch.


There you have it.  Which of these are you willing to bring into your home?