parade of home’s highlights

Last week I shared that I was going to the parade of homes here in the Milwaukee WI area. Well on Saturday Dale and I went. We saw 27 houses in 3 different communities. And according to Dale’s step calculator app on his phone we walked 4.5 miles in one day.

We saw homes ranging in size from 2,000 square feet to 5,700 square feet. They were all immaculately done in wood floors, beautiful counter tops. Some with marble, quartz, and granite. All had amazing finishes. The ceiling light game was on point in every one of these homes. I was drooling staring up, which can get awkward and messy real fast.


Oh yeah, the ceiling’s were amazing. I have been wanting to add some detailing to our ceilings. And almost every home had some kind of ceiling wood detail going on. Stunning. All of the homes had standard 10 foot ceilings. Even in the none vaulted or cathedral ceiling rooms. There was 2 houses that had 12 foot ceilings throughout. It made me feel miniature, and the home felt massive with that tall of ceiling.


There was some new and creative ideas for picture display. Like the one above. It was a creative and completely new way of displaying pictures. I am all for gallery walls, and seeing a more modern look to it was very refreshing.


I like the different take on board and batten here. They painted the inside of them the same color as the walls. It was a nice addition to this space.


I did not realize this was a trend. This urinal was found in the finished basement of a home. I thought it was weird. Dale thought it was the best thing ever. So I guess if men decorated our homes we would all have urinals. Apparently it is a thing they would all enjoy. Go figure.


The windows in all of the houses was expansive. There were many homes I had difficulty taking pictures in because of all of the windows. Not that I was complaining, but some of my pictures did not turn out. It made the homes so bright and airy. Growing up in Southern California most of the homes there have been windows in the homes. It was something I had to get used to here in Wisconsin. With the harsh windows I am sure it made sense to have smaller windows, but not with the double pained and modern windows. They can now be big and massive here too. Sign me up, floor to ceiling windows here I come.


This was the only barn door we saw. I found that odd, because in my head barn doors are everywhere. I am not sure if this means they are on their way out in appeal or have not reached mass market yet. I know I love the idea, for the look as well as the function of a small space. This was for the pantry, and the dining room was right in front of it. So space was at a premium in this area. Making this barn door really necessary, and pretty.


All of the homes had separate little areas like this for the stove. Over sized hoods and all. I like the look, but it can only work in large kitchens. Otherwise all of that extra space is needed to use in the kitchen and prep area itself. Also, I love the glazed glass on either side of the stove. There was lot of glazed cabinet glass going on in all of the houses.


So many amazing lights, some look bought from expensive stores. And others looked straight out of a DIY project. All were what caught my eye, and made me want to get new and even more amazing lights in my home. I saw the difference it made in a room. Most of the foyer’s in homes had stunning ceiling lights. It caused somewhat of a traffic jam in entryways because everyone stopped to gawk at the lights. But, most were very nice and understanding. And almost all ignored the awe and drool accumulating on your face. Politely look away.


This wainscoting was amazing in a formal dining room. I was surprised to not see this more in homes. Again, it left me wondering if this trend is on its way out, or just getting footing. In the blogging world details like this is standard. This punched up the formal dining room wonderfully.


This features was in the foyer. They had a bunch of penny’s making up the square. Creative and so different from anything else I had seen. It made me excited to see what else was in this house. I was not disappointed!


To say that there is a lot of bathroom vanity choices would be very accurate. I don’t think we saw two of the same style once. Some felt very modern, lovely but not my taste. Ones like this, with a rustic and even furniture feel to them were ones I was excited to see.


Flooring! Most had hardwood floor throughout. A few had carpet in the family room and bedrooms. But almost all of the wood floors were interesting and gorgeous in their own way. Wide planks, mismatched size planks, dark wood, light wood, distressed, pristine, it was all there. I took many pictures of the different flooring.


Edison bulbs are the Sh*t in all of these homes. I don’t think we saw many lights that did not have Edison bulbs in them. No matter the style of home, they all had these bad boys in light fixtures.


There were so many different style of homes. Craftsman, cape cod, contemporary, french, and so many more. I enjoyed that no matter what your home style was there was something for you. And some of the homes committed to the style, completely. The wood work in most homes was so on point.


The amount of built ins and cabinets was great to see. All homes had a very custom feel to them, and to me built in cabinets are a great way to make any house feel nice and homey.


Apparently I have been doing this whole dog owner thing all wrong. My sweet Teddy does not have his own shower area. Almost all of the homes had one of these in their mud room (which every home had as well). It is a great idea.


There was some really creative ways to add wood and detailing to the ceiling that I had not seen before. In fact, it was so standard to see things like this in ceilings it was odd and noticeable when there was just a standard ceiling. It almost became expected, and I loved what I saw.


This was something that Dale and I both stared at with extreme jealousy. It is a built in book shelf with a ladder. We have now planned and discussed how to add this to our home. This just screams home office to me. And also I imagined riding from one side to the other on the ladder singing like Belle in Beauty and the Beast when she is in the book store. Normal stuff right?


I was impressed and ogling a lot of the furniture in these homes. Some was standard home staging stuff, and other’s they went all out. Many of the homes had furniture with price tags on it. So I guess if I loved something enough it could have been mine. But all of the price tags made me loose my breathe in seeing the actual price. I have my trusty DIY skills, talented hubby Dale, and my plethora of inspiration from fellow bloggers to know I can create almost everything I drooled over in the homes. For much, MUCH cheaper. But I did leave with some definite ideas.


The ceiling lights all had their own thing going on. This one had a very contemporary feel to it. All impressive in their own way. And depending on your style there was something for everyone.


The counter tops… what can I say. Granite was still the mainstay in most of the homes. Quartz was a close second, and a few had marble in them. Most had a lighter look to them like the one above. There was a few with dark granite, or ones with very obvious colors on it, but most were light.


Variations of this ceiling were everywhere. A lot of home office spaces and formal dining rooms had this feature in the home. Some had obvious wood beams, and others had what appeared to be drywall and paint as the beams. But this is still going strong according to the parade of home designers.


All of the kitchen cabinets either went directly to the ceilings, or had smaller cabinets on top like this one. Most of the top ones had glass, some glazed and some not. But the idea of them going to the ceiling was universal. I agree with this. Visually the sight lines going to the ceiling is a great idea, and function. More storage will never EVER be a bad thing in my book. I am sure most will agree.


The outsides all had different looks to them. But there was one common theme. Brick, stone, whatever you want to call it. There was a mix of siding and stone on every one of the homes. With very tall porch ceilings, with huge pendant or chandelier lighting hanging in the middle. It made the home feel grand before you even walked into it.


Dale and I took the day, walked, talked, took lots of mental notes. We even got to talk together and hold hands. That is a occurrence that never happens. We usually have at least one child between us when walking anywhere. Word to the wise, if you are going to something like this in your area, follow Dale and I’s lead… DO NOT BRING KIDS. There were a few people that brought kids and they looked rushed, stressed, and exhausted. If you have older kids or a tiny baby that will sleep the whole time you are probably safe. But if you have a family similar to ours with early elementary and younger kids. Leave them with a babysitter. They will be bored out of their mind and you will be ready to “forget” one in one of the homes.

This was such a fun experience, one I had never done before. This is just highlighting some of the features we saw there. Next week I will begin sharing a few of my favorite homes. Most of the detailing, sharing the builders info and all of the goodies I did not share today. I hope you enjoyed this little highlight, and it has left you tingling for all of the details. There was a few homes I have buyers remorse from. Not what you are thinking, I have remorse that I did not buy them. I will share those ones with you all. Have a great rest of the week!



  1. WOW. You are lucky. I wish this was some thing like this by me. well I will live though you and your blog post about it. Thanks for all the pictures and descriptions.

    • It was a lot of fun. I am planning on showcasing a few of my favorite homes over the next few weeks. So there will be a lot more inspiration and things to see!

  2. I really like all the details you have captured here. I found the urinal in a basement kind of funny, maybe the idea was the a basement would house a man cave? I love the recent trend of floating sink vanities, I like that there is room underneath the cabinet.
    I also like good barn doors, I think they are so versatile and can be featured in a modern or rustic decor.

    • There were so many amazing features we saw. I am guessing the urinal is for the fact that men have man caves in the basement. The floating sink thing was not something I liked. But for some reason I am starting to really like the look of it. I will be featuring specific houses from the parade of homes later in the week.

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