A great way to see the latest trends in home design is to participate in a local parade of homes event. As implied by its name, a parade of homes is an experience open to the public where architects, builders, and designers showcase their latest masterpieces. In some locations, a parade of homes may also be known as a festival of homes or a tour of homes. A typical parade may consist of 20-30 unique homes specially commissioned for entrance into the parade of homes; however, some parades can be much larger. Builders adhere to strict standards and timelines to ensure only the best quality and latest trends are on full display.
In some locations, admission is free. Otherwise, tickets are available for the public to purchase. A ticket grants permission to visit each of the homes, walk through them, and be inspired by the latest in design, furnishings, and features. Participants are often given a booklet containing maps of all the homes, profiles for each home, and information regarding the designers, builders, and products incorporated into each of the homes entered in the parade.
Many parades create categories of awards to highlight outstanding creativity and design excellence. Categories such as Best Kitchen, Best Floor Plan, or Best Master Suite are often included. Most of the selections are made by the presenting authority, which is usually the local homebuilders association. However, in many cases, a People’s Choice category is available for participants to cast their own votes to determine which home will win the award. Overall categories like Best Curb Appeal and Best in Show also help give insight into what stylistic choices are currently in vogue.
Most parade events allow photography and even encourage it. Check the event guidelines to be sure, but otherwise have your smartphone or camera ready. Pictures are a great way to build your Inspiration Portfolio, and organize ideas that catch your interest. Don’t forget to document what it is about a particular feature that inspired you.
In general, parades are conducted during the summer months, with some exceptions for locations in warmer climates. For a schedule of upcoming parade of homes events near you, please select your location from the list below: