This year’s BIA Parade of Homes featured 11 new homes in Olentangy Falls, a completely new subdivision just North of Lewis Center.

Like every year 11 builders showcase their top-of-the-line Columbus OH homes for sale. They are all custom built, mostly with a buyer in mind. That’s why 8 of the 11 homes already found a buyer.

Favorite home for sale at the Columbus Parade of Homes

I had a chance to walk through the Parade homes earlier this week and spotted a few interesting trends.

This year’s homes are certainly less expensive than in previous years. They range in price from $497K to $699K.

But the most expensive home was certainly not my favorite. Actually, the first house on the block (from builder New England Homes) was extremely well designed, very functional, tastefully decorated, and won the most awards. We had to go back after we saw all of the other homes, because we could not believe that the first one was the best.

Here are the 3 most interesting design trends I saw in the Parade of Homes:

  1. Some homes don’t have a tub in the master bath. Instead you can find huge, 2 (or more) person shower stalls with exclusive tiles and a whole battery of shower heads and faucets. If there’s a tub in the master bath it is free standing, usually in front of a window. Personally, I do not like huge tubs in the center of the bathroom. They take up too much space and I don’t have enough time to use them. I assume most people prefer to take a shower over sitting in the tub. Finally, one more feature of master baths: basically every home had so-called “his and her” sinks in the master bath. These are separate sinks installed on opposite sides of the tub – no more side-by-side double sinks.
  2. Microwave beneath countertop at Columbus Parade of HomesMicrowaves are hidden beneath the counter top. Many off-the-shelf microwaves are installed on top of the stove, however, in upscale kitchens that feature restaurant style gas stoves that’s not possible. So, despite of all the space available in the designer kitchens, the microwave is an afterthought. I believe that on a daily basis most people use the microwave more than any other kitchen appliance. So, why do you hide it in a drawer underneath the counter top, where it is hard to reach?
  3. Large Entertainment Centers in the basement and beyond. More than half of the Parade homes had a finished basement (or should I say lower level), with large movie screens, bars and pool tables. But that’s not the only entertainment area of these homes. Some feature dens, children’s play rooms in attics and on top of garages, recreation rooms, solariums, separate sitting rooms attached to the master bedroom, and all kinds of family and great rooms. Pick your place to play and watch TV!

Today is the last day of the Parade of Homes for 2011. Why should you still go?

Get inspiration for your own home, see what’s new in home decoration and landscape design or just enjoy the opportunity to stroll through large, beautiful homes.