You know how excited we get to snoop around houses and share the goods with you guys (we’ve even crashed open houses and stores), so just picture our excitement to crash EIGHT houses on one block for your viewing pleasure.
It definitely wasn’t our most traditional house crashing adventure – it was actually a home show here in Richmond called Richmond Homearama, where home builders team up with local designers to construct and decorate eight houses in a variety of styles. Most of the homes are already sold by now, but you can still stroll around for ideas and inspiration. So we thought we’d show you a few of our favorite nooks and crannies.
It was pretty cool how from one house to the next you could go from a casual elegant dining room…
… to a polished transitional one. And since all of the rooms were done by local design pros, they seemed to be more layered and intricate than the average staged-for-sale new construction. A lot of the designers tried to do something different and take interesting risks (like two large light fixtures over a table or a backsplash made from river rocks) so it was fun to see them stretch the usual “keep it basic and neutral” house-selling rule.
As much eye candy as there was to take in, some rooms definitely stood out to us as favorites. One being this could’ve-been-overlooked mudroom in the “European Elegance” home.
My penchant for old boxes and crates was satisfied, while Sherry appreciated the open space under the built-in bench where shoes could be casually kicked off while still remaining wrangled (let’s face it, kids don’t always put them in baskets, but the least they can do is kick them into that zone under the bench).
But our favorite details by far were these coat hooks made from brightly-colored valve handles. The designers picked them up at a local hardware store (Pleasants, for all you Richmonders) and spray painted them in a few happy colors (there are also ready-to-order collections on Etsy if you’re looking to recreate the look).
This house also featured one of our favorite bedrooms. And come to think of it, this was also where we found the first dining room pictured above (who would’ve thought we’d be so into European Elegance?). See that cute dog on the bench at the foot of the bed? He’s not real. But he could have fooled us when we walked in (and we later admitted we were sad that he wasn’t).
We liked this gutsy and graphic choice for the headboard. Maybe cranes (herons?) aren’t something we’re brave enough to do in our own home, but it was certainly fun and very memorable.
We also liked that they woke up the room with a big blast of color on one wall, thanks to this kick butt piece of art (from Crossroads here in Richmond, for anyone interested). It’s like, just when you thought the room might be too gray-washed… BAM! How you like them florals?
Speaking of gray + color, this guest bedroom from the “Swift Creek Cottage” also had a cozy stay-a-while vibe. We thought the shutters on the inside was a fun touch to play off the whitewashed wood wall. The whole room felt like a comfortable sun porch or something.
Here’s a closer shot of that wall, which they made from reclaimed pieces of lumber. And isn’t that yellow inset on the headboard a nice detail? Most of the furniture in all eight houses came from The Greenfront Furniture Market (although some of it was altered by the designers) so hopefully that helps if you’re looking for something.
One room I’m bummed I didn’t get better pictures of is what I call the “Angel Kitchen.” Why? Because when they flipped on the lights it was like a chorus of “Hallelujahs!” It was like we had died and gone to white, glass-fronted, brilliantly-lit cabinet heaven. Feel free to play this music while staring at this picture for the full effect.
This home, named the “Modern Craftsman” was probably the closest to our current style. Actually, speaking of which – see that upholstered chair in the background of this striped side table shot? We actually used that fabric in one of our book projects!
This house is also a good place to point out one trend that we noticed across all of the houses: lots of molding and trim that went the extra mile on both the walls and ceilings. For example, here’s the staircase right beside the table shown above. This was a huge double height entryway, so the trim-work cozied things up and made it feel less like an ampitheatre when you walked in.
This house also carried the feature moldings into the bedroom with this pretty tone-on-tone coffered ceiling. Oh to have high ceilings like this…
Coffered ceilings seemed to be all over the place actually. Some were more subdued (like the one above) while others were more bold, like this living room from the “European Elegance” house that used a darker color to cozy things up.
This sitting room in the “Swift Creek Cottage” used the white paneled wall to offset a bold blue accent wall, showing that just because a wall has some trim detail doesn’t mean it needs to be the only focus.
Back on the bolder end of things, the designer of the “Vintage Rediscovered” home had this outside-the-box solution for the monstrous ceiling in the main bedroom – she had the builder add faux beams (surprise, they’re actually just painted drywall).
Though in this house it was the en-suite bathroom that caught our eye the most. The mixture of textures and tiles just made the whole space feel really comfortable and lived in. Sherry was thisclose to drawing herself a bath (and rubbing her face on that grasscloth wallpaper).
Another trend we noticed across the homes was how the builders didn’t miss opportunities to steal extra storage space by adding nooks and recessed shelves in the walls. Like this stylish kids’ bathroom in the “Swift Creek Cottage” with some built-in storage on either side of the sinks.
It seemed like every kitchen island had an open shelf or built-in bookcase on at least one end. And the kitchen from this same “Swift Creek Cottage” also had a little shelf in the half-wall next to the benched breakfast area.
Now if only ceramic animals had been more of a trend in all of the spaces. Although we did find these guys chillin’ on the dining table…
And while we’re still in the “Swift Creek Cottage”, let’s finish out some of the other cool details that we spotted there that certainly go beyond average builder finishes. Like this hammered copper apron sink (the first one we’ve ever seen in person):
They also traded out standard double-doors for these cool rolling barn doors in an upstairs media room. Still gotta figure out a place to use these guys in our house somewhere…
We even found the entrance of the “Swift Creek Cottage” inspiring. Check out the fun green door:
Speaking of entrances and outdoorsy stuff – we noticed more than one home that featured rain chains (which are basically downspout alternatives since rain hugs the chain and is led down to the ground). Looks like those are becoming more and more of a thing, even in new constructions. Sherry always wanted one for our first house, so we might have to make it happen in our current one.
This home below was called “Simply Flexible” and featured another space that’s apparently really “in” right now which is known as the command center. See that area to the left with the pencil art? It was a small area that housed some built-in cabinets, a built-in desk and functions somewhere between a drop-zone and a mini office. Perhaps it’s the 2012 version of having a small desk for a laptop right in your kitchen?
Of course, beyond these broader building trends there were still little decorating/crafty projects that we noticed. This Check Your Pockets sign in the laundry room of the “European Elegance” home (with jars to stash change, pens, candy, and money before they go into the washer) is a cute functional idea. Plus it’s inspiration to make sign art from scrap wood with any message stenciled on the front.
The equestrian-themed kids room in the “Historic Richmond” home had this cool idea of showcasing prize ribbons by clipping them on a couple of old shutters. We thought it was a fun idea even if you’d rather hit up eBay instead of the stables for your ribbons.
And speaking of themed kids’ rooms, I couldn’t resist showing you guys this Angry Birds room. Yes, it’s definitely bold, but I’ve gotta give them points for creativity. I loved how the bed, shelves, and even the nightstand were constructed to look like the game. Let’s just hope things don’t fall over or get blown up as easily as they do on my iPhone.
Obviously we’ve only scratched the surface of all eight houses at Homearama, so it’s totally worth a visit if you’re a local (it runs Wednesdays – Sundays through May 6th). As a heads up, it’s $10 for adults but free for kids 12 and under. Oh, and we’d love to know what home jumps out as your favorite, or if there’s a particular room or idea that you’d love to make yours. Or what general trends you’re noticing in new constructions when it comes to their layouts/design.
Psst- Still feel like snooping? Check out over 35 other houses we’ve crashed right here.
Lindsey @ arkadian belle woods says
Oh my gossssh! I forgot how much I love you guys house crashing! I so miss that (kind of nostalgic now that you guys are so famous!)
If you ever want to house crash in the rural greenery of Hanover, VA…..not too far from you guys….well you know who to call! hahaha :-)
Aw, send us pics of your house and we’d love to see if we can crash you! We actually still House Crashing people as often as we can (we might have run out of locals, but we’re even up for travel- haha). We just shared this one from Portland a little while back. So for anyone out there who wants us to crash- just send photos to [email protected] and we’ll try to fit it in!
What are rain chains?
Trent Sherman says
Rain chains are a cool, inexpensive way to capture rain water from a gutter, have it run down the chain, and collect it in a reservoir or other container (such as a barrel) for use in watering plants, bathing your dog, washing your car, etc. The Swift Creek Cottage uses a tea cup shaped chain where the water fills the first cup, then flows into the second, then the third, and so forth until it reaches our containment barrel. Come check it out!
Jill Porter says
What are rain chains??
The houses are all gorgeous! Thanks for sharing!
They’re just chains that rainwater follows down off the roof instead of gutters. Physics says water hugs the chain and it’s true!
Rain chains remove the actual downspout and hang a chain from the opening where the downspout was located. Yes, the water will follow the chain. However, what you have at the bottom is a very important factor to consider. As the water comes down quickly and will splash if the base is not designed to absorb some of the impact of the water flow.
Think the rate of water flow from your downspout in a heavy rain, now consider there are at least a two turns in most downspouts (generally 3 turns) each turn will slow the water flow slightly, and end with the water flowing out away from the house. With a rain chain you are removing all turns, and dropping the water straight down.
We had one in the house we grew up in and it was cool to watch as a kid, but splashed and made a mess of the sidewalk next to it until we redesigned the rockbed at the bottom.
[email protected] says
The valve handles as hooks is absolutely genius. Especially when you’re hanging heavier items like jackets, you would want that extra support. I definitely think that is an idea I’ll be stealing. Thanks for showing the goods! :-)
Those are some cool pictures of some unique rooms/decor. I LOVE the copper sink!
We have something similar where I live called the Street of Dreams. I’ve gotten some great ideas from going to that.
That sounds like so much fun!
Are you in Portland? If not, we have that here too. It’s so much fun!
I find my reaction to the bird headboard funny. I just stopped and looked at it and said “No birds.” It’s weird how much my italian family has engrained birds in the house are bad luck in my head. It was an automatic reaction.
Also, I am OBSESSED with that grey/yellow room. I was considering doing purple/grey when I decorate my room at my new place but this might sway me to yellow.
Haha- that’s hilarious!
That copper sink was beautiful! so much eye candy and inspiration, I almost think it’s too much to take in all in one day. I think I would have love the “simply flexible” home. That family room looked like a great space to just hang out!
It was so funny because we kept saying “if we could take different rooms from all eight houses and make them into one house it would be the prefect house!” They really did all have rooms and features that we loved!
Julia @ Chris loves Julia says
Oh, that green door is fantastic!! Maybe when we tire of our red one…
Gina (Lady Goats) says
I may seem like an idiot… but… what’s a rain chain?
Oh no, it’s a good question! They’re just chains that rainwater follows down off the roof instead of gutters. Physics says water hugs the chain and it’s true!
Love the angry birds room…. maybe I can convince my fiance that we need to do this for our guest bedroom. :)
…I wish we had sliding barn doors! Those are so cool.
Stephanie M. says
Ok I’m sitting at work seriously drooling over all these houses. Ah-mazing. All of them. Totally jealous right now.
Karen @ The Quaint Cottage says
I love those Angry Bird shelves! Thanks for posting.
Wow, amazing inspiration in these images! I’d never heard of rain chains before (comes of growing up in the Wyoming high desert, I guess), but I’d love to add some with rain barrels to our home. I pinned a few ideas I’m going to implement ASAP–that laundry room sign is perfect for me, since I’m already working in mine. And I’ve got a pass-through wall that is begging for some built-ins between the studs. Fingers crossed I can make that work.
That was House Crashing Plus+++loved the rooms & pics.
Fav – green door, gray striped table, mudroom, & hammered copper sink. Again, some wonderful ideas to experiment with.
Love the post!
Aw, thanks Suzy!
Thank you John and Sherry for sharing. Loved it! Home tours are the best for inspiration and yours just put me into a “Pinning” frenzy!
Lindsay B says
Aagghh, so many pin-able images! So inspiring! I love the “Angel Kitchen.” It reminds me a of a not-as-grellow version of your kitchen. Actually, if I were to ever step foot in yours, I would imagine angels singing too :)
Aw thanks Lindsay!
[email protected] says
I guess I should have said “those” houses. Geez, I got so excited over the eye candy that I didn’t even read :-X
[email protected] says
& now, I made myself look even more foolish, since my first comment never showed up, lol.
Haha, no worries! I went back looking for it and don’t see it in spam. I think the internet ate it.
Ooo what fun homes!! I’m definitely loving the angel kitchen! And this post has really made me rethink the idea of creating nooks/shelving out of walls. I never think of things like that.
I’d say my favorite thing though was in the picture with the bright flowers was the ceramic(?) tree with birds on it that was painted all red. It’d go great in my bedroom.
I think that was a jewelry tree. I have seem similar things at HomeGoods. Hope it helps!
Ohhh my gosh that’s even better!!
Izzie's...consigning with grace says
Amiz, Glad you liked our sculpture, it was actually bronze and we painted it paparika to go with the pic. It is for sale, as are all the items in all the homes. diana
Michelle Kersey says
There’s a homearama in Louisville, KY and I used to go with my husbands family all the time. Love it. Thanks for the tour!!!
Never heard of rain chains, how neat! Love that burst of green on the front door too.
Rebecca @This Nest is Best says
What a FANTASTIC home tour! I love that local designers really get in on the deal as well. Usually home tours seem to focus only on the builders and leave very neutral design elements.
And that lime green door is speaking to me! loooooove
[email protected] wanderdownpennylane says
This is great! Such wonderful eye candy. Brain. Overload.
I’m in love with the shoe kick off area under the mudroom bench and the laundry sign. And the drywall beams are making me drool!Thanks for posting all the great inspiration.
[email protected] says
Oh man! I think the Husby and I are going to have to check this out! Maybe this weekend…
Obsessed with the barn door. I think I have 30 pinned on pinterest and I don’t even have a house…
Good to know what rain chains are too, thanks for informing us! Cool idea!
Mary Kate says
Gah! That pencil art/canvas is to die for. Love. it.
I live near Richmond, so hopefully I can make it to this Homearama event.
I also just bought my dad a rain chain, I feel very “current” ;)
Haha, you’re so up on the trends! Haha. I’m jealous.
katie p says
Any idea where the pencil art came from/ is sold? I’m dying over it too.
Someone named Justin has been commenting with show info, so if you scroll back through the comments you can see the source for that!
Love the kid’s bathroom, and the living room with the sectional!
Finland actually has had these ‘shows’ since the 70s. They create entire lots of new houses and low buildings, and you can visit them in the summer. It’s awesome!
The link of the pictures (I don’t suppose you speak Finnish ;), there apparently is an English version of the site): http://www.asuntomessut.fi/image-gallery/119
Haha, thanks Jasmine! Those are amazing!
bridget b. says
wow, i really loved a lot of these rooms! so many ideas.
i also love touring model homes (blogged about it here: http://623designs.tumblr.com/post/21325157275/model-home) and one of the things that i’ve noticed is that layouts are very conducive to entertaining. there is always an abundance of seating and sectionals seem to be really in (so you guys are ahead of the curve) :).
Fabulous post! Homearama looks amazing and I’m heading out there this weekend for sure. Great rooms, gorgeous furniture, lots of ideas for decorating…and right here in Richmond! Thanks for sharing…can’t wait to go.
Aw, have fun Ann! Tell that fake dog we say hi!
Karin K says
You guys do the BEST house crashing posts! Tomorrow the Mother and I are going on our annual Virginia Beach House & Garden Tour, which I would totally recommend you guys come visit one year, but they have a “no cameras” rule that would ruin a good house crashing opportunity. So much to love in these pictures! The colorful valve handles are my favorite. In the angel kitchen, it looks like the vent hood was ordered a few sizes too small – the scale is driving me nuts. But honestly, a lot of the rooms look like YHL designed them. As for the copper sink, I just stumbled upon a new blogger that happens to live in my neck of the woods and she had a post for a good source for some nice copper sinks: http://www.sandandsisal.com/2011/02/field-trip-fab-finds.html scroll a little more than halfway down. Good stuff! Thanks!
Thanks for sharing that source Karin! And that Virginia Beach House & Garden Tour sounds like so much fun!
Urban Wife says
Sliding barn doors are pretty much amazing. So are copper sinks. Someday! Thanks for sharing the eye candy.
Rainchains look way cooler/weirder than gutters. Are there any benefits to them?
We have a kick your shoes off under the bench spot. Terrifying just how many pairs of my shoes wind up down there before I sort them out again.
Seriously love so many of those rooms.
I think they’re just an alternative- another way for rain to make their way down. I think they look more like jewelry or hardware on a house instead of trim or piping, which is what gutters can look like, so it depends which look you prefer.
Brook @ BeingBrook says
How fun! Love all the houses. The copper sink is amazing. Love the mudroom and feel so vindicated with the faucet hanging hardware. My husband and I were buying sprinkler faucets and I told him they would be super cool spray painted to hang coats on and he thought I was nuts! So showing him that mudroom!
What an awesome post and event for you guys!! I love so many of these details. I would love to come down and check them out…wonder if I could squeeze that in…
These houses are great! My dream house will have wooden beams (real or painted drywall is fine by me!) rolling barn doors, a zillion built-ins, and stacked stone. I guess my style is eclectic, modernized rustic/craftsman… too much? Oh and the front door is a great opportunity for a pop of color. Do you know what color they used on the door? I would not be opposed to being hired as an official house crasher because I love residential design both the house itself and interior. Please tell me such a thing exists?!
Haha, if there’s a full time House Crashing job I want it too! I think we might have run out of Richmond houses to crash, haha. Anyone who has a cool house and is holding out should email us asap! Haha. As for that door color, I’m sorry but I have no idea. Maybe just bring home a bunch of similar swatches and tape them up to see which ones reads the closest to that look? Good luck!
Heather W says
I am dying over the green door. It has been on my list of to do’s forever. I don’t know if this will help but I have looked at a ton of Green’s for the door and stumbled across the website Tar Paper Crane. They did a green door and posted it on Dec 27, 2009 the color they used was BM Vienna Green. See if you can find it there or on the BM website etc. Hope it helps!
Caitlin @ Desert Domicile says
Great tour! Did you happen to ask what color was used in the European Elegance bedroom? It’s gorgeous! Also, the Angel Kitchen has me wanting to ask my builder to add extra cabinets above the ones he just put up haha
Izzie's...consigning with grace says
Caitlin, we used Well-Bred Brown SW7027; a Sherwin Williams product.
Glad you liked it, everyone that walked in the bedroom exclaimed – WOW!
Gorgeous homes! I love the beams in the Master bedroom, however I kinda feel they are to overpowering for that room?! Maybe better suited for a grand living area.
Yeah, I think some of the rooms were hard to capture on film (it was a huge room with high ceilings, so in person it might have looked different) but they definitely would have looked awesome in a double-height living room with a cathedral ceiling!
[email protected] says
Wow, so much beautiful eye candy. I am LOVING that green front door and everything behind it!
Ceramic cow alert: I spotted him at Target last night for something crazy like $4. They have him in white, too. I wish they had him in red or green or blue, which would actually match my dishes/dining room. I have no yellow!
Our local architecture association posted the previews of the homes on their October tour yesterday on FB and I’m so excited already. We made a day of it with our (then) 10-month-old last year, and we had a blast. We’ll have to see how it goes with a toddler this year…
Haha, thanks for the cow tip! And good luck with the toddler and the tour! Bring lots of snacks. Hah. At least that worked for us.
You could buy the white one and spray him, a la Sherry. :) (I say this having never purchased spray paint in my life…but she makes it look easy! And ruining a $4 purchase is relatively low-risk).
Our local Target store has them in red and slate grey. I have the yellow one myself! Maybe they’ll have them online? :)
Just picked up that ceramic cow cutie in yellow ($4.99) at Target this weekend. I am in love! Our store also had deep red, slate grey, and white, with matching bowls and utensil holders.
Krystle @ Color Transformed Family says
Thanks for sharing these house tours. I got so many great ideas just from looking at your pictures. I’m with you Sherry… I would love to have some high ceilings like the ones in these houses. Somehow my love of older homes still wins over all the high ceilings in newer homes.
OMG – I’m seriously going to go home tonight and pin this entire post. I loved EVERY house you guys went into! I wish we had something like this in Detroit. Thanks so much for sharing!!
Aw thanks Kaitlyn! So glad we could share the pics with you guys!
That kitchen! That bathroom! The barn doors, the copper sink, the green door, love it all! Thanks for sharing! I am currently (as in today) painting the desk chair and tv stand in my bedroom that same color. Kind of feel fancy now :)
Wahoo! I love that color for furniture. Good luck!
These are so fun! I wish I was local so I could “crash” these houses too!!
There are definitely a lot of fun features! My big question: what on earth is a “rain chain?” I’ve never heard of that term before.
…and as soon as I post my question, all these other comments popped up asking the same thing, lol. Now that I see what they’re for, I’d love to see a rain chain in action.
They’re just an alternative to a downspout, so the rain runs down the chain to the ground instead. Maybe in some areas they’re used less due to extreme weather or something?
Love this post! How did you guys hear about this event? I would love to find something similar in New England to check out.
Ever since checking out The Parade of Homes here in Richmond we have kept an eye out for events from the Home Builder’s Association here in Richmond – so when this came up we jumped at the chance to check it out! Maybe find out the equivalent of the HBA here in Richmond (maybe they’re in your town too?).
Wow, so much eye-candy and inspiration! I can only imagine how fun it would be to climb up & swing from those rafters in the “Vintage Rediscovered” room. Except probably not for me, since I no like heights. Hubby gets on the roof though, so he’d flip if I showed him that room. :)
Those houses are gorgeous! I’m curious about the rain chains, too – how do they do in extreme weather? (We’re in Kansas) Are they anchored to the ground? Oh, and my sister and brother-in-law just finished up rehabbing their house last fall and they did the barn door thing to close off a little sunporch – they picked a fun bright color: http://www.ilikemycoffeesweet.blogspot.com/2011/12/house-projects-and-my-kyle.html
I’m not sure how they do in extreme weather, and around here they’re not typically anchored to the ground, but maybe in areas with tornados and stuff they are? Not sure! And as for that barn door – it’s adorable!!
Kevin J says
Barn door hardware — DO IT! We installed one between our kitchen & back hall for when we want a little extra “hide-the-junk” action. You could do it between your Dining Room and Kitchen, or even between your bedroom and that sink area. Or instead of french doors between your DR and office (probably the best place). And the other cool think is you can hang things on the barn door — we have two rows of coat hooks and they slide along with the door when we want to close it.
Where can you find the hardware for the sliding bar doors?
You could totally do a single barn door in your bedroom across the bathroom opening…leave it open most the time to let the light in but it would be amazing with the floors in there!
Ooh, that would be cool!
I just saw a rain chain DIY project on PBS- check it out.
[email protected] Life says
I am in love with the rolling barn door idea also! You could totally add them to your master bedroom to separate your vanity area. Just a thought…