I left my heart as a professional faux finisher to take up food blogging, and one just melded into the other. Design, decorating, decor, creativity are still a huge part of me, and that’s probably why I disassembled my entire Christmas tree this year to redo it just because a good idea came to me.
I considered the invitation from Forest Media Group for a sneak preview tour of the King’s Chapel Parade of Homes an early Christmas present. Not only did I get to step into real life Pinterest pictures, I got to do it with an amazing group of life style DIY bloggers, some traveling as far as Atlanta to join us. After the tour, we gathered at the King’s Chapel Clubhouse for a Christmas Tea, and fantastic company.
The cherry on the cake was the participation of four incredible home style DIY bloggers who were selected to decorate a tree based on actual wishes from the Make a Wish Foundation of Middle Tennessee.
They did a fabulous job and I’ll show you the trees at the end of this post, with a special announcement about the Parade of Homes that opens on Saturday, December 6 at King’s Chapel Community in Arrington, Tennessee.
Here’s a sneak peek at one of the trees. Can you take a guess at the theme?
My drive to Arrington was a mere 15 minutes through some country roads, and a small town I’m used to visiting, as it’s also the home of the Arrington Vineyards and a friend’s farm. It’s everything you think of when you think of Tennessee. For example, it might be a gated community, but no backyard touches another. So perfectly planned, the clubhouse even has it’s own chef that plans many dinner party events for the residents, most recently a dinner dance with Derek and Julianna Hough. How’s that for country living?
The day was on the dark side and a tripod would have been helpful, but I think I have enough pictures to give you an idea of how fabulous these houses are and show you the design trends, at least here in the South. These were the designs that most touched me, grouped by living space, not by house.
Entries at King’s Chapel Parade of Homes
The Entry is very important in a Southern Home and it has to say welcome and ideally be large enough for long long goodbyes. If you want to leave a Southern Home, start 30 minutes early, as it’s always a production.
Rustic benches with dressy pillows, and extra large backdrops create warmth and drama. This is a home I want to enter.
The Kitchen STILL is the it room and the biggest trend is lower level islands that serve as eating areas and lighter shades. While the trend is very much lighter cabinets from pure white to antique white, the lower island cabinets are often painted a darker color or at least a contrasting color from the other cabinets. Marble and White Granite have replaced the heavy, dark granite of the past. As someone who is in the kitchen more than most, I welcome this happier, cleaner trend.
This look is dreamy to me, as the white was not stark and the pulls are sophisticated and modern.
Glass tile backgrounds are very big and this one is spectacular, as another trend is to make a focal point out of the stove backdrop. Perhaps that will inspire more home cooking?
We were all excited as was this blogger, because the Kitchen Aid is tucked away and then easily accessed. Organization is another big trend. This would make me want to bake more.
It doesn’t take much to make me happy. A little Christmas setting makes a house a home.
The Dining Rooms at King’s Chapel Parade of Homes
Typically, the first thing you will see after the entry in a Southern home is the dining room, usually located in the front of the house, and always splendid. Most seemed subdued in color, rich in texture, unlike the very dark dining rooms of ten years ago, that looked more like museums than places to gather for food and laughter.
This is actually the dining area in the kitchen. The lampshade was handmade using lamp string. Interesting ceilings is another big trend, and this one has fabulous detail. This particular house
There are no words to describe the faux finish in this room. I used to do this for living, and I can tell you my mind was blown by this break away concrete-type finish from Bella Tucker Decorative Finishes. This was the most talked about room during our tour.
The black ceiling brings extra drama to an already breathtaking room.
The Powder Room is another room that gets a lot of attention in a Southern Home. It’s the one room you can go crazy with creativity. I remember many years ago, faux finishing a very expensive powder room and had to redo the design the guest would see sitting down to make it more prominent. The client distinctly said, “they need to see it when they sit.” In fact, I remember when I was a faux finisher, it would not be unusual for a client to spend over $1000 just for the powder room walls.
This is so much more spectacular in person, as the rectangles are aged mirrored tiles and the gold arrows are hand drawn.
Consider an old piece of furniture for a vanity. The hardware makes the statement.
The Family Room – Living Room at King’s Chapel Parade of Homes
Natural elements are all the rage, adding, a sense of earthiness, less pretension and mimic the many surrounding wooded areas of King’s Chapel.
In the old Southern home, there would always be two living rooms, which are now a thing of the past. The kitchen and family room are made larger and share the prominent space in the house. The predominant trend for family rooms is neutral, the use of natural materials and lots of layered textures. The result is relaxing, warm, inviting and open to seasonal accessories.
In a neutral palate, the pillows bring the personality to several shades of beige and white.
Bedrooms are voluptuous and similar to the natural layered look seen in the living rooms. I love the soft that is the “it” piece in this room. You should see the barnwood ceiling. Go see it!
This is a girl’s room and it screams of sophistication, glamor, whimsy and texture. Who wouldn’t want this chaise in their bedroom?
Bonus Rooms, Man Caves, Fun Art
Two heavy valued hues put together in perfect harmony give a lot of depth to this room. It’s not often one sees dark valued colored working together, contrasted only by the trim, and carpet, but it totally works!
Love this bonus room that is also a kid’s art gallery. The elf knew exactly where to land!
This is fantastically creative wall, that anyone could put together with whimsy.
Notice the chicken wire on the sides of the bar, along with the natural and industrial elements.
If you dont’ have room for a bar in, try a bar cart, very popular in dining rooms right now.
Special Lifestyle Rooms
Family Drop Areas such as mud areas stood out. My favorite was called the Family Ready Room. It’s a multi-purpose mud room, laundry room, with shelves for all the kid’s stuff, and room for a second refrigerator that doesn’t have to live in the garage. There was even a cabinet for dog food and dog treats, leaving no family member out. this family ready room was big enough to store just about all the clutter.
Dogs were not forgotten and two houses gave a big nod to the special family member that wags his tail.
Fitness in the home is still a trend, and I love those wall decals.
Texture, Natural Elements
This tobacco stick ceiling is a knockout and one of the most talked about features during the tour.
It’s incredible how much just two beams can make an impact over a dining area off the kitchen. I’m not a big fan of beams, but I would go for this look. It’s not heavy, has lots of interest, and adds texture and depth.
This is the deer head I would hang on the wall.
The outside of the house is just as important as the kitchen because it’s another gathering place, and it often comes equipped with a big screen TV and a fireplace. You never have to leave home when you live like this.
The Christmas Tea with Chef Brian Cochran at King’s Chapel Community
One of the optional benefits of living at King’s Chapel is to participate in dinners and events put on by Chef Brian Cochran. As part of this media event, we were treated to a Christmas tea, with food prepared by the chef and served in the beautiful club house event room. I won one of the door prizes and went home with a goodie bag provided by @equipmykitchen.
The Make A Wish Christmas Trees
Four Builders, Four Houses equals Four Make a Wish Christmas Trees decorated by four talented bloggers. .
Each blogger was assigned a theme from one of the Make a Wish participants. These bloggers are superstars in the home decor/creative idea world.
KariAnne of Thistlewood Farms had to make her tree look like a circus. How fun is that one? She is incredibly talented, and I’ve admired her for a long long time.
Jenna of Rain on a Tin Roof did a Grammy tree at the Drees Home. My favorite part was the display of gold sprayed vinyl records, so clever, especially since vinyl is hot right now.
Kristie Barnett of The Decorologist had Greece as her theme.
Lesley of Chaotically Creative had every girls dream theme, Supermodel, and she went all out with the glitter. I’m running to the craft store to maybe get my name in lights.
King’s Chapel Parade of Homes Tour Information
The Parade of Homes at King’s Chapel will be open to the public from December 6-21, from 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Tickets are available on-line and at the door for $12 (children under 12 are free). The tour features plenty of fun activities including the 12 Days of Christmas. Please visit King’s Chapel website for details. Be sure to see how you can become eligible to win a prize with your King’s Chapel instagram photos.
You can see my complete collection of the Parade of Homes pictures at my instagram account here using hashtag#KCParadeOfHomes.