Thereâ€™s a feeling of anticipation in the air as you turn at the gorgeous fountain entryway inviting you into the Rock Springs neighborhood, and follow the line of cars waiting to park in an open field by the site, one of two hosting the houses of this yearâ€™s Homearama. As you make your way to the white tent marking the entrance to Pebble Creek Place, itâ€™s easy to see the excitement on peopleâ€™s faces as they head off towards the nearest dream home to see what surprises wait inside.
Homearama is open weekdays from 5 to 9:30 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m. It runs now through July 29. Seventeen homes are on display (10 of which are located at the Rock Springs site, the other seven at Shakes Run), built using the latest materials, technologies and trends. All feature energy-saving designs and display beautifully coordinated furnishings and decor, selected by Louisvilleâ€™s most sought-after decorators and interior designers. Some of the homes have already been sold while others are still available, listing in the 300- to 600-thousand dollar range and above.
But the majority of folks heading out to Rock Springs in droves arenâ€™t necessarily in the market for one of these majestic new houses.
Rather, individuals, couples, groups of friends and even entire families can be seen trailing from one front stoop to the next, eager to step inside and be inspired by clever decorating ideas or pick out their favorite new furnishings.
At house 8, â€œThe Clarendon,â€ designed by Liz at Home, Amanda Tyler from The Curtain Exchange was available to share some design and coordination tips that were used to transform the house into a home that would invite and inspire visitors. In one of the houseâ€™s six bedrooms, she pointed out how small but standout, colorful designs in a curtain can set the tone for an entire roomâ€™s decor.
â€œOftentimes, people pick their wall color first, and there are 25 million shades of paint. So itâ€™s always best to start with the fabric, or even with artwork (and coordinate around it). Itâ€™s about having something to start with,â€ Tyler explained.
Curtains can also be used to highlight or enhance a homeâ€™s architectural features, as in the dining room of â€œThe Clarendon,â€ where coral-colored fabric, inspired by the colors in a painting hanging on an adjacent wall, framed a large window from pedestal-like posts called rosettes, Tyler pointed out. â€œRosettes â€“ the holdbacks â€“ are very popular right now, because it gives a curve to the palladium window, and a lot of times people want to enhance that feature and that architectural look.â€
Down the street and inside the open and airy combined great room, dining room and kitchen of another house by Liz at Home, â€œThe Bedford,â€ Tyler demonstrated the advantages of layering window treatments, which allows a homeowner to control outside light, from dimming to cutting it out entirely. This provides privacy, a must-have in suburbs where homes can sit especially close to one another. In addition to the function, layering can add another dimension to windows, adding color or just dressing them up.
Peter Searcy of Louisville Realty Group greeted guests from the homeâ€™s stunning two-story foyer, across from which a study displays an elegant piano surrounded by a perfectly coordinated color palette, right down to the gold tones in the deep green drapes. Searcyâ€™s experience has taught him that the appeal of Homearama is that itâ€™s something that anyone can appreciate â€“ people come to the event to seek out builders, vendors, contractors or just to get ideas. â€œAnd homes are fun,â€ he added. â€œThatâ€™s the main thing. Especially with television, and so much focus on remodeling … I think itâ€™s really made an upswing in peopleâ€™s knowledge of homes and design. The layperson now has a good general knowledge of home design which they didnâ€™t ten years ago.â€
Even if visitors have no experience with home interior design, experts like Lucy Shaver of Barry Wooley Designs are there to answer questions and explain the finer points of staging furnishings. In the metropolitan-inspired interior of home 2, â€œThe Normandy,â€ Shaver pointed out the sleek, sophisticated decor, chosen to fit the lifestyle of a couple who are perhaps retired and want a home more suited to their needs than to those of a family with young children. The openness of the home extends even to the pool outside, creating a space that feels ready for entertaining.
Downstairs in the basement, original artwork, a bright shag rug and a copper, studded chair create an urban feel to brighten the naturally darker space. The walls radiate a warm orange color, chosen by the interior designers of Liz at Home, which nicely complements the furnishings staged by Barry Wooley Designs. Visitors to â€œThe Normandyâ€ are able to order or purchase most of the pieces in the home, and a readily accessible price list makes it easy to determine what will work within oneâ€™s budget.
Whether youâ€™re hunting for home furnishings, shopping for a builder or vendor, or even just looking to be inspired, Homearama has something to appeal to people from all walks of life. You may start out just looking, but youâ€™ll likely still leave Rock Springs with a new idea or two for the home of your dreams, and a plan to make it happen.
Photos By JAMES EATON | Contributing Photographer