News Column

Colorado Springs home buyers and builders want a little bling, some splash with all that flex space

August 9, 2014

By Linda Navarro, The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.)



Aug. 09--The annual Parade of Homes is a perfect time to pick up innovative ideas for a new home or to incorporate into your own.

The 60th anniversary edition of the tour, put on by local builders and interior designers, is entering its final week. This year added handy, free seminars, including one with the most up-to-date "Trends in Materials and Design" offered by Grace Covington, GC Luxury Design, of Covington Homes. A number of those trends can be spotted in the 28 homes. The top trends:

Free classes while you're visiting the homes. Maps and information: cshba.com

Noon Tuesday: "The Art of Design and Decorating," GC Luxury Design, Covington Homes, 5540 Sky Meadow Drive, Wolf Ranch.

1 p.m. Tuesday: "Planning Your Custom Home," Pioneer West Homes, 6322 Farthing Drive

1:30 p.m. Wednesday: "The Basics of Homeownership: New vs. Pre-owned," Freedom Financial Services, MasterBilt Homes, 11405 Neutra Grove, Falcon

3 p.m. Thursday: "The 7 Layers of Design," La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries, Pioneer West Homes, 6322 Farthing Drive

6 p.m. Friday: "Inexpensive Ways to Create Big Looks," Karen Jones, All About Home Design, 14745 Camp Robber Court

10 a.m.Aug. 16: "Bang For Your Buck," Keller Homes, 1826 La Bellezza Grove

60th Anniversary Parade of Homes

What: 28 homes in area, including hub sites Wolf Ranch and Flying Horse

When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, through Aug. 17

Tickets: $10, free for children under 18. Available at Safeway stores, Parade homes and online at cshba.com. Complimentary military tickets at Mike Shaw Buick GMC, 1313 Motor City Drive.

- Beautiful, luxurious master-suite retreats. A number of the master suites are now on the main floors, with the children's bedrooms upstairs or in a different area of the house. Master suites often come with private outdoor living areas, says Covington. Moms and dads ask for en suite (private) master baths with the-larger-the-better showers and multiple shower heads, rain shower heads, hand-held sprayers and anti-fog mirrors. The master suite in the Oakwood Homes Evergreen Villa, among others, was designed as a sanctuary with a spa shower.

And don't forget the jet tubs and soaking tubs to complete the picture, although these frequently aren't the monster tubs of the recent past. Secondary bathrooms often don't need tubs at all unless there is a small child, says Covington.

- Life beyond granite. Covington sees more quartz and eco-friendly engineered stone countertops because granite doesn't come in a solid color and Formica, even the 2014 Formica, isn't for everyone. Alternative solid countertops, she said, can be better matches with colorful and varied backsplashes, which tend to clash with the energetic patterns in granite. Amenable to an alternative countertop? Covington suggests glass, concrete, Corian and bamboo, as well as Formica, the laminated plastic seen everywhere in the 1960s and now a more attractive composite. "Put an interesting splash with it and it is hard to notice it is Formica," she says.

- Wood and wood alternatives. So popular in Colorado, trends include rustic woods, reclaimed woods, painted woods and engineered woods. There is even tile that looks like wood, she says. Like hardy, more-fire-resistant composites used for decks, "engineered woods and pre-finished wood floors aren't going away anytime soon. They are here to stay," Covington says. In this world of sustainability, the wood alternatives are becoming more and more popular. Rustic and reclaimed woods are popular as accents, floors, trim and in furniture. Parade designer Lita Dirks used reclaimed wood planks as the dining room ceiling and a barn sliding door in the master suite. The Vantage Homes' Nokota has recycled Beetle Kill knotty wood paneling.

- The backsplash has become a colorful, exciting part of home design, says Covington. They no longer need to be neutral colors, she points out. "Colorful glass tile, patterned tile, stone and glass: The sky is the limit these days. Rule of thumb is to use a subdued and neutral countertop when pairing it with these exciting splashes." For texture and interest, she says, "there are literally thousands of fun and creative tile mosaics on the market and all can be used to add texture and interest to any space. Have fun with them."

- What do people want in their communities? "Absolutely healthy living," she says. There are town centers, walking trails and shared parks, master planned communities that encourage neighborhood interaction, health services nearby and proximity of alternative transportation. Houses are smaller and have small or no yards, Covington says. Landscape design is xeric. Home exteriors are lasting and include stone, brick and stucco. Flex spaces are important, adding areas off or in regular rooms such as kitchens and family areas for handy nooks such as kids' work stations and homework areas or mom's study and work desk. Many flex spaces are adapted as families grow and need additional or different areas. Families also want much larger areas for family life and entertaining, such as Cassidy Design's The Paradise for Classic Homes.

And another frequent request: There are special treats in homes for wine lovers, including wine refrigerators, wine cellars, wine racks and even wine rooms.

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(c)2014 The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

Visit The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) at www.gazette.com

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Source: Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO)


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