Monday, July 20, 2009

2009 East Central Illinois Builders Showcase of Homes

The summer Showcase of Homes in the Champaign-Urbana area began this past Friday and continues through this weekend. This year it is located in the Liberty on the Lake subdivision in Savoy. We did a quick run through all six homes, but want to go back and do a more thorough examination, hopefully when it is less crowded.

Something different and exciting.

McGuire Custom Homes of Gibson City designed "The Abby" home with a metro feel that was a stark contrast to its more traditional exterior. Reds, blacks, grays, with glass tiles and chrome dominated the first floor color scheme. The lighting was superb, especially in the kitchen area.

Click here for the listing information. The pictures shown here came from their information sheet. It was difficult to use our camera with so many people roaming around. The company took a risk in this conservative community, but we thought the interior was a pleasant change from many of the carbon copy suburban homes surrounding it. We did think they could have been a bit riskier with the exterior too.

We bet the show favorite will be Timbercreek Development's "House for Kids' Sake." Part of the proceeds of the sale of this home will go to Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Champaign/Ford Counties. This home evoked a very comfy, family-friendly feeling. Jim Walder always pays attention to the little details and that's what makes his homes more attractive over similar competing traditional style homes.

The odd-ball home was "The Liberty Bell". The builders and decorators were bold using a dark blue as an exterior color, and multiple colored walls in the interior open floor plan. Personally, it just didn't work for us, but it did for someone, because that house is already sold.

Teal seemed a popular color with the decorators this year. It might be fine for walls and accessories, but we'd recommend staying away from that color when it comes to furnishings. Save your money. We believe its popularity will wane in a few short years, as it did in the late 1950's.

Our disappointments continue to be the same as previous shows. Lots in the subdivisions are small for these homes, and thus the garages and driveways must face the front. Three car garage doors and massive concrete take all the impact away from the front entries as far as we're concerned.

We also hate, hate, hate (and yes we mean to use the strong language) siding on exterior chimneys. Fake veneer brick would look better than vinyl or concrete siding. Or simply omit the chimney completely. Those new gas fireplaces don't even require them.

Our Marketing Award goes to Stefanie Pratt, listing agent for "The Stefani". Pictures of her were discretely hanging on many of the walls, as family portraits. Also, note the name of the home. Love that subliminal advertising!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Thanks for being so patient!

It's been a year since our last post. Have you missed us? We hope so and we promise we'll make it worth your wait as we get back into our routine of thrice weekly postings. We'll also be making some improvements and additions to the blog over the next few weeks.

Many of you asked about our mystery warehouse and how you could purchase from us. We are working on a new website with on-line shopping and will provide a link as soon as it is completed. Since we have so many items that are only one of a kind in our inventory, it has been a large task getting pictures and descriptions on-line, but we're close to getting it done.