Janet Day: Parade of Homes reveals building, decorating trends in Grand County
August 11, 2008
I Love a Parade. One of my favorite summer activities is the annual Grand County Parade of Homes. Every year, I go with a couple friends in search of exquisite kitchens, luxurious bathrooms and some pretty cool decorating tips.
What I learned this year was that there are some stunningly ugly, over-sized, million-dollar homes going up in this end of the county and that there are some surprisingly gorgeous and comfortable less-expensive homes being built as well.
There was plenty of wasted space and thoughtless traffic patterns in some of the show homes and apparently minimal consideration given to snow piling up and melting off. I saw one home that from the outside resembled a right-on-the-interstate Cracker Barrel restaurant and another that took everything that was wrong about a rambling 1930s farmhouse and recreated it.
The Bear Crossing homes surprised me. I thought the development would be more of the very vertical, snug-together town-homes being built around Winter Park. From the outside, they are. But I loved every inch of the space from the minute we walked inside.
The homes, available for quarter or full ownership, are airy and light with well-thought traffic patterns and great use of space. The master suite is ample and the main level comfortable, both with unbeatable Continental Divide views. The only concern I had was the narrow streets bounded by rock walls. Where will the snow go when the plows come through? I had snow-related questions at each home we saw, much to the distress of some homebuilder representatives.
The Terra Firma Custom Homes Inc. single-family house on North Golf Course Circle in Pole Creek was our favorite, with curb appeal to excess and an open floor plan that made it feel like home, like a place to plop down onto the couch with a beer and Bronco’s game or buddies and a barbecue. The three-bedroom house is moderately sized with a main-level master bed and bath; lower-level bar, TV room and guest rooms; panoramic views and a more than two-acre lot. Outside, the home boasts some natural landscaping, appropriate slope and drainage for snowmelt and rainfall, and its own little pond. No wonder it took home the Judge’s Choice award as well as those for best master suite, kitchen, architecture and interior design. The paintings and decorating touches by Grand Lake’s Marjorie Cranston didn’t hurt.
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Among the construction or decorating trends I liked were the built-in bunk-like beds and sleeping nooks for children found in several of the Parade homes. It’s a great use of space and gives kids somewhere fun to crash with the feel of a sleeper car on a train. Covered decks are another great trend, enabling homeowners to use the outside space well into the fall or on a rainy August afternoon.
Toe to Toe. I’m always perplexed by the way developments get named. It so often seems to be a memorial to the displaced flora or fauna. But a particular bug in my bonnet this week is the attempt to gentrify or Anglicize some developments. What is it with new developments named “Something Pointe?” What’s with that E at the end? Sterling Pointe, Founder’s Pointe. The word “pointe” isn’t as quaintly British as developers seem to think, but is in fact French, derived from classical ballet and meaning the tip of the toe. So does that mean the developments are really the Founder’s Toe or the Sterling Toe? The marketing possibilities for that translation are endless.
Bad Banners. It seems Grand Park again went too far and a little vigilante vandalism resulted. It was presumptuous and arrogant, but not surprising, that the development would thumb its nose at the ongoing recreation center naming dispute and put up a sign declaring it the Grand Park Community Recreation Center. The banner, hung on the chain-link fence on the south end of the meadow, was repeatedly cut and shredded this weekend.
The rest of the banners don’t really bother me. They provide some information to drive-by tourists about what that massive construction site is expected to be. And I’d rather look at the banners than a harsh chain-link fence that provides no security to the site at all.
Keep in Touch: What’s got your attention around the area? Let me know. I’ll try to find the answer or spread the news. Send it all to JDayQuilts@msn.com.
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