On Tuesday I was able to tour the nine different homes that make up this year's Street of Dreams. I have been going to Street of Dreams for the past few years, but this experience was different in that:
A) The homes weren't quite finished yet, to varying degrees. Some were just handling the finishing touches. Others I had to treat as obstacle courses as I literally dodged painters and carpenters with their tools littered on every surface.
B) For some of the homes the builders were able to give me guided tours, pointing out highlights and explaining back stories and concepts, which was super cool.
As usual, all of the homes were huge, the smallest being 4,100 square feet and the largest being just under 6,300 square feet, and they all boasted state of the art everything, with a focus on sustainable building practices and products. They also all had huge envy-inducing master bathrooms and walk-in closets that are the size of my entire bedroom. The similarities stop there, however, as each home is built and furnished in a specifically different theme. I should add that this year's homes, while obviously out of my and most people's price range, seemed more accessible and realistic. Some years the homes have seemed a little extravagant and even a little superfluous and wasteful (seriously, who needs eight bathrooms in one house?). This year, however, I think a person of any income level could tour these houses and find inspiration that they can take away and apply to their own home.
Here's a short rundown of each home with photos of my favorite aspects from each:
Clearhaven by Pahlisch Homes
This house is what the builders call "A taste of Nantucket in the Northwest" and offers classic architecture with a primarily white interior. This house had great balconies for taking in the expansive view, but the best feature by far was the water slide.
Tranquility by BC Custom Construction
This is a modern house that felt slightly Asian-inspired to me. The exterior and interior both boast lots of stone, and the interior featured great dark hardwood floors. This is the smallest of the houses, and while pretty expansive still feels cozy.
The Two Thousand Thirteen by TTM Development Company
This house was described to me by builder Tucker Merrihew as in the "Transitional Style", which is Contemporary mixed with Traditional. It is one of the bigger homes and is ideal for a family. It features a hobby/mud room with gift-wrapping station and barn doors from Kentucky.
Cuvee by Elite Development Northwest
This home was described as "Refined Rustic" by builders Jamie Harris and Natalie Long, the only female builders on The Street of Dreams. The indoor and outdoor living spaces flowed together quite nicely and the whole home had a spa-like feel to it. The highlight of this house to me was the built-in iPad at the front entrance that controls the lighting, heating/cooling, music, and televisions in the entire house that can by synced to an iPhone.
Blackmore by Pahlisch Homes
This house is described as "Old World grandeur meets modern day luxury." It was the biggest home and felt very "English Proper" to me, but in a good way. It was still pretty far from done, but my favorite aspects included a cute little vanity area in the master bathroom and a built in spa.
Southern Exposure by Haggart Luxury Homes
This home was described to me by builder Jeff Haggart as "Country Churchill Downs Ranch" and was specifically built for an active family. The highlights of this home include a sport court, a putting green, and the use of reclaimed wood from a barn built in Sumner, OR in 1900 that was used as a sliding dividing wall and as the mantle on the fireplace.
(This is the part where my phone annoyingly deleted some of my pictures, so I had to get some from the website and there are not many, if any, interior shots for the last two houses.)
The Rendezvous by F. Dale Lumpkin General Contractor
This home is in the French Country style, and as builder F. Dale Lumpkin showed me around I noticed an astonishing amount of little details that really made the house special, the most impressive being the hand painted plaster all around the house. Another highlight was the downspout that plays music as the water flows through it, made Vladmir Sumchenko of Art of Rain. My favorite aspect was the fireplace flanked with dog statues, which I seriously want in my house NOW.
The American Dream by Westlake Development
This home was described as "NW Comfort" and had the most intriguing backstory. Builder Gerald Rowlett explained to me that this was a Made in America showcase home, which means that 97% of every single component in the home, from the building materials to the furnishings, is from and made in the U.S. The motto is "buy local, build local" and materials were sourced as close to the building site as possible. The home also showcases the work of local artisans and boasts one of the lowest carbon footprints ever built into any Street of Dreams home, no doubt attributed to the local sourcing of materials and furnishings. One of my favorite aspects of this home was the use of barn wood (yes, the third home to use it.) The use of barn wood in this home was different however in that the entire vaulted ceiling of the recreation room was made from this wood, making it look like they literally just took the roof off the barn and plopped it down on the house. It should be added that this wood is from the Bloomington Hills Barn built in Hillsboro in 1909, and when that wood was harvested the tree was 4-600 years old. So yeah, really old wood.
The Beauvoir by Smith-Donnerberg
This home is in the French Contemporary style, and it is decorated in a really unique and interesting way. Unfortunately this is the house that my stupid phone lost all of the interior shots of, so you'll just have to take my word for it. It is very romantic, but modern at the same time, with lots of little interesting details spread throughout. My favorite aspect was the huge master bathroom that features a vibrating tub.
There you have it. To experience the full effect I suggest you visit The Street of Dreams in person. The opening day is tomorrow and it runs through August 25th. This year they have events scheduled throughout the time it is open, including musical performances and, if you are looking to update your own home, a furniture sale on August 26th. View the entire schedule here.