RIDGEFIELD — Walking into the GRO Parade of Homes neighborhood, I was struck by just how grand and yet distinct each of the six houses were.
Each home features the latest fashions and innovations, and each will cost its new owner more than a million dollars. But walking through the homes one by one, I noticed that the homes all had their own ambiance and feel.
The first home, The Kousa, was designed and built by the husband-and-wife team Jason Huyette and Lilli Arveli of Genesis Homes NW. The midcentury-style ranch felt intimate, yet still encompasses 3,305 square feet with three bedrooms, an office and a home theater.
Arveli said she loves the home’s connection to the outdoors. The home, she said, has natural light, greenery and has a partially covered and heated outdoor living space. But she is hard-pressed to name her favorite feature.
“I designed the house,” she said. “So there is no one favorite part because it’s amazing.”
The next home, The Haven, is billed as a modern farmhouse with 3,300 square feet of living space. The home, built by Cascade West Development, has four bedrooms and a bonus room. The beautiful home has a fireplace that stretches sky-high.
Jason Stenerson from Cascade West Development pointed to the home’s two-story great room. The large windows will provide the home’s new owners with an abundance of natural light.
Next on the street is the Aletta home by Rivercrest Construction. With 3,372 square feet, this house offers four bedrooms and an office, along with four bathrooms. One standout space was the upstairs loft, looking down over the great room.
Josh Dannenmann, a broker with Cano Real Estate, was representing the builder at this home on Friday.
“My favorite thing about this house is the floor plan,” he said. “It’s just super open.”
The home, he added, has a lot of natural light, with high ceilings and a big great room. It also has an outdoor living center, which Dannenmann also loves.
The Wickenburg house was next, coming in at 4,075 square feet with four bedrooms and four bathrooms. The home, built by Affinity Homes, had a fun element called the “Casita,” a semi-detached bedroom suite that I entered before even going into the larger house.
The house “has a Southwest Hill Country vibe to it,” said John Colgate, one of the home’s builders.
“We really wanted to utilize the space even though we’re in a community and neighborhood,” said Colgate. “We wanted it to feel very private in here.”
So the window and room locations were very intentional, he added.
Glancing down a side street, I saw a modern French country house, The Hazel Merrin, by Glavin Homes. The 3,360-square-foot home offers three bedrooms, plus an office and theater. The beautiful home looked onto a field behind it, which was lovely, but the real gem was the hidden pantry.
“A lot of people gasp at it,” said Niall Glavin, owner of Glavin Homes.
Finally came the Oak View home. At 3,058 square feet, this home by Glavin Homes features three bedrooms and an office. As I walked into the home with its seemingly sky-high ceilings, I couldn’t help noticing the giant oak tree through the living room windows as its leaves danced in the wind.
Glavin likes the open floor plan but says the view is the real draw to the home.
The new homeowner can be “washing the dishes and watch the leaves in the breeze,” he said.
If you’re in the market, four of the six homes are for sale. The event isn’t just seen as an opportunity for builders to sell high-end homes, though. It’s also a showcase of the latest and greatest trends.
“It allows the builders and the architects and the interior designers to express what they love and what they’re interested in,” said Glavin.
Plus this year’s event is going to draw more traffic to Ridgefield.
“There’s a lot of local businesses, which is really nice,” said Kayla Hidalgo, a real estate agent with Cano Real Estate. It’s “just getting people through the door.”