Photo of Homearama 2016 by Tre Pryor
I toured Homearama 2016 at Norton Commons on a warm sunny day and was not disappointed. | Photo by Tre Pryor

Ground zero. Day one. Opening hour.

Not sure what I thought I would see, but finding a crowd this size, this early is impressive!

Photo of the booths to begin Homearama by Tre Pryor
A good-sized crowd arrived early on Day One of Homearama 2016. | Photo by Tre Pryor

I’ve been attending Homearama here in Louisville for decades, long before I began covering it professionally. The homes have changed dramatically over the years.

But what hasn’t changed is its alluring draw to home lovers everywhere. From the latest floorplans, to the latest interior design fashions, Homearama has it all.

This year’s event has two locations: River Crest is a high-end neighborhood located in Bullitt County. And, of course, everyone should now be familiar with Norton Commons — Louisville’s planned community — located in northeast portion of Jefferson County off Highway 22.

Photo of a bridge in Norton Commons by Tre Pryor
While the lots are small, Norton Commons does a good job with some beautiful green spaces strategically placed throughout the development. | Photo by Tre Pryor

Making a concerted effort to have this Homearama 2016 Review online quickly for our Insider Louisville readers, with camera in hand, I quickly toured all 24 homes in Norton Commons in just under three hours. To say I moved “quickly” would be an understatement. But it was still a pleasure to witness all the cool, new stuff Louisville’s leading builders put on display.

Here in Norton Commons, where there are no large lots; instead there’s a focus on convenience and luxury. In years past, a home might “Wow!” you with its expansive, vaulted ceilings or vast basements loaded with high-end entertaining spaces. This year’s collection, while more modest in size, continued to display exceptional finishes, sure to please anyone looking for design inspiration.

Below you can view the rundown of homes at the Norton Commons location of Homearama 2016.

  1. Portoghesi – 3,563 sq. ft. | 5 bedrooms | 4 baths. Builder: Ramage Company
  2. Seacrest – 3,374 sq. ft. | 4 bedrooms | 3.5 baths. Builder: Leo Thieneman & Sons
  3. California Dreamin’ – 1,793 sq. ft. | 3 bedrooms | 2 baths. Builder: Mastercraft Homes
  4. Removed from tour.
  5. The Watchtower – 5,065sq. ft. | 4 bedrooms | 3.5 baths. Builder: Castlebuilt Homes
  6. Whitman Cottage- 3,900 sq. ft. | 4 bedrooms | 3.5 baths. Builder: Paragon Homes
  7. Marquee – 2,296 sq. ft. | 3 bedrooms | 2.5 baths. Builder: Leo Thieneman & Sons
  8. Magnolia Cottage – 2,216 sq. ft. | 3 bedrooms | 2.5 baths. Builder: Artisan Signature Homes
  9. La Maisonnette – 2,080 sq. ft. | 3 bedrooms | 2.5 baths. Builder: Mastercraft Homes
  10. Blue Magnolia – 3,168 sq. ft. | 4 bedrooms | 3.5 baths. Builder: Miter Construction
  11. Abigail Christine – 3,140 sq. ft. | 3 bedrooms | 2.5 baths. Builder: Provident Homes
  12. South of Broad – 2,900 sq. ft. | 4 bedrooms | 3 baths. Builder: Michael O’Dea Builder
  13. Hampton Pointe – 6,000 sq. ft. | 4 bedrooms | 6 baths. Builder: Artisan Signature Homes
  14. The Hilty- 5,059 sq. ft. | 5 bedrooms | 4.5 baths. Builder: Mason Construction & Development
  15. Douceur de Vivre – 3,237 sq. ft. | 4 bedrooms | 3.5 baths. Builder: Simpson Builders
  16. Chelsea Cottage – 2,850 sq. ft. | 3 bedrooms | 2.5 baths. Builder: J.P. Waller Design Group
  17. The Asterid – 3,642 sq. ft. | 6 bedrooms | 5 baths. Builder: Landis Homes
  18. St. James – 3,009 sq. ft. | 4 bedrooms | 4 baths. Builder: Traditional Homes
  19. Marywill Manor – 2,087 sq. ft. | 3 bedrooms | 2.5 baths. Builder: Mastercraft Homes
  20. Garten Haus – 2,253 sq. ft. | 3 bedrooms | 2.5 baths. Builder: Mastercraft Homes
  21. Primrose Cottage – 3,467 sq. ft. | 4 bedrooms | 3.5 baths. Builder: Leo Thieneman & Sons
  22. The Classic Cottage – 3,403 sq. ft. | 3 bedrooms | 3 baths. Builder: P.L. Lyons Architectural Builders
  23. The Bungalow – 3,633 sq. ft. | 4 bedrooms | 3 baths. Builder: P.L. Lyons Architectural Builders
  24. Arbor Place – 3,703 sq. ft. | 3 bedrooms | 3.5 baths. Builder: Meridian Construction
  25. Happy Hour – 3,691 sq. ft. | 4 bedrooms | 4.5 baths. Builder: Burrus Architecture & Construction

Highlights of Homearama

Photo fo House #13 Hampton Pointe by Tre Pryor
House No. 13 Hampton Pointe is certainly impressive from the outside. Just wait until you go inside. | Photo by Tre Pryor

Simply stated, Norton Commons lots are small (see zero lot line). The planned community opted for a more traditional plat map with long and narrow lots, reminiscent of more turn of (last) century communities. Because of this, there are only so many functional layouts that will work for today’s families. Therefore, we see a great deal of similarity among the 24 homes in this year’s Homearama.

So, if time is short and you can’t take in all the homes, make sure to visit these following houses that I found exceptional.

House No. 13 Hampton Pointe is chock-full of over-the-top features. It’s the kind of home you rarely see and exactly what makes this event so special. From the spiral staircase that begins on the second-floor and rises even higher, to the wonderful accordion doors that open up to the covered porch overlooking a tempting pool. This home is extravagant!

Photo of the covered porch of House #13 by Tre Pryor
This outdoor space is really enticing. Just behind this shot are accordion doors that open to the great room. | Photo by Tre Pryor

Go big or go home, or better yet, go big with your home!

Another highlight is House No. 6 Whitman Cottage. For the full background, check out this IL post, Designing a Homearama house from start to finish, that shows what can happen when you give designers full reign to work their magic. I especially loved the custom vaults in the open-concept kitchen-to-family room space. Magical!

I felt that House No. 1 Portoghesi made great use of its 3,563 square feet to give an expansive open feel complete with every type of space a homeowner could need. The windows encircling the covered porch brought additional light in from the outside on this corner lot and the rich finishes and features really impressed.

Last, I’d like to mention that House No. 25 Happy Hour was a welcome addition to this year’s offering. At long last someone did modern well!

Photo on entering House #25 Happy Hour by Tre Pryor
The Happy Hour House No. 25 was likely my favorite for charting a new course and then living up to it. | Photo by Tre Pryor

This home by Burrus Architecture & Construction had a totally different vibe from all the other Homearama homes. Modern without being cold, sleek without being pretentious.

One of the challenges in Norton Commons is giving a home’s outdoors space some privacy. I applaud the winning result of this home’s patio area. Now if only the home’s facade could have been more in line with the modern architectural theme.

Homearama 2016 Bells & Whistles

I’ll finish up with a list of what made this year’s group of homes so amazing. Enjoy!

Photo of wild floor tiles at Homearama 2016. | Photo by Tre Pryor
Here are four of the wildest floor tiles I found at this year’s event. | Photo by Tre Pryor
  • Whole house stereo systems are incredible. I even learned about speakers that you can’t see because they are entirely smooth and look just like the drywall. This innovative product comes from Stealth Acoustics.
  • Lots of homes have stylish hard wood flooring but some of these Homearama homes brought out the highest of high-end products that were amazing and made me want to redo my own home’s floors.
  • Almost every home had vaulted, beamed or coffered ceilings. Lots of great options to consider for those thinking about building a new home.
  • What would Homearama be without awesome media rooms?
  • Sliding barn doors can come in a variety of styles. I think I counted 8 different doors of this kind during my tour.
Photo of a covered porch at Homarama 2016 by Tre Pryor
Due to smaller lot sizes, it’s very important to make good use of patios, covered or otherwise. How cozy is this space? | Photo by Tre Pryor
  • Homearama is the place to spot some of the most unique lighting fixtures — rustic to modern, funny to glamorous — they’re all here!
  • Doors don’t have to be hollow. Solid doors have a more sturdy, reliable feel that says “quality.”
  • Tile isn’t just for the floor anymore. Visit this year’s event to see floor to ceiling wall tiles that are fun and eye-catching!
  • We don’t give quality windows enough credit. They serve several functions besides just keeping the elements outside. There were a wide range of window types at this year’s Homearama.

Until next year!

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Tre Pryor
Tre Pryor is an Internet-veteran turned tech-savvy Louisville Realtor with ReMax Champions. Mr. Pryor is the recognized Louisville real estate expert writing for both InsiderLouisville.com and the #1 real estate blog in the city--LouisvilleHomesBlog.com. Most of all, Tre is a trustworthy professional who wants you to see your dreams fulfilled!