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Pretty Houses I Can’t Afford

If you’ve known me for any significant amount of time at all, you know that for as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be an interior designer. What probably just started off as me mimicking my brother and wanting to be like him in every possible way (I clearly remember my interest started as soon as he told us he wanted to study architecture in college), soon turned into a full-blown obsession. I’m talking things like I’ll be driving to work and pass a beautiful neighborhood and pull a three point turn in the middle of the road just go to drive through it. Or I’ll buy every copy of Better Homes & Gardens, Coastal Living, Architectural Digest, and House Beautiful on the shelf in Wegmans. Or keep a journal of things that I’ve seen in my friends’ houses that I’d like in mine one day. Or, best example yet, pay $12 to go drool over a bunch of houses that I won’t be able to afford for at least 20 more years (…is that still maybe wishful thinking?) Because that’s exactly what I did this past Wednesday.

Now I know not everybody shares my infinity for houses, and I know this because finding someone to come with me was near to impossible (shoutout to you Al, if you’re reading this, for being the only one willing to brave the cold with me), but if you’re interested in seeing some genuinely gorgeous places close-by to Syracuse or if you’re currently in the market for the home, I would highly suggest going to this year’s Parade! The homes this year were modest in the sense of size, but gorgeous down to every last detail. Also the interior layouts were out of this world! It almost felt like a maze walking through some of them (is this a good thing? I don’t know, you decide). So without further ado, the houses of this year’s Parade of Homes:

House #1

‘The Tara Lynn’ by Eldan Homes

House 1 Exterior

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If I had to describe this house in two words it would be elegantly rustic. There were a lot of vintage pieces in this house, but combined with the wood paneling on the ceilings and stone fireplace, it didn’t come across as uppity, but more like a cabin in the woods. …an expensive cabin that is. This was the first house that we visited so I was really taken aback by how beautifully it was decorated, but it definitely was not my style, especially after seeing some of the others. Favorite part of The Tara Lynn? Definitely the pool out back. The pool wins every time. I do have to say the basement bar was a close runner-up though. Aka, the two places I would be spending the most time at if this were my house.

Home #2

‘The Lawford’ by Mark Antony Homes

House 2 Exterior

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I love love love the exterior of this house. The garage doors are not down in this picture but if you visit the article about the house you can see them, and they really put the perfect finishing touch on the whole house, giving it a rural type of feel. Plus with the stone lining the entranceway… B E A U T I F U L. This house was definitely more up my alley… the warm tones given off throughout by the hardwood made it feel so homey and cozy, something that’s especially good for the winters around Manlius. My favorite part of The Lawford has to be a tie between the fireplace in the master bed/bath and the outdoor seating area. Soaking in a hot bath with a fire cracking right next to you would be ideal in the winter but I’m 100% a summer girl and thinking about having a fire in the adjoining porch space in the middle of the house is just too much for me to handle. I love it all!

House #3

‘The Tucker William’ by Martin Custom Homes

House 3 Exterior

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Coming in on the first floor, I wasn’t initially impressed. Okay, let me rephrase that. The house is beautiful and if someone were to hand me over the keys, I wouldn’t turn them down. But the basement… the basement is definitely the best part of this house. Complete with not one but TWO bars, one for the kids and one for the adults, you can’t go wrong. Honestly, I think I like the children’s bar better than the adults- retro style Coca Cola seating?! Yes please! In the basement you will also find a home theater (no biggie) and a special dog shower, just so your little guy can get pampered, too. Like throwing parties and having two bars still isn’t enough for you? Have no fear, there’s one in the back yard too. For all your hosting needs. This outdoor bar was 100% my favorite part of The Tucker William. 

House #4

‘The Sophia’ by Harrington Homes

House 4 Exterior

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We were greeted in this house with the wafting smell of freshly made chicken riggies, so in other words, off to a good start. The placement of the deck was a great idea, accessible from both the kitchen area and the master bedroom. Everything was very sleek and modern, and the best way that I can put it is that I felt like I was in a hotel, only a bit homier. One thing I really did like about this house was that the backyard area was a bit more private and led into a mainly wooded area, not into someone else’s yard. My absolute favorite part of The Sophia, however, was the little wine station in the kitchen. Perfectly designed, it’s such a good place to cut up some lime or shake up a mixed drink, and the shelves act as the perfect place to store your favorite wine glasses that you want to show off to your guests. Not to mention the wine fridge tucked quietly underneath the wooden countertop. PERFECTION. 

House #5

‘The Biltmore’ by Loscombe Custom Homes

House 5 Exterior

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To be completely honest, this house wasn’t my favorite. I didn’t really understand the layout of the first floor, with the furniture slanted and the dining room table thrown helter skelter in the middle of the room. I’m all for using furniture as room boundaries instead of walls- open floor plans are the only floor plans in my book- but this just didn’t look right. The home theater in the basement was nice, but I felt like it didn’t fit the style of the rest of the home, which felt more like a country cottage. The kitchen did let in a lot of light though, something that I would want in a kitchen of my own some day, and I love how it lead right out onto the enclosed screen porch- perfect for entertaining. Being inside the porch with the ceiling fan turning felt almost like being at a resort, and definitely was my favorite piece of The Biltmore.

House #6

‘The Woodford’ by Smolen Homes

House 6 Exterior

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This was my kind of house. From the moment I saw that long, swooping countertop in the kitchen (of course the one piece of the house I don’t have a picture of), I knew it. Multi-level countertops with seating space and outlets are every girl’s dream come true. No? Just mine? Okay. Aside from me crushing hardcore on a countertop, this house also had a beautiful waterfront view and a ton of lighting, two other things to check off my must-have-in-a-house list! The staircase helped to seal the deal for me too, with wide steps and a landing separating the top floor from the basement and breaking the house up a bit. In fact, one of my favorite parts of The Woodford was the slow trickling waterfall leading downstairs next to the staircase. Such a simple, cute idea, that really made the house so unique. 

House #7

‘The Mallard’ by JMG Custom Homes

House Exterior 7

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The kitchen in this home. Wow. I don’t think I have any other words for it. The range alone was a sight to be seen, and the built-in stovetop to the counter has to be my favorite part of The Mallard. Coupled with stainless steel appliances, I would be tempted to spend all of my time in this kitchen, even though I hate cooking. The dining room off to the side makes for a cozy, more private space to eat dinner, and there was a beautiful sun room off of the living room to sit and read a book. The brick wall fixture in the master bathroom was a great addition to the outdoorsy feel of the entire house, and I loved the theme of deer antlers spread across all of the rooms. While again not entirely my style, this house could definitely make somebody very happy.

House #8

‘The Edmonton’ by Sciuga Custom Builders

Home Exterior 8

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The colonial. The beautiful, beautiful colonial. Now this is my kind of house. And the only one of the whole Parade, at that. While I didn’t like the exterior of the house as much as The Lawford and The Tucker William (the single wall of stone felt a little bit off), this is typically the style of house I’m drawn to. The kitchen was chic with it’s black cabinets, and the rooms all seemed to compliment each other rather than straying in style, unlike some of the others. I absolutely ADORE the white painted brick fireplace, and the chandelier over the entranceway was a nice touch, too. The romantic side of me loves window seats, so the one in the bedroom also made me very happy. Favorite part of Edmonton would definitely have to be the back porch and firepit, though. Every house needs one. 

While all of these homes were absolutely gorgeous and together make an amazing neighborhood, I have to say that The Lawford and The Tucker William were my favorites. Beautifully designed on the inside and outside alike, they’re elegant but simple, and each hold a few hidden luxuries within that people could only dream of (hint hint: soda bar and bathtub fireplace). 

The Parade of Homes runs until June 19th and I strongly suggest everyone go if you get the chance! Admission is $12 at the door, and the event runs every day (Saturday & Sunday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and weekdays from 1 p.m.- 8 p.m.). The neighborhood is right off of South Eagle Village Road in Manlius and you can plug in the following address if using a GPS:

6199 Aylesbury Path Manlius, NY 13104

Some special dates to look out for are Ladies Night (happening next Thursday, June 16th from 5-8), Flag Day (free admission all day for military), and Builders & Brews Craft Beer Trail (happening next Wednesday, June 15th). Come sample some local beer and wine and enjoy exploring some beautiful houses with your friends!

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