2020 Milwaukee-area Parade of Homes igoing part virtual, part in-person

Joanne Kempinger Demski, Special to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Published 10:33 a.m. CT Aug. 7, 2020


The Aspen homes Inc. model home, in the AeroPark Subdivision in Menomonee Falls, has a great room with a cathedral ceiling, and the beams carry through to the outside. (Photo: Courtesy of Aspen Homes)

Want to see the newest in home design and building trends from builders in the Metropolitan Builders Association? 

This year, you can do that in two ways.

Because of the pandemic, this year the MBA will hold its yearly Parade of Homes virtually. It will be free, and will be called the “MBA 2020 Virtual Parade of Homes.” It will be available online at MBAParadeofHomes.com starting Aug. 15 and will include home designs, floor plans, photos and videos.

But the MBA builders will also have their models open to the public to tour from Aug 15 through Sept. 7. Social distancing will be involved.

For in-person tours, consumers can make appointments with the builders to tour the homes. Contact information for the builders, as well as times the tours can be taken, are on the same website.

Kathy Raab, executive director of the MBA, which is located in Waukesha, said these changes to the tour were made because of the COVID-19 virus.

“We did this because we didn’t know how we could manage the huge crowds that we usually get with this event. … To keep attendees, salespeople and the general public safe, we felt this was a safer route to take during these crazy times,” she said.

In both tours, consumers will see 18 new homes in three new subdivisions: The Preserve at Harvest Ridge in Lisbon, AeroPark in Menomonee Falls, and Ryanwood Manor in Franklin.

 There will be a variety of styles of homes and lots of new trends.

“It’s all over the board,” said Raab. There are some ranches, farmhouses, and two stories. Most of them are at least three bedrooms, if not four or five,” she said.

She added that people will be able to see oversized kitchens with islands that tend to be gathering spaces, as well as “flex rooms,” which can be used in a variety of ways including for working from home or homeschooling.

Oversized kitchens with islands can be gathering spots, as shown in the Aspen Homes model, at AeroPark in Menomonee Falls. (Photo: Courtesy of Aspen Homes)

Shelly Basso, president of Aspen homes Inc., Pewaukee,  and the president of the MBA, said her model home in the AeroPark Subdivision, called the Grandview, features  trends consumers will want to see.

The 1½-story home has five bedrooms, 3½ bathrooms and is considered a multigenerational home.

“There are two bedrooms on the first floor, three on the second floor. It’s perfect if you have a blended family, parents that move in, or a child that comes home,” she said. One bedroom on the first floor is a master suite; the other a junior suite.

Amenities in the home include a cathedral ceiling in the great room that has beams. That ceiling carries though to the outside, where there is a large covered porch with a wood ceiling.

“Our kitchen has a hidden pantry that looks like a wall of cabinets. But when you open it, you can walk inside. And in the master bathroom there’s also a free-standing tub and a barn door. Freestanding tubs are a hit right now, as well as barn doors or doors on sliding tracks,” she said. 

Built-in cubicles are among the features trending in new houses. This is on the Parade of Homes, in a Bielinski home called the Clemont, at which is located at Ryanwood Manor in Franklin. (Photo: Courtesy of Leah Busse)

David Belman, president of Belman Homes Inc. in Waukesha, said his model, the Callista, in the Ryanwood Manor subdivision in Franklin, features trending design features.

The model is as open concept ranch, with four bedrooms and 3½ bathrooms.

“In the kitchen, there is a dark gray island with pure white cabinets. A lot of builders are doing the two-toned kitchens with painted woodwork,” he said. 

Other extras in the kitchen are Dekton counter tops, matte black hardware fixtures, a dinette, and built-in cubbies and locker systems.

The Dekton counter tops “are almost indestructible … they’re scratch-resistant, they resist heat, and they come in different looks. … We have the matte black hardware and also window frames painted matte black. We have a banquette in the dinette. It’s like you would have in a restaurant,” he said.

Raab said the Parade of Homes is a national event, and was started by the MBA builders here in 1945. Now in its 75th year, the association intended to have some big events in celebration, but those events will have to wait until next year.

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