Top Five Trends from the 2016 Parade of Homes


It’s that time of year again!

Time for me to make the annual trek around to a bunch of open houses and report back my findings on the latest interior design trends from the Birmingham Parade of Homes. This year’s post is going to be chock full of eye candy photos, so pin away to your heart’s content.  Come on inside and let’s look around these uber-trendy houses all built in the suburbs of Birmingham, Alabama.

Birmigham Parade of Homes 2016

I’ll just be honest and say that sometimes I fell in love with the staging or furniture as much as the actual home.  Check out GORGEOUS dining table that I found in the Grey Oaks model center in Pelham.  It’s a beautiful house with a pretty view but that dining table?
Come to mama.  I need it.

Birmigham Parade of Homes 2016-9

I also loved this cute cloche on a wood slice found at Murphy Home Builder’s house in Highland Lakes.  Paired up with that metallic silver subway tile and it’s perfect in this kitchen.  This particular house was staged by Shannon of Urban Home Market on 280. You can read all about her design ideas over on their blog.
Birmigham Parade of Homes 2016-2
Ok, so let’s get to the trends.  Here are the top five trends I noticed in this year’s Parade Homes.

1. Shiplap. Like, everywhere.
Birmigham Parade of Homes 2016-5

And I do mean EVVVVVVerywhere.  Offices, bathrooms, kitchens, fireplaces… the shiplap craze touched many rooms in these homes. Like I said in my last post, Joanna Gaines has set of the shiplap firestorm and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Birmingham Parade of Homes 2016 - Murphy Home Builders LLC - Unskinny Boppy-24

Trend #2: Aged Brass

Faucets, fixtures, hardware, lighting… everywhere I looked aged brass was gleaming at me, but not in a tacky, bright brass kind of way.  Aged brass has a nice soft patina that looks well-loved and timeless.  I have become obsessed with all things copper lately, and aged brass is like copper’s more laid back cousin.

Birmigham Parade of Homes 2016-7

This trend has been slowly making it’s way back into style over the past few years around the country, but it’s finally made it to the Deep South as a staple in home design right now.

Birmingham Parade of Homes 2016 - Murphy Home Builders LLC - Unskinny Boppy-12

Here you can see aged brass from top to bottom in this master bathroom at the Mt. Laurel Model Home.

Birmingham Parade of Homes 2016 - Mt Laurel Alabama - Unskinny Boppy

Second runner up in the faucet finish contest is chrome, which is so shiny and sexy that it’s hard to resist.  If I were to replace all my faucets in my home, I would probably choose chrome over any other finish.  I feel like chrome would get more longevity for me. And that Silestone countertop still makes me drool. Birmingham Parade of Homes 2016 - Murphy Home Builders LLC - Unskinny Boppy-21

3. Freestanding Oval Bathtubs.

I’m torn over this trend, y’all.  Bath time is sacred time here in my house, so when I see these tiny tubs with no jets I raise one eyebrow and judge it hard.  Birmingham Parade of Homes 2016 - Harwell Building Company- Unskinny Boppy

I cannot picture myself soaking in this little bitty bathtub.  I mean. Can you?  Just give me a big ol’ jetted garden tub any day of the week, even if it’s not the sexiest tub around town.  I do appreciate the depth of these tubs, so hopefully it’s bigger than it looks.  I will probably never be able to afford one to find out. LOL Birmingham Parade of Homes 2016 - Murphy Home Builders LLC - Unskinny Boppy-14

4. Dark bronze exterior windows.

Bye Bye, cottage-y white window trim.  Dark bronze windows are the current rage.

Birmingham Parade of Homes 2016 - Murphy Home Builders LLC - Unskinny Boppy-23

You can see it here on this porch at the Ross Bridge Glasscott home by Murphy Home Builders.  Combined with a beautiful set of rich mahogany and glass double front doors and those amazing copper porch lights (and don’t forget that haint blue ceiling!) I’m swooning over here.  I love this look so much. It’s very reminiscent of this amazing beach house I blogged about back in 2012.

Birmingham Parade of Homes 2016 - Murphy Home Builders LLC - Unskinny Boppy

Here’s a similar look on the front porch of the Mt. Laurel Parade Home, paired with a warmer paint color.  This looks a lot like Sherwin Williams Warm Stone to me, but I’m just guessing.

Birmingham Parade of Homes 2016 - Mt. Laurel - Unskinny Boppy

#5 White, white and the complete absence of any other color except for… white. Birmingham Parade of Homes 2016 - Murphy Home Builders LLC - Unskinny Boppy-4

So, this is going to be a touchy topic for some of you, I know.  There is no doubt that all-white rooms are SUPER trendy right now, and the Parade homes didn’t disappoint in this regard.

Birmingham Parade of Homes 2016 - Murphy Home Builders LLC - Unskinny Boppy-9

If you love this crisp/clean/modern style, then you’ll love these inspiration pics I’m sure.

Birmigham Parade of Homes 2016-6

But if you are someone who craves color, then you might be disappointed for the next few years until this trend dies back down.

Birmingham Parade of Homes 2016 - Murphy Home Builders LLC - Unskinny Boppy-22
If you’re a color lover hang in there.

Birmingham Parade of Homes 2016 - Murphy Home Builders LLC - Unskinny Boppy-15

All trends will come to an end eventually.

Birmingham Parade of Homes 2016 - Murphy Home Builders LLC - Unskinny Boppy-10

And just remember—for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, which means there will likely be a color EXPLOSION coming soon. Smileunnamed

If you have any questions about any of the houses featured here, leave a comment and I’ll try to answer them!

To see the Top Five Decorating Trends from the 2015 Parade of Homes, click here!


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Speak Your Mind



  1. I like white, but I think for it to appeal to me, someone who doesn’t crave color, that there needs to be more textures of woods etc. with it. I probably like white much more when I see the room has some aged barn wood some where.

  2. I have bathed in one of those tubs, and it is deeper than you realize until you get in. Because of the depth it feels bigger than it is… if that makes sense. My 6’4″ husband would likely still be a little too crowded in it, but he sure doesn’t get any coverage in your standard tub either!
    Those were beautiful houses perfectly appointed (LOVE that table), but I’m sitting back and waiting for the color explosion (and the end of shiplap, to be honest).

    • KathyTobacco says:

      I agree Kathleen. A freestanding tub is usually much deeper than a jetted wall tubs. I have a huge freestanding tub that is not only deep, it is long (7 feet inside) and wide enough for two people. As for jetted tubs, I have owned 3 and I am over them. They bred germs and are disgusting. I see those holes and nooks and crannies and I raise an eyebrow and judge hard. If everything goes well you might be safe in that tub but if it gets a mold problem no amount of fungicide, detergent or bleach will kill the cancer. I prefer a tub with only a drain hole so nothing slimy and moldy comes drifting out at me. Cleaning my freestanding tub is a pure pleasure because the memory of cleaning the jets (inside and the jet assemblies as well) is still with me. I will never go back. A freestanding tub can be a big or small as you want it just like a wall unit and jets (water or air) are always and option as well. I agree about the shiplap too. I am going to wait that trend out. I imagine dust, dirt and bugs will dwell in those tiny little gaps between boards and unless the edges are very smooth the duster will shred against the edges of the shiplap leaving behind lint and dirt. For me, everything comes down to hygienic and ease of cleaning issues. As for white, I am looking forward to painting walls white again.

      • Exactly! Whenever I see jets, I think ‘filth’. I dream of a stand alone deep soaker tub to replace the ugly elephant fiberglass monstrosity I currently have.

        • Kathy Tobacco says:

          Yes! Filth and slime too. Since I wrote that comment we sold our house and bought another one with a fiberglass jetted tub in the master bath. So now I am in the same boat. It looks like something for a Barbie doll compared to the freestanding tub I left behind. I haven’t bathed in it once even though the prior owners were serious clean freaks. The only thing worse than a jetted tub is someone else’s jetted tub – no matter now clean and nice they might be. It is just too personal. We are redoing our kitchen first (it is down to the studs right now) and then the master bathroom. So for now I am a shower person. I can’t wait to get a deep free standing soaker tub so I can be totally immersed to my neck in clean water.

  3. I like white to an extent. It’s great in a beachy, laid back house style, but I do not like the stark white modern styling. It feels cold, not comfy.

    I agree with Bliss that I need texture. I like lots of natural colors and elements regardless of color scheme – wood, stone, brick, etc.

  4. I love all of the trends and would love to see the showhouse in person. It looks amazing! Happy weekend, Beth!

  5. What fun to see all these trends together in a beautiful house! I love the aged brass but think if I end up redoing my master bath I will choose chrome as well. I just feel it’s more timeless. I love the fresh clean white everywhere look and feel like that is the easiest trend to “undo” because you can always paint when you get bored of it. Thanks for the tour!

  6. ready for change says:

    I noticed the bronze bar sink. I have been waiting for years to change my old appliances. Do you think this bronze color will ever replace stainless steel? I love it, but now that gray is coming back I’m wondering if stainless is here to stay (resale value).

  7. I need that table as well! Do you possibly know who the manufacturer is?

  8. DJ Edwards says:

    Hello – love your blog! Would you happen to know where I can get that canvas above the brick fireplace? I love this! Thanks

  9. Do you have any idea where the copper porch lights are from, on the Ross Bridge Glasscott home by Murphy Builders in the 2016 Parade of Homes?

  10. ALLISON COBLE says:

    Can you tell me where the light fixtures are from on the farmhouse exterior pic?

  11. Nice info, many thanks so much. I am going to talk about this to my facebook wall.


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