Design notes

2013 Parade of Homes

Model Behavior.  Dressing Up for the Parade of Homes.

Ever wonder what goes into creating a model home? Well, now’s your chance to find out! As one of the few lucky designers to work on a number of projects for this year’s Parade of Homes, I thought it would be fun to give you a virtual tour of the model home creation process, viewed through the eyes of yours truly, Christy Cassidy.

Ready? Let’s do it!
For me, preparation is the key to any model home design. So before I’m even hired to create a model, I’m already designing it in my imagination. I look over the floorplan, allowing my creative thoughts to speak to me, and as the flow of the house’s design becomes clearer, I begin drafting and space-planning to accommodate the aesthetic flow, paying particular attention to how I might accent the special features of each room.

I often find inspiration in everyday places and objects. Sometimes it’s the color or texture of a special fabric. Sometimes it’s a piece of artwork. Sometimes it’s an abstract thought I’ve brought home with me from vacation, or an idea that leaps out at me from a store window display. The point is, visionary moments can come from almost anywhere.

This year’s model homes all explore their own themes. No surprise, right? But looking a little closer, I noticed they also share something in common—a subtle homage to the beauty of nature.

Now, in the homes I create, my first step is to give myself a clear portrait of the family for whom I’ll be designing. What are they like, I ask myself? What are their pastimes, passions, and proclivities? What sorts of decorations and furnishings would they, themselves, choose if
they were in my place?

Once I have the answers to those questions, I begin to get a feel for the sort of finishes, furnishings, and special accessories I can integrate into my design plan. My homes in this year’s Parade all followed this pattern, and each was furnished with cabinetry, countertops, flooring and tile, that I selected directly from the builder’s own design studio.

I measured for draperies as soon as the house was framed (so my workroom had enough lead time to complete my window covering designs), but for the rest of the decorating schedule, I followed the builder’s lead. Which means that while construction was humming along, I was off doing what any smart, designing girl would do. Shopping!

My favorite places to hunt down home furnishings? Antique malls for one! The same for trusty old standbys like Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, and Williams Sonoma. In short, I go anywhere and everywhere my imagination leads me, searching for whatever treasures—furniture, accessories, house wares—will help complete my vision.

Install day is the last stage in the professional design process. And let me tell you, friends, it’s both exhilarating and exhausting! It takes me and my entire design team staff to put the project together. Furniture deliveries…boxes…moving men with hand trucks…painters touching up walls and woodwork…artwork and accessories being unwrapped and arranged…they all add to the excitement of the big reveal day.

From hanging the drapery and art, to making all the beds with the custom bedding, to putting pictures in the frames, it’s always the details that matter. And it isn’t until that last detail’s in place that the house becomes a home.

When I’m finished with a project, I always take a final walk through, reflecting on how blessed I am to be one of those lucky few who absolutely loves her job. I’m sometimes asked which of my homes is my favorite, but you know I’m never quite certain how to answer that. The creative process is so personal, and so close to my heart, the truth is I’ve fallen in love with each of them.

Where can you find Cassidy Design Parade Homes this year? 

Glad you asked! We are proud to have been selected to create the following homes showcased in the 2013 Parade of Homes:


Reunion Homes

  - 2264 Reed Grass Way (80915) in Wilshire


Century Communities

- 6379 Winter Haven Dr (80919) in Rockrimmon Estates  


Classic Homes

- 1155 Old North Gate Road (80921) in Flying Horse
(Note: When you're in Flying Horse visiting the Classic Parade Model Home, be sure to pop in at Saint Aubyn Homes at 1598 Yellow Tail Drive. It's not a Parade Home, but it's one of ours and it's a beauty! )

I hope you take the time to tour all the parade homes this summer and find inspiration for your own home. I’d love to hear your comments. You can email me at

P.S. I’m always looking for photos of “model families” to frame and stage in my models. So if you have a cool portrait of yourself and your clan, send it along! Who knows, it may pop up where you least expect it!