Everybody loves a parade of homes

Annie Payne talks with builder Bryan Huff of High Performance Homes in the kitchen of “The Maricopa,” the home Huff built at 2665 Summer Hill Court. The kitchen counter tops are concrete by Shirestone as alternative to granite.



The self-guided tour of homes continues today and Sunday, then Sept. 25–26. Parade hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at City Market stores in Grand Junction and Fruita.

There are eight homes on the tour, three in Fruita, three in Grand Junction and two on the Redlands.

I’m an avid watcher of the TV show “Toddlers and Tiaras.”

I often wonder how the judges decide one little girl is more beautiful than another.

This week, when I had the pleasure of judging the 29th annual Parade of Homes, I realized the game of contrast and compare is harder than it looks.

As judges, we were asked to score each home in various areas including layout, staging, curb appeal and quality of workmanship.

Each of the eight homes in the parade is a gem in its own price point and worth the drive to its location. For that reason, I am reluctant to name a “best in show” as I have in years past.

I will, however, highlight some of the aspects of the homes that inspired me, made me reminisce and turn green with envy.


You would think that with a $799,000 price tag, I would be impressed with the elegance and architectural details of builder Nick Arend’s “Golfer’s Dream Home” in the prestigious Redlands Mesa neighborhood.

I am, but, it’s the natural light that illuminates nearly every corner of the house that inspired me most. Floor to ceiling picture windows looking out on the ninth hole of the golf course are responsible for the natural light in the central area of the home.

Even an easily overlooked smaller window in the master closet offers daytime light without sacrificing privacy.

I usually switch lighter curtains for heavier drapes for the colder months, but inspired by the natural luminescence of the “Golfer’s Dream Home,” perhaps I’ll adopt a “less is more” attitude for the shorter winter days to come.


“The Providence” is currently for sale and is the personal home of builder Nate Porter.

His 4,000-square-foot Colorado Rustic home is situated on 2 acres that used to be the location of the Colorado Pear and Orchard Co. dance hall or “the old haunted dance hall” as we bored Fruita kids used to call it.

Nothing remains of the dance hall, where it is said that Hank Williams Sr. once performed, except a 10 foot retaining wall that now serves as a backdrop to the backyard fire pit area or, as I call it, “S’more Central.”

Not a single law was broken by this columnist back in the day during late night “let’s freak each other out” jaunts to the “haunted” dance hall, except maybe trespassing.

Now, I am happy to report that this property serves a better function as home-sweet-up-for-sale-home of the Porter family.


Jan Brady always seemed to live in shadow of her older sister, Marsha.

In a classic episode of “The Brady Bunch,” Jan, brought to the brink of frustration, complained, “All I hear is how great Marsha is. Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!”

In non-TV land, it seems that newer kitchens are all about granite, granite, granite. But not in the kitchen of “The Maricopa” home built by Bryan Huff in the north Grand Junction neighborhood of Summer Hill.

His concrete kitchen counter tops by Shirestone are a welcome alternative to granite. They are rough, beautiful and make a statement about how this builder is on the cutting-edge of technology and design for construction, energy efficiency and creative living solutions.

Among the many elements that set this home apart from the others is a laundry pass-through connecting the master bedroom closet to the laundry room.

While deliberating with the other judges, a male judge said he didn’t “get it.”

After explaining that the pass-through was to avoid having to carry a laundry basket through half the house to the laundry room — you just “pass it through” to the laundry room — he still didn’t get it.

Obviously, he doesn’t do much laundry.

Well, I do. What I wouldn’t give to have a laundry pass-through or even a laundry “pass” at Casa de Payne.

Huff’s home may be one of the smaller homes on the parade route, but the attention to detail and high-end finishes, are in no way out-shown by the larger, more expensive homes.

If I had a toddler pageant mom holding a gun to my head making me choose a “best in show,” I would have to say “The Maricopa” gets the crown.

Perhaps, with a little coaxing, this judging thing isn’t as hard as I thought.

For more on an unpredictable variety of other topics, visit Annie Payne’s blog, Anniethology.blogspot.com, at GJSentinel.com.


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