Dream Tour: KC’s Fall Parade of Homes showcases luxury, the latest trends [sponsored]

Anyone who loves entertaining knows that there is nothing better than going back to the fully stocked butler’s pantry for an extra bottle of bubbly, away from the thrum of the crowd.

Hidden organizational features like butler’s pantries incorporate functionality that feels like luxury. Butler’s pantries are just one of the trends that we are seeing on this year’s Fall Parade of Homes, which runs daily from September 28 to October 13.

Presented by the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City and sponsored by Mike Bryant Heating & Cooling, this year’s parade features nearly 300 homes by 97 home builders across the metro area, which are open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. with free admission.

The Parade of Homes is a great opportunity to explore the full gamut of options when it comes to home buying. Turn your dreams into reality with homes ranging in price from $242,000 to $2.5 million, in a variety of floor plans featuring innovative design trends.

Looking for must-haves in your new home or inspiration for freshening your existing home? A few of the hot items builders are incorporating lately include making the most of an unused space, organizing your kitchen supplies and adding some surprising details.

Hidden Play Areas

Anyone with children knows that the most fun comes from unexpected places. Innovative builders like Bickimer Homes is leveraging small spaces for maximum fun.

Bickimer Homes made the most of space below the staircase in Tour #278 by creating a hidden play area.

Photo 2 Bickimer 9500 Lone Elm basement hidden space.jpg
Bickimer Homes incorporated a hidden play area in Tour #278. The Parade of Homes runs daily Sept. 28 through Oct. 13. Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City

“Hidden play areas under the steps are a great way to make use of normally unused space,” Tommy Bickimer said. “We get requests to do them on most of our builds now. It offers a fun feature that kids love and parents remember when looking at houses. They can be as simple as an opening under the stairs or as elaborate as making the front of the opening look like a castle with a door.”

Butler’s Pantries

Butler’s pantries have been more in demand lately, as seen in Don Julian Builders’ entry #271.

“Even though it is an old-fashioned feature, they have been revitalized to fit today’s function,” said Teri Stolz with Don Julian Builders. “A butler’s pantry usually houses a second sink, a second oven and sometimes a second dishwasher to increase production and optimize operation. Beautiful cabinetry allows for more organized and functional storage spaces that can be hidden from public view.”

Two-toned cabinetry, another design trend this year, is featured in this pantry, providing visual interest.

“Since the kitchen is the heart of the home and usually the central location of the entertainment hub, the butler’s pantry comes in handy to house the messy working parts of the preparations while the main kitchen can be used to display the items being served,” Stolz added. “Typically our butler’s pantries are designed to have dual access points, one from the main kitchen workspace and one from the garage hall entry for ease of unloading groceries and supplies from the car.”

Even without hired help, butler’s pantries can eliminate traffic issues in kitchens made for entertaining, not slaving away.

Look for these design details, among others, while touring your favorites during the Fall Parade of Homes. Consumers can download a user-friendly mobile app from the Google Play or Apple Store. Using the app, parade-goers can save their favorites and then map a customized route to each home. Free Parade guides are available for pickup at the HBA (I-435 & Holmes) and at all Parade homes.

The Kansas City Parade of Homes is presented twice a year by the HBA and is the second largest in the United States. Since 1947, millions of greater Kansas City residents and visitors have enjoyed viewing the latest in-home innovations, styles and decorating, and this year’s Fall Parade will be no different as it showcases the area’s premier new homes, home builders and communities.

More information is available at

2019 Fall Parade of Homes

Hours: Homes are open daily 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. from September 28 through October 13

Cost: Free