Allen Norwood

Award-winning décor from stores you know well

Homeowners visit Parade of Homes models for ideas and inspiration. They “ooh” and “ah” at the latest looks that they hope to incorporate into their own houses. That happens all year, said Mike Smedley of Mattamy Homes, but peaks during parade.

Visitors to Mattamy’s award-winning parade models shouldn’t have any trouble finding and affording their favorite furnishings and accessories. Mattamy collected three gold awards and three silvers during the parade – which concluded earlier this month – with items from familiar stores such as Home Goods and Havertys, Target and Pier 1.

“Buyers love to be able to see all these familiar things brought together,” Smedley said. “There’s this sense of something very real, very obtainable.”

Mattamy won more awards than any other builder, and swept two price ranges. The 2,200-square-foot “Lilly” furnished model at Hubbard Falls in the University area won gold for the second time.

All builders who rely on furnished models understand interiors need refreshing from time to time. Some rearrange furnishings or rotate pieces to other models. Sometimes they recover furniture.

Mattamy buys 90 percent of its furnishings locally, Smedley said, and uses items only once.

Mattamy’s Carolinas division builds in more than a dozen communities in the Charlotte area. It won awards in four price ranges, from about $200,000 to more than $300,000. That’s the heart of Charlotte’s competitive market.

Three years ago, borrowing period details from Charlotte’s popular Dilworth neighborhood, the company introduced all new plans. The makeover was a hit. For instance, the “Lilly,” which earned that second Parade gold, is part of the Dilworth-inspired Craftsman collection.

Such items as roof brackets and square porch columns add curb appeal.

Inside Mattamy models, colors are mostly neutrals. Soft blues, lots of taupe. Cabinetry and other woods might be deep espresso or the linen look that’s currently popular, Smedley said.

Not all colors are boring, though. At the Periwinkle model in Castlebrooke in Concord, a guest bedroom is painted a color that he describes as a cross between salmon and gold.

Mattamy wants its models to look well put together, Smedley said, but offer the sense that the rest of us can accomplish the same look. “It’s not out of reach ... Customers come away thinking, ‘You know what? I can do this!’ ”