KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The kitchen sink in designer Chris Ragland’s newest house is so high tech, she compares it to a car. The faucet turns on and off with the wave of a hand, it has interchangeable accessories like cutting boards, a colander and drying racks.
“It’s kind of like having a sports car in your kitchen,” Ragland said with a laugh.
Held in the spring and fall of each year, the Parade of Homes allows people to tour newly built homes to see trends, find inspiration or buy a new house, as all the homes are for sale.
230 homes across eight counties are in the parade. They are open for tours from Saturday, April 23 to Sunday, May 8 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. The parade is free. A corresponding app for Android and Apple users can help locate homes and map a route.
Ragland runs Homes By Chris. She said the pandemic continues to shape trends in the industry. As people spend more time at home, they want bigger spaces. They also want grander outdoor spaces like patios and decks with fire pits or fireplaces. Areas for delivery drivers to drop off packages, groceries and food are becoming common. And small “pocket” offices are back in style.
Kitchens and bathrooms remain big selling points in homes. Ragland designed a “modern mountain” home with the sports car sink. The kitchen also includes soft-close cabinetry, a built-in coffee maker and concealed appliances.
We asked the designer behind more than 400 homes how she stays up-to-date on the latest designs.
“We always try to be forward-thinking,” Ragland said. “I have my own Pinterest board which is on the wall in my office. I gotta have my own secrets, right? And then we try to take a field a trip at least once a year, maybe twice a year and go look at what’s going on in other markets.”
Ragland’s home is #33 in the Parade, located at 5743 North Revere Avenue in Kansas City, Mo.