Home gawkers will have a hole in their calendar this spring. The 2011 ASID Showcase Home, the Super Bowl event for people who consider interior design a spectator sport, has been canceled, after 14 consecutive years. "We're terribly disappointed," said event chairwoman Holly Bayer of Hauthaus Design.

The reason? There's no suitable house available for designers to decorate. Bayer's committee has been pursuing leads since July. But some of the home locations offered couldn't draw and/or handle large crowds, or the homeowners were willing but didn't have the cash for needed remodeling. The economy has definitely been a factor, Bayer said.

With time running out, "Deb Hopp [publisher of Mpls.St.Paul, which co-sponsors the event] graciously offered her home in Minneapolis," Bayer said, and the event, typically held in mid-May, was pushed back to June.

But when Hopp's house, which had been on the market, was sold over the weekend, designers decided they had no choice but to cancel. "We're happy for her. But there's just no way to move forward at this point. We can make a lot of magic happen, but there's only so much we can do with our wands."

The annual showcase home has been a major fundraiser for the local chapter of ASID, the American Society of Interior Designers, which is now exploring other events. One idea: a display of container dwellings -- shipping containers reborn as cabins, Bayer said. And local designers definitely hope to resume the showcase home tradition next year and will be looking for candidates.

In the meantime, if you need a fix of gawking at stylish homes, the Spring Preview, sponsored by the Builders' Association of the Twin Cities, opens March 5.