5 Questions to Perfect the Interior Design of Your New Home Build

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Building a new home is exciting. A new home presents a fresh opportunity to reinvent your family’s lifestyle in a way that’s uniquely yours.

Many homeowners are confused by the terms “interior designer” vs “interior decorator.” Interior designers can design and renovate floor plans while working with architects and contractors to help you create your dream home. Interior decorators stick to the aesthetics of a room, such as the color palette and furniture selection.

We’re interior designers and decorators who can help tie all your new home’s rooms together, in one cohesive look, in a way that suits your family’s lifestyle. Here are some of the things we think about when designing for a new home build.

Does your family/home need lots of storage space?

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An interior designer will work with you and your builder to include built-in storage spaces and closets that complement your style. Specifying where storage will be in the home also ensures that the layout stays ideal to your vision and to your family’s lifestyle. Interior designers focus on the use of a space as well as the design, so an ideal layout isn’t compromised by something silly like lack of storage space after the home is built. An interior designer can ensure storage space doesn’t detract from living space either.

Interior designers consider every aspect of the home and how it will all flow together. Since custom built-ins and closets are often an important feature of the home, an interior designer will also consider wall paneling, floor and wall trim, and molding. These features don’t just add to the design and style of the home--they can hide, disguise, and often enhance even the largest built-ins and closets, creating a seamless, uninterrupted flow in your home.

If you have school-age children, it’s often ideal if they have an area to place their backpacks and all their “stuff” right when they walk in the door. A custom-built “children’s mudroom” that’s separate from the living room and has its own area off the hallway can be ideal for this. An interior designer will work with you to make sure your new home has this area with the appropriate number of drawers and hanging areas for books, backpacks, and shoes. They’ll also be sure the hardware, materials, and trim of this area fit the style of your home.

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What furnishings and belongings from your last home do you want to include in your new home?

You probably had a specific vision and goal in mind when you decided to undertake a new home build. Perhaps you weren’t able to carry out your preferred style completely in your last home. Your interior designer will want to know what pieces you’re keeping from your prior home because these will influence the final design and look. Depending on a homeowner’s goals, an interior designer can create a layout with customized furniture that suits your family’s goals and your style preferences. It’s important to involve an interior designer sooner in the project, rather than later, so all your design goals can be met.

You may choose to scrap your prior furniture options after you see the new layout designs. Or, an interior designer can work with you to include these options, and possibly reupholster a couch or restore an antique piece so as to maintain the flow of the home.

Regardless of if you include old furnishings in your new home, your interior designer will work with you to determine all the furnishings that you’ll need in your home, so the layout is established before design. Knowing what furnishings are going where helps with designing where electrical outlets and lighting should be placed.

Are you an art collector or do you have specific pieces you want prominently placed in your home?

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As we discussed on an earlier blog, interior designers can design your home around your favorite pieces. A serious art collector often has a defined sense of style and a vision for what they want their home to look like. It’s important their home support their collection! If that’s the case, a designer will want to know first thing what type of collection you have, because this impacts the overall home style and design. There will be more harmony between your home and art collection if the space supports the art, so it’s important to design the home with that priority in mind.

As many art collectors know, lighting is key to displaying a collection. The quality and type of interior lighting can ruin or make an art collection. Addressing lighting is key to a successful interior design project, so a designer will work with you to make sure all aspects of illumination are covered.

Have you researched home designs, colors, and styles? Do you already know what type of style you prefer?

Often, builders will have a standard set of materials and supplies they use. This can impact the end result of the design of your home. When an interior designer is brought into a new home build, they can work with your builder and the architect to source the types of materials (think wood, custom cabinetry, paneling, trims, etc.) that will give you a home design and feel that you love.

An interior designer will also coordinate details such as bathroom and kitchen tile selection, wallpaper or paint choices, and even plumbing fixtures and light fixtures. Often builders have established relationships with their local vendors and tend to rely on the same suppliers for these materials, which limits your design options. Interior designers have relationships with some vendors that aren’t even available to the general public and they are not limited to their geographic area. Since material selection has a significant impact on your finished home’s look and feel, using the resources of an interior designer is often required to achieve the home you want.

Are you planning on being in this home 10 years from now?

It’s important to build and design a home you and your family can “grow into.” It’s equally important to think about how your home will be used in the future. If your children are all in high school, do you really need an extra “hobby room” when it’s likely one of their bedrooms can be converted 10 years down the road? Are you building the home you want to retire in? If so, you may want to consider a curbless shower rather than a shower with a step, to make things easier in case you grow less mobile.

An interior designer can also help you exercise caution on design aspects that add value or detract from the value of a home. They’ll ask if home value is something you want to consider, or plan for the future, and can help you make decisions based on that.

This is a sampling of what an interior designer considers when designing a new home. Overwhelmed at all the options for your new house? Contact us today, and we’ll help you figure out your new home design options!





Catherine Davin