So you have decided to build a custom home. This is a huge decision and the first of many decisions to come. The first step that you go through is deciding how large the home should be, how many bedrooms, bathrooms, how many stories, great room or family room, etc. This is the starting point and if you don’t know what you want this can be where the overwhelming frustration can begin. This is where I work with my clients to find out how they plan on using the home. Is it a family home where the most important thing is that everyone is comfortable? Is it an entertaining home where the kitchen and main rooms are the most important and need to be able to comfortably fit larger groups of people? Are you looking for that gourmet kitchen? Do you have children, and what ages? Are you and empty nester? All of these lifestyle questions are the most important information that your interior designer, builder and architect can know. The answers to these questions determine the style and layout of your new home. They also help to tell me what kind of products need to go into the home. If you have pets or kids I know that we will have to deal with fur, finishes that don’t scratch, and cleanability. Where if you are an empty nester we can use products that require a little more maintenance because there will not be as much wear and stress on them.

So now that we know your lifestyle and the floor plan of the home we need to decide what goes into the home. This is where we start to give the home real character and warmth. What tile or stone, wood or carpet or do we combine some of each. Do we want a more contemporary look with stainless steel and chrome or a more traditional look of oil rubbed bronze. The design necessitiy here is the proper flow. If you go with traditional we need to stay traditinal throughout the home. If you go contemporary then we need to stay contemporary. That doesn’t mean that we can’t throw in touches of whimsy but on the whole once a style is decided on it needs to be the basis for the entire home. Without the proper flow the home will continuously be out of balance and at odds with itself.  This does not mean that you have to have the same tile throughout the entire home or that you can use only one paint color, but it means that each space in the home must tie back into the other spaces. This also means that if you decided on a coastal, Key West style home that rustic oak floors would be in conflict with the architecture of the home, creating poor flow for the home. A home needs to be in harmony with every aspect and detail that goes into and outside a home. This is what your interior designer is  for. This is the person that helps you edit properly. Just because you like a bunch of different styles does not mean that they all work together. This is where I work with my client to find out what about those styles that they like and how I can interprete that feeling in a manner that works with the overall style of the home. This could mean finding contemporary moroccan lighting to go in the spanish mediterrean home so that the client can have the updated look while giving a nod to the tradition that inspired them. This may also mean finding the right accent tile that ties everything together. Sometimes it’s a fabric that is the inspiration and what will be the driving force for flow and balance. Whatever it is that your designer has been able to find to help be that inspiration it is now time to feel that inspiration throughout the home.

That’s right we are onto furnishings and finishes. Again the design necessity is the flow and balance. So if we are back in that coastal home we are looking for furnishings using the ocean as inspiration. That equals seagrasses and jutes, ocean colors, textures that remind you of the summer sun and beach grasses. Fabrics that bring simplicity to mind, light denims and stripes, cottons and linens. For the spanish mediterrenean home its large scale pieces with straight lines, heavy woods and clean stones. It is large amounts of contrast with highlights to the high ceilings. It is clean lines offset by intricately detailed accents. It is monochromatic color schemes with pops and twinkles. It is a feeling of standing on the Spanish coast and feeling years and years of history and people before. It is tradition and innovation at the same time.

This is where my job as an interior designer is to dig deep into my clients soul and find out where they go to for their “happy place”. It is finding what satisfies their being and nutures them to be able to step into each day ready to face the world. It is creating the place that they yearn to come home to so that the day can fall away. The number one design necessity is finding the soul of the home. Finding and knowing how to create the dream and wish that lives deep within the client. I know some of you are thinking it’s just a house. But when you are building a custom home you are building more than just a house. You are building a home that with the right combinations will not only give you shelter but nuture your soul. It will give you peace of mind and security.