Thursday, January 22, 2015

Designing an Entire House {Client Design}

It's a challenge for most to take on one room to design and decorate at a time, let alone an entire house all at once!  But when you decide to go the route of new construction, trying to design the entire home all at once will with out a doubt, become overwhelming!

So, when a good friend came to me about designing her brand new home, I was so excited to help.  Not only do I love to design spaces that are blank slates because I can basically do anything with the room, but with this being a new construction home, I could really get in on the decision making process of the home early!  A designer's dream!

I first showed you a sneak peek of this space back in October in this High or Low Post.  The design of the living room hasn't changed much, but we have come a long way since then.  The house is completed and I am sharing my design process with you before I show the completed spaces.

Once the layout of the house was decided and the basics were taken care of to get the building process going, the first thing I thought about were the paint colors of the home.

Now, usually I pick out a fabric or shower curtain or something to match the paint colors to, but in new construction, they usually need paint colors chosen quite quickly.  Before I have time to pull together color boards and design boards for the home.  So I chose four paint colors that work together to create a cohesive look throughout the home.

I usually use Sherwin Williams paints.  They are great colors, great quality, and the paint decks are easy to work with knowing you can choose a color and then go darker or lighter on the paint strip to get the perfect paint shade.

These are the four colors I chose for their home.

I use Amazing Gray over and over in client's homes.  And it always looks great in everyone's home.  It is the perfect shade of greige!  Most people are choosing dark hardwood floors these days, like this client, but still want to work in grays throughout the home in decor.  This color is a great balance of gray with warm tones that work really well with browns as well.

Without going crazy and picking too many different colors for each room, I chose some additional colors that would work well for both bedrooms and bathrooms.

You can see that I chose to use the Amazing Gray in all of the main or common areas.  The Comfort Gray is a shade darker than one of my favorite colors Sea Salt, which I have used in my home.  It has a slight blue/green undertone to it with some gray undertones.  Dutch Tile Blue was a new color for me, but I loved the warm blue color and not so bright tones of it.  Dovetail is a great darker gray that is still warm with some brown undertones.  If you are looking to go dark gray but afraid of it getting too dark, Dovetail is a great balance to keep the space warm and not too dark.

From there, I started putting together Design Boards for my client.  I always do this first for my clients before I buy anything, so they get a sense of what I have in mind for their space and so I know they like and are ready to commit to my designs.

When purchasing large pieces of furniture, I like to start a design board with a Furniture Layout and Space Planning.  This gives me an idea of what items I will need to buy (sofa, accent chair, console table, rug, floor lamp,etc.) and how they will fit in the space.

From there, I put together specific Design Boards for each area of the home.  This is really the most time consuming part of my design process because I am doing all of the pre-shopping.  I am searching all of my sources for specific pieces I want to use in the home.  Once I know the client likes the direction of my design, I can start shopping for each specific piece.

First up is the Living Room.   This is usually the most important room of the house.  The room that gets used the most often, so it was on top of our priority list.

Overall, the space is fairly neutral even though it looks like there is a lot of color in this Design Board.  But most of the color comes from the accent pieces.

I knew the new sofa we chose came with standard pillows, so it was just about finding new pillow covers for the existing pillows.  Etsy is a great place to search hundreds of fabrics for pillow covers that can be ordered in any size.

Part of the way to create a really special area in your home with memories is to create a gallery wall.  And I knew they would have the perfect wall in their new home for something like this.  I also knew this was something my client really wanted in the home, so I made sure to pay special attention to this area and really try to show them what it would look like in the end.

A lot of people wait to decorate the Master Bedroom until last, but I think it really needs to be a space that is also on the top of your priority list.  You need a nice place to lay your head and relax every night!

The client requested a darker gray on the walls, so I chose the Dovetail gray.  And relaxing colors for the rest of the room, maybe with blue.  The room all came together once I found this gorgeous, Pottery Barn look-a-like Duvet Cover from Home Goods with the perfect shade of blue.

A peek into the Master Bedroom as progress was happening.

If you have an adjoining bathroom to any bedroom, I think it is really important to keep the color scheme the same in both rooms.  In the Master Bathroom I chose to use a coordinating blue on the walls with gray and cream/white accents, where in the Master Bedroom I just did the opposite and chose the gray on the walls and the blue as the accent.  This way, each room is different, but has the exact same color palette.

Since, these three areas were really the most important to the homeowner's, these were the rooms where I put most of my focus.  I was able to create these Design Boards for them as the house was being completed.  Shop, order, and organize installation of materials the week of the final walk thru.  And completely decorate the rooms without the homeowner having to lift a finger.  It is nice to know the stress of building a home doesn't have to carry into the stress of then decorating that home, as I took care of that.

I also created similar Design Boards with specific shopping lists for all of the other rooms in the home, but left it up to them to purchase the items and decorate the rooms, with help and direction from me.

This is a great way to work within your budget when hiring me as an Interior Designer.  If you are handy enough and have the time to do the labor yourself, I can easily take on the creative and design side for you, giving you all the direction you need to create a beautiful space.  

Tomorrow, I will be showing you the remainder of the design boards for this home and will have all of the photos of the finished rooms (hopefully) next week!!


  1. So pretty! Cant wait to see this next post!!!! Im crushing way hard on that dovetail paint color! I want it in my master like ASAP...except i need someone who wants to deal with my 14 ft walls;-)

    1. Thanks! I love Dovetail too! I have used it in multiple homes and I can say it always looks so good!! Do it!!! Just get a really long roller! :)

  2. Jessica, thanks for sharing your design process!! I love the graphics you put together, and I'm sure it made it really easy for the client make good decisions. Can't wait to see the finished product!!


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