Building Home: Setting Our System for Decisions

Tips on Designing your own home from The Fresh Exchange.

Center image via: Only Deco Love

We are extra close to getting our house underway, which means there are 100 different decisions still being made, can you believe it?! So, as we wait for permits and so on to get digging, we have been diving deep into the design of each room even down to furniture. Having plans with exact measurements of spaces means you can make a list of everything for your home and really plan out your spaces, which is exciting, but before dive into talking design for each room in our home I want to share how we created a system for design making through this process.

After we got the floor plan done we were tasked by our builder to choose each and everything for the house we decided that we had one big decision to make before making any other decisions. We realized that just as we approach building a brand or directing a photoshoot we need to do the same with our home. That means we decided up front what themes, colors, and visual inspiration that would guide and act as the filter for our entire home. This way when we walked into a show room of 1,000’s of options for tile, flooring, handles, faucets, and more we would be able to instantly narrow in on just a few options and then use our gut after that.

So, far this process has worked. We have nearly chosen everything but fixtures and lighting at this point and I have to say other than sitting and listening to all options being explained to us we have breezed through decisions like windows, doors, siding, roof, wood floors, and more. Each time we walk away more confident because we know we stuck to our design plan. Since this has been a key to our design process for every inch of this house I wanted to talk about how we put this together for ourselves so you can create a similar one for yourself whether you are building new like us or remodeling a home. We did something similar when we purchased our first home in Raleigh and it helped with even rug decisions in the house. That said, let me jump into how this works.

Tips on Designing your own home from The Fresh Exchange.

FIRST: Create an inspiration board:
We used this Pinterest board to solidify our ideas. We had one big secret board between ourselves where we threw EVERYTHING we loved. Then I went through and reorganized it into this board so we could see the EXACT ideas we loved based upon our plan. We would look for rooms that were laid out similarly as our home and we then can see just how it will feel. For instance, this home was nearly identical to many parts of our home so we used it to help visualize things as well as figure out how we would want it to look.

Tips on Designing your own home from The Fresh Exchange.

SECOND: Look for themes:
After you have narrowed on inspiration you love for your home you have to look for themes. These can be textures, surfaces, tile styles, fixture colors, exterior details, and more. If you don’t see a theme and it aesthetically seems all over, then sit down and go back through the larger board and see if you and/or your partner can identify things you both love about spaces you have found. It took us about 6 months to really build up ideas enough to see themes properly on our board. As themes emerge write them down and you can even create a sheet that helps you see them all together as you see that above.

Tips on Designing your own home from The Fresh Exchange.

THIRD: Look for colors and create a palette:
Back on that board, you want to identify color themes as well as overall themes for fixtures and countertops. See what colors you are pinning the most. For us, it was olive green, wood tones, white, and blues. Take note of that because that is what you are most naturally drawn towards and will feel the best in your space.

Tips on Designing your own home from The Fresh Exchange.

FOURTH: Pull everything together and use it as your master list:
Now that all of these things have been identified, pull them all together in one big sheet that you either can have on your computer, printed out, or whatever works for you. Now, when you need to make a decision on a door handle, you will know the style you are instantly more drawn towards instead of being taken by all sorts of options.

Having these themes identified and colors decided on has been what made our decisions easier. We quickly have gone through window choices, flooring meetings, and more because we knew exactly what the style we wanted from so much reflection.

I hope this helps you as well as you remodel or build your home.

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6 Responses

  1. This is smart! I envy you guys getting to have control over the entire home building and decorating process. IF I ever find myself building a house, I will refer back to this for sure.

  2. I really enjoyed reading this post, Megan! 🙂 I’m totally on board with your system for choosing things – your builders/contractors must love you guys as clients seeing as it sounds like you’re so decisive and aware of the details.

    My boyfriend and I are hoping to move into our first home next month (!!!!), and right now it’s just a sea of magnolia and brown carpets. So we have a few pin boards on the go too, and I have to say, our inspiration is looking a lot like yours! (I wonder if thats part of the reason I’m so drawn to your blog? Your preference for certain tones and clothes seem to be what I gravitate to subconsciously).

    Wishing you guys all the luck in the world as this home of yours comes together – I’m so excited to see it unfold on here! 🙂


    1. That is awesome! I am dreaming of renoing at some point…we didn’t really get that chance on our last house. I think at some point we will go down the road of buying something to reno and rent. Have fun with the process! It is so worth it!!!

  3. Thanks for sharing this! We’re just wrapping up our new build in Leelanau and went through a pretty similar process of decision-making over the last year (and actually ended up with a similar look and feel to you guys!). It was a bit overwhelming at first with all of the choices but once we identified the main themes of what we liked, it became a lot more simple!

  4. This is great info 🙂 we are in the process of a half remodel/half new build, and I’d say that’s really similar to how I’ve been choosing things for our house as well! I’ve got colors and big details narrowed down, and now it’s just on to specifics like light fixtures and finishes. It’s such a fun process, congrats on getting to build! I can’t wait to see more updates 🙂

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