With our new 70s house under construction & down to the studs, I am loving getting to make so many decisions about our house!!  We’ve been able to take control of the floorplan & many of the architectural details, which is so exciting.  Every little detail needs to be determined & even though time is of the essence, I’m trying to think clearly & make the right choices.  (Right now I’ve been doing most of the designing for my own home at night & on the weekends because I’ve got my clients’ designs to figure out during work hours…  It’s made for some foggy late-night decisions that I hope work out the way I’m expecting them too! 😉  I’m sometimes tempted to just let something go…

{Our living room…  Justin often flips his arrm through his short like this…  He says he’s a “pirate.”}

But in this line of work I’ve come to learn that the best results come from making your own observations & coming to your own conclusions.  You should always know why you made a choice and you should also know that there is a choice in almost every design decision you make.    (Due to budget & other contraints, you might not always get to make the choice you want to make, but it’s good to at least know why you’re making the decision the way you are.)

{At my dad’s house, he was able to put his stamp on so much of the house- like the coffered ceilings in the entry room.}

There are so many options out there that we think of as “standard” and that we often don’t question…  but it’s important to question the options & the “norms” and make sure that they are right for you & your home.  What type of woodwork should your home have?  Do you want crown molding?  (Although it’s often hailed as the hallmark of quality, it’s not right for every home!! )  What type of finish do you want on your floors?  (Polyurethane isn’t the only option.)  Countertops?  (Nothing wrong with granite if it’s right for you, but is it necessarily right for you?)  Appliances?  (Stainless steel is everywhere but why should it be in your kitchen?  It needs to be because it works for you & your home not because everybody’s doing it.)


{image from here}

Whenever you have a decision to make, it’s an opportunity to make your home more “you.”  Every little choice reflects your taste & personality so choose carefully.  Take a look at your decision from a variety of angles & do pros & cons if you need to.  Examine photos of rooms with the object you’re working on so you can figure out what your preferences are.  Like everything you select and know why you like it.  Think outside the box & come up with new ideas if you aren’t loving your options.  There’s always a solution.  And forget about the “rules.”  People can make things work if they want to badly enough.    I often find myself thinking of the old saying, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”  If you want something, figure it out & go & get it.  (And I’m not talking about tearing everything out of your home to get it “perfect,”  I’m talking about the things that you need to change & have planned & budgeted for.)

{In the room we did for the 2011 DC Design House, rather than try to fit furniture in the awkward window niche that housed a radiator, we created a widow seat over the radiator under the windows, knowing that the heat would be turned off during the month-long showhouse and the installation would be removed when it was over.}

This is how I try to think when I’m designing in any capacity…  In many of my clients’ design projects however, I’m often only involved in the “decorating” or “finishing” of rooms…  I don’t often get to alter the bones, which is one of my favorite parts of the process & really affects the overall atmosphere of a finished space.  Even in new builds, many of the decisions have already been made by the builders and/or architects and so often the “shell” I have to work with is -for the most part- predetermined so it is insanely exciting for me right now to have such a hand in our home.

I’ve also come to the realization that I have an opinion on pretty much everything.

{okay, maybe not that bad, yet.  image from here }

We have been really lucky that our builder (CarrMichael Construction) is so open to doing unconventional things.  Mike, the owner, may laugh at the fact that I want an old hose spigot as our powder room faucet, but he gets it and can make it work even though the threading doesn’t fit with our piping & all of those fun awful details.

{our master bath faucet, not an old hose spigot}

Finding the right people to work with is one of the most important decisions you can make.  It’s taken us years to find the people we work with but it’s the make-or-break of any project.  If you have people willing to go outside of the box for you & to take the time to do that, you can really create something special.  And this applies to any type of work you need done, even sewing.

{Dave & Mike, doing an “8th grade dance” pose…  why did the guys never smile or touch in pics back then???}


{a more normal one}

When our builder, Mike, asks Dave & I for a decision on something, sometimes I’ll say “whatever” or “I don’t care” and Mike’s response is, “Yes you do.”  …which of course makes us laugh, but is soooo true.  I know that answered isn’t allowed anymore, which is a good thing.

All of your choices should be “right” individually, but more importantly, they need to be “right” for the space as a whole.  Each decision affects the overall atmosphere of the space you’re creating and there really is a yin & yang to everything so realize what your choices are doing to the final design.

{A client’s living room… we considered each & every piece & material going into the space… Everything is a movable part that affects the whole.}

The bottom line is:  if you’re buying it, installing it, having it done or bringing it into you home, know why you’re doing so.  If you’ve examined it from every angle, you should be able to come to the right decision for you.  (And if you can’t, get help!! 😉 😉 = unintentional shameless plug for interior designers but so true!!)

…And wish me luck as I plug away with decisions!!

If you’d like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.