Unless you are a natural at interior design, I would set aside some
part of your budget to hire a designer. You will want to start with your
interior designer at the same time you begin the architectural design.
If you wait until the building has begun, there will be many missed
opportunities. Frankly, better late than never; but I wish we had
Your interior designer and architect can work
together on room size and design. The two go hand-in-hand.
A good interior designer should be able to help you with:
- wall textures
- faux finishes
- paint colors
- door and window selection
- window coverings
- plumbing fixtures
- lighting locations
- lighting fixtures
Your own personal style
What is your style? A good designer should be able to help you
identify your own personal style. To help, cut out magazine pictures
that you enjoy. If your tastes are all over the place, don't let that
concern you. You do not have to have a theme for your whole house. Our
home will have several completely different rooms. People like to talk
about the flow of a home. Forget that. Have the house you want. If it
doesn't "flow," don't worry about it. I traveled extensively throughout
Europe and saw many estates. They had specialized rooms that didn't
exactly flow, and they had parades of tourists visiting them.
Do you prefer
formal, informal or either? My wife and I could see no reason to have a
formal living room in our home. Instead, we turned it into a music room.
It will have some seating, but it will have plenty of room for our
piano, organ, guitars, etc. We can close the room for practice or plug
the equipment into the wall and have the music throughout the house on
our sound system.
We do not have a formal dining room either. Our
dining room is nicknamed "The Mafia Room." It will have red walls and
low lighting with restaurant-style seating. The walls will be covered
with caricatures of famous and not-so-famous people. It will have a New
York Italian restaurant look.
We spent our honeymoon in Hawaii, so our
master bedroom and bath will have a Hawaiian look and feel to it.
media room is all mine. It will have the look of an old-fashioned
theater. The carpet is red with taupe swirls. The walls will have
curtains to cut down on noise. Dimmable sconces on the walls will add to
Our daughter's room at our current home has bubble-gum pink
stripes below a pink chair railing. Above the chair railing and on the
ceiling are multiple colored circles. Without furniture and wall
decorations, it was pretty dizzying; but fully decorated it was quite
whimsical and fun.
If you look forward to the time you spend with your interior
designer, that means that you have picked a good one. If you feel
intimidated or steam-rolled, find a new designer. Designing the interior
of your home should be fun.