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Congratulations! Your new home is under contract, and you can’t wait to dig in and start planning how you will decorate. Will your old couch fit into your new living room? Does your design style reflect the former single you, not the new coupled you? Feeling a tad bit overwhelmed with thoughts of shiplap and baseboard heights?
Well, we have you covered. The editors at Painted Prairie’s blog team spoke with local interior design experts, Alex Whitman and Jocelyn Verano of Ellis Design Studio. The studio has been creating and designing spaces in and around Colorado for more than 25 years.
Here’s what Alex and Jocelyn say you should do to plan and prep for your big day with your builder’s Design Center team.
Chances are if you bought a house in the Painted Prairie neighborhood, you visited the model homes and made your decision based off your visits. You are one step ahead of the game in terms of space planning, design inspiration and figuring out what hard surfaces you want in your new home.
Sometimes, though, that may not be enough to spark your creativity. Alex and Jocelyn say, it’s time to get out and go on a tour. Visit other model homes in your area. All designers and builders showcase different materials and suppliers, which give you new ideas for materials and finishes that you may or may not have previously considered.
Another great place to draw design inspiration is in the homes of your friends, family and others. If you simply love the style of their home, then snap some photos of their countertops and cabinet faces. Ask them about the manufacturers and brands that they have purchased over the years. Pay attention to how their hard surfaces flow into their furniture and lighting choices. It’s a great way to narrow down the aesthetic for your new home.
According to Alex Whitman of Ellis Design Studio, your home can be as eclectic and funky, or as simple and traditional as you want to make it, but if you’re not telling a consistent story through your design center selections, then your home will feel choppy and unfinished.
Home design is a creative and collaborative process. You may draw inspiration from a model home, a Pinterest board, an issue of Better Homes & Garden, or a website like Houzz. All of these places give you ideas for your design style and help you envision what you want your home to look like when you move in.
PRO TIP #1: Take pictures, cut out images from catalogs, print out your Pinterest picks, and create your own vision and mood boards for different rooms in your home.
PRO TIP #2: Order or pick up samples from your local big box store, boutique design gallery, or internet sites such as Wayfair. Use these samples to build a collection of textures, tiles, fabrics, and color selections.
Believe or not, this will help your new Design Center BFF or designer, hone in on your hard surfaces, countertops, and even the bathroom towel racks that suit your individual style.
Don’t worry if your design tastes tend to be a mix of conflicting styles. As you work through the process, you will discover your tastes and preferences are more similar than you think. If you find your selections wavering in style, work to streamline your choices. Rank them, prioritize them, then create your top three collections from all your choices.
Once you’ve curated samples and have created your vision boards, now take a step back and live with what you’ve selected. Put your samples and boards in a place where you will see them everyday. Move them around to different rooms to see how your choices affect your mood. Natural and artificial light play a big part in how your style changes throughout the day, so make sure that you take time to make note of how the colors, finishes and designs make you feel.
Soon, you will begin to fine tune your own unique design style. These foundational items will be the basis from which you layer in textures, seasonal decor, throw pillows, draperies, and lighting. From here, you have a plan to guide you through the any future design choices. Once you hone in on your vision, the rest will easily follow.
“Curate it, sit with it, and then live with it.”— Alex Whitman, Ellis Design Studio
You found your inspiration, collected samples, created boards, narrowed down your style choices, and now it is time for your Design Center appointment. Before you head out the door, grab your vision boards and samples and take them with you! The design professionals at your appointment are highly-trained to take your vision, and help you select the finishes, surfaces, and options to turn your signature style into a reality.
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Remember, you don’t have to do everything on your own. If you need assistance or feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of options and choices, you can partner with a designer to help you curate your vision, go with you to your Design Center appointment, and be a guide in all aspects of your interior design.
“Most of our job entails being a resource for our clients. When you partner with a design professional, we can help you hone in on the things you value the most by just listening to you and your style.”— Jocelyn Verano, Ellis Design Studio