Congratulations, you’re in the process of becoming a new homeowner with Harris Doyle! The most exciting and fun aspect of your new home’s building process is about to begin, your design meeting. During this meeting, you’ll meet with one of our three designers to select the layout and design of your future Harris Doyle Home. From light fixtures to kitchen cabinets, there are many important decisions you will need to make during this meeting. The more prepared you and your partner can be, the better. To best prepare yourself and to maximize the time you spend with our designers, here are the top ten things you should think about before your design meeting.

Think High Level

It’s important to think high level rather than getting bogged down with the details of your home’s future design. Many times, customers come into their design meeting panicked about where to start. Take these decisions one step at a time by beginning with the major elements and gradually wrapping in the details. It’s easiest to start with the major decisions, such as the kitchen, your cabinets and tile, and then build on top of those decisions. By thinking high level, our designers can get a better understanding for a homeowner’s taste and can pull in pieces from the showroom to look at.

Think About Your Exterior

What do you want the exterior of your home to look like? It always helps if our customers can drive through our neighborhoods and take pictures of what you like prior to the design meeting. Explore design websites such as Houzz and Pinterest to help determine exterior elements that you like. We always appreciate when our customers do their homework ahead of time and bring in pictures! Remember that it is very expensive to change your exterior, so pick an exterior that you will love years from now, not necessarily the year’s latest trend.

Furniture Placement

Furniture placement is a topic our designers go over extensively with homeowners. Our designers will orient the room according to the placement of your television, so decide where you will place your television prior to your design meeting. For example, in your master bedroom knowing which wall you want your TV on will determine where to place your headboard for your bed.

Review the Big Book of Awesome and the Big Book of Answers

Upon entering into contract, you will receive Harris Doyle’s Big Book of Awesome and Big Book of Answers. Review both books prior to your design meeting. The more informed you are about our process and selections the easier it will be to make decisions. The Big Book of Awesome is the bread and butter of what  the HD team can do in your future home and will help make your vision a reality. Our designers keep the Big Book of Awesome updated quarterly with new design trends. It is the ultimate guide and resource when designing your new home.

Talk About Budget

Prior to your design meeting, thoroughly review your budget and be realistic about what  your personal budget will allow. Prioritize your big wish items and the things you can live without. Some design items are purely aesthetic and do not affect the longevity of a room in your home. For example, upgraded carpets and hardwoods will have a longer life than less expensive options. Sometimes it’s better to invest in longevity than the aesthetic elements of a home. Also consider your lifestyle. Someone that has four children under the age of 10 may not need to upgrade a carpet, but should consider installing hardwoods instead, which is more realistic for their everyday lifestyle.

Consider the Things that are Difficult to Change

A lot of times during these design meetings, homeowners will focus all of their energy on selecting design elements that can be easily changed. During your design meeting, decide on design elements that are harder to change down the road such as cabinets and hardwood floors. Changing out cabinets and hardwoods are not only a major renovation project, it is also quite expensive. Select elements that will be in your house for a long time, you can always easily add trim, refresh the paint or change out light fixtures down the road.

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Mixing Metals

When selecting metals for your home, think high level – how will it look in the grand scheme of things? Incorporating layers of metals is an easy way to add dimension and character to your home that will make it feel more custom. For example, we love using stainless appliances, chrome plumbing fixtures and brass light fixtures in a home.

Have a Clear Sense of your Design Style

Easier said than done, are we right?! However, you can help us help you define your design style by showing us pictures of things you like, what inspires you and what you want your home to look like. Share your Pinterest board with your designers for inspiration. From there, our designers can pull looks based on what your tastes and preferences are.

Be Present

It’s important for both you and your partner to be fully present during the meeting and with what our designers are reviewing. It’s easy for one person in the relationship to take charge during the design meeting, but our designers find that homeowners are generally happier in the long run when both parties are equally present and participate. Additionally, don’t heavily rely on your Pinterest boards to make your decisions for you. Focus on what is in front of you during your design meeting, which is the reality of what your future home will look like.

Trust Your Decisions

Trust the decision that you made. Normally if you change something you originally like, you will go back to your original choice. Trust your gut!

We hope these tips are helpful to you when starting your design. Design meetings are a fun way to kickoff turning your dream home into a reality. We can’t wait to start this process with you!