How to Prepare for Your New Home Design Center Appointment

Visiting your builder’s design center is probably the most exciting part of purchasing a new home. With the help of an interior design specialist, you’ll pick out everything from the paint on your walls to the floor under your feet. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, don’t fret — we’ve got you covered. Here are some tips to help you best prepare for an enjoyable and successful design center appointment.

Set a Budget

Coventry Homes model home at Coastal Point.

First and foremost, it is important to set a budget for any structural and design upgrades you are considering adding to your new build home. This will keep you focused on what you want, need and can afford. It’s usually recommended to budget 10 percent of the base price of your home for upgrades, so for a $300,0000 home, you would want to budget an extra $30,000 for upgrades.

Get Inspiration

Empire Communities model home at Coastal Point.

It’s hard to make decisions based on photos and paint swatches. Sometimes you need to see how that gray granite will look in a kitchen. The easiest way to do that is to tour other model homes. Most builders like the ones here at Coastal Point incorporate the latest trends in their models, but they do so in different ways. You can check out colors, materials and manufacturers. Some rooms might even spark your creativity. Visit the homes of friends and family. If you’ve always loved a friend’s kitchen, ask her what brand her countertops are or what she thinks of her glass-fronted cabinets. Most people are happy to give you advice.

Define Your Aesthetic

Coventry Homes model home at Coastal Point.

When it comes to interior design, not everyone likes the same thing. If you already own a home, think about the pieces you love and the ones you wouldn’t mind throwing in a bin. Chances are the pieces you love represent a certain design style. It could be modern farmhouse, eclectic or traditional. Defining your aesthetic and communicating that to your design specialist ensures they will steer you towards finishes you will love. Since most design center appointments only last a few hours, it’s a great time saver.

Define Your Lifestyle

Coventry Homes model home at Coastal Point.

At least some of your design choices should be based on your lifestyle. Are you a busy parent without a lot of time? Easy-to-clean countertops and floors will be convenient. Do you rock the work-from-home lifestyle? You will need a data center, if not an entire home office. Do you dream of being the house all the kids want to play at? Maybe you should invest in a media room or upgrade your game room.

Build a Vision Board

Bringing your vision board to life.

A picture is worth a thousand words, especially when trying to explain what you want to a design expert. Vision boards help you organize and sort through your design ideas. Build one for your entire house or one for each room that is important to you. Your vision board should have pictures you’ve taken from catalogs, Pinterest, Instagram and photographs of rooms you’ve seen and loved. Visit big box stores like Lowe’s and gather paint swatches, tile samples and more. Don’t worry about overloading the board. You will naturally begin removing items you don’t love or don’t seem to fit with your overall aesthetic.

Spend Time with Your Board

Revisit your vision board before making a final decision.

Putting a board together is one thing, living with it is another. Put your vision boards where you can see them daily. Move them around so you can see how they look at different times throughout the day. Do you like that blue paint only when the curtains are open and then hate it when you turn the lamps on at night? Maybe select a different shade. Do the items on your vision board work with your furniture? You want your home to have a cohesive look, meaning your current furniture should fit in.

At the Design Center

Inside the Houston Design Center.

Your design center professional wants you to be happy with your selections. They welcome any questions you might have. If you like a countertop but it’s out of your price range, ask them to show you something similar within your budget. Ask about the care and maintenance of the items you like. You don’t want to choose a beautiful carpet only to discover it won’t stand up to your toddler’s spilled juice cup. As you browse, think about how long you plan to live in your home. You will have to live with your selections. Don’t choose something just because it’s trendy. You will only have to replace it once the novelty wears off.

 After Your Visit

Houston Design Center sample wall.

Take pictures of your selections while you are at the design center and when you get home, look at them again. Put the pictures on your vision board. Do your choices work the way you thought they would? If you have questions, write them down and call the design center the next day. They will be happy to put any doubts you may have to rest.

Visit model homes and move-in ready homes at Coastal Point to inspire your new home today.