7 Dismissed Details in Custom Home Design

If you’ve decided to custom build your home, you’ve probably spent lots of time on Pinterest or Houzz looking at cabinet choices and color schemes. However, some important details in custom home design can often be dismissed by homeowners—leaving them with regrets when their homes are complete.

Before you decide to build your home, take the time to thoughtfully discuss these seven details with the builders you are interviewing so your finished home is both functional and beautiful.

Continue reading “7 Dismissed Details in Custom Home Design”

Design with a Focal Point in Mind

Any designs you create cease to exist without a definitive “focal point.”

But what is a focal point, and why is it so important in design functions? Based on the Gestalt principle, a focal point or emphasis works as the star of the room. It captures the attention of the viewer and accentuates the surroundings.

The use of “focal points” is common across all fields of design, including architecture, interiors, fashion apparel, digital transformation and even in paintings. Although overtly used, focal points are inexplicable for layman’s eye or perception. We, as humans, tend to see a picture in its unified form, where similar patterns and elements are grouped together.

Typically, natural focal points in interior design include windows, doors and fireplaces. But what if your room doesn’t have one? Look at the space as an empty canvas, and create your own focal points by:

  • Accentuating one of the walls
  • Adding artwork
  • Including showstopper furniture piece
  • Using backsplashes in your kitchen

How to Create a Focal Point in Your Room

Creating a focal point doesn’t imply decorating each nook and corner of the room but needs concentration on a single feature to grab attention. Here are some tips for creating a focal point in any living space:

Emphasize the Interiors

Stay budget-friendly by using the already existing elements, such as walls, windows and doors, to create a focal point. Some common ideas are to drape windows, accentuate it with bold artifacts, or texture the walls and ornate them with wall frames and hangings.

Custom-Design Room Décor

If you find natural focal points boring, then create your own with movable, custom-made structures. Look for a patterned partition, false ceiling or an eye-catching centerpiece to create an alluring point of focus.

Reinvent Your Lighting Set-Up

For extra attention, reset your lighting system, but keep the colors and patterns to a minimum. You can even re-establish the aura of your room with proper lighting that also enhances the interior.

Creating a Focal Point in Minimalistic Bathroom

When you first enter your bathroom, it shouldn’t be the mess on the sink that catches your attention. It should be of the design elements. For most of us, the aesthetics of the bathroom are as important as any other room; thus, we believe in creating masterpieces.

Tiled or Textured Walls

Tiles add architectural interest by giving character and depth to your bathroom. You can find a variety of options today, including different textures, materials and appearance. You can be as creative as you want to be.

Trendy Vanity

A bathroom vanity is one of the most purposeful spaces in the bathroom. It’s easy storage for bathroom essentials. But with the right design, it can add visual appeal. However, using vanity as a focal point requires careful planning so that other elements, such as tapware and benchtop, must complement it.

Standalone Bathtubs

A freestanding bathtub can be a head-turner element in your bathroom if you amplify it with the right décor. When using standalone bathtubs, leave ample space around for easy cleaning and maintenance.

Funky Mirrors

Bold, tall mirrors are the latest fads in the bathroom interiors. Accentuate them with funky frames and warm lights for a style statement. However, consider its width, height and proportions when using it as the centerpiece for attraction.

Creating a Focal Point in Modernistic Kitchens

Do you check out the latest kitchen interiors in lifestyle magazines and feel inspired and depressed at the same time?

Watching DIY renovation shows augments your search for home improvement. Here, we have ideas to establish eye-catching, head-turning focal points in your kitchen.

Contrasting Colors

Use bold splashes of colors, such as bright red and yellow hues. Did you know colors have dramatic effects on hunger? So why not accessorize your kitchen with bright colors and make it a homey spot for reunions at dinnertimes when the whole family enjoys a hearty meal?

Wall Décor

They can be crazy and expensive, but you can make it budget-friendly, with monochromatic paint accentuated with a vibrant wall hanging or maybe spoon-holders. Such a setup works well in minimalistic designs where a single element works as a focal point.

Upgrade Pantry

Your pantry is storage for your kitchen essentials, but in modernistic designing, well-organized pantries and cabinets can create visual interests. Showing off the contents of your storage space creates an illusion of a wider and bigger kitchen.

Can You Have More than One Focal Point in a Single Living Space?

The idea of having a singular focal point is a myth. Our living spaces have multiple features and functions that can accentuate the overall look. Thus, having multiple focal points in a single room makes sense.

Stacking all elements on a single wall or corner will create a lopsided image; therefore, you should evenly distribute the focal points for a balanced design. Have you ever heard of the Rule of Three?

Although there is no restriction on the number of focal points that a room can have, stick to three when feeling less confident with your interior design skills. But if it’s a small room, two focal points are your safest bet.

When having multiple focal points, set one to be the most dominant to establish a sense of visual structure. A logical flow in your design declutters the space and creates harmony while adding a dramatic look with multiple accentuated focal points. Typically, a dominant focal point is one that you see first as you enter the space—it could be a wall, window, fireplace or even the furniture.

Finding a focal point is highly important to prevent a chaotic look. Our tips will guide you in finding and designing an attention-grabbing point of focus that will stand out from other elements and functions of the room.

Are you ready to remodel? If you’d like to discuss how we can help you create a beautiful kitchen or master bath, contact us.

The Home Office Re-Imagined

2020 has changed so many things, especially how and where we work. Before this year, many of us only conducted a few hours of business a week at home. We answered emails on our smartphones or did a little work on the laptop while sitting on the couch or at the kitchen island.

McKinsey recently wrote, “…estimates suggest that early this April, 62 percent of employed Americans worked at home during the crisis, compared to about 25 percent a couple of years ago.”

With the shift in how and where we work, a new emphasis on the home office has emerged. Trying to get solid hours of work into a day sitting at the kitchen table simply doesn’t fit our needs anymore. We want a place in the home that limits the distractions and is more comfortable.

If you are considering renovating your home to accommodate a home office, here are our suggested four steps.

Step 1: Define your needs.

Before you look at pretty home office pictures on Pinterest or buy a desk, the first step for any home renovation project is to define your needs. Recognize that your needs will be different than those of your neighbors and friends, so to get to the heart of defining your home office needs, ask yourself, “What do you need the space to do?”

Every professional has a different style of working and has different needs. If you are a consultant, for example, you may need space for files or a door to close for video meetings or recording audio. Graphic artists may need additional space to spread out; others may need a larger desk to house two large monitors for research or to see large spreadsheets.


Step 2: Find a space.

Here are a few options for finding the space you need for a home office.

Option #1: Under-utilized space. Look for under-utilized spaces that can be transformed into a dedicated home office. This will help reduce the number of distractions and increase your overall productivity. Formal dining rooms can be renovated into functional office environments quite easily simply by shifting the way you use the space, as some dining tables make excellent (and spacious) desks.

Take this space to the next level by adding built-in shelves, additional lighting and outlets. A door (or wall, depending on the layout of the space) will certainly increase privacy and reduce noise.

Spare bedrooms are often another under-utilized space that can be transformed. You can switch out the guest bed that is only used a few times a year for a Murphy bed with shelves. Give your office additional storage functionality, and just like with the dining room scenario, remodeling will create a more efficient space.

Option #2: Smaller spaces. If your home doesn’t have a larger space that can be renovated into a home office, smaller spaceswork, too. Desks can be set up behind bi-fold doors. Larger closets can be converted. Even a spare corner of a room can be a good spot for a home office. 

Bonus rooms, basements and lofts can also make great home offices, but as these spaces often do not have a door, you’ll need to consider the number of distractions an open space may have. In this instance, remodeling the space is a great option so it’s better adapted to this new use.

Option #3: Renovate. The third option is to build an addition that adds an office space, perhaps as part of a larger kitchen remodel or another renovation project. With this option, you’ll be able to create the space exactly how you want, and it adds value to your home.

Step 3: Design for functionality.

With your needs and space defined, the next step is to identify what you need in the space to be functional. At a minimum, your home office should have a computer (or laptop), a printer and some type of storage. Here are a few other items you may want to consider including in your home office space:

  • A second monitor makes researching and viewing much easier.
  • An energy-saving surge protector will protect your expensive electronics from any voltage spikes, and the on/off toggle switch can also help conserve energy.
  • Equipment for video conferencing needs include a webcam and headset.
  • High-speed Internet access is a must in today’s telecommuting environment. When considering your options, think about how many people and devices could be using your Internet at the same time. If other family members are streaming shows, playing online video games or also doing work at the same time as you, it will affect your Internet speed.
  • A desk that fits your needs could be a built-in desk, which can create a great space for focused work and give you a lot of storage options.
  • A good chair works wonders, as you’ll be sitting on it all day. Invest in one that fits your body and helps with lumbar support.
  • Adequate lighting, which can come from natural light (windows), overhead or desk lamps.

Step 4: Design for beauty.

Now that you’ve addressed the functionality of your home office space, it’s time to make it beautiful. No matter the square footage, there are always dozens of fun ways to make space fit your personality.

When designing your space, don’t just think horizontal. Think vertically, too. Find ways to get printers, books and other items off the desk and onto shelves. For example, a printer drawer can be built into your desk.

You may also want to create a reading nook with a comfortable chair, ottoman and side table. Many find stepping away from the desk (and screen) for focused reading/reviewing incredibly beneficial to their workday.

Other ideas to make the space uniquely yours:

  • Install a fun chandelier
  • Hang pictures and artwork
  • Add plants or a Zen-like fountain
  • Extend the space outdoors by adding a water feature or garden outside your window or turning the first-floor window into a door that leads to a patio
  • Use LED lighting on shelves for additional work lighting or to highlight a piece of art

Once you start using your new home office, you’ll be happy you invested in creating a dedicated space. If you’d like to discuss ways to redesign your space to create a beautiful and functioning home office, contact us.