I am so excited about today’s post because I finally get to share with you guys a new home construction local client project that I have been working on for about the last 5-6 months. The project is not quite finished yet but I wanted to share this particular project with you at this unfinished point because it’s such a great example of what to splurge on and where to save when it comes to remodeling or new construction.
Just to give you a little background, I came into the project after my clients selected their floor plan and the home was framed. My clients wanted design help for all elements in the home including fixtures, furnishings, materials, etc.. Their biggest question on the front end of the project is what should they splurge on and where can we save.
The first thing I always do is to create design boards (after my initial conversations), which helps me get a much better feel for what my clients have in mind design-wise. Once they look over the design boards and tell me what they like and don’t like on the boards, I am able to really narrow down what they are looking for and I can then create a larger overall plan that will guide us with every decision.
My clients initially told me that they envisioned a light and airy modern farmhouse meets coastal influenced design. So below I will show you my first initial design boards and then some progress shots of the space.
The kitchen in this home is open and visible right as you walked into the door. Because of this, it was important that we make it more of an extension of the living room area and dining room, which are all connected and open. We also needed to make the kitchen a little more formal than a traditional (closed kitchen) because of that openness.
Below is my initial kitchen design plan:
When I first walked into the home after the walls went up, I instantly spotted that the vent hood in the kitchen was the center focal point walking in through the front door and I knew that we would need to do something really special and different with the hood. I suggested that we break up the white cabinetry with a modern natural wood vent hood and my clients loved the idea. I’m so glad they agreed because as you’ll see, the vent hood is the star of the show for sure!
Vent hoods are a great spot to save some money vs. purchasing an expensive custom solid wood or decorative metal hood. I worked with the cabinet maker to design a modern vent hood and he built it with pressed wood and topped it with a stainable grade beech veneer. This is such a fantastic way to save money while still getting something that’s beautiful and looks like a high-end custom solid wood.
We are keeping the kitchen light and airy with white subway tile backsplash with a medium gray colored grout for contrast.
The great thing about subway tile is that subway comes in almost every color imaginable and it’s very cheap. I mean like really cheap and it’s another fantastic spot in new construction or a remodel to save a lot money vs. using an expensive tile. In this home, my clients are saving a lot when it comes to tile because we are using it throughout the kitchen and in all of the showers and baths.
One of the areas in a home that I do encourage my clients to splurge (whether a remodel or a new home) is on countertops. Countertops receive constant daily wear, so durability is critical. From my experience, quartz countertops are by far the most durable and low-maintenance in comparison to marble, granite and other materials. Granite is becoming dated and for resale, quartz is considered premium.
I personally love Cambria Quartz countertops because the patterns are so beautiful and they are American made. You have to be careful with quartz because there are foreign manufacturers who sell quartz countertops in the U.S. with a reduced amount of quartz actually in them. I have Cambria in my own home and they come with a 100 year finish warranty. Yes, Cambria is a splurge but they are so worth it because they are indestructible and you know they are well made.
I recommended the Cambria Quartz Britannica pattern for this project and my clients immediately agreed once they saw them in person.
Lighting is another spot that you can really save money. You don’t have to spend a fortune on lighting because there are so many beautiful designer knock-off light fixtures that all it takes is some research to find light fixtures that are 1/4th to 1/3rd of the high-end designer prices. Wayfair, Overstock and even Target are getting so good at replicating high-end light fixtures for a lot less.
Huge oversized large designer glass pendant lights can cost over $700.00 but we found these gorgeous ones that are massive from Pottery Barn that were half the cost of the higher end oversized pendants. We hung two of them over the kitchen island and they are really amazing!
The living room in this home is open to the kitchen, dining room and entryway so it was really important to we tie the space elements of each individual space together and layer as one space.
Below is my initial design board for the space.
Because the living room, kitchen, dining and entry are all open to each other, I wanted to find some spots to add focal interest, texture on the walls and other spots through all of the spaces. So instead of simply sheet rock on the fireplace, I recommended shiplapping the top part of the fireplace and painted white brick on the lower portion, which we did. Below are the progress shots so far.
Below is a shot of the brick and mantle after installation.
Below is after the brick was primed and the mantle was stained and sealed.
To keep everything cohesive in this open space, we stained the floating shelves the same color as the vent hood and the doors. You can also save money by incorporating floating shelves vs. built-in cabinetry. Floating shelves are very current in design and the perfect spot to incorporate natural wood tones as well.
If you are remodeling a living room and you are looking for a way to update a brick fireplace, painted brick fireplaces is a big trend right now in new construction, so there is no need to worry that you may do something to diminish the resale or value by painting the fireplace. This is a very inexpensive way to instantly lighten an update a brick fireplace. You can also shiplap the upper fireplace OVER the brick if you want a change in texture.
I encouraged my clients to carry through the same colored metal finish (and style) on all the lighting to keep things cohesive with such tall ceilings and the openness. In the living, we selected a large black iron wheel chandelier.
On the wall to the left of the kitchen and open to the living, we are creating a gallery wall with twelve 16 x 20 black frames. We selected these beautiful black and brass sconces and had them installed close to the ceiling to be at the top of the gallery wall.
I can’t wait to get the gallery wall installed with black and white photos of the family. It’s such an important wall in this open space that I felt we should do something really special and dramatic.
Again, because of the openness of all of the spaces, I wanted to find ways to add focal walls to the space and I suggested either shiplap or grid trim walls and my clients opted for shiplap. While shiplap isn’t all that expensive to do, I would consider it a splurge because you already have a perfectly good wall and you’re adding to it. I feel that in open spaces like this, splurging on shiplap or trimmed out walls is wise to have some change in texture and creating several focal walls/points in that openness.
We did a shiplap wall on the dining room focal wall, which turned out so pretty.
We added another shiplap accent wall on the main wall in the entryway, which when we get it all decorated, will really be stunning! I can’t wait to get this spot loaded with our furniture and accents.
Again, we carried through the black iron lighting with a beautiful entryway light that is perfect.
The custom door is made out of Alder wood and it turned out really pretty! This was made locally and the design is stunning!
My clients wanted a serene and elegant master suite and I suggested Sherwin Williams Sea Salt for the paint color, which my clients loved. Anytime someone says “serene”, I know they’re looking for Sea Salt! 🙂
I’m really excited about the rug and textiles going in this space that will really help to create this serene and calm master suite.
In the hallways, boy’s bedrooms, powder room and laundry room, we selected Sherwin Williams Repose Gray. Of course, this color also never disappoints as the perfect neutral! If you want to see more examples of Repose, I did a Color Spotlight on the color here.
The exterior of the home is a brick with solid wood accents.
I wasn’t able to get good shots of the exterior because there were several work trucks blocking the whole shot. I’ll share more in the coming weeks as we finish this project.
The wood exterior accent has not been stained yet.
We are still in progress but at this point, I hope you can get a good feel from what we did in this home of some spots that can really save money and spots that you should consider splurging when it comes to new home construction or remodels.
We should be doing the furniture install in the next week or so and I can’t wait to style and fluff everything. I have some great accessories and accents that I’m so excited to layer throughout this beautiful home. We also did a great mix of splurges and saves with the furniture and accessories for the whole home. So stay tuned! I should have final reveal pictures for you in the next couple of weeks!
Thanks for stopping by friends!
Beautiful! Could you please tell me what stain was used on the vent hood and floating shelves?
Thanks Meg! The stain is a custom mix that we came up by mixing multiple stain colors together. I’ll be sharing that mix with pictures on the blog shortly. I’ll send you a note when I get it up on the blog. 🙂
I have searched and searched for the update on this post using every keyword & going through your boards. What am I missing? Thank you
Hi there! I can’t find a blog post where you share the stain mixture. I love this look and would love to know how you achieved it. Thanks!
Chafonda Rucker says
I love how every part of the house coming together/ loving the kitchen design and the colors of paint for rooms also that front door look awesome. All the furniture is lovely. You’re doing a great job overall.
Thank you so much for your kind words! 🙂
What color is the exterior paint? It’s lovely.
I didn’t select the exterior color or brick (I came in right after client’s made those decisions) so I don’t know the color. I will find our for you and will email you the info. 🙂
I love how everything is coming together. Can you give a ballpark estimate for decorator services on a whole house project such as this?
Thanks so much Teri! It’s really hard for me to give you a ballpark for design services for a whole new home because I work so differently than most designers. Because I don’t take on much locally (I mostly have e-design clients), I don’t have the time to do full design services. So going into projects both locally and e-design, the homeowners and I work together for product sourcing, measurements, design work and the clients do all the ordering from our final design boards, receiving and installing. For my local clients, I do lots of site visits, work with installers and style after everything is installed. So I charge an hourly rate. It works out great for those clients who don’t mind doing the ordering, receiving and arranging installation and they save working with me than they would with a full-service designer. However, there are many people who prefer that full service, which is so nice but it costs significantly more and I just don’t have the time or team set up to do it all. I wish I had a better answer for you Teri but I’m just not sure what full-service would cost. It’s important to note that full-service design firms often times pass on wholesale discounts to their clients, which saves money. Although, some firms do not pass that on. 🙁 I just don’t have the time to take on that many clients to warrant trade accounts for the wholesale discounts and the team to handle ordering and receiving. My clients do all their retail ordering BUT we are able to find good discounts and sales. Thanks!
This was so helpful as I will be building a home within the next year. Those countertops are the exact ones on my wishlist! Glad to hear how durable they are.
Thank you so much Lexie for your kind words! Stay tuned because the furniture and accents that we have for this home will really be amazing. I can’t wait for you to see it all come together. I will be sharing in the next couple of weeks! 🙂 Yes! You will LOVE the Cambria countertops! It’s by far in my opinion the most important spot to splurge! Thanks for your kind note! 🙂
Awesome ! Love it all warm yet light and airy .
Great job …
That could be a parade home !!!
Thank you so much Nancy!! I can’t wait for you to see it all come together! Stay tuned! 🙂
Candice Hope says
Love all the choices! Can I ask your source for the shiplap, we are considering it as well and would like to know a good place to get it. Also the light in the entry? I want to swap mine out and love that one! Thanks!
The builder handled the shiplap which he ordered locally. It came in packages but I’m not sure of the brand name. I will ask the builder and get back with you! Thanks for your note! 🙂
Love the selections and choices so far. It’s going to look amazing!
Thank you so much Rosanna! 🙂
It is looking beautiful. I can’t wait to see the finishing touches. I know it will be incredible.
Thanks so much Debbie! I can’t wait for you to see all of the furniture and accents that will be going into the home. We are so excited! I’ll be sharing in a couple weeks! Hope all is well with you my friend! 🙂
I love all your ideas! The decor is cohesive and very inviting. Love the choice of sea salt for the bedroom. Can you tell us where you found that beautiful rug on your design board for the master bedroom?
Thanks so much,
Gorgeous! What is the brand and color of stain you used for the vent good and shelving?
Thank you Bethany! The stain was a custom mix that we came up with that I’ll be sharing on the blog next week since I have had so many questions about it. Check back next week for the formula! 🙂
Susan Edwards says
Are the floating shelves custom made or can you share where they are from!
Beautifful! I would also like to know the stain for the wood! So warm against the tile.
I can’t wait to see finished photos! Are you willing to share where you found the fixtures for the gallery wall? I LOVE them! Thank you!
Will you be making a post with product sources? I am interested in quite a few products on your vision boards, but would like for you to get credit if I purchase.
Would love to know the stain mixture for the gorgeous vent hood! Stunning
Doreen OConnell says
This house is gorgeous Cyndy!! I’m in the process of taking a Interior Design Course and I stumbled on this site. I have been working on a new design for a client in her bedroom. This is one of my assignments and they picked the client, but the colors I have picked were the same you have in this home, I love sea salt color and repose gray. Its such a warm and comforting color pallet. I’m excited to see this home when you are done with it. Thank you for sharing 🙂
Beautiful design! I especially love the slip covered chairs, can I ask where you got them from?
Colleen McKee says
So beautiful! Can you tell me where you found the wood floating shelves?
Hello! Absolutely love the living room wall! How wide is that wall? We are dealing with one that is 15ft so would love to know the size of yours and get a visual.
CONI SIMS says
I tried to find the follow-up to this post so I could see how the house turned out but I can’t seem to find it. Is it posted and if so can you tell me how to find it? Thanks!
I’m also looking for the follow up post! So many great ideas-we are planning our new home build currently., and I’d love to incorporate some of your ideas. Thank you.
I just discovered your site and what beautiful work you do! I would like to inquire about whether or not you shared the custom mix of the stain on the mantle and floating shelves. We’ve renovated our entire fireplace and staining the mantle is the final step. The problem is I can’t fine one I like until I saw this post. If you could share your secret custom mix I would be so grateful!
Thank you in advance.
Melissa K Kanz says
Hi! This home is so beautiful! Our house recently flooded when a pipe bursted in a winter storm so we are redoing the downstairs. The fireplace included. Can you tell me the depth of the hearth top. The flat part that you can sit on…how far out is it from the wall? Thank you kindly, Melissa
Wondering if you can tell me how to order some cabinets similar to the ones next to the fire place under the shelves ? Is that just base cabinets ? That kind of counter on top ?
Monica Rode says
Did you ever pose the finished and after look of the living Room for this home? layout of our living Room is pretty similar and you’ve just given me the idea to do this. However, I would love to see the fnished look because both of our walls are not the same size one is slightly bigger and has a door next to a so I want to make sure it doesn’t look uneven or odd. I couldn’t find it on your blog.
What color of stain is used on vent hood and shelves?