Let your interior designer be your guide

Your licensed interior designer is there to help you make the many decisions necessary for remodeling or building a home. A designer makes this task easier by helping the client with selections in a certain sequence. We’ve created a guideline of the choices a client will make in the construction process by order of importance.

Space Planning

The first topic you and your designer will tackle together is the layout for your new space. You will discuss what items you already have in your home (rugs, artwork, fabrics, etc.) that you would like to incorporate into the new space. This is a crucial first step because it not only saves money, but gives the room a starting point stylistically. This is also the step where walls may be moved to create more living space or entirely new rooms.

Windows and Exterior Doors

Once you have the general layout and aesthetic of the home, it’s time to start making decisions. You will start on the “outside,” with windows and exterior doors. This is because firstly, it is difficult to protect your home if it is subject to the elements. Secondly, windows and exterior doors have the most lead time – meaning they take the longest to order and arrive.


Next up is the flooring. Flooring is an underrated part of the home, but it is something you will be looking at and using for a very long time. Whether you are installing wood, vinyl, laminate or tile floors, they will all be laid before anything else in the home. This is because cabinets rest on top of the floor as opposed to the flooring being cut to fit.


The first usable item you will be selecting for your new home is appliances. These are chosen before cabinetry or countertops, because everything else in your kitchen, bathroom, etc. will be cut to fit the appliances. This includes ovens, microwaves, fridges and more.


One of your first big style decisions will be your cabinets. They are still chosen early in the decision process because, much like windows and exterior doors, they have a long lead time. Putting in cabinets is very exciting as your home is now coming together.          


Next plumbing will be installed. Your choices for this will be more functional than stylistic since you are choosing shower valves and other internal preparations. This is also when shower systems and tubs are decided on so that the proper materials will be on hand for the first phase of installation. The fun stuff, like faucets, comes later.


Another internal category is electric. Known as electrical “rough,” this is when your home is prepped for light fixtures. The electrical plan includes recessed fixtures, under cabinet lighting, accent lighting, sconces, chandeliers and pendant. The actual fixture is not necessary at this point but can be helpful, particularly when dealing with sconces, so the electrician knows the exact location on the wall.


Your home will be one step closer to livable with the presence of countertops. Items such as sinks and cooktops will be chosen since they are needed to fabricate the countertops. This applies to countertops of any material. Countertops signal the back end of the construction process as your home is about 2 – 3 weeks from completion!


Any hard floor surfaces were installed at the beginning of the project, but now is the time for carpeting. Besides the fact that carpet is much harder to clean after workers have been walking in and out for weeks, carpet does not affect other installations. While a tile floor, for instance, must be put down before cabinets, carpet will be cut around any cabinetry installed in the room.

Trim Out

“Trim out” is the term for all final selections and finishing touches in the home, including electrical and plumbing-related. This is where your lights are hung, your faucets installed, and your backsplash put into place. Now that the bones of your home are complete, it is time for furniture, art and fabrics!

How You Can Help the Process

Before meeting with your designer, think about the feeling and function of what you want in your home. Do you want an open and airy coastal space for entertaining friends? Or a functional yet stylish design to accommodate your growing family? This will give your designer a starting point and insight into your personal style and how you want to use your home.

Don’t worry about having to make all of the decisions—that is what your interior designer will help you with. They will guide you to create the home of your dreams.