The ten major interior design decisions for a full home remodel

One of the most valuable aspects about working with a licensed interior designer is making decisions in the right order. An experienced interior designer will not only help their client with decision making on the obvious layout, finishes and furnishings for a remodel—they’ll keep decisions in the right order. This saves time and money, and makes the remodel project move forward more easily. Proper planning and timing ordering appliances, finishes and furnishings is critical to complete a major remodel project on time and on budget.

In the case of a full remodel, we’ve crafted a list of the ten major decisions a remodel generally requires, which your interior designer will help guide you through. For smaller projects, some of these elements may not apply. For larger construction projects, such as a complete gut or tear-down, there may be additional elements that the architect and construction supervisor will include. But for this article, we’ll focus on a general home remodel.

These decisions also fall in line with a typical construction process, which will also help you know what to expect as your remodel project gets underway.

Get clear on your remodel’s purpose

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? Do you want a functional yet stylish design to accommodate your growing family? Getting clear on your remodel’s purpose will give your designer a starting point and insight into your personal style and how you want to live in and enjoy your newly remodeled home.

Decision 1: Plan the space

The first thing you and your designer discuss is the layout for your remodel. Planning the space may include moving walls to create more living area or adding a new room. You will cover what items you already have in your home such as rugs, artwork, fabrics or heirlooms that you want to incorporate in the finished plan. Making the right decisions about your space plan will give your remodel a stylistic starting point and allow your designer to help you envision the finished project more easily.

Outdoor area

Decision 2: Windows and exterior doors

Once you have decided on the general layout and aesthetics of the remodel, it’s time to start making decisions about windows and exterior doors. Why? Because windows and exterior doors have the most lead time and take the longest to receive. Your designer will provide many options and help you make good decisions about windows and exterior doors that will add value and energy savings to your home.

Decision 3: Flooring

Hard surface flooring (as opposed to carpeting) can be underrated in a remodel, however, is an important consideration that you’ll have to make early decisions about with your designer. Whether you are installing wood, vinyl, laminate or tile, the flooring will need to be installed before anything else in the home. Appliances, cabinetry, plumbing fixtures such as sinks and toilets are installed on top of flooring as opposed to the flooring being cut around these elements in your home. Certain flooring materials also may have extended lead times, so it’s important to order early after you make your choices.


Decision 4: Appliances

Appliances are chosen before cabinetry and countertops because everything else in your kitchen and bathroom is measured and fitted around the appliances. Your designer will help you select the appliances and fixtures so everything works in harmony in your space plan and reflects your style.

Decision 5: Cabinets

Cabinetry is a close companion to appliances, especially in the kitchen or wet bar area. Cabinetry also requires proper planning and does have substantial lead time (depending on what cabinetry you choose), that your designer will help you pick and coordinate with the prior elements already in your plan.

Lisa Sutherland

Are you considering a remodel?

Or is your project smaller? The best way to find out is to book a complimentary consultation with professional interior designer, Lisa Sutherland, so you can make the best decisions for your project.


Decision 6: Plumbing

Plumbing requires decisions which combine the space plan, construction as well as the aesthetics of the interior’s design. Although these decisions are functional as well as stylistic, such as choosing a shower valve or other internal plumbing, your designer will guide you through this process as they should have a good understanding of construction and project management. You’ll also decide and order shower systems and bathtubs so that the proper materials are on hand when needed.

Decision 7: Electric

Also known as the electrical “rough,” this decision involves prepping your home for light fixtures and power outlets. The electrical plan includes recessed fixtures, under cabinet lighting, accent lighting, sconces, chandeliers and pendants. The actual fixtures are not necessary at this point, but can be helpful to discuss with your designer, especially with sconces, so the electrician knows the exact placements on walls.

Kitchen island

Decision 8: Countertops

When it comes to countertops, you will need to decide on sinks and cooktops since countertops require custom fabrication to size, regardless of the countertop’s material. The installation of countertops signal the back end of the construction process, marking your home’s completion at two to three weeks out.

Decision 9: Carpeting

You decided on hard surface flooring already, however, carpeting also needs to be decided if it is part of your remodel project, such as in bedrooms, living rooms or dens. It is one of the last installation items because it is much harder to clean after contractors have been walking in and out of your home and it also does not impact other installations. Your designer will help you choose the best carpeting for the remodel based on the overall design and how you want your furnishings used in each room you choose to carpet.

Contractors working

Decision 10: Trim out

“Trim out” is a term used for the remaining installations in the remodel, including those related to electrical and plumbing. This is where contractors will hang lights, connect faucets and install backsplashes.

The finishing touches of furnishings, artwork, fabrics and other elements you’ve chosen with your designer come in the final stages of the project. This is where your vision will fully come to life, where you’ll be able to see, touch and experience the final outcome of all of your remodel decisions.

Have more questions?

We hope you found this article helpful in understanding the order of major costs and decisions for a typical home remodel. If you have questions about your home project or would like general guidance on where to start, please contact us at Jupiter Home Style by calling 772-633-7915 or schedule a complimentary consultation with interior designer Lisa Sutherland.

PlanningTerry Pappy