How To Guide: Making Selections For Your New Home

New Home Selections Guide


FREEBIE ALERT: Scroll all the way down to grab your Custom Home Selections Workbook.

One of the things I love most about my job as a designer is working side- by-side with Michael, my super talented home-builder husband. He gets them built and I get them decorated!

Building a home is one of the most rewarding (and challenging) things your family will ever do! It's crazy (and so exciting) to see a house designed just for you progress from a dream in your head, to a sketch on paper, and finally to finishing touches!

Each stage has its fair share of excitement, frustration, and overwhelm.

Michael and I feel honored to walk that path with our customers together and guide them as best we can, keeping their unique style and budget in mind.

Without fail, the number 1 question our customers & clients ask is:

"Where in the world do we start with selections?"

Just the thought of picking every fit and finish in a home makes some of our sweet clients want to turn and run for the hills!

(Can you blame them? With hundreds of decisions ahead of them it can all seem very overwhelming!)

On the other hand, some eager clients dive straight into Pinterest, pin all the things, and then quickly fall into analysis paralysis with the overload of pretty pictures and design styles.

I totally get it! Selections are a big deal!

They ultimately affect how your home feels, how it looks AND (probably most importantly) how much it costs!

Not to worry.... today Michael and I are spilling the beans and sharing every single thing we've learned along the way to help you out in this home building/remodeling adventure you're about to embark on.

Ready? Let's Dive In!


1. Breathe deep & remember that it doesn't all have to be figured out on day 1 !

Before you rush off to Benjamin Moore to collect 387 paint chips, take a step back and think big picture.

I often advise clients to create a very broad Mood Board on Pinterest. Make it a fun date! Grab a table at Starbucks one Saturday morning with your hubby and just scroll. Pin things along the way that inspire you or feel like a reflection of your family.

(Don't worry too much about little details - think big picture. Exterior/Interiors How do you want your house to FEEL?)

2. Define Your Home's Cohesive Story & Style

We are big fans of homes that are united by one central style.

(Don't think matchy matchy; but rather a home that flows naturally from the exterior elevation to the interior finishes to the landscaping details.)

For example: Are you building on the water? You might want a relaxed and welcoming exterior that takes advantage of the view and decor that isn't too fussy or formal.

Use this context (along with pictures from your Pinterest board) to further define your unique style.

*We'd love to help at this stage! If you're interested, get in touch with us HERE) and we can help guide you the rest of the way

*Even just having a visual mood board for each room made will make all of the other selections along the way WAY easier!

3. Ask Your Builder for a Timeline of Selections & Keep a Record

This will vary from builder to builder.

Some like to have it all done in one selection meeting. (If this is your builder...don't stress! It'll be A-OK! Keep reading. There's a freebie at the end of this post that will help you out big time!)

If you have time to make selections as the construction process unfolds, make sure you builder keep a paper trail of all of the decisions that you've made.

Though you think you'll remember, after it gets to decision #812, things might start to get fuzzy. Sometimes you think you asked for grey grout when really that email never got sent. So you end up with white.

(This is totally ok and pretty normal! Most things can be fixed. Just always best to make sure everyone is on the same page up front.)

4. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff Along the Way. . .

...and there's a LOT of small stuff!

It's hard to even utter the words: "Don't worry about it" to someone who is FINALLY building their dream house after years of planning. But truly, some of the things that we agonize over NO ONE (including you) will notice after you move in!

That's not to say it doesn't matter. Just a reminder that if you think you've "messed up" on one or two selections, I'm betting you'll forget all about it as soon as you move in and start decorating.

If not, most smaller things are easily changed.

(Take it from the "Queen of Change." We built our home just 2 years ago and most of the walls are already a different color!)

Ask me how happy Michael is about THAT? ;)

5. See the process as an EXCITING adventure!

When you first look at your plans, you might not feel an overwhelming sense of excitement. Totally normal! In the beginning, it's hard to envision a two-dimensional set of plans turning into your dream home. But each stage gets more and more exciting and fun!

(Pro tip: Take pictures at every stage and turn them into a Chatbook Later. Click HERE to get your first book FREE!)

Since the beginning stages can seem slow, there might be days where you think it's just not worth it. I promise it is! Things will get SUPER exciting when the walls start going up, the roof is put on, and the flooring starts getting installed.

Enjoy it as much as you can. And on those really frustrating days where nothing seems to be going according to plan, keep picturing your family enjoying this space for years to come!

shiplap mudroom

Need a little bit more help in planning out your new home?

Don't worry, I got you!

Just click the picture below to download our FREE: