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So Many Options

Design Tips


The National Home Show is just a day away (March 14-23 at Exhibition Place). As you explore the many options for home products, you’ll understand just how easy it is to go over budget when you build a custom home.

One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was to write down everything I wanted in my dream home. Start with the “Must Have’s”. Take this task seriously and don’t get drawn into things that are not essential or your budget will be compromised from the beginning.

Once you have all the essentials, make a list of the things that aren’t a deal breaker but you’d really like to have included. Finally, write a list of things that you dream of, but you’re not sure if they are right for the design you are building or if they will exceed your budget. You may be surprised just what you can include in your custom home. As you share your lists with your design team, they will see trends in your dream and be able to give you some on-budget solutions to make things you thought were out-of-reach happen.

Start an idea book on the features you really like. It’s impossible to have every single feature you love, but your feature book will give your custom home design team a great place to start. You can collect images on your tablet or computer or clip photos out of magazines. Walk through the idea book with your designer. Just chatting through the ideas will help them understand some of the key features that you are drawn to. They will also help you build consistency into your overall design, making sure your home doesn’t look like a scrapbook of unrelated designs!

Start with the basics: What rooms are essential? Bedrooms, bathroom(s), living room, family room, kitchen, dining room, laundry room, study, library, theatre or entertainment room, guest room, butler’s kitchen, craft room, games room… you can see there are many options. Do you want open living spaces or does your family prefer dedicated spaces – like a formal living and dining room? Do you require a bathroom for every bedroom? What kind of storage do you require? The Master Bedroom ensuite and closet are major considerations and in many of today’s custom homes they range from modest to extreme. I’m sure you’ve seen the breadth of choices. The challenge is to choose well and stay on budget.

Royal Homes was amazing at answering my questions and affirming my decisions. I also learned that when I invited the design team’s input they were able to help me think it through. After all, they have been building homes for over 40 years. Royal Homes also has a great checklist that keeps everything on track.

I really liked the fact that after I had made my choices, everything went smoothly. The building process was hassle-free. I did not have to worry about delays, weather or missing pieces.Mai-Liis