Category Archives: Design Tips

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Building Your Dream Home

You are about to embark on a very exciting, yet intimidating process and you are not sure where to even start. You may have some ideas of a few rooms or maybe too many ideas to sort through. You may be asking yourself, what should I be doing to ensure I am happy with my new home?  Our professional interior designers work with homeowners on a daily bases to ensure they are in love with their new space. Here are some mistakes we recommend avoiding to ensure a smooth design and construction process.

1. Not Having a Clear Plan

The first step in navigating how to create your dream home is to establish a clear plan of priorities, style, needs verses wants for each space and of course budget. Sitting down and dissecting each of these in the initial planning phase is critical for two reasons. First, while you may have a clear idea of what you want initially, it is often easy to have confusion later in the final selection or during the construction process. Staying true to your end goal is often best by referencing back to the concept images you are trying to achieve and remembering your priorities. Secondly, it is easier to justify spending the extra expenses later on as it all will seem high priority in the midst of detailed decision making. Knowing where you want to allot more of the budget upfront can help.


Start with Pinterest or Houzz for design ideas of each room and noting what you like about those images. The styles that are repeated often help indicate a clear design path and begin the decision making process. Writing down the most important items you want included in your dream home is very important as well as dissecting what isn’t of high importance for budget later on.

2. Not Maximizing on the Design Process

A mistake when building a custom home is not spending enough time in planning. Everyone is always so eager to have construction start, but I think the most important phase is the planning phase. If the plan is 100% right, then the rest of the construction process will go smoothly and not require time-consuming changes. Really have the professional walk you through the “space” and describe what the flow of space will be right. Double check the plan against your priority list. Think about and make decisions early about how each room will be used. Each decision affects the lighting layout, the plumbing layout, the electrical layout. Get the plan right first and you will be happy later.

3. Choose your Team Wisely

Establishing a professional team that you are comfortable with is essential. You will rely on them for advice or skilled labor and if it is not a cohesive relationship it will make the entire process much more difficult. Make sure to interview each professional and establish clear expectations for all parties involved. Of course working with people you have personal relationships with don’t always mean that a professional relationship will flow. We always make sure our clients feel heard as listening is something that can never be understated. Our firm prides ourselves in allowing the client to direct their style as we guide them in achieving the project goals.

4. Not Taking Professional Advice

One mistake is not listening to the professional. Now that you’ve established your team, you want to maximize on their experience. It could be a real estate broker who spoke to you early in the process and heard your priorities. They may be seeing something you don’t. If you’re not listening to the professional you hired, like the architect, designer or contractor, and still asking each of your friends for their individual opinions, then it’s more likely you will make a mistake. The professional is going to know the full details of the project, budget, design expectations and advise you on the important options to be addressed.

5. Taking on Too Many Opinions

Similar to the previous statement, one very common mistake that happens when designing your dream home is including too many outside opinions from loved ones. Whether asking for them or receiving unsolicited advice can often create confusion as to what the design goals of the project are. Homeowners can often feel overwhelmed of the design and construction process, making it difficult when it’s time to make final decisions. Remember to go back to your priority lists, creative boards and ask your professionals to assist in sorting out the priorities with you. The beauty of design is there are endless options to choose from but don’t let that intimidate you. The end result will be a beautiful one as this is a home tailor-made for your family’s needs, a decision you will happy with for many years to come.


I wish you the best of luck in your design endeavors!

A New Year Brings New Ideas

We derive new ideas from so many different sources: newly constructed projects we visit, our favorite magazines (Interior Design, Architectural Record, Luxe, Interior Sources), websites (Pinterest, Instagram and Houzz) and Museums (The Met, The Whitney, MOMA.) It’s a never-ending feast for eyes that really look at the details. Whenever I enter a new space, I’m looking up to see what’s new on the ceiling and down to see what’s good on the floor. I touch, I feel, I experience. So often, a small detail I am inspired by, ends up as a larger design concept within a room I am designing.

I challenge you to go on an expedition and find a room you are impressed by. Take note of just one detail and email me a photo, telling me what you love about it. I will give you an idea of how it could possibly be used in your next project!

Check out our Home Collection for the Designer Packages that group objects, art, paint and accessories together to help give you instant (or almost) gratification to change a room, make a statement, and enjoy your surroundings.

In 2018 Look For:

Bold Colors to continue. Some new directions will be Amber and Purple pairings.

Diminishing of brass as a major accent where clean and contemporary spaces need to be clean and contemporary!

Comfort becomes more important than looks. Those contemporary low back sofas will be overtaken by higher back sofas that you can rest your head on.

Peace and Happy Designs to you throughout the Year!

Santa Fe Valley Designer Package One

Tips for Making a Room Sing!

Our goal at In-Site is to create spaces that resonate with the personality of our clients. So we spend time learning about they like and what makes them happy. In order to help more of you have homes that you love, we’ve created six Color Schemes with Personality! When choosing a Scheme, look for the colors that make you happy! That’s the basis for any great design.

Do navy blues make you feel warm and cozy? Then check out Classic Revolution.

Do soft whites make you relaxed? Then you’ll love Winter Blush.

Do you want to be energized? Go with Bold Play.

Are you an urban chic? You’ll feel great with Urban Loft.

Do you love vintage? Country looks? Then Farmhouse Retreat is for you.

Does the Midwest inspire you? Do you love dusky blues and leathery browns? Feel the Santa Fe Valley!

If you’re selecting paint colors for the walls, remember to look at the color samples vertically. Tape them to the wall. Look at them in morning light. And evening light. The paint colors within our Collections are all coordinated for you, so you know they work together great!


Our NYC Interior Designers travel to Architectural Digest Home Design Show 2014

We are getting geared up for the 13th annual Architectural Digest Home Design Show on March 20 – 23, 2014. We’re very excited about seeing many of the exhibitors’ new products lines that will be presented including Wud Furniture at booth M52, Robert A.M. Stern Collection at booth 115 and D’apostrophe LLC/Royal Botania at booth 105. Hope to see you there!

Architectural Digest Home Design Show

March 20 – 23, 2014

Thursday – Saturday 11 am – 7pm, Sunday 10 am – 6pm

Pier 94- 55th Street at 12th Avenue, NYC

nyc interior designers

Wud Furniture

nyc interior designers

Robert A.M. Stern Collection

interior designers nyc

D’apostrophe LLC/Royal Botania