Building a custom home is truly an empty slate. It is an amazing opportunity we feel very fortunate about but also can be overwhelming at times due to the limitless possibilities. We have found a variety of ways to get inspiration for design, here are just a few:
Model Homes – While considering features for floor plans, we had walked through several model homes. Now that we are entering the selections phase, we find ourselves going back to those same model homes and looking at them in an all new way. Instead of looking at the flow of the house, we turned our focus to the finishes. Things like what pattern the tile was in on the bathroom walls or whether they carried the same counter tops from the kitchen into the master bathroom were all things we were now looking at and considering.
I would recommend specifically looking for higher end model homes. They are going to get more creative with their selections and have more of a variety than a standard model. There are a few CalAtlantic Homes (formally Standard Pacific homes in our area that we found have to be more inspirational.
Open Houses – We also check out any open houses in our area to get inspiration. Using Redfin, you can search ahead of time to plan out a day to see a few – Sundays are the more popular day for open houses. We generally search for higher end homes and newer construction. It is also helpful to flip through the photos before to make sure it is going to be worth your time.
Showrooms – There are also a few stores around central Florida that have mock bathrooms or kitchens. The Tile Shop in Altamonte Springs actually has models all around the perimeter of the store. Floor & Decor also has something similar on a smaller scale. Ferguson has a ton of plumbing fixtures, from toilets to tubs to faucets so and is worth a visit.
Houzz – Houzz is another great resource to look at a variety of ideas. It also allows you to save photos to various boards so you can stay organized. Another great feature is your ability to ask questions about the products in the photos. Lots of professionals will post pictures and a majority are very good about responding. We have also had great success with searches. Just type in the name of the quartzite countertops and filter down to the room to kitchen and you can find tons of great photos. There is also the ability to search for local professionals in your area and read reviews.
Pinterest – Pinterest is very similar to Houzz. It tends to be more information about do-it-yourself hacks and other creative solutions. You can also create inspiration boards to keep things organized, here are just a few of my home design boards.
While looking at pictures and magazines is a great way to get more ideas, I highly recommend getting out there and trying to see some designs in person. It helps to see the texture of materials and how it all comes together. We are working on our first set of selections so stayed turned for more information on our research and what we have learned!