Tuesday, June 24, 2014


This is where it gets fun, and real, and stressful - when you pick all of the finishes, and there are so many decisions to make!

If you are building in the Lake Village with Destination Homes you get to go to their design center and have all the finishes right there at your fingertips, which as a designer & home builder, is SO helpful. Unfortunately there is that little problem of a budget. And even though this is my "virtual dream house" we thought it would be good for this to also be realistic exercise and keep it within a mid-range budget for this home.

Let's start with the BASICS:


I am a little bit of a wood-floor snob. I like my materials to be real, and not manufactured, (just like my food). The flooring on the left, is solid oak wood floor. The option on the right is a beautiful walnut, but it's engineered, so it will only last about 20 years. Still, a great option, but I think I will go with the solid oak floor (and it was basically the same price). That way I don't have to worry about replacing it down the road, just refinishing it.

As for the carpet, I am really liking this diamond patterned carpet. I installed something similar recently in a client's home and it creates a classic graphic feel. With having small children, I liked the middle swatch on the far right. It's a nice warm gray and not too light for kids. And this was a medium-priced carpet which worked for my budget! yes!


This is my go-to white for interior walls. I love this color because it's not too bright, but not too creamy. I've painted it in countless client's homes, and it will also be going in my virtual dream house!


lighting options at the design center
If you know me and my work at all, you know I am particular about lighting. Unfortunately the options at Destination Homes are too limited for me, so what I would do in this case is have them put in the standard, no additional fee lighting for me to replace once we move in. Why have them install any lights at all? Because lighting gets backordered, decisions are hard to make, and it would be nice to have some light fixtures in the home just-in-case.

Now on to the KITCHEN:


snapshot of the shaker cabinet style in the design center kitchen

I am a classics girl, so of course I love the shaker style, but also love when there is a bead detail, so my favorite door style was the blue door style. I love the extra detail. I would need to pay a little extra for that detail, but it's not much, so that's what I'm going with. And I LOVE the off-white color of the cabinet door on the top row, next to the blue door (in the middle). It's reminds me of the color of bone. Timeless.

(and for the laundry room, I would do the cabinets in that blue color - I love it!)


options, options, options!
my picks
As you can see in this picture, I would pair my "bone colored" cabinets with a honed black granite countertop (just below the cabinet door). And in the laundry room I would pair my blue cabinets with carrara marble.


As you can see in the picture above, there are a LOT of options for cabinet hardware. I am personally a fan of the cup pulls for the drawers and simple round knobs for the doors. I am especially liking the satin brass cup pulls on the bottom right. And on the long drawers, pairing two cup pulls together on the same drawer is a must.

And now the BATHROOMS:


This was probably the hardest part for me. Mostly because the tile I like best, was all in the most expensive category. I realized that I needed to splurge on my tile and countertop budgets and skimp on my faucets. Once I settled on that upgrade, all tile was available to me. Now to decide what I actually want to put in the bathrooms.

For the upstairs kids baths, I like the classic 1" hexagon for the floor. For the showers, I really like the "H-Line" series of 3x6 tile. I've been using this line of subway in a few remodels lately, and I love the colors and how it looks more luxe than the standard Home Depot subway. Especially liking the light blue and gray colors.

In the master bath, I really wanted to use carrara marble and the only carrara option was for the countertop. I opted to do a gray slate-looking floor and white subway in the shower. The H-Line series has a really nice looking chair rail and I would do a wainscot look with the chair rail and white subway, just like I did in my bathroom in my current home.

my basement bathroom with chair-rail boxes combined with subway tile

least expensive


It pains me to have to settle on anything in my virtual home, but in my opinion the tile is much more important than the fixtures, and fixtures are easier to replace down the line if our budget will one day allow. So the top photo is what I will be putting in all my bathrooms. Not bad, not great, but the rest of the finishes will be so beautiful, you won't even notice!


And finally the cabinets for the bathrooms. I want the blue cabinets in one of the kids bath, pedestal sinks in the other bathroom, and in the master, I think I'm going to stick with the same cabinets that are in the kitchen.

My designer/remodeler tip for the finishes phase is to stress over the more permanent finishes of the home, which are 1) Wood Flooring 2) Cabinets and 3) Tile. All of the lighting, plumbing, and hardware are relatively easy to change. Don't sweat these decisions, but make sure you love the permanent finishes and will be happy for years and years with what you chose.

And next and for my final post, I will be decorating my beautiful new virtual dream house! I don't know which phase I love more, the finishes or the decorating. Do you prefer one over the other?

And remember to check out the other blog posts in this series!


  1. Looking fabulous so far. Love the wood colors.

  2. This is a great blog, usually i don't post comments on blogs but I would like to say that this post really forced me to do so!

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  3. Thanks for posting this informative article thanks for sharing your great post,wish you have a nice day,happy every day.

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  4. Wonderful article, thanks for putting this together! This is obviously one great post. Thanks for the valuable information and insights you have so provided here.

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  5. Great post! I'd like your advice in 2 different areas. The 1st is with paint colors. When painting walls China White, do you usually use the same paint in a different finish for trim? If not, what color would be a good pair with China White? The 2nd topic I'd like your advice on is with regards to mixing metal finishes. I'm liking some of the brass light fixtures for possibly the kitchen. I have a bronze fixture in the adjacent dining room and brushed nickel in laundry, bedrooms and bathrooms. I have brushed nickel door knobs on all doors , kitchen faucet is brushed nickel and kitchen appliances are stainless. I'm planning on having recessed lighting in the living room, which is open to the kitchen. What is your advice on mixing finishes?

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