Making Your Interior Selections in Your Dream Home

For 16 years, Carolina Plantations have been helping our clients navigate the prisms of retirement. While the ultimate goal is to find your Dream Home, so much else must be addressed before finding your forever home. However, once you get there, and especially if it is a home to be built to your specifications (which 60% of our clients opt for,) how do you know what selection to choose?

Two different interior designs of kitchens, one is an upscale kitchen with a different color island and the other is more neutral coloring

A few interior designers disagree with Doug’s thoughts on beginning to make selections for a new home, so that they can skip this article. Owning a custom home design company for 15 years and having helped dozens and dozens of clients successfully select their interior and exterior selections, he thinks he has a pretty good handle on providing “suggestions” on this subject.

Design Selections

The room you begin your selections in is the kitchen, for this is the most expensive room in the home and where many of us spend a lot of time. When you factor in the cost of all appliances, cabinets, plumbing features, lighting options, countertops, backsplashes, and more, the average kitchen will run between $50,000 – $75,000. Upgraded kitchens will run $75,000 – $150,000, and opulent kitchens will be $150,000 and above. So, where do we start?

The Flooring

Think about it, when you are in the kitchen, dining area, or living room, you see a lot of floors. You don’t typically see countertops, cabinets, or backsplashes as you drift out of the kitchen. So, starting with your floor is just a natural decision. Our first suggestion is to determine whether you want a light, medium or dark floor. Then you need to select the material you desire, as in natural wood, engineered wood, tile (ceramic or porcelain,) LVP (luxury vinyl plank), or whatever the latest craze is. And FYI, most people select a medium floor covering as light or dark can often show dirt very quickly. Lastly, you need to choose what color floor you like the best. Today a gray/brown medium combo is the most popular color. However, there are plenty of colors to select from.

The Cabinets

Once you select your floor, you can use that sample to hold up against the myriad of cabinets. Your first task is determining if you want to blend the two or have a mild/medium/stark contrast. If, by chance, you are not aware of this, for years, the cabinet used on the island is typically a darker color cabinet than the rest of your cabinets. And here is well, you need to consider the tone of your cabinets, as in light/medium/dark. Then you select the cabinet material – such as natural wood, engineered wood, wood with glass, etc. Lastly, choose the color you feel best matches/contrasts the flooring, and don’t forget that you can have your cabinets painted or stained with your favorite color.

A Little Tip: If you move to coastal NC, 95% of our clients opt for lighter cabinets, as they provide an authentic seaside feel. Very seldom do you see red cherry; for a while, that is beautiful, but it’s more for cold country.

The Countertops

Finally, you select the surface you will see for decades on top of your cabinets. Like flooring, you need to think about how the extremes of light and dark will affect your kitchen, for too light or too dark, and you could be cleaning your kitchen 24/7 for the rest of your life. Granite and Quartz are the two most popular options for material today, and movement is another variable you need to consider. A little movement might be traditional marble, where the slight gray colors almost blend in with the white background. On the other hand, more countertops today accentuate dramatic colors and movement. Lastly is color, which should be easy since you already have selected the flooring and cabinet colors. Most showrooms have an excellent array of countertop selections.

The Backsplash

Doug thinks backsplashes are the most considerable pain in the butt of everything you must select inside a home. You know you want a backsplash (versus dull paint that collects spaghetti sauce droplets), but between the material, color, and patterns, selecting the perfect backsplash can be overwhelming. Doug’s two cents is to be a bit bolder than your gut tells you; however, within reason, an ugly backsplash can ruin a $200,000 kitchen.

You Paint Color(s)

Unlike your other selections, you have a finite number of choices to choose from, but there is no limit when it comes to painting. If you thumb through the Benjamin Moore color chart, we believe there are over 50 variations of yellow to select from. Therefore, no matter what your other selections look like, there will always be a paint color to match!

White Cabinets in first picture on left with a colorful and bold backsplash, middle picture is a quartz countertop with white cabinets and last picture is blue cabinets with light wood flooring

Other Selections

Once you’ve got these five out of the way, the rest are relatively easy to select on your interior selections, which include but are not limited to:

  • Plumbing Fixtures – faucets, faucet handles, sinks, toilets, etc.
  • Appliances – stove, oven, dishwasher, microwave, refrigerator, wine fridge, washer & dryer, etc.
  • Lighting Fixtures – chandeliers, can lights, mirror lights, pendant lights, light switches, etc.
  • Cabinet Hardware – don’t select something boring, be bold! There is so much to choose from.
Picture on left shows hardware for cabinets, middle picture shows blue light fixtures and right picture shows faucet handles with running water

Your exterior selections are a lot simpler because you are dealing with only a few options – shingle color and material, paint color(s) for houses and shutters, stone, or brick accents, stamped concrete options, light fixtures, etc.

Making your selections is a process that can be overwhelming; however, if you take a step-by-step approach to it, you will minimize your stress levels significantly. One must remember that this is probably the last and perhaps only home you will ever customize precisely to your liking, and what you select is a true reflection of you, so take your time, have fun, and enjoy the process!

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