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Making Home Design Selections

Your needs. Your style. Inside and out.


Your home is more than a dwelling. It's an expression of who you are and what you value. Designing a custom home is a very personal endeavor. It's easy to get caught up in the fine details and lose focus on how you spend your time day-to-day and how that affects the design elements you select.

Here's a general framework for approaching your home design selections, from floor plans to architectural features, to interior detail elements.

Tips for selecting a floor plan for your lifestyle

The first thing to think about when starting to design your home is the type of floor plan that will best suit the way you live. On the surface, floor plans look like simple boxes on a page. But your home's floor plan will dictate how your family will move around in the space: which traffic areas move more quickly and which invite people to slow down, pause, relax. Your floor plan will indicate where you want people to gather and where you want to create spaces for quiet reflection or focused productivity. In short, it's how you want your house to function.

Drees Homes offers many flexible floor plans. When selecting one to work with your lifestyle, consider:

  • Do you prefer formal or informal spaces - or a balance of both?
  • Is your entertaining more family-style, cocktail party, or in between?
  • What balance do you want to strike between gathering spaces and private sanctuaries?
  • Do you plan to use areas of your home for work or study?
  • Will you need spaces to store outdoor clothes or book-bags? Will you need an easy-to-clean entry point for children or pets?
  • How many family members will be sharing bathrooms? Which will be primarily functional, which might serve as relaxing refuges away from the world?
  • How do you envision using outdoor spaces? Al fresco dining? An extension of your living room? A place for children to play?

Some floor plans are available on our Drees interactive floor plan tool. Ready to play?

How will your home's design features reflect your personal style?

After selecting a floor plan, it's time to start thinking about design amenities. It's easy to dive into the details, starting with the smallest (sometimes most fun!) design choices first. And it's equally easy to find yourself in a bit of a creative loop, agonizing over individual elements before you've thought about how they integrate into the whole.

Here's a creative, step by step approach to thinking about your new home's features in terms of both your lifestyle and aesthetic.

Exterior features: What does "curb appeal" mean to you?

Styles of homes often follow general design patterns. For instance, many Colonial style homes incorporate porches and columns into their designs. Arts and Crafts homes generally have stone foundations. Cape Cod homes are designed to blend into their surroundings, whereas homes built in the Georgian or Southern Plantation styles are meant to stand out from the landscape.

Drees Homes offers a variety of architectural styles to suit many tastes. Here are a few questions to help you start thinking about what "curb appeal" means to you:

  • Do you envision your entryway as a place to sit on a porch swing and relax with neighbors or as a stately space for welcoming guests?
  • Do you prefer your home to blend with its surroundings or stand out from them?
  • What kind of external materials suit your style? Brick? Stone? Siding? Other materials suited to your region? A combination of materials?

A variety of home elevation styles are available in our Drees communities.

Interior features:

From paint colors to tile designs; from bathroom fixtures to light fixtures; from flooring to ceilings; and everything else (including the kitchen sink): There are so many exciting interior design choices for making your custom built home truly yours!

Think of your architectural style choice as your canvas. Now it's time to add the details that turn your home into your very own living work of art. When selecting design features, though, it's best to start with broad strokes, such as:

  • How would you define your furniture style? Traditional? Modern? Eclectic? Ethnically-inspired?
  • What kind of mood do you wish to create in each room?
  • How will lighting and color affect the kinds of activities you'll do in each room?
  • Will your possessions become part of your home's design, requiring more open storage, or will your storage spaces keep your possessions out of view?
  • How does technology integrate into your life? What kinds of technology will you need (or want) in different areas of your home?
  • How does your family spend time together? What kinds of indoor activities do you and your family engage in? What features will encourage spending time together for your family?

Excited about bathroom fixtures? We are, too. Learn more at our Design Centers.

Need a little help honing your vision? We can help provide perspectives - with photos. Visit our blog's Style section.

How much home customization is right for you?

Having so many possibilities available to you might feel overwhelming. We strive to make the process of creating your custom built home easy and enjoyable. Drees Design Centers offer you a place to explore many options for interior and exterior features. Our Design Center Consultants are there to help you find and select customizations that are right for your style and budget.

Learn more about our Drees Design Centers.