Category Archives: Selling/Buying A House

Building my Own Home: Decisions, Decisions!

I’m excited to finally update you on the process of building my home!  When I wrote the first post, I should have known how busy things were about to get – between finishing the home, moving, two trips to the beach, and one to the mountains, it has been a busy few months. Without further adieu, check out inspiration for my selections below!  (If you missed the first post in this series, click here to read about the begining of the process.)

Once we were under contract, it was time to jump in and select cabinetry, plumbing, tile and countertops, lighting, and paint colors!  I was excited and immediately began looking into all the options.  I think anyone who has built a home can tell you that this can be really overwhelming.  There’s so much out there!  But in the end, the time and energy spent with selections was completely worth it.  There’s no way we could have a found a house that fit us so well, and I love that I can focus on furniture and accessories instead of renovations. 

For the exterior, I’d always loved the color of this house in Boylan Heights so it was an easy decision to go with gray for the siding.  I selected Dovetail 7018 by Sherwin Williams and to add a little color, we had the porch ceiling painted Tradewind 6218 (in keeping with haint blue ceilings found on southern porches).  Although I love front doors that are painted a bold color, the natural feel of the stone and gray paint color called for something more natural, like a medium brown stain.     

For the overall feel of the interior, I went for a modern bungalow style.  Five panel doors are traditionally used in older bungalows, and I selected flat panel doors for a clean look.  Modern lever hardware from Baldwin adds a nice feel to the doors as well.  For the staircase and fireplace design, I wanted something simple that wouldn’t stray too far from the character that I love in arts and crafts homes. 

Flat panel, shaker style cabinet doors keep with the feel of the home while the dark finish makes it contemporary.  Light counter tops and tile backsplash will balance out the dark cabinets. 

While I was gathering inspiration, Pinterest became incredibly helpful!  It was the perfect place to keep track of different options and to find existing spaces that captured the feel I was going for.  If you’re considering building a house, consider hiring an interior designer.  Having someone who has been through the process before and who can help with decisions is invaluable!  Designers help you take your inspiration and make it a reality.   Check back on Monday for a look into the tile selection process, and after that I’ll share the finished result. 

- Lauren

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Building my Own Home: An Interior Designer’s Perspective

I’m currently in the midst of building a home, and I’d like to give you an inside look into the process!  While I have helped many clients through new construction and remodels, I didn’t know for sure that I would go down this route.  My husband and I kept our eyes on the market for a while – with the current climate there are supposed to be great deals, but even so we weren’t finding exactly what we were looking for.  Many homes required more work than we wanted to put in them – or even if they were nice, they just weren’t exactly us.  Then we came across this:

Beautiful right??  It was actually even more bare when I first saw it – just a cleared lot.  It happened to be right in the location we were hoping to buy a home, and it had so many things on our wish list (open floor plan, garage, screened-in porch, bonus room, large yard, first floor master, bungalow style, hardwood floors, etc)!  We studied the plans, looked at several other homes that the custom builder (Empire Contractors) recently completed and put in an offer with the builder’s agent, Joe Alercia

First, there were several changes to the plans.  The bonus room got larger to match the size of the garage below, the laundry closet became a laundry room that opens off a hallway instead of the dining area, and the deck became a screened-in porch with a separate patio. 

Before long, it began to look more like a house.

And then it was time to make selections!  Although I was really excited about this part of the process, it was also a bit overwhelming – there was a lot to decide on and fast!  I’ll share more details about some of the decisions we made next week. 

– Lauren

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Looking at a Blank Canvas? Design Lines Top 5 Tips on Tackling Your Home Project

So you have just bought a house or a condo and you don’t know where to begin. It is a huge house or a really small space. How am I going to fit everything! Your stress is rising and you feel overwhelmed. AHH!

We got you covered.


Here are a couple of suggestions the designers at Design Lines recommend doing with your blank canvas (i.e. your house).


1. Make a list of what love and then all the challenges with the space. Think of everything good and bad. Every detail. If you are living with a significant other, have them do a list too, that way you both can offer suggestions and compare your list.

 chalkboardMeet the Ritchies copy


2.  Now from the list circle a few items that can be accomplished immediately or within a week or two. Tackle small items first.


One example might be painting a wall, changing out all the kitchen cabinet hardware, or going through a few boxes that are still in the hallway. Whatever it is just do it, don’t worry about time.


3. No matter what the items you have decided to tackle on the list, you are bound to throw something out, right? Before you do though ask yourself can this be donated? Create 3 piles –throw out, donate and keep. This will help in your organizing efforts. Keep what means the most to you!


Design Lines Interior Design


4. Remember start with one room at a time. If it helps, purchase some crafty organizer boxes, the Container Store  has some fabulous ones. My favorites are the natural linen looking boxes.


Design Lines Interior Design Firm Raleigh NC Organizing


5. Find a starter piece that will inspire you to decorate and finish the room. This might be a piece of art, vibrant throw pillows or even an heirloom piece of furniture. For example, the picture below is a fine art photograph from artist Marc Montocchio.  This photograph works great as inspiration for a man’s room or even a screened porch area. The masculine chair is also another piece that could work in a man’s study or sun-room.

Design Lines Interior Design Room Inspiration

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Spruce Up Before You Sell Your House


Earlier this fall, Design Lines was asked by Triangle Blvd and  Howard, Perry & Walston to give some simple design tips on how to spruce up your house for the big sale. Molly and Lauren made their debut as tip experts!


To see more videos head to Triangle Blvd.tv and click on the real estate channel. Below you will find the list of tips given by Molly and Lauren.

Tip 1. Organize, Organize, Organize
People want to walk into a space that is clean, uncluttered, and organized. You can get there by:

· Take a serious look at your closets, especially your master closet, linen and pantry closets.

·Organize, get rid of things you haven’t used or never will, add a closet system (easyclosets.com or the local home improvement store)

· Clean the garage so it looks like cars will actually fit. Organize the tools, bikes, toys, garden equipment and golf clubs. Perimeter storage would go a long way in helping to sell the house. Be sure the walls and garage floor are clean.

· Organize the kid-room clutter. Put the toys away and neatly display collections.

Tip 2. Lighting is key
Whether natural or artificial, providing pleasing light levels for each room is key.

· Be sure to have the right wattage in all fixtures and lamps, install dimmers on key important fixtures. Check for missing bulbs.

· Remove dark or heavy window treatments…simple blinds are sometimes better than cumbersome drapery.

· Update table and floor lamps with new shades.

Tip 3. Paint and Finishes
Nothing creates an emotive reaction more than color. You want that reaction to be positive. Here is how:

· Neutralize and lighten your wall colors. Some favorites or ours are SW Accessible Beige and BM Natural Cream, Pale Oak and Tapestry Beige.

· Remove dated wallpaper and borders…borders tend to make a ceiling look lower and they are outdated.

· The exterior is as important and the interior. Check your front door…could it look good painted a bright color maybe red? Or does black seem to be just the right color. One we use is SW Tri-Corn Black. This may lead to a face lift on the shutters too.

· New exterior light fixtures and visible house numbers will also add to the curb appeal of your home.

· You can update that shinny brass dining room fixture with a can of black spray paint! Desirable (sellable) finishes are: satin or patina brass, bronze, and silver tones.

· Another easy finish update is cabinet hardware. Be aware of the plumbing finishes if you are not changing those but new cabinet hardware can give your whole kitchen or bath a face life.

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