You don’t have to feel overwhelmed when choosing finishes.

As an interior designer, one of my favorite parts of the design process is sitting down with a client and helping them pick out the different finishes for their kitchen, bath, or full home remodel. Sometimes it can be like letting a kid loose into a candy store. In other instance, a client may feel a little stressed. If you’ve ever walked through a Home Depot and looked at a seemingly endless row of door knobs, you can understand how making a decision on all the different finishes of a room or a home can feel overwhelming. During a remodel, a homeowner may have to choose dozens of different finishes, including doors, molding, flooring, lighting, cabinets, countertops, appliance…and even doorknobs. The homeowner has thousands of different options to choose from in every category.

So, how can you be the happy kid in a candy store and make the right finishing decisions? Here are five tips to help you pick the perfect home remodel finishes:

1.       Start With A Plan

Your finishes don’t just exist in a void. In a well-designed home, every finish contributes to a larger design scheme. When I work with clients, the very first thing I do is get to know them, so I can get a sense of their own unique style. Am I working with a power couple that wants a sleek and simple home or a retired couple that wants something warm, welcoming, and more traditional? I call this my Lifestyle Design approach. When I “get” my clients, I can propose a plan for the home that will naturally eliminate a lot of finish choices that don’t fit who my clients are.

2.       Figure Out What You Love

The easiest way to get overwhelmed when choosing finishes for the home is to walk into your local paint, flooring, or other specialty home store with no plan. Your eyes will glaze over within five minutes of looking at hundreds of available sample. Instead, start by flipping through home remodel magazines, browsing Pinterest, checking out blogs, or even visiting the homes of your friends. Pick out finishes that you absolutely love. Do you smile every time you see the gorgeous hanging lights in your friend’s kitchen? Did you stumble across the most amazing tile backsplash on Pinterest? Keep these ideas and use them to help guide you when the time comes to pick out finishes.

3.       Create a Budget

Don’t think of a budget as something that holds you back, but rather something that can help you focus as you begin to pick out finishes. There’s no point in wasting your time looking at finishes that are out of your budget. Also, if you are having trouble choosing between several different finishes your budget can push you to find the right balance between splurging in some areas and choosing more reasonably priced finishes in others.

4.       Work with an Interior Designer

If you feel like you are drowning in choices or simply don’t have the time or patience to flip through endless catalogues, you can probably benefit from hiring a professional interior designer to assist you with articulating your vision. The job of an interior designer is to develop a deep understanding of your needs and help you develop a plan for your home or room remodel. She will then cut through all the haze to present you with a range of finish choices that fit your taste and budget. Once she’s on the scent, a good interior designer will blaze past the thousands of options that she knows aren’t right for you so she can give you with the very best options. In this scenario, the choices become much easier and less confusing for the client.

5.          Have Fun with the Process

Certain homeowners get very stressed out when it comes to picking finishes. Sure, these things will be a part of the home for a long time, but it really isn’t a matter of life and death. I try to turn this process into a fun and empowering experience for my clients. There are no right or wrong answers – just what appeals to your personal style. Every choice a client makes will transform their home just a little more into their own special paradise. That’s a really cool thing!

If you are having trouble picking out finishes for your home, from the color of paint on the walls, to the doorknob on your doors, I’d be happy to help make this process easier, more efficient, and, most importantly, fun! Contact me today.