Designing your dream home

After designing interiors for more than 15 years, I want to discuss what is involved in gathering inspiration and ideas for your dream home. I’ll focus on three main areas: finding inspiration, designing and building.

Finding inspiration:
1. Inspiration can be found everywhere – in sights, sounds and even scents. For example:
Flower arrangements are a great source of ideas for me. When I look at them I see colour schemes.
Here’s a tool to help you get a personalized colour palette.
2. Jot down your ideas wherever you are. This way you’re sure not to forget them overnight.
more ideas via

3. Creat your own mood board with all your ideas. Use clippings from magazines, photos, memories from places you like and your favourite colours.

4. Great design doesn’t have to be big. Small can be interesting too. {here}

5. Talk to an architect as soon as you can to help you translate your dream into reality and your ideas into a viable construction project. They can also study the proposed site, help secure planning and zoning approvals, help you work out financing and offer a variety of other pre-design services.

6. Discuss with an interior designer how to best utilize your interior space and get the look that suits your lifestyle.


7. One last thing: find a builder who can build your dream home to your specifications, not his.

I’ve left a lot of details out, each of them stressful in its own way. For example: regulatory requirements, selecting materials, scheduling and financing, dealing with traders, keeping your eye on every detail, tracking progress, panicking, checking everything, letting it go, knowing when to stop, sourcing, styling, solving problems, and patience … the list continues. The level of stress will vary with each project.

But it will all be worth it when you step over the threshold of your dream home.

I've been keeping my eye out for a loft in the city and continue to be fascinated with loft living for my very own dream home. I want one like {this}

What is your dream home?
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Exquisite Accessories said...

oh great tips I need to get craking on building my house but still undecided what style there ae sooooo many I love. I do love the use of woods though & a country feel the kitchen has to be a country kitchen I am going to get all my drwaings out now thanks for the motivation. :)

sonia said...

Thanks for sharing the tips, I love the industrial feel and loft-style too.

sinnlighet said...

Yes yes yes, I like your nice & lovely blog, and leave a swedish footprint after me...

Regards from Agneta in Sweden

Sasha said...

This post has some great ideas. I am looking to redo my office/ meditation area. I like the idea of creating a board with material and fabrics. Thanks.

Suki@Fantabulous Design said...

Hi Sasha, if you need some help, email me your questions for free styling and I'll answer it in "STYLE CANVAS". It'd be my pleasure to work with you :)

Tanya said...

I never thought of looking at flowers as inspiration for a color scheme but it is brilliant! This will come in handy someday when I have my own home. :) Thanks for the inspiration today.

Suki@Fantabulous Design said...

Tanya, you can apply this inspiration for a new look in one of your room. Or just want to have a bit of fun and a splash of colour in your life :)

Heather Lentz said...

I love the examples you showed here. A dream home is truly up to the person doing the dreaming. Each can be as individual as a fingerprint.
My husband and I built ours 10 years ago. It was a huge challenge and we learned a lot along the way. Our marriage survived through it all, so that says something.
Now it is getting to the point that it is too big for us. Our kids are growing up and moving out. It will be a shame to let it go, but our taste and family size has changed. Maybe if my new business works as well as I plan we can keep it as a vacation home. ;-)

Anja said...

I love the tip to start with Flowers and derive a colour scheme from there!! I know what I like once I see it, but I have a hard time creating something (even just the vision) from scratch. This is a really good idea and thanks for providing the tools as well!

I love your dream house :)


Laurie Rosenfeld said...

Suki, these are great ways to get the creative juices flowing. I live in the Pacific Northwest (Seattle, USA) and so I am most drawn to the "modern and sustainable" home photos on your site. Although I like transitional more than modern and love natural materials and a cozy and comfortable feel. I love fabrics. I have to say that although my home is not perfect, it's close to my dream home. I don't spend a lot of time wishing for something different. However, my guilty pleasure is in dreaming up a retreat space. I started doodling in a journal about this (even drawing out floorplans) a few years ago. Who knows, if I create a mood board and keep envisioning it, I just might manifest it! Thanks for the inspiration and the reminder. :)

Emelie Rota said...

mmmm all the delicious dream homes... love your mood board example and your simple 7 steps. I'm sure there is much more to the process, but you've made it seem like such a realistic goal to design and build a dream home! =)

My dream home is a passive solar craftsman-styled beach bungalow.. facing south with an entire wall of glass opening to the back yard.

kp said...

WonderFULL! I often look at the combinations of the plants and flower, their hues and textures and think of decorating my home with them. Its a wonderful way to excite the imagination and infuse one's home with a natural beauty.

My dream home would be a TREE HOUSE! I have seen some exquisite ones! It would be for my studio, though I could definitely live there if large enough to house me and my lover!

Thanks for the post, Suki!

Loralee said...

My dream home is very similar to your loft living, but it wouldn't be mine... I'd just be staying there for a while. I love, love the clean lines and simplicity you describe. And then again, sometimes I crave the 'home-i-ness' of a country cottage. And like KP above, living in a Tree House would be SO cool! Maybe some day! Thanks for letting the dreamer in me come out to play today Suki! I look forward to your next post. ~ Loralee

Alara Castell said...

Such inspiration in this post! Love all the photos and using things like flowers to inspire. I'm very attracted to color so I know I'll be adding more color to my office space. Thanks for the inspiration.


sheila said...

Great ideas, Suki! I particularly like jotting notes wherever inspiration strikes. I was so pleased to see that my son carries a small notepad with him wherever he goes for that very reason. Makes a mama proud!

Jenny Shih said...

Last summer, over the course of many morning runs, I slowly was "given" the design for my dream house. It was such a fun experience. I eventually got the entire thing and drew it out so I wouldn't forget. No actual plans to make it happen (it's a big house!), but some day it will be ours, I'm certain.

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