Home is our shelter and our sanctuary.  Longing to come home to our place of respite, a place that meets our tastes and serves our needs, creates comfort and joy is a basic human desire.  Most would agree that creating a place of ‘home’ is a worthwhile endeavor.  If you are considering building a new home or taking time to renovate your home, we’ve got you covered!

We’ve assembled a list of 8 important topics to consider prior to building or renovating your home.  We hope you find this helpful!

1. Assemble a talented and collaborative team.  From the architect, builder/general contractor, landscape architect, lighting designer to interior designer, your collective team enhances the value of your build-out, helps create a cohesive design and quality build, and ultimately your team makes the process less stressful and more enjoyable for you.  You will spend a lot of time with these people, so make sure you truly enjoy each member of your team!

We believe a collaborative team creates the most successful projects.  We recommend looking for people who value collaboration and whom have strong communication skills.  If your team has never worked together, we suggest having a meeting at your home or jobsite to introduce all the members early and allow each member to understand the importance of teamwork and collaboration.  We are a collaborative studio here at Dana Foster Interiors, but we also believe collaboration begins with YOU.

2. Know your investment value.  Discuss architectural fees, construction budget, interior design fees and furnishings investment values up front with your entire team.  This includes allowing sales tax in all areas.  Be honest with your team and with yourself about what you are prepared to invest.  You may not know what your investment value is or what is should be.  That is okay.  Your team is able to provide accurate budgeting based on similar projects to yours.  Keep in mind, changing the budget mid-stream is not effective or productive for anyone involved, so a realistic budget established at the onset is best.

3. Do your research.  Know your tastes, likes and dislikes prior to your first meeting with your creative team.  Gathering a concept file for your project is a good place to start.  Pictures are worth a thousand words.  Collecting images of homes that you admire and details within the home that inspire you help your team understand your aesthetic.  If you do not know your aesthetic, your team will help you fine tune the direction of your tastes.

4. Plan a contingency budget.  We always recommend planning on a minimum 10% – 15% contingency in the construction cost and an additional 10% – 15% contingency for the design goods and services.  You may not need this extra contingency amount, but we believe it is far better to be prepared by having a financial buffer.  Despite months of planning, things still happen (i.e. product delays, back-orders, weather delays, illness, emergencies, pandemics).  We understand any delay to a project is disappointing, but if you plan to be flexible in the beginning of the project, any unplanned stressor will be easier to manage.  Having an extra financial contingency gives you a buffer and flexibility for some things that may occur during a project that neither you or your team could plan for.  This is especially true for all renovations.

5. Do not rush your decisions.  Plan ahead and plan well.  Strive to have all the architecture, interior design, and interior architectural details and specifications well planned and documented by your team prior to beginning the construction.  Early planning allows the project and your project team to run much more smoothly and effectively.

6. Quality takes time.  Do not rush the design phase or the building schedule.  Your team knows what it takes to deliver a quality product, custom details, and enduring quality.  Cutting corners is not in your best interest.  Results are not immediate or complete at the snap of a finger, despite what you may see on HGTV.  Quality does take time and is hands down worth the wait.

7. Trust your team!  We hope you hired your collective team based on their skill, talent, and reputation.  As such, let them do their job.  If you cannot visualize the details, trust that your team knows the vision, the details and understands the final product.  Your team will provide outstanding solutions, so trust their advice and judgement.

8. Budget for furnishings, artwork, window treatments, and accessories.  Provide enough funds in your home project to furnish your new home or renovation appropriately.  Maxing out your home budget to complete just the construction build-out not only leaves your new home devoid of the finishing touches and character, it also devalues the space.  Home is not truly home, if the spaces echo in the emptiness or are filled with furnishings from homes past that are too small or too large, outdated, poor quality and no character.  We would much rather see our clients build a smaller, well-built home completely furnished the right way with quality products and pieces that appropriately scaled to the home, than build a large home devoid of furniture and personality.


Your interior designer will assist you with developing a realistic furnishings budget.

We hope these tips help you when planning for a new build or renovation!  Reach out to learn how our design services will assist you with your current or future interior design projects.  We would love to hear about your project!

We are committed to uncompromising dedication to quality, integrity, and excellence.

Reach out to us for all your custom interior design needs!