How to Prepare For a Visit to the Home Design Studio

Blog How to Prepare For a Visit to the Home Design Studio

So you've made the  decision to invest in a new construction home -- congratulations! You've been building your dream home through Pinterest and HGTV for years, and now it's time to turn those dreams into reality.

When you're ready, most private homebuilders will have a designated design studio for you to visit to help solidify your vision.

With all of the possibilities and decisions you have to make, this can be overwhelming. Here are some ways to prepare in order to make the most out of this experience.

Have a Clear List of Must-Haves

It's easy to get inundated with ideas as you're planning your dream home. This often means categorizing "wants" and "needs", which can leave you overwhelmed and over budget.

Before you visit the design studio, make a list of the must-haves that you need in your new home. This might include upgraded backsplash, specific flooring, or extra cabinetry. 

Then make a separate list that includes all of your nice-to-have features. These are amenities that you'd prefer to have if possible but aren't necessarily deal-breakers. This might include special light fixtures, granite countertops, or an ensuite owner's bath.

Your design consultants will help you analyze floor plans to determine if and where each feature will fit.

Create a Mood Board

Next, it's time to think about the overall vision you have for your home. What colors, patterns and styles speak to you the most? It can be hard to start completely from scratch, so use the many resources at your fingertips.

In addition to books and magazines, use digital tools to help curate your mood board, such as online room galleries. More specifically, use your chosen homebuilder's gallery so you can browse real rooms designed by their team. This will help you (and your homebuilder) get a better idea of your personal style preferences.

Other online tools to help you gather ideas include Pinterest, Instagram, Houzz and Facebook. Save what you like, and bring your computer with you to the design studio. In fact, bring anything that could help your consultants understand your vision. This includes paint color chips, tile samples, fabric swatches and wallpaper samples. Organize everything by room so it's easier to sort and explain. 

Tour Model Homes

While photos can help you clarify your likes and dislikes, there's nothing like seeing a space in person. If possible, try to schedule a tour of your builder's model homes before your design consultation. 

This is a great way to get a feel of your likes and dislikes when it comes to options you can choose in the Design Studio. Take notes and pictures as you walk around so you can refer back to them later or show your consultant at the Design Studio. 

Determine a Reasonable Budget

You don't want to spend the first hour of your design meeting chipping away at your must-haves list because it's not in line with what you expected to spend. 

When you decide to begin the homebuilding process, one of your first steps should be calculating a realistic budget. If you're working with a lender, they can help you understand how much you can comfortably take on. Most builders can put you in touch with their mortgage partners to help you pre-qualify and apply for a home loan.

As you crunch the numbers, remember to consider your monthly income and expenses to ensure you're able to make your payments down the road.

Decide Who Will Attend

Finally, you'll need to decide who will attend the appointment. While it's tempting to invite relatives and close friends, remember who is ultimately responsible for financing your home. 

It's perfectly fine to bounce ideas off your loved ones and listen to their opinions. But it's easy to get saturated with the advice of others and forget what you truly want or need. If possible, only those who will be directly involved in the project should attend the design consultation.


Building a home should be an exciting milestone -- seeing your vision come to life should be fun! A visit to your home builder's design studio can help you nail down the look and style that you love so you have more clarity moving forward. 

Are you looking to build the home of your dreams?

At Gehan Homes, we believe happiness starts at home, and we’re here to help you find the perfect house for you and your family. Fill out the form below today, and we'll get started.

Let's Help You Find the Perfect Home!

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