Haute Design With Warren Sheets: Where to Start, When Designing Your Dream Home

Ever fantasize about your Dream Home? Do you wonder what it would look like, or what “style” it would be? More importantly, where and how would you begin the design and planning process? How would you make your dream home come true?

The other day, I was visiting a friend, and in our conversation it was mentioned that he and his wife were planning to build a new home. This came as a surprise to me, as they had told me more than once, that they had no intentions of building a new home, at least not for a very long time.

I asked them about the style of home they were envisioning, and they seemed somewhat uncertain.  Sound familiar?

Apparently, they hadn’t given it a great deal of thought up to that point.  Not surprisingly, when people have no idea of what they want, the design process becomes much more involved, and can often take much longer. When clients come to us prepared, armed with a collection of their ideas, thoughts and preferences, it simplifies and streamlines the entire process.

Collected ideas are even more valuable if they are presented in an organized format. So whether you plan to build a new home, hope to move from your existing house to a new home, or simply plan to redecorate a couple of rooms in your present home, begin by creating your own personal “design book.”

A book of your ideas and/or “wish list” can be as simple or organized as you want it to be. And if you don’t have the time to organize it now, that’s okay. Putting your ideas into a more orderly format can happen down the road.

As you flip through magazines and see something you might like to have in your home one day, just cut or tear out the photo and add it to your idea book.  Feel free to jot down a few notes beside the photo or article, if you like.

It’s optimum if you can take a bit of time and create sections within the book. For example, I have created sections for each of the different rooms in my dream home – Entry, Great Room, Lounge, Kitchen, Powder Bath, Hobby Room, Master Suite and VIP Guest Bedroom. You, of course, may have others.

But what if you have two or three different styles you like, as I do? I happen to like Traditional Farmhouse for my dream home in the south of France, and Contemporary Regency for my dream penthouse in New York – a juxtaposition of styles using both French Regency and clean-line Contemporary, with simple bright primary colors set against a creamy off-white background, featuring Picasso and Matisse with the whimsy of Magritte thrown in.

It’s really very simple. You keep a design book for each of the different style of dream homes you are thinking about. Then, when it comes time to embark on your dream project, you can pull those books off the shelf and see what style(s) you gravitate toward the most. Maybe one or maybe all of them.

Keeping a book of design ideas will make things much easier for you and your designer, whether its now or in the future.  The saying that “A picture paints a thousand words” is solid wisdom. And to that end, many ideas can come together to make a dream home come true.

By the way, I am sending my friends a hundred or more photos this afternoon in order to help them catch up on their own design idea books. Begin your collection today!

The  president of San Francisco-based Warren Sheets Design, Inc. (WSD), Warren Sheets is an artistic and visionary interior designer known for his hands-on approach and meticulous attention to detail. He has overseen WSD for nearly 30 years, accruing a diverse portfolio of high-end residential and commercial projects located across the country. To read more design articles from Warren, click here to visit his blog.

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