Design Center Options

Today I am happy to share a few picks for the new house. The initial design process was a lot more intense than I thought it was going to be and required some major vision. This was mostly due to the fact that the base price of the house was over our initial budget, so keeping upgrades to a minimum was priority over design decisions.

I was losing sleep worrying if I had made the right choices, knowing how expensive and wasteful it would be to change them. But now the dust has settled on the decisions, I am hopeful it will all work out.

Here are the choices we made:

External Color Scheme:

By no surprise I wanted our house to be white, but the builder didn’t like the idea as they are hoping for a ‘colorful’ community. I stretched as far as I could with a gray/taupe combo.

We drove to a different community where the builder has built a house similar to what ours will look like to check it out:

I am happy with the neutral color, as it makes the white trim stand out and think it might actually look better than all white. What do you think?

Interior Paint

Two-tone paint is a standard feature with our builder. One color on the walls and ceilings, and another on the trim work. Not a hard decision right? Wrong! At least for me…

I really wanted a subtle taupe or cream on the walls, especially because we won’t have a lot of furnishings when we first move in, and color can really cozy things up. However, I also wanted our ceilings white, which would cost 2k to have 3-tone paint. Reluctantly, I chose one-tone, white all-over to save my white ceilings. How do you feel about this? It seems most people don’t mind having color on their ceilings?

The house will be white and bare at first, but white rooms are always my fave, and in time I’m sure we’ll get it looking right.

image source unknown


White kitchens are all the rage and my absolute favorite, but white was not an option, just a yellowish-cream that was a big upgrade. So, we took the opposite approach, with a “Java”dark brown cabinet. This is a little concerning as there is not a window in the kitchen, so we countered the dark with the lightest granite available and added lots of lighting to light the area as much as possible…keeping my fingers crossed it won’t be a dungeon and instead will be fabulously chic like this:


Brad and I agreed that flooring was something we needed to upgrade. We upgraded the carpet, and changed tile to laminate flooring on the main level. Unfortunately there were only five flooring samples to choose from, and of course I didn’t care for any of them. Four of them were too orange or yellow next to the dark cabinets, and one was pale and rustic. I needed something light to counter the dark cabinets so we went with it..enter rustic farmhouse into the style equation. Here is the floor choice next to a cabinet door and granite sample:

On a large scale, I’m hoping the floor will look something like this:

Hopefully the house will turn out to be a unique blend of craftsman, traditional and farmhouse chic…ha, we’ll see how that goes. We are so excited for building to start next week!

Many thanks to my Boxwood design team (Brad, Sarah and Mum), and the architects and design team at Holmes for letting me change the blueprints!

6 Responses to “Design Center Options”

  1. rebecca dowdle Says:

    we just bought a house and I am so frustrated they have cream ceilings! What is up with that! I JUST finished painting all our ceilings in our last house white as well and it was quite the job. I have to have white ceilings. Love the house by the way! it will be beautiful!

  2. Terri Says:

    The white walls can be painted without a lot of expense, and when you have lived with them for a while and KNOW exactly which color to choose………………I think you made the right decision, the ceiling is the hardest area to paint, now they will all be done and ready for you color choices on the wallls, smart!

  3. Sarah Says:

    Eeeeeeeek I’m getting so excited to see all your decisions come to reality. I’m way confident you made the best choices and chello I’ve never seen anyone stick on budget in a design center as you did, great job! x

  4. Kimberly Says:

    Love the kitchen picture but see why you’re anxious it see the final result. Those small sample tiles are hard to envision with. I was nervous too when I picked my granite.

  5. Bri Says:

    It will be beautiful! So excited and happy for you both! Great decision on white ceiling. I don’t get the whole colored ceiling thing. The kitchen will look rich and classic! I LOVE the floor. It will be gorgeous Em. Job well done!

  6. Michelle Thompson Says:

    Hello! My husband and I just bought our first house and are picking out paint colors. I was in Google Images searching for other houses as examples of the exterior paint color we are looking at and stumbled across your house. Do you mind telling me what exterior paint color you used? We are looking at Sherwin Williams – Essential Gray. We thought it would really make the white trim pop like you mentioned as well. I am just nervous though because I always imagined the house to be a very light white/gray. I think your house looks absolutely beautiful though so it is making me less nervous! :) I appreciate the help!! Thank you!