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5 Elements of Home Design

Westmoreland custom homesMaybe you know that you want to build a new custom home, but have no idea where to start. You don’t have to be a trained architect or interior designer to understand some basic design principals that will help you make layout and materials decisions for your home project. Hiring a great builder, of course, will make a huge difference in how you approach and understand your design decisions. We always work very closely with our clients, communicate their options every step of the way, and make sure their design decisions are the best ones for their lifestyle and budget.

Here are five basic design principles that come into play when you are working on a new home project.


In the context of home construction, lines are everything.  Whether on graph paper or a computer screen, lines show the scale, square footage and layout of your home and its many systems. You builder can help you to decipher the specifics of your chosen floor plan and show you how rearranging walls, doorways or other elements of the space can translate into better day-to-day living for your family, depending on your needs. You should also pay attention to invisible sight lines as part of your design — determining the focal point of different rooms and what you want to see from various vantage points. 


Designers and architects seem to agree that the more natural light you allow into a home, the better. Situating your new home to take advantage of natural light can cut energy usage, boost your mood during the winter months, and give you the chance to see some great sunrises or sunsets from your kitchen or great room. Adding or relocating windows in your home design can made a big difference in both the feel of your home and the type of views from inside.


Shapes add interest to the exterior or interior of a home. We traditionally think in terms of squares and rectangles when it comes to a home project: Think of your childhood building blocks. Depending on your personal style, you can choose to add visual interest with palladium style windows or a curved front walkway. Interiors staircases are a great place to play with shape to add some drama to your home. Overall, pay attention to how the shape of each rooms works with large furniture, windows and doorways, and other shapes in your floor plan. 


Color is one design element that most everyone understands, even if they don’t quite understand why. For a custom home project, color comes into play when you choose the exterior materials of your home as well as the interior paint colors and other materials, like woodwork and appliances. Since color can be brought onto a room in so many other ways — artwork, window treatments, furniture, etc. — many designers recommend a simple, toned-down palette for the larger, common areas of a home. In the end, you need to be true to what colors you like, and pick the paint colors that make you happy.


As a design element, texture plays a starring role in Craftsman architecture and its love of organic materials like cedar shakes and stone. Our Modern Craftsman designs also play up exterior and interior texture with a mix of natural wood, stone, and the clean lines of painted woodwork. Think about bringing in different textures to balance a room — offset crisp white cabinets with warm wood tones in the kitchen island or other furniture, and balance metal railings or other elements with softer, organic materials.

We love home design, and we would love to talk you about your design ideas for a new custom home. Contact us to set up an appointment!