You’re building a new custom Florida home with us at ICI Homes, and we’re pleased to be your partner! One of the most important things you’ll do for us (and yourself) is to select your interior design finishes and materials.

This is how you’ll individualize your new home, so it’s not something you’ll simply go through via an email link and, “check all the appropriate boxes.”Design

Nope. You’ll visit the ICI Homes Design Center and work with one of our design consultants. The design center is a bright, friendly studio environment stocked with samples of all sizes. With your consultant’s guidance, you’ll be able to select colors and textures, and place samples side-by-side for contemplation.

Here’s what you can expect: a detailed review of your floor plan, any structural changes that you’ve mandated, plus a review of basic but critical things like how many cable outlets and standard ceiling fans you’ll have.

Then you’ll do the fun stuff! Pick your interior colors, paints, countertops, cabinetry, flooring, hardware and other design elements.

Janna Pettegrew, one of our design center consultants, offers a few suggestions for how to prepare for your design sessions.

Bring examples of what you like

And of what you don’t like, if you prefer. That helps, too.

“A good thing I tell people is bring a photo,” Pettegrew says. “That way you’re not trying to explain it to me.”

Pettegrew and her co-workers are happy to listen, but let’s be real — inexact explanations followed by impromptu phone or tablet searches, just waste time. It’s much better to download photo or website links that contain exactly what you want your consultant to see.

“If they have Pinterest and they have a board that they’ve pinned, it’s helpful because I look for consistencies,” Pettegrew says of the process of aiding a sensory-overloaded customer. “A lot of times it’s, ‘I don’t know, I just like this.’ They don’t know they’re picking the same things.”

Of course you can print your illustrative examples, or rip pages from magazines and bring them. Visual examples also are handy if you request a finish or material that the design center doesn’t stock.

“Photos eliminate all of that,” Pettegrew says. “Photos are fantastic. Then we can send it to purchasing and say, ‘This is what they want.’ Then we can price it.”

Consider how you’ll use your home

You should know these before you arrive for your appointment. How do you and your household live in your current home? How do you use it? What aspects of your new home do you want to spotlight? Bigger living areas? A showstopper kitchen? Granite countertops, or a spa-like, walk-in shower — finally?

“Especially if they entertain, a lot of times the kitchen is going to be every important to them,” Pettegrew says.

Just don’t forget that you may not live in your new home forever. We know that’s kind of funky to think about when our crews on the cusp of construction, but you’ll want to be able to sell your home in case of job transfers, retirement or lifestyle changes. So heed this advice (and eschew purple laminate countertops):

‘The kitchen and master bathroom are the two areas that will sell a home,” Petteway says. “The kitchen and master bath are the places where you want to put the most money.”

Got it? Now you’re ready to design!

Seeking a new custom Florida home? Talk to ICI Homes here.