Interior Design for New Construction Homes


New Construction

Building a new house is a great way to create the home of your dreams, and it’s an incredibly exciting process. But a completed house is far from move-in-ready, and there are still thousands of design decisions to be made.

Whether your new construction home is custom-built by an architect, or constructed based on pre-existing designs, working with an interior designer from day one ensures your home will be everything you imagine while saving you endless time and trouble. Integrating interior design during the construction process is an investment in your home and is worth every penny.

What Is the Role of an Interior Designer During New Construction?

Before defining the role of the interior designer, it is helpful to define the architect’s role.

Whether the new construction process is residential or for a commercial or office space, an architect designs the interior and exterior spaces of a building, creating the overall volume and structure and determining the placement of essential pieces like walls, windows, doors, and stairs. Architects also determine the placement of critical fixtures like lights and switches, heating ducts and vents, plumbing elements, and other structural elements. Architects always work with clients to create a design that works for their preferences and lifestyle and consider how each space will be used.

Architects will typically work with their clients during basic material choices, discussing design choices like flooring, paint and wall treatments, furnishings, etc. During the new construction interior design process, they will create detailed floor plans that include the scale and placement of major interior decor pieces, and they will often have recommendations for the style and selection of those pieces.

That said, architects are not specialists in interior design. While flooring and furnishings are important aspects of interior design, it’s not the entire picture. An architect will not consider where best to keep your heirloom sideboard, showcase your vinyl collection, or store your dog toys. The architect’s interior design will be minimal and impersonal and still leave you with a thousand design decisions to make. That’s the role of the interior designer.

How Do Interior Designers Collaborate with Architects and Builders?

On a typical residential new construction project, the interior designer is the collaborator and go-between for the architect, the client, and the builder and construction crew.

Let’s take something simple like a kitchen island. The architect will design the size, scale, functions, and placement of the island. They will indicate whether it has power, plumbing, or ventilation and where these elements are placed. They will also usually recommend color choices, and materials for the sink, faucet, countertop, and other fixtures, keeping the client’s budget in mind.

So the builder may know that they are tasked with building an island with cabinets, a marble top, and a farmhouse sink, for example. The builder and construction crew will still need the client to compare and choose one specific countertop, specific sink, specific faucet, specific cabinet doors and drawer pulls, specific light fixtures, etc. Without an interior designer and a detailed design plan, a client may choose elements that don’t go together or work for the space or may simply become overwhelmed with choices and lose sight of the overall project (to say nothing of the budget).

An interior designer will have anticipated all these decisions and will have already worked with the client to make these choices in a way that fits the overall style of the home, the client’s needs and objectives, and the project scale and budget. An interior designer may also collaborate with the architect, for example, to find room for a much-needed wine refrigerator on the kitchen island.

Successful interior design for new construction homes means making design decisions ahead of time, in consultation with an interior designer who understands your goals, so your new construction proceeds with less stress, easier communication, and great results.

Designing for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability

At J.Fisher, we are passionate about great design that protects the environment. While there are fantastic options for sustainable choices during a home remodel, new construction interior design is a fantastic opportunity to incorporate the latest eco-friendly and energy-saving materials and technologies.

Interior design for new construction homes can include advanced insulation in walls and windows, renewable technologies like solar panels, and smart meters to track energy usage.

While many of these environmental impact factors will be determined by the architect during the design process, we can advocate for green building practices throughout the process and help our clients make sustainable choices in every aspect of their interior design.

What are Some Typical Obstacles in New Construction Interior Design Projects?

Even the best-planned new construction projects have setbacks. Over the years, we have noticed that some obstacles are more common than others in residential interior design.

  • With so many different people and elements involved, a delay is inevitable. Whether a necessary item is back-ordered, a crucial step takes longer than expected, or the weather is uncooperative, new construction interior design projects are subject to small delays that cascade into bigger ones.
  • There can never be too much communication. If one person misunderstands a drawing or installs something incorrectly, it can affect the whole rest of the team and the project.
  • Scope creep. It can be extremely difficult to avoid small increases in time and cost that can add up to big scope creep. As construction progresses, it’s all too easy to have new ideas and make minor changes and adjustments to the design plan or find the perfect lighting fixture (then faucet, then paint color) that is just a bit over budget. Each decision makes sense at the moment, but collectively, along with the inevitable overages due to ordinary delays and setbacks, it can be a challenge to deliver a new construction project within the original budget.

How Can J.Fisher Help?

At J.Fisher, we approach new construction projects with a collaborative mindset, partnering with your architect to create the best space for your needs and lifestyle. We know that every new construction project is unique, so we collaborate and assist from concept to completion in floor plan creation, finish selections, coloration, plumbing fixtures, custom furniture, built-ins, and lighting fixtures.

We’ll be with you every step of the way, including assisting in equipment purchasing and procurement, shipping, tracking, and of course the final installation. For more information about how we can help realize your new construction dream home, contact us or schedule a virtual consultation today.

Interior Design Consultation

J.Fisher Interiors’ studio is located in east Austin. To schedule your consultation appointment, please fill out the contact form or call us at 512.954.0904. We would love to hear from you!