I’ve designed more homes than I can count in the last ten years. As an interior designer, I’m usually consumed with the needs and desires of my clients. While I don’t mind that one bit, creating a dream home, MY dream home, is different! I can be completely guided by my own preferences, and when the world is your oyster, nothing can take the joy out of design! If you’re ready to create YOUR dream home, I have a few helpful tips to keep in mind.

Expand Your Style Selections

Here’s the first revelation you should have about your dream home, and it should drive every decision you make: this is YOUR home. The ideas about YOUR dream home should come from YOUR DREAMS! What’s more, whatever style you have or had in past homes doesn’t necessarily need to show up in your new space. You really are starting with a blank canvas!

When I started designing my dream beach home, I’m sure I shocked a few people with many of my layout choices throughout the space. My guess is because I made some unique decisions regarding the layout and decor. I love my “modern, approachable luxury” style that includes some signature style elements people recognize by now. However, that doesn’t mean I am bound by those style choices. Just because I love clean, contemporary design doesn’t mean I have to use that in every project. Quite the opposite. For my new dream home, I’m actually incorporating some boho chic elements in the rooftop area. I might even decide to incorporate some influences from my travels to Ibiza in other areas. It will all be cohesive and maintain my modern, approachable luxury aesthetic. Whatever you choose, remember that your dream home should be a chance to express your own personal design style.

Design Norms? No Such Thing!

I’m asked all the time what design trends people should look forward to. I love trends, and I think it’s interesting to consider what’s on the horizon. But when you’re creating your dream home, you don’t have to follow what the experts suggest. It doesn’t have to meet the standards of anyone else. There are no rules that say you’ll be penalized somehow if you don’t.


That being said, throw out all the so-called design norms that many people adhere to. We as a society are quick to conform to certain ideas just because they’ve always been done that way. I chose to break the mold with my new home project. I didn’t buy into the notion that a bedroom has to look a certain way, or that bathrooms have to include certain elements. My kitchen will have two separate sink areas. I also decided to put a washer and dryer in my boys’ bathroom, along with some other eccentric elements. As a matter of fact, I designed my kitchen with no upper cabinets. But here’s the thing: I have very specific reasons for these design decisions, and I’m not concerned about what others think about these choices.

I learned a while ago to think about home design like the latest fashion. What’s on the runways in Milan and Paris sets the stage for what you see in retail stores. But you don’t have to go buy those things if your preferences differ. You have the option to select clothing that makes you feel good in your skin. Our homes are just as much an expression of who we are, what we like visually, and how we want to feel. “Normal” is however you define it, nothing more, nothing less.

Living Life Honestly

My point in suggesting you do exactly what you desire for your dream home is based solely on one thing: living life honestly. Your home should be created with the same intentionality as every other decision you make in life. It should be directed by what is best for your lifestyle and preferences at the core. Why two sinks in my kitchen? Typically the nanny is at one with my kids, and I might need to be at the other at the same time. The washer and dryer in the boys’ bathroom will help them learn to do their own laundry. These are practical for my household, though they may seem outlandish for someone else. And that’s the joy you should get when building YOUR dream home.  You get an opportunity to custom design everything and get every minute detail done to your personal liking!

Ask yourself, “How am I going to actually, honestly live in this space?” Then, design around those answers, even if that means other people won’t get the layout or design decisions. If the layout works for you, that’s what should go. So what if no one gets your purple-colored study? It wouldn’t necessarily be something I wanted in my home. However, if being in your purple study fills you with peace every time you walk into your dream home and spend time there, who’s to say you shouldn’t do it?

A Forever Dream Home

I hope everyone gets an opportunity to create a dream home replete with everything their heart desires. If you haven’t checked out the behind-the-scenes Instagram reels of my new dream beach home, you should. I’m definitely breaking traditional rules of what “home” should be, and I hope you’ll find some ideas to help you do the same for your dream home!

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