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Perfect Project: A How-to Design Guide for Your Home Building Project

Perfect Project: A How-to Design Guide for Your Home Building Project

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Perfect Project: A How-to Design Guide for Your Home Building Project

253 pagine
1 ora
May 22, 2014


Perfect Project is a how-to guide for homeowners who are choosing the products and finishes for their custom home building project. Whether remodeling one room or building a new custom home, Perfect Project shows homeowners how to select every finish—plumbing fixtures, appliances, light fixtures, cabinets, countertops, tile, flooring, doors, trim, paint, stain, wallpaper, hardware, and glass—and create that high-end designer look. Discover the thought process and planning behind good design decisions for each different finish that you are selecting. Learn how to identify your personal style and create a custom home infused with your signature look.
Perfect Project is for DIY’ers who are passionate about the home design experience, who know what they like, but would appreciate just a bit of professional guidance. This book gives you the tools you need to make informed design decisions, so you don’t have to go it alone. Eliminate confusion and costly mistakes. Use Perfect Project as a reference on the construction-site or as you shop to help you make critical decisions and to pull it all together for dramatic results.
At the beginning of the book is the Perfect Project approach to making selections. Use these guidelines as they apply to every finish and decision you make. The Perfect Project approach will simplify, clarify, and demystify the selection process, and amplify your style.

The chapters that follow are arranged by finish category in the same order as the construction process, showing you step-by-step which finish selections need to be made and when. Start at the beginning and follow along with the book to keep pace with the home builder’s production schedule, and stay on top of the decision-making time line. This book takes you through the entire selection process—planning, shopping, layout, and installation—to show you how to optimize every selection, and to select the perfect finishes for every room.

Perfect Project is filled with guidelines, inside tips, and trade secrets to help you get professional design results. Create interiors that are beautiful, as well as, functional, and maximize the style potential of your home. Design the home of your dreams with Perfect Project!

May 22, 2014

Informazioni sull'autore

Melinda Miles is an award-winning designer who specializes in custom home interiors that highlight her clients’ personal styles. She brings extensive knowledge and years of experience in custom selections and sophisticated finish-out for the new construction and remodeling markets. Her design work on over 60 high-end custom home projects in Dallas has resulted in being named “Best of Houzz” for 2013 and 2014 by and three Vesta Awards from the Dallas Home Builders Association, including “Best Overall Interior Design”. Melinda is the creator of the “Design Plan” concept as seen in the Dallas Morning News, which offers fast-track expert design consultation services to do-it-yourself homeowners. She is a regular contributor to the Dallas Morning News. Her articles have been published in local magazines, including Home Improvement and Dallas Examiner. She has been a featured guest on the KLIF Talk Radio Show “Real Estate 101”. Melinda’s latest innovation is ePerfect, a web-based selection sheet accessible from a phone, tablet, or computer. This on-line tool allows homeowners and trade professionals to create a permanent record of their project selections and have this record on the go—the construction site, a showroom, home, or the office. is the first paperless technology for the residential construction industry. It makes tracking and sharing selection information easy, and it prevents costly mistakes.

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Perfect Project - Melinda Miles

Perfect Project

A How-to Design Guide for Your

Home Building Project

Copyright 2014 by Melinda Miles

Published by Melinda Miles at Smashwords

Smashwords Edition License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your enjoyment only, then please return to or your favorite retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Table of Contents


The Perfect Project Approach

Chapter 1: Plumbing Fixtures

Chapter 2: Appliances

Chapter 3: Lighting

Chapter 4: Cabinets

Chapter 5: Flooring

Chapter 6: Tile

Chapter 7: Countertops

Chapter 8: Doors and Trim

Chapter 9: Paint, Stain, Wallpaper

Chapter 10: Hardware

Chapter 11: Glass

Chapter 12: Record Your Selections

Chapter 13: Final Thoughts


About the Author

Connect with Melinda Miles at ePerfect Project


I dedicate this book to all of you DIY’ers who are passionate about your homes and love doing the design, planning, and even some of the labor for your home building projects yourselves, but who would appreciate just a little bit of help. I always believe in working with professionals—whether they be architects, interior designers, contractors, or realtors—to get the best results. But for all you determined souls whose budget constraints or creative urges compel you to do it yourself, I offer this as a handy resource to walk you through the process so you don’t have to go it alone.

This book contains the ideas, advice, and information I share with clients as I work with them on their projects. It is a snapshot of what takes place at actual design meetings with clients who are making the finish selections for their homes; illustrating step-by-step how you, too, can select finishes that express your unique style, maximize the potential of your project, and create a custom-designed look for your home. There isn’t enough space in one design book to expand on all the decorating possibilities available for your home project, so I will focus on a few that will inspire you to develop your own ideas. The most common and universal aspects of the selection process have been addressed here, and demonstrate the considerations and planning behind good design decisions.

At the beginning of the book is the Perfect Project approach to making selections. Use these guidelines as they apply to every finish and decision you make to simplify, clarify, and demystify the selection process, and to amplify your style. The chapters that follow are arranged by finish category in the same order as the construction process, showing you step-by-step which finish selections need to be made and when. Start at the beginning and follow along with the book to keep pace with the home builder’s production schedule, and stay on top of the decision-making time line. Use this book as a quick reference as you shop to guide you through the selection details for each finish and to help you make critical decisions.

This book is not meant to be the comprehensive, technical guide to all the homebuilding finishes available. The internet is full of that kind of information for those of you who enjoy knowing all the details of the products you are choosing. The material provided here is presented from an interior design and lifestyle perspective to help you make selection decisions that are aesthetically right for you and your home.

Over the years I have learned so much from my clients. The number one thing I have discovered is that homeowners know what they want—even the ones who think they don’t. They may lack the technical background to describe what they want, the construction experience to know how to apply it, the showroom resources to find it, or the aesthetic confidence to embrace it; but when the right look is put before them, they recognize it.

My goal is to give you, the homeowner, the right information and tools to help you unearth your ideas, expand your imagination, increase your confidence, prevent mistakes, and dramatically enhance the design of your project. This book presents the approach that has worked for many homeowners over the years. My hope is that these methods and insights will help you, too.

The Perfect Project Approach

1. Identify Your Personal Style

Gather ideas. Tear out, or pin, or add to an idea book every picture you see that has even one item in it that resonates with you. It may be a whole room you love, or just one item as simple as a pillow. It might be a kitchen, but you’re redoing your master bedroom. It doesn’t matter. Details from any room that speaks to you can be re-interpreted to fit whatever room you are doing.

Look at enough rooms to create a profile of what appeals to you. With enough idea shopping, your style will emerge and crystallize before your very eyes. There will be a consistent trend in what appeals to you. Specific design elements, colors, patterns, shapes, and treatments will keep showing up in the interiors you are drawn to. This is your style—the look that you enjoy and need to be surrounded by in your home. Use this information as a blueprint for all of your selections throughout the house.

Take style cues from your surroundings. These elements need to influence your project design direction, and help you make decisions. If you are building a new house, consider any existing furniture and accessories that you will be taking with you.

What style are they?

What design motifs will need to be accommodated?

What color story have you already established?

If you are remodeling, also look at your existing moulding profiles, wood tones, wall textures, and window styles. What style do the existing architectural details suggest?

2. Shop Big! Shop First! Shop It All!

Shop at high-end showrooms for inspiration. No matter how limited your budget, do not shop low-end stores for ideas. Go to high-end, high-quality showrooms first. Very few showrooms are only to-the-trade; and those who are, will generally let you shop, just not place an order. They only require that the order be placed by your contractor.

At high-end showrooms you will find the newest market trends, latest product innovations, and the best design advice. You may be pleasantly surprised at the selection of beautiful upgrade items you can afford. Any ideas that are totally outside your budget can be translated into more affordable interpretations without losing the impact of the original design. After you’ve seen the best ideas, you can take what you’ve learned and adapt it to what you can afford by shopping at more budget-friendly resources, if necessary.

Shop before your architectural plans are finalized. Finish selections influence the design, and certain selections require changes to the blueprints.

Changing from an electric cook-top to a slide-in gas range impacts the gas lines, venting, and cabinetry.

Going from a double oven to a single convection oven with a warming drawer can change the electrical locations and the cabinet design.

Sink, faucet, and tub selections can change the location of the plumbing.

Media equipment can affect the electrical plan and built-in cabinetry.

Dining tables can affect room size and light fixture placement.

Sofas, chairs, beds, and artwork are even relevant at this stage.

Take into account every piece of equipment and furnishing that you expect to have, and go check it out. Even if it is too early to purchase these items, know what you want and plan to use before construction begins.

Shop for every selection before you make the first decision. Shop for tile before you commit to the plumbing fixtures. Shop for granite or other countertop materials before you pick your tile. Shop for light fixtures before you commit to a plumbing fixture or hardware finish. Each finish impacts the next, and you might find something down the road that you want to use, that will not work with finishes that were previously selected.

3. See The Total Picture

Make sure everything works together throughout the entire house. While it would be boring for every room to look the same, and certain rooms need to have special features, the overall look and design of the home needs to be coherent. Think through how the finish choices in every room will connect with the finishes in the next areas. Will your selections have a natural flow, or do they make your home look like a sporadically updated rental property?

Seeing the total picture is especially crucial with remodeling projects done over time. Not planning ahead with remodeling causes homeowners to end up with too many different finishes and materials throughout their house. This leads to bad transitions for paint colors, texture, or moulding styles. The worst results are abrupt flooring changes where one type of tile butts directly into another type of tile, or where every bedroom gets a different carpet color, and they are all visible from the hallway that connects them. This is a huge negative factor for resale.

Even if you are doing one room at a time and won’t get to the last room for five years, have a comprehensive plan that includes every room, even that last room and the hall leading to it.

4. Seek Professional Help

Textile and paint companies spend a fortune to research and develop the best colors for products. Take advantage of their free input by using the ready-made color palettes seen in stores to develop your color schemes. Most products come in a limited color palette that is the result of determining the most popular, workable, and universal colors, then refining them for the current market trends. These colors will show up in fabric, rugs, and accessories, as well as the project materials for your home, and they can serve as your inspiration for your design schemes. Using these color references to guide your color palette will make it simple to select colors that work for your home. Look to these free sources of expert color direction:

Interior paint colors

fabric prints for color combinations that work together

wallpaper patterns for color combinations that work together

wood blinds and shutter colors for good trim colors

metal and vinyl window colors for good trim colors

standard, pre-mixed paint colors from leading paint manufacturers

Exterior paint colors

metal garage door colors are good siding or trim colors

metal gutter color options are good siding, trim, or accent colors

standard, pre-mixed paint colors from leading paint manufacturers

5. Use Visual References

Don’t rely on your perception and memory. There are too many details to assimilate.

Take photos of every item, layout, and idea you plan to use.

Get specification sheets, samples, and swatches from every resource for every product you consider.

Carry a measuring tape and sketchpad with you as you shop. Verify sizes, sketch up ideas, and confirm layouts and details.

Create and share your visual aids with the builder, architect, and sub-contractors, to help them better understand the look you have chosen. It is amazing how a verbal description, no matter how accurate, can be interpreted in a dozen different ways. A photo, sketch, or mock-up can quickly convey a concept and eliminate mistakes.

6. Start With What You Can’t Change.

Paint colors are hard to choose only if you are working without a reference, so don’t pick your paint color first. Since paint is the easiest element to change and customize, it should be selected after the more difficult finishes have been determined. The impulse for most homeowners is to start their project by deciding on the colors they want to use in their space. They will struggle to pick the paint color for their walls from the overwhelming palette filled with tiny paint swatches. Often, they go so far as to actually paint the room. Then, they go out and try to find rugs, furniture, and accessories to match the paint, which can lead to frustration and failure. Reverse this process

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