Dream Home Design: Where to Start and What to Consider

Designing your dream home is an exciting journey that allows you to create a space tailored to your needs and tastes. However, the process can be overwhelming without a clear plan. As Sarah Susanka, architect and author, notes, “The first step to creating your dream home is to define what ‘home’ means to you. What are the activities and experiences that are most important to you and your family?” (Source: The Not So Big House Website). This article will guide you through the essential steps and considerations to help you bring your dream home to life.

1. Define Your Vision

Start by considering what “home” means to you and your family. Think about the activities and experiences that are most important. Do you need a large kitchen for family gatherings, a quiet office for remote work, or a spacious backyard for your pets?

Sarah Susanka emphasizes the importance of this step: “The first step to creating your dream home is to define what ‘home’ means to you” (Source: The Not So Big House Website).

When my partner and I began designing our dream home, we realized that having a large, open kitchen was essential for us. We love cooking together and hosting dinner parties, so this space became the heart of our home design.

2. Set a Budget

Before diving into the design process, establish a clear budget. This will help you make realistic decisions and avoid financial stress. Include costs for materials, labor, permits, and unexpected expenses.

Nate Berkus, an interior designer, advises, “Functionality is just as important as aesthetics when it comes to home design. Your home should be beautiful, but it should also work for your everyday life” (Source: Nate Berkus Website).

We set a strict budget and included a 10% contingency fund for unexpected costs. This financial planning gave us peace of mind and allowed us to focus on the fun aspects of design without worrying about overspending.

3. Choose a Style

Your home should reflect your personality and lifestyle. Explore various architectural and interior design styles to find what resonates with you. Whether you prefer modern, traditional, rustic, or eclectic, make sure it feels right.

Bobby Berk, interior designer and Queer Eye star, says, “Your home should be a reflection of your personality and lifestyle. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles and colors until you find what feels right” (Source: Bobby Berk Website).

We fell in love with the mid-century modern style for its clean lines and functional design. Incorporating elements like large windows and minimalist furniture made our home feel spacious and inviting.

4. Focus on Functionality

A beautiful home is essential, but it must also be practical. Consider how each space will be used daily and ensure the design supports these activities. Think about storage solutions, traffic flow, and furniture placement.

Nate Berkus highlights the importance of functionality: “Your home should be beautiful, but it should also work for your everyday life” (Source: Nate Berkus Website).

In our home, we designed a multifunctional living room with built-in storage to keep things tidy. This design choice made the space both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

5. Embrace Natural Light

Natural light can transform your home, making spaces feel larger and more inviting. Plan for large windows, skylights, and open spaces to let in as much light as possible.

Young Huh, an architect, states, “Light is one of the most important elements in home design. It can make a small space feel larger and a dark space feel brighter” (Source: Young Huh Interior Design Website).

A study by the Lighting Research Center found that natural light can improve mood, productivity, and sleep quality (Source: Lighting Research Center).

We prioritized natural light by installing floor-to-ceiling windows in our living room. The abundant sunlight has a positive impact on our mood and makes the space feel open and airy.

6. Consider Color

Colors can significantly affect your mood and behavior. Choose colors that create the desired atmosphere for each room. Soft, neutral tones can create a calming environment, while bold colors can energize a space.

A study by the University of British Columbia found that different colors can evoke different emotions and affect our behavior (Source: University of British Columbia).

We used a calming blue in our bedroom to promote relaxation and a vibrant yellow in the kitchen to create an energizing and cheerful atmosphere.

7. Declutter and Organize

A clutter-free home promotes peace and well-being. Start by decluttering and organizing your belongings, keeping only what sparks joy. This will make your home more functional and visually appealing.

Marie Kondo, organizing consultant, advises, “A clutter-free home is a happy home. Start by decluttering your belongings and only keeping the things that spark joy” (Source: KonMari Website).

A study by the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute found that clutter can increase stress and anxiety levels (Source: Princeton University).

We adopted the KonMari method to declutter our home. The process was liberating and made our space feel more open and serene.

8. Incorporate Greenery

Plants can enhance the aesthetic of your home and improve air quality. Incorporate indoor plants to create a refreshing and inviting environment.

Bobby Berk suggests using plants to add life to your home. “Plants not only beautify your space but also have health benefits” (Source: Bobby Berk Website).

Adding plants to our living room made a huge difference. The greenery adds a natural touch and makes the space feel more vibrant and alive.

9. Plan for Future Needs

When designing your dream home, consider your future needs. Think about how your family might grow or change and ensure your home can accommodate these changes.

Sarah Susanka advises thinking ahead when designing your home: “Consider how your needs might evolve over time and plan accordingly” (Source: The Not So Big House Website).

We designed a flexible space that could serve as a guest room or a home office. This flexibility has been invaluable as our needs have changed over time.

10. Choose Quality Materials

Choose high-quality materials that are durable and sustainable. This investment will ensure that your home remains beautiful and functional for years to come.

Nate Berkus emphasizes the importance of quality: “Invest in materials that are not only beautiful but also durable and sustainable” (Source: Nate Berkus Website).

We chose hardwood flooring and natural stone countertops for their durability and timeless appeal. These choices have stood the test of time and continue to look great.


Designing your dream home is a rewarding experience that requires careful planning and consideration. By defining your vision, setting a budget, choosing a style, focusing on functionality, maximizing natural light, considering color, decluttering, incorporating greenery, planning for the future, and choosing quality materials, you can create a home that reflects your personality and meets your needs. Remember, as Sarah Susanka says, “The first step to creating your dream home is to define what ‘home’ means to you” (Source: The Not So Big House Website). Start your journey today and turn your dream home into a reality.


Nyla from Nyla Home is a blogger who loves to write about home improvement. She started her blog in 2013, and she’s been writing about home improvement ever since.

Nyla has a passion for helping people improve their homes, and she loves sharing her knowledge with her readers. She believes that everyone deserves to live in a beautiful home, and she strives to help her readers achieve that goal.

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