Posted by Rachel Torres in Happy Homeowners

You’ve chosen a great homesite and a floorplan that best meets your needs. Now it’s time to personalize your home. Your home’s personality begins forming in the Design Gallery.

Aside from Closing Day, the visits to the Design Gallery were the part of the construction process I was most looking forward to.

I couldn’t wait to get in there and make our design selections! It made the home purchase feel real, and I could start dreaming about our future home with even more clarity.

Choosing Our Home's Design Selections

Our Design Gallery experience was awesome from start to finish. Our time in the Design Gallery consisted of two appointments of three hours each.

Although there were moments of feeling overwhelmed from the decisions and options, what I felt most was pure excitement!

We worked with an incredible Design Consultant who professionally managed our time. She was patient while we were making decisions and was able to make great recommendations by understanding our style and pulling on her past experiences with the many buyers who had visited before.

We felt totally comfortable and supported, so we could dedicate all of our energy on the design of our future home.

The kitchen and owner’s bathroom are usually the spaces that require the most attention, so that’s where we started. It’s also where we focused the most of our budget. It was helpful to begin with these important rooms because it allowed us to base other decisions (color, material, cost) off of them.

For example, I knew I wanted to use the same cabinets throughout our home, so spending time choosing the right kitchen cabinets also checked off cabinets in all full bathrooms.

Then came the portion of the appointment that wasn’t pretty, but was necessary: lighting and low voltage. Low voltage encompasses items that can make your home smarter and your life easier such as ethernet and cable ports, HDMI set up for TV, and alarm systems. We were able to determine if and where we wanted to add extra LED lighting, outlets, etc.

This is an aspect that you may not fully know until you’re living in the home. It was helpful for us to speak with friends who had recently built a home and learn about what they wish they had done and were happy they did.

During (and between) our two appointments, we were able to ask questions and make necessary adjustments. Before the end of our second appointment we went line-by-line to make sure all selections were accounted for and accurate. Our design was then finalized and we patiently waited to see it come together in real life!

Tips for Having an Awesome Design Gallery Experience

1. Go in With Ideas, But Be Flexible

There are endless places for inspiration. Some of my favorites are Pinterest, Instagram, finished inventory homes, and model homes. You will likely want selections that are both beautiful and practical for your needs and budget.

2. Decide on 1 (Or 2) Areas That Are Most Important

As I mentioned from our experience, the kitchen and owner’s bathroom were our two most important places. We knew that going into it, so we were better prepared with ideas and knew roughly how much of the budget we could dedicate to those areas.

3. Work Together With Your Design Consultant

The Design Consultant is an expert in the Design Gallery and you are an expert of what your home needs to be. You both want the same thing: to make beautiful selections within the confines of what’s important. If you get stuck they can share about different options that would work or can reallocate the time to skip and come back.

4. Keep the Big Picture in Mind and Trust Yourself

We had never built a home before and we underestimated how many decisions go into a home. Home is a special place—a lot of thought and heart goes into choosing what will be within your walls.

How do you want to feel in your home? How is this particular room meant to serve the people within it? Looking at the big picture helps all those smaller decisions become easier. You can be confident that the choices you made were exactly right.

I’m wishing you many happy memories within your beautifully designed (future) home!

Which area of your new home are you most looking forward to designing? How would you describe your home design style? Share with us on Facebook and don't forget to tag @MIHomesInc!


Rachel Torres
Rachel Torres


Rachel started her real estate career with M/I Homes in June 2017. Prior to her role as an Internet Sales Manager, she assisted buyers all over the Triangle area as a New Home Consultant. Rachel grew up in Raleigh and stayed close to home, attending North Carolina State University (Go Wolfpack!). She currently lives in Durham in a home she built with M/I Homes, and she appreciates everything the growing area has to offer. Rachel loves helping buyers begin the exciting journey of homeownership. She believes communication is key and the customer experience is the primary focus. When she’s not working, Rachel enjoys taking family walks through the neighborhood, catching up on reading for book club, and playing with her sweet, silly toddler.

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