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Making Sense Of Your Pre-Start Selections

Updated: May 8, 2019

Building a new home is very exciting! Nevertheless most dread the pre-start selection process and justifiably so. In this article I list some basic guidelines and solutions to assist the pre-start selection process.

Now you have the Addenda..

You have met with the sales consultant, selected the design of your new home and your builder has given you the Addenda for the purpose of undertaking your pre-start selections.

In it there are pages upon pages of components, finishes, colours, textures and supplier brochures to facilitate your selection process. Nevertheless, it is at this point when most realize the enormity of the task and become overwhelmed.

With so many things to select - doors, trim, cornice, lighting, flooring, cabinetry, finishes, window treatments, paint colors, switches, door furniture and cabinetry handles. Then for the exterior - roof, bricks, render, feature, windows, garage door, down pipes, gutters, fascia, paths and driveway. How can you make a success of your prestart selections and turn the shell the builder will build into the stunning home you envisage, without getting it wrong?

Selections at the Odin Ceramics Showroom

Remember PAFP

Before painting a master piece, artists have a clear idea of what it is they wish to portray. Then by means of various brush strokes of differing colors tones and textures,

they bring their vision to life.

Similarly, an interior designer uses the components of your addenda as brush strokes to create a beautiful house interior and an appealing house exterior. Apart from natural talent there is a certain process that a designer will use. I call this process PAFP.

  • Plan

  • Adjust

  • Focus

  • Prioritize

Let's talk more about PAFP.

Watermans Project


The way to success is to have a clear vision and plan ahead.

Planning involves the following:

  1. Know the name of the style you like and learn the principles which define it.

  2. Make a list of the reasons you like a look.

  3. Analyze if your selected style works with your lifestyle, the existing space and the exterior architecture.

  4. Learn how color interacts with light.

  5. Study the building orientation or exposure.

  6. Make a list of colors which reflect light favorably based on the building orientation.

Now you have narrowed down the options, you have a concept and direction.

North Beach Family Room


Be flexible. Once you have established the look you want, you might realize the finishes you love are not compatible with it. This is when you need to be flexible. Sometimes we get so hang up on a particular color or finish, we want to include it, no matter what! Or we dismiss the ones which don't immediately grab us. Remember the artist analogy I used at the offset... Artists create masterpieces by choosing pallets on the basis of what renders their vision best and not on the basis of their color preferences. - In other words don't select what you like but what works. If selections are based solely on each components merits, the end result will be disjointed. Keep things in perspective and be open to options which although not on top of your faves list, may be the ones you need to employ for the successful rendering of your vision.

Complete Interior Design North Coogee


Adjust but remain focused. Don't get destructed. Although being inspired by something you have seen at your friend's place or a in TV renovation program is beneficial at the initial planning stage, now you are passed that stage, going back will destruct you and get you lost. Yes make any necessary adjustments, but do not rethinking the whole concept. Also remember things only look good, in the correct context. The color or texture which looks perfect on the TV program or in your friends room, may not look fantastic in your space. Stick to your plan, be flexible but remain focused.

 Interior Design  Alfred Cove


First things first. - Just as house building requires a foundation, the selection process needs a basis. The foundation in this case - you've guest it- is flooring. Once you decide which is the best type of flooring for you and select the finish you like, you have a strong basis for the rest of your selections.

Your kitchen and bathroom selections which include cabinetry, faucets, worktops, wall tilling etc. should harmonize or relate to each other as well as with the flooring. For example, it is recommended that a similar work top is used for kitchen scullery and kitchenette. Bathrooms, powder room and en suite should have similar finishes. Laundry could fit in with either depending on its proximity. This approach contributes to the harmony of the overall interior and it enhances the home's marketability. This does not exclude opportunities of making a statement that differentiates each area, as long as they don't contradict the overall theme. There should always be a connecting link.

In selecting your kitchen finishes, normally work tops have a strong impact on the kitchen and by extension to the adjoining open plan living space. Also in the case of stone tops, they are more costly, thus, prioritize your worktop selection then the cabinetry finish, although in some situations the cabinetry and flooring could take precedence. Again, flexibility at this stage is useful. If for example, you have found the best combination of worktop and cabinetry and the floor is throwing a "spanner in the works", you can reconsider carefully and make adjustments, always keeping in mind the overall picture and not isolated elements or components.

Then, you have architectural features such as internal doors and trims as well as cornices and switches. Make sure these items correspond with the style of interior you have selected. Last selection, should be wall paint color and window treatments (blinds or shutters). Choose colors which form the perfect backdrop for all your selections.

So enjoy your prestart selections process as you PAFP your way through it. If you want to make it even easier, let me navigate you through your prestart selections process for a successful result .

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