One key difference between building a home and buying a home is that when you build, you get to make certain choices along the way to truly make the home your own. The biggest choice is centered around the design of your home!

You’ve chosen your lot, floorplan, and structural changes—what’s next? You get to work with our incredible Design Studio Team to figure out the fun stuff on the interior, including cabinet colors, countertops, flooring, carpet color, tile, and more.

New York Interior Decorator Billy Baldwin once said:

"Be faithful to your own taste, because nothing you really like is ever out of style."

At M/I Homes, we want you to make design choices that reflect who you are and what you want for your home. That’s why we provide you with the opportunity to work closely with our talented design professionals to put the finishing touches on your dream home.

In the Charlotte Design Studio, you will be working with Alisha Snell, Tangee Bennett, and/or Elisabeth Gunshenan to craft your home’s interior look.

The Team

Alisha is the Senior Design Consultant and has been with M/I since 2017. Her expertise spans across all facets of design, making her an asset to your entire design process.

Alisha Snell

Tangee has been with M/I Homes since 2019 but became a Design Consultant in March 2021. She loves working with buyers, and will be able to help you to fine tune the process of choosing colors and accoutrements to make your dream home come to life.

Tangee Bennett

Elisabeth has been with M/I Homes for a little over a year now as a Selection Coordinator, and uses her skills to bring homeowners’ visions to life through carefully combining colors, patterns, and textures in different areas of the home.

Elisabeth Gunshenan

Now that you know who you’re working with, let’s dive into the details of the appointment that lies ahead.

What should you expect when going into your design appointment?

Before you meet with the Design Team, you will meet with the low-voltage company to discuss placement of televisions, security systems, data ports, and whatever else you may need tech-wise. After this, you should become familiar with the design catalog and price sheet that your New Home Consultant gave you when you signed your contract—this will empower you to plan a little bit beforehand, taking some pressure off of you when you walk through the Design Studio doors.

Do I go alone, or can I bring a friend?

The design appointments are set for only the buyer and co-buyer. If something comes up for one of those two people though, another person such as a realtor may be brought in their place, but there can only be two individuals. Keep in mind that no one under the age of 16 is allowed in the studio, so make sure you can arrange childcare if you have children.

Do I need to have a monetary deposit handy for this appointment?

Our Design Consultants take 15% off your base home price, which becomes the amount you can spend in structural and design options. When you meet with your New Home Consultant, they will cover the different structural options depending on the floorplan you choose, including things like shower upgrades, changing a study to a bedroom, etc. Once these are decided on, the Design Consultant subtracts those costs and puts the remainder of that original 15% toward your selections in the design studio. If you want upgrades in your home and end up going over your allotted amount, that excess cost will need to be paid via ACH payment or a check. This is done for your benefit; it helps prevent you from coming into contact with any appraisal issues.

Do any features come with the home without me having to spend any extra money?

Absolutely! When you sign your contract, your New Home Consultant will provides you with an included features sheet that lists all of the beautiful options that come with the home from the start.

What are upgrades? What types of upgrades could I make in my home?

You can upgrade your cabinets, the tile backsplash, countertops, and even shower tiles. Cabinets are organized by levels, starting at level 1 with your included cabinet selection and going up to levels 3 and 4, which get into different styles and if the cabinets are stained or painted. The other categories differ by design, shape, durability, and more. Maybe your included kitchen countertops are granite, but you want a non-porous surface in there, so you upgrade to a quartz countertop.

I’ve never had anything to do with interior design in my life. How do I know if my choices will look good?

This is exactly why we have our team in place to assist you in this incredibly important process. They will always steer you in the right direction and do their best to make sure you are beyond happy with your home when you step inside.

Closing on your home soon? We want to see the design choices you made for your humble abode! Show off those kitchens and bathrooms on Instagram and tag us @mihomes so we can see the interior designer that’s hiding in you.


Wendy Garcia


Wendy has been an Internet Sales Manager with M/I Homes for the past 3+ years, but has over 16 years of real estate experience in the Carolinas and has been working in sales for over 12 years. Her love for real estate and training continues to grow every day. She's married with two young children and has a rescued pit bull. She loves to cook, bake, and loves helping animals in her free time.