Posted by Dan O'Malley in Home Buying

​“The kitchen really sets the tone for your home, so knowing if you desire stained or painted cabinets provides a really great starting point. Also, knowing whether you lean towards grays, beiges, or whites is also extremely helpful in developing your home’s look.” – Nina Abrahamson, Selection Coordinator

How Should I Prepare for My Design Studio Appointment?

​Amongst the excitement of anticipating walks with hardhats through the emergence of your new oasis, you begin to take the steps to select finishes and personalize your new home.

​Part of this process involves visiting the Design Studio, where experienced Selection Coordinators help to lead the way and guide you in making home selections you’re sure to love each and every year.

​Are you ready to buy or design your recently purchased new home but are nervous about picking out selections? Our team of Designers is there to help you feel comfortable when visiting the Design Studio by educating you as the buyer on what to expect and how to prepare, making your Design Studio appointment for your new home run smoothly.

​Learn what to expect as you design your new home by reading the below tips for your Design Studio appointment.

Understanding the Basics – New Home Construction Design Studio Tips

  1. Learn What’s Included: The first step to beginning to design your dream home is to understand what’s included in your new home purchase. What is standard? Are there any upgrades that are already included?
  2. Make a List: What are your must-haves that you can’t do without and what are some items you would like to have, should your budget allow?
  3. Talk to Your New Home Consultant: Begin to familiarize yourself with ballpark price ranges for your list of must-haves so you know what to expect upon arriving at the Design Studio.
  4. Know Your Budget: Identifying your budget helps you determine a starting and stopping point, which will serve to avoid any unnecessary surprises at the end of your appointment.

Developing a Vision

​Using our Envision Design Tool will help you begin to see a vision for the interior and exterior colors, finishes, and available items to add, making your home uniquely yours.

​This online new home design center tool will let you preview available features and finishes available for your home. Once you select a plan, you can enter the Envision Design Tool and view selections available the selected home.

​See an example for our Graystone plan. You can even save your favorite items to a Wish List and view them while in the Design Studio.

The Day of Your Appointment

​The day has arrived! As you prepare to spend the hours ahead with your Selection Coordinator, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Children/Additional Guests: If you have children, it may be best to find a trusted individual to watch them while you spend time in the Design Studio. This is a fun, exciting experience that we want you to enjoy, but it may be too long for the little ones. Also, check in with your Selection Coordinator prior to your appointment to find out if you are able to bring additional guests to your appointment, as there may be capacity restrictions in place.
  2. Desired Design Results: Spend time prior to your appointment looking through social media design sites, magazines, Pinterest, or design blog inspiration to help you determine your design style. Do you gravitate towards modern design elements? Contemporary? Farmhouse? Let your Selection Coordinator know. Bring in images and feel free to show them pictures. This is helpful in letting them know what design direction to go in so they can help you coordinate finishes to meet your expectations. Allow your vision to inspire both you and your Selection Coordinator to help make selections that will mirror your style, providing you with a finished product you’re sure to love.

Design FAQs

Q: How do I possibly pick all of my selections in 4 hours?

A: Come prepared and we will tackle the most time-consuming selections first. Working off of those selections helps the rest of the selection choices fall into place much easier.

Q: What rooms are most important to add upgraded items to?

A: The kitchen, family room, and owner’s suite.

Q: What can I do to be prepared?

A: All of the above, but most importantly, know what you’d like to spend, have a good idea of what you like and don’t like, and come ready to make some pretty fun choices!

​Choosing to build a new construction home has many perks, but the ability to personalize a home to be just the way you want it should not be overlooked.

​Whether it’s your first time or you’ve been through the process before, the building process should be a fun one. M/I Homes wants your experience to be as smooth and as enjoyable as possible, from signing the Purchase Agreement, to making selections in the new home Design Studio, to closing on your new, completed home.

​Take the steps above to not only ensure things will be more enjoyable for you, but also to prepare to make the choices needed to continue moving forward with full confidence that your expectations will be fulfilled and produce a joyful end result—your dream home.

​See more information on the dos and dont’s of making design selections!

​Contact your Selection Coordinator if you have any other questions prior to meeting for your Design Studio appointment, or if you haven’t purchased a home at M/I Homes, feel free to contact us with any other questions relating to the new home Design Studio experience.


Dan O'Malley
Dan O'Malley


Dan O’Malley is the Vice President of Product Development for M/I Homes.With over 30 years of expertise in residential architecture and design, Dan has been overseeing the product needs of the company's 16 divisions located throughout the Midwest, Southeast, Nashville and Texas for the past 12 years. Before joining M/I Homes, he was a partner in the Chicago office of BSB Design, a national residential architectural firm, for 14 years. Dan is an expert in all aspects of single-family and multifamily design and has received several awards for his successful projects. He is also a popular speaker at various industry events, including the International Builder’s Show, Midwest Builder’s Show, and Multi-Housing World.

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