Posted by Dan O'Malley in Home Design

“Create a consistent movement of colors and materials for the interior finishes of your home. Differentiate each room through pops of color that can easily be restructured as trends change.” – Julie Reese, Selection Coordinator at M/I Homes

“Don’t overthink it! There are a million combinations of selection choices that look great together. Our design team is great about suggesting a few different options that work together. Trust your gut.” – Mandy Williard, Selection Coordinator at M/I Homes

You’ve gone through the floorplan selection process, you know your budget, and you’re ready and excited to go through the journey of home building. Your Design Studio appointment is looming just around the corner and perhaps you’re feeling a mixture of emotions: excitement, trepidation, anticipation, or maybe a lack of knowing quite what to expect.

Feeling confident you’ve made interior and exterior design selections you’ll be happy with for many years to come is a huge relief to homebuyers. An M/I Homes Design Consultant will guide you through your scheduled appointment, informing you of latest design trends while helping you select products that complement each other while creating an extension of your own style within the home.

Many customers ask, where do I start? How do I customize this home to make it my own? At M/I Homes, you’re not alone in these questions! We’re here to help. Here are a few of the do’s and don’ts of picking out design selections.


  • Do have in mind which areas of the home you’re willing to upgrade from the standard, included product.
  • Do decide on a color palette you’d like to work from. Do you prefer warmer tans or cooler greys? This will help determine the direction of your flooring tone, which can help provide direction for the rest of your home design.
  • Do try to have your structural changes done prior to your Design Studio appointment. This avoids having to redraw the floorplan and reselect products, all leading to additional charges.
  • Do go with your gut. Many times, homebuyers second guess their initial choices in the Design Studio and request to make changes, only to change them back. Most of the time, the first decision you made is the right decision.
  • Do follow your personal style. Find images of homes you love and reflect on the tone you’re trying to create for your new home. Put together inspirations for your new home and bring your ideas to your design appointment.
  • Do decide what design elements are important to you now, and what you can complete on your own after closing.


  • Don’t compare your home or design style to others.
  • Don’t lets others’ opinions influence you too much. While it’s good to be open to hearing other suggestions, ultimately you want your home to be a reflection of you
  • Don’t select paint first. In the Design Studio, paint is one of the last items to be determined. This is because it serves as a backdrop for the other items and products chosen for the room. The color tones may shift in your chosen selections from the start of your appointment to the end of your appointment, so you’ll want to choose a paint color that is appropriate for what you ended up selecting.
  • Don’t forget to consider potential resale in the future. Select products you love but try to keep in mind that you may want your home to be appealing to a future buyer as well.

One exceptional online tool that will help you better visualize your home is M/I Homes’ Online Design Studio. This online tool will allow you to select a floorplan in a community of choice and begin browsing selections, without the pressure of having to make decisions on the spot. It’s a great way to see all the available options and compare standard vs. upgraded products. Once you have a wish list, you can bring it into your Design Studio appointment.

From finding your dream home to filling it with reflections of your design style and personality, we’re creating better customer experiences at M/I Homes. Let us Welcome you to Better today.


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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