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What Gets Customized in a Professionally Designed Home?

simply home decorating what gets customized in a professionally designed home west vancouver

Most of our clients are shocked when they realize what goes into custom designing a single piece, and that goes double when they realize just how many pieces get customized throughout a project. To illustrate the depth of potential for your home, I thought I would take you into the creative process and share several inspiring custom pieces. But first…

What is considered a “customized” piece?

The most obvious example of a custom piece is when we design and build an item from scratch. We have done this for dining tables, built-in banquettes and millwork, window treatments, decorative pillows, and more. This ensures that a piece is uniquely tailored to your home, your lifestyle, and your tastes.

That said, customization can be achieved on a less intensive scale, too. Rather than design an entire piece, we could customize part of it. For example, we might specify the wood species of an armchair, select fabric for a sofa, or request special dimensions for an area rug. 

In large and small ways, nearly every detail of a professionally designed home is custom to some extent. It is not a fluke that the dining table is the same wood species and stain as the chair legs, or that a motif repeats in the kitchen backsplash and on the carpet in the adjacent family room. These are the subtle threads woven through a project to make your home feel complete.

custom built-in bench cabinetry closet lions bay home blue wood beams coastal feelFrom our Lions Bay Project

What is the customization process like?

Customizing a piece, or a home, is an extensive, creative, and involved process — on our side, at least. It is one of the reasons that the Design Phase of a project takes so much time. There are a multitude of details being considered “behind the scenes” to bring a complete design to fruition.

If you are curious, here is a brief overview of this process. (If you’re not, skip ahead to the inspiration below.)

  1. We start by diving into your objectives, preferences, and the way you use your space every day. 
  2. Back in our studio, we get creative and compile ideas for your home as a whole.
  3. On our “Trade Day”, we meet with the best in our given fields to collaborate on the vision.
  4. With the vision set, we create the layout of your interiors and identify the elements included.
  5. Then, we get granular, thinking through the individual details of every element.
  6. For each piece requiring customization, we send precise specifications to the maker to get estimates.
  7. Following your approval, we procure the necessary materials and prepare detailed work orders. 
  8. Once materials are received and inspected, we deliver them to the workroom or builder.
  9. At checkpoints, we visit each specialist to check their progress or inspect finished products.
  10. We then oversee the delivery and/or installation of the piece in your home.

Every step requires close attention, precision, and communication between several parties, and it is worth it. When your home is finely crafted to fit your personality and lifestyle, everyday life becomes effortless and beautiful. Plus, it is simply fun to watch your one-of-a-kind interiors come to life!

modern kitchen geometric tile north vancouver rich wood tones bright open island home office spaceFrom our North Vancouver Modern Project

What can be customized during an interior design project?

A better question would be: What can’t be customized? (Answer: Very little.) For the sake of inspiration and illustration, here are just a few of the variety of ways we tailor your home to you.

Custom Millwork: One of the elements we customize most often is millwork. “Millwork” is essentially a broad term for a number of things, including banquettes and benches, wainscoting and trim, built-in shelving and cabinetry, wooden furniture, and more.

The design process requires specifying details like wood species and finishes, hardware and inserts, door and drawer configuration and style, countertop stone and dimensions, electrical wiring for outlets or lighting… The list goes on, but the investment in time and resources is always worth the spectacular outcome.

north vancouver simply home decorating custom millwork hexagonal home bar banquette and tablePEI Home Bar Design (left) and a custom banquette and table from our Lions Bay Project (right)

Fabrics: We hand select fabrics for every piece of upholstery, from sofas and chairs to Roman shades and drapery to ottomans and pillows. For most clients, we usually choose stain-resistant fabrics that can be easily cleaned. For our clients with young children and pets, we will also apply a micro-seal (an environmentally friendly, non-toxic moisture barrier) to all upholstery and area carpets for added durability.

custom sofa in PEI home designed by simply home decorating grey white blackExtra-long custom sofa from our PEI Project

Upholstery: Fabric aside, there are many other elements of upholstery that can be customized. We specify all dimensions, trim selections, wood tone for any “show wood”, nailheads, topstitching or piping for the finish details, not to mention the interior construction, which includes the wood frame, the construction (screwed, glued, and doweled), the type of springs, fill inside the cushions, etc. 

Pillows: We love to custom design pillows, and yes, it makes a difference. The perfect pattern will often tie an entire room together, making customization essential. For each pillow we specify the fabric, dimensions, style, piping, and insert (foam, feather, or down). 

moody lions bay lounge home theater custom sofa with wood armrests for storage dark greyCustom sofa with integrated armrests and custom pillows from our Lions Bay Project

Area Rugs: Did you know that we can design an area rug from scratch? We absolutely can. We make all relevant selections, whether it is fibre colour, pattern, shape, etc. Instead of designing from scratch, we can also cut area carpets to size for oddly shaped rooms. This happens more often than you might think! In the room below, we customized the area rug to fit around the base of the bed, not under it.

custom built-in bed frame oak wood with unique area rug light bright open PEICustom millwork and area rug in the primary bedroom of our PEI Project

Window Treatments: When it comes to window treatments, custom-made is far superior to anything that can be found in retail, both in quality and in style. We can customize the style, the dimensions, the fabric, the pleats or accent bands and more.

custom roman shade white with bleu band kitchen design deep cove vancouver simply homeCustom Roman shade in this North Vancouver kitchen design

The Ease of Everyday Luxury

Of course, this list barely touches the surface of all we can do to personalize a home. It is also important to remember that each element is not just selected for style. It’s always about purpose, too. After all, that is the point of a professionally designed home:

A well-designed home expresses your personality, brings ease to your routines, and makes everyday life more fulfilling.

If you’re ready to discover the hidden potential in your own home, I invite you to book a call with us or download our complimentary guide below. We can’t wait to meet you.





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Request a complimentary call with our Creative Director, Lori Steeves, to learn more and discuss your project.

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Whether you live in a mid-century gem in need of an update or a modern new build ready for personality, these creative solutions will change the way your home looks and lives.

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Simply Home Decorating Interior Design Portfolio
Complimentary Guide

Uncover the hidden potential in your home.

Whether you live in a mid-century gem in need of an update or a modern new build ready for personality, these creative solutions will change the way your home looks and lives.

Thank you!