Finding Your Own Voice in Design


Congratulations! You’ve budgeted, saved money, researched neighborhoods, put in your offer, and now you’ve finally obtained the home of your dreams. Like most buyers, you are extremely excited by the idea of moving into your new home and tailoring the interiors to perfectly fit your lifestyle.

However, many people can quickly feel overwhelmed by the sudden deluge of design decisions. How are you supposed to know where to start? To help you out, let’s explore the processes, timelines, and potential options available when you purchase a home.

The majority of homes listed by the DeLeon Team are designed to be move-in ready. This means that a buyer can come move in Friday and go to work Monday without having to finish a long list of tasks. No need to install new door handles or change the air filters or worry about cleaning out the garbage disposal. The only task left is to take this new house you bought and turn it into a home. But how do we begin?

The first step is identifying what style speaks to you. Do you find yourself excited by the sleek, modern lines of a downtown San Francisco loft? Or do you imagine yourself surrounded by the warm, comforting colors of a Tuscan villa? Perhaps you want to live out your modern farmhouse fantasy with whitewashed walls, wainscoting, and rustic hardwood floors complete with an apron-front sink. Whatever the case, finding your design aesthetic is the place to start. Don’t be afraid to start perusing Pinterest pages, exploring the Houzz website, or just Googling design themes to see what you gravitate towards. There are no wrong answers; this is simply a way to discover what your style is.

Once you have decided on the design theme you love, the second step is beginning to put together how you will implement your vision. Don’t feel pressured to have all your new furniture purchased the day after you close escrow. This can be a process and, if rushed, you’ll be spending a lot of time in the dreaded customer service line of furniture vendors. Try speaking face-to-face with vendors when you are looking for pieces; don’t be intimidated! Also, don’t hesitate to venture outside of typical stores and explore new options. This can increase your chances of finding truly unique pieces that best fit your style.

There are many vendors unique to the Bay Area, so try exploring some new lines aside from Pottery Barn and Ashley Home Furniture. Of course, these places are great for your typical contemporary pieces, but there are a multitude of other options. HD Buttercup, located in SoMa, carries an ever-changing array of extraordinary furniture pieces. They always have something new to see as they sell excess showroom pieces and furniture from independent designers, and they even carry the products of a few dedicated designers. Employees in stores such as this love to help people find a piece that perfectly matches the vibe an owner is hoping to create.

Big Daddy’s Antiques in the Dogpatch district of San Francisco is another place to find bespoke pieces sure to spark your interior design fire, in addition to becoming a conversation piece in your home. Maybe crisp, cool lines are what you need to customize your home. If so, it’s time to explore Y Living and their multitude of options. From Eames to Mies van de Rohe, this vendor supplies pieces that will embrace the weightless and chromatic feel of your modern sensibilities.

Don’t feel obligated to purchase the same IKEA pre-coordinated collections that most people fall back on. Try new vendors, explore new places, and be pleasantly surprised at how much you can be inspired by new options. Even if you don’t end up with an Italian leather-and-carbonite chair from Timothy Oulton, you may get great ideas on how to style your new British-inspired, overstuffed loveseat. You’ll feel your new house transforming into the home you always dreamed of, simply because you took a risk and branched out of the expected choices for your new furniture, accessories, and lighting.