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May 29, 2019



 Frusterio Design

Frusterio Design

Creating a custom design plan for your home is no small feat. Whether it be a New-Build House or a Fixer Upper, there are so many things to take into consideration. Whether you are working with an architect, a draftsman, an interior designer or trying to tackle the challenge yourself, I thought I would give you a few designer tips and tricks as you design the home of your dreams.

 Frusterio Design

Frusterio Design


The exterior is the first thing your friends and family will see as they pull up your driveway and gasp at your newly designed and created home. But there are so many exterior materials, colors and designs. What should you choose? Well, I always lean towards a timeless base with a few trendy elements to give it a pop and it will alleviate your stress of wondering if it will go out of style down the road. Instead you can feel rest assured knowing it will grow gracefully with you and your family. Brick, of course, is one of the most timeless materials you can select. To add to the timeless feel of brick, I like to mix brick with another material such as hardie plank. It allows you home to feel old and worn in, while also giving it a modern twist. It is also a way to save money on the exterior materials as brick can get pricey. The brick gives the home an old-world feel while the hardie plank (or whatever other material you chose) gives it a touch of new (just what I’m all about). I also recommend painting the brick to give it an updated look and reflect the colors that you like. The exterior should also have some dimension. You don’t want a flat house. I love to add dormers and a unique entryway with a pergola that give the home curb appeal. You can also add a pop of color or stain with wooden shutters!

 Frusterio Design

Frusterio Design

Master on Main

When designing, I always plan for the master on main. Not only is it good for resale value if you choose to sell one day, but it also allows you to ‘age in place’ if this is your forever home. It creates an oasis for you and your partner (AKA away from the kiddos lol). It gives you your own space to retreat to whenever needed. Master suites are becoming more important when creating design plans and it should be one area you spend a lot of your focus while designing

Study off the Entrance

A ‘study’ or ‘flex room’ off of the main entrance is another great way to add resale value to your home. It can be used as an office, dining room, play room or turned into another bedroom down the road. It allows for flexibility for your growing family as your needs change and also gives other potential buyers the ability to create a space that works well for them as well. Add some glass doors to the study to still allow light to flow through your home, but to shut out the noise and add some privacy when needed.

Powder Bath away from the Kitchen

Okay lets be real. no one enjoys a bathroom in the kitchen. Its awkward for everyone involved. Instead of in the kitchen, add in a small powder room right off the entryway. This still gets you the powder room that you need while entertaining, but the bathroom door is away from the kitchen, where it should be. Powder rooms are an easy way to add in some fun design elements such as wallpaper, a colorful vanity or Moroccan tile into the design. Its a small space so don’t be afraid to give it some flare. And your guests will love it!


Make this space super functional! Typically you want the mudroom to be directly through the garage or side entrance as this room will mainly be used by family and close friends. Install tile on the floor as it will hold up against the weather, muddy boots, wet dogs and soccer-playing kiddos. Install a simple bench / cubby system so everyone has a spot for their things and its keeps your mudroom tidy. Its also a great space to install a small shower for the dogs or for the kids to rinse off after a day at the beach or pool. I love this new trend of showers in the mudroom.

Separate Laundry Room

Some people put their washer and dryer in the mudroom which is okay, but if you have the space I prefer to put the washer and dryer in its own small room. Or even just enclose it in a closet or behind doors. Having a separate laundry room is also a great spot to hide away your cleaning products such as mops, brooms, and extra paper towels. Install some simple shelving above the washer and dryer with a rod and some hangers to make your laundry-doing-days easy!

Kitchen / Family Room / Outdoor living

Finally to the heart of the home! Keep this space open to allow for sight lines from the kitchen into the family room and easy communication. I love open floor plans as it allows the whole family to be together while cooking, watching the game or doing homework. It is also great for entertaining as you know! I have steered away from formal dining rooms in many of my designs and instead incorporate a large island with seating, a breakfast nook with benches and a table and a covered outdoor area right off of the heart of the home with a nice big farmhouse table for the family to enjoy. Install large sliding glass doors that open up to your outdoor area and create just another space for your family to gather. This serves as your new dining area!

 Frusterio Design

Frusterio Design


The upstairs is typically pretty basic, but I like to include a Jack and Jill bathroom for the kiddos rooms. You can enclose their vanity area so they have their own separate space to dress and still have some privacy while brushing their teeth or doing their hair. I also like to plan for one guest bedroom and guest bathroom upstairs as it is a pretty standard requirement for many of my clients. In the south, we don’t have many homes with basements so a lot of the guest bedrooms or ‘dens’ are upstairs on the 2nd floor or in the attic.

Creating custom design plans can be a bit overwhelming. Just remember that there is no right or wrong. It is your home so make sure it works for your family and your lifestyle. Consider what you do on a day to day basis. Are you a sports family and need extra storage for lacrosse sticks and helmets? Or are you a family who likes to entertain and need storage for your extra dishware? Or maybe you enjoy family movie night and need a large family room with extra seating. Consider what your hobbies are and incorporate those things into your design and you will be thrilled with how well your home serves your lifestyle!

Yours Truly,



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