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...are YOU planning on building, remodeling, or adding onto your home?

if so, here's how I can save you

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our_house_plan.gif - 18031 BytesF.gif - 2778 Bytesirst, let me say, I've been there! After 20+ years in the design trade, I had the joy of designing a house from scratch that will, God willing, be the last home I live in. For my own project, I utilized my 3D (three dimensional) space planning software to layout each and every room to scale, including placement of all key furnishings (e.g. furniture I owned as well as planned purchases). As a direct result of this careful advance planning, we had ZERO change orders throughout our actual build. Not only does this represent a significant cost-saving for the process (ask ANY contractor if you're not familiar with the headache$ of change orders); but, more importantly, my house functions as well as looks the way I intended. As Owner/Builders, I was actually the general contractor for the job which meant I sourced every single item and hired and scheduled all the various trades.

(FYI, once our plans, right, were finished, we utilized a structural engineer to create the necessary technical elements of the foundation and roof and then a draftsman rendered the final copy which the engineer stamped for the county's purposes. We also had NO county-requested revisions whatsoever once submitted for approval.)

Move-in day was also a snap as it had already been pre-determined where EVERY piece of furniture was to be placed (plus everything fit perfectly!)

Alas, I have met with many homeowners who called me once their house was already framed and it was obvious at that too-late stage that a given room simply wouldn't accommodate the furniture they'd envisioned -- what a disappointment given the enormity of such an undertaking!

So, to summarize, I am available as a RESOURCE for you during whatever phase of the project you need assistance -- I work with new construction clients as much or as little as desired and feel I can be especially of service to fellow Owner/Builders given my personal track record in the homebuilding trenches.

Chicago_trib_logo.gif - 1862 Bytes I was interviewed for a nationally syndicated article by Chicago Tribune writer, Leslie Mann, entitled, "Setting Your Sights on the Right Site". You can view the link here or download the [large file size] .pdf.

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BobVilla.gif - 5100 Bytes I was interviewed by BobVilla.com for an article entitled "Should You Custom Build Your Home?"

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(Includes a photo of my own custom home when under construction) See more decorating articles in the library...

During your build, remodel, or addition, do be aware YOU will
need to select or sign-off on:

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Christine's lovely new kitchen in her newly-completed custom home in Grass Valley

With my client, Christine Kirks (left), in her newly-completed kitchen.

Click here to see enlarged photo (NOTE: will open in new browser window).

feedback from new custom home client, Grass Valley

  • every single material including windows, doors (as well as hardware and finishes for each)

  • wall and ceiling design (including type, style, finish, and materials)

  • light fixtures (size, type, finish) and their placement

  • flooring

  • any built-ins including size, location, material, finishes, and hardware including all appliances, and plumbing fixtures (size, type, finish)

  • other building materials such as tile or stone which may be incorporated into the design

  • placement and/or finish materials and design of focal features such as fireplaces

  • selecting and harmonizing all color and materials

  • maximizing natural light and views (or blocking undesirable views)

  • exterior design elements including selection of materials, how to best highlight the architectural elements (e.g. "If we put stone on the front of the house, where will it go? How high up? On both walls or just this wall....or what?")

  • ensuring traffic patterns are sufficient for day-to-day living, that doors don't bump into furniture, an open appliance door doesn't create a hazard or not open at all, hallways are sufficiently wide, etc. After all, the goal is the creation of a very livable space.

  • ...as well as defining demarcations in between rooms, often a tricky task that trips up many homeowners going it on their own. These intersections between rooms are a key but often overlooked element -- until the last minute when some flooring installer pesters you to decide in 5 minutes so he can finish his work.

  • [eventually] placement of all furniture, art, etc.

  • and, lastly, selection of window treatments (as desired)

    So...are you READY?

There's a dazzling universe of products out there so it's also important to realize that if you're using a general contractor, he is liable to only show you a small selection of choices (e.g. "here are 3 faucets, pick one.").

In reality, virtually everyone you'll be dealing with on your project will have a $take in your decision-making. Frankly, that's one of the best parts about working with me -- I do NO retailing whatsoever so I am most likely the ONLY person who will instead tell you what I feel is solely in the best longterm interest of your home....as well as your wallet.

And, as you hopefully already read on the homepage of this site, I actually give away To YOU my to-the-trade discounts so I can save you usually 10% - 40+% on an array of products including carpeting, furniture, lighting, tile, etc. (LEARN more about this unique feature of my business.)

Review #2 of 3, several months further into their construction process.

Review #3 of 3, written at the conclusion of their home's construction, after moving in.

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This now-completed home was recently featured in an article of mine for The Union on 4/16/2016 (article will open in new browser window).

5-starNew custom home client's review on Houzz:

Review #1 of 3 from this client:

Nevada City home being constructed"We are midway through a house building project, and Sam Jernigan of Renaissance Design Consultations has been so expert, insightful and gracious as we confront one design decision after another. Sam's background includes a great deal of theoretical knowledge about color and design. She is systematic in explaining how color choices should be made; for instance she guided us through choosing our exterior Nevada City home being constructedhome colors by having us choose our stonework and roofing first. She doesn't just recommend an option or color; she explains her ideas within a context of what works best, and why. She is confident in her recommendations, but she also honors our ideas and preferences. Sam is a true lifesaver because her expertise is helping us to design both the exterior and interior details of the house--a wholly daunting set of tasks for us.

Sam is creative, and "thinks outside the box" when confronted with an interesting design challenge. She came up with a lovely kitchen design that would help to de-accentuate its proximity to a common area with a much higher ceiling and better light. She knocked out a CAD rendering of the space in record time, and worked with us on refining our choices. We never would have come up with those solutions on our own.

Sam is helping with all aspects of design as we build our home. She is a consummate professional--flexible (sometimes home construction decisions have to be made quickly), punctual and completely transparent about fees. Germane to that, she is also very helpful in suggesting in ways to save money on materials and furnishings. As she explains so clearly on her website, Sam has no economic incentive to "up-sell" her clients; what she is providing is design expertise, and that she does so very well.

Finally, Sam is so personable and non-intimidating. She interacts with cheerfulness and kindness, even on very hot afternoons thanks to a recent heat wave! She quickly responds to phone calls or emails, and makes us feel like she really is so happy to help us. We expect to be working with Sam through this year, and I will be happy to review her again once our project is finished. I do recommend her without hesitation."

--Maria H., Nevada City

Another client's feedback (interviewed for a local newspaper article):

"One of the best parts for me of working with both you and Roy (her contractor) was that you broke the project down into small parts. I found too many "things" on my plate at one time overwhelming for a newbie to the building process. Having those small increments (i.e. "homework") made for an orderly process rather than an overwhelming list right off the bat."

-- Nancy Lindberg, Grass Valley
Referencing our 3D space planning/design process for her not-yet-constructed home


As I also highlight in recapping my design background, I will strive to bring your vision to life vs. imposing my personal taste. I work in every design style including vintage, European-inspired, country, traditional, as well as contemporary and industrial/rustic. Overall, my consistent goal is always ensuring you, my client, achieve the look YOU desire -- it's YOUR home, after all! (You can read more about this orientation in this lead story which appears in an archived newsletter of mine.)

And here's an article from my newsletter that I wrote on the topic of custom homebuilding. I can help smooth your building or remodeling project with my personal real-world experience combined with my 25 years as an interior designer who has also assisted hundreds of homeowners in bringing the vision for their home to life. Read on to learn more about how we can work together...

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A major remodel created a new Master bedroom & bath retreat for the Hessel family of Lake Wildwood (Penn Valley).

For this project, I helped Janet and her husband space plan as well as providing guidance on selection of cabinetry, bath fixtures, lighting, tile, countertops, sinks, flooring, and paint colors.

[NOTE: by design, renderings are "stripped down" to their core elements vs. fully accessorized as these are primarily a visualizing tool for homeowners -- and skipping this last step reduces the cost of these renderings for my clients.

Although I'd welcome the chance to more completely render additional design elements, at this stage of a planned remodel/new construction it's also somewhat impractical as so many additional decisions will need to be made with the client before accessories and finish details can actually be determined typically.]

3D kitchen - full view

3D kitchen - toward nook

3D kitchen - appliance wall

"We loved the kitchen designs!"
-- Vicki & Ken McFarlin, El Dorado Hills

Here are some recently created 3D renderings of a new kitchen design for this couple who just moved into an older home they're wanting to update -- ceiling height is 10'. (click on individual images to enlarge, each will open in a new browser window)

As was the case for this project above, significant re-working of the space is reflected in these initial designs which incorporate specific requests from my clients and entailed removing and relocating an oddly placed pantry on the main focal wall as well as sealing up an unnecessary second entry to the adjacent formal dining room -- e.g. what good space planning's all about!

(FYI, the clients approved this initial draft concept and are now proceeding in implementing this design as rendered).

IFDA_logo.gif - 1985 Bytes* Member, IFDA (International Furnishings & Design Assoc.)

Serving Nevada & Placer counties since 2004
(business founded in 1992 in Sonoma County, CA)

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