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Designing Your Own Home Versus One for a Client

August 17, 2023

On our recent From the Tap podcast, we spoke with Emily Del Bello of Emily Del Bello Interiors in NYC. She was recently in charge of renovating her own home, and she talked about the differences and similarities of designing for yourself – the pro – versus designing for a client.

The designer and her family live in a 100-year-old home and decided after two years what their renovation goals would be. The extensive project included the primary suite and the kitchen, which also encompasses a laundry area and a mudroom.

Del Bello was in charge of the whole design, but she did adapt it to how her family wanted to live in the home. Her husband did take the lead on the appliance selections, aside from the drink drawers, which we address later.

Since she was designing her own home, she didn’t necessarily bypass any project phases, but she was able to shorten some. Because she already had a vision for the color of cabinets and type of stone for the countertops, this saved some time.

Del Bello admitted it was both a blessing and a curse to make product and material selections given her experience as a designer. Some came out of left field, like the hardware finish, and some she based off prior client projects.

The designer said the vendor process was a lot less detailed since this was her own home. They didn’t have one in-person meeting, and there were limited email exchanges. She and her husband had a budget in mind for the project, and once the big costs were figured, she was able to determine how much she had left for more minor details.

Finally, Del Bello shared her favorite parts of the project that she will take with her on future jobs. Hint: One is the drink drawers, and one is the double showerheads.

To find out more about those elements and more project details, listen to the podcast on SpotifyGoogle PodcastsApple PodcastsPandora and other outlets.