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Selecting Hard Finishes For Your Home

New construction projects are some of our favourites. We love being part of the journey from day one and watching the joy when our clients see the home of their dreams come together! 

Many of our new build or renovation projects involve the selection of hard finishes. If you're curious about what exactly goes into the selecting of hard finishes or would like some help on these long-lasting decisions for your own build, read on!  

What exactly are hard finishes? 

Yes, we know it’s another ‘designer’ term, but what do we mean?  With my clients, I often refer to hard finishes as thinking about picking the house up, turning it upside down and anything that doesn’t fall out is usually a hard finish!  Or, simply put anything that is fixed in place! for example the flooring, wall panelling, and paint, but also fireplaces, cabinetry, countertops, and even drawer handles. These are the “permanent” aspects of the interior design, as opposed to “non-permanent” things like furniture or soft goods. Hard finishes can also include external materials such as bricks, roofing, and driveway finishes.

I often find that my clients become most overwhelmed in the hard finish selection process, and it’s because its probability one of the most important parts of designing your home. I like to think of hard finishes as the canvas of a space of which you can design everything else around. 

Why are hard finishes so important? 

Because a tile choice can make or break the look of a bathroom, a light fixture can transform a space, and a worktop can alter an entire kitchen. These choices make up the character of the building and ultimately, elevate what is just another house into a home that is uniquely yours. 

I love this part of the design process the most because it creates the foundations that determines the textures, colours, and materials, expressed through cabinetry colours, a fireplace finish, or a material that relates to the building’s heritage. 

The process of selecting hard finishes 

To help my clients overcome the overwhelm of endless choices here’s the three main things I like to keep in mind when it comes to selections:

Budget – Probably the most important, I need to make sure that the materials we put forward are within budget not just in cost but also in installation. We also need to consider the value of each material to ensure there is long term durability, after all these choices are there to stay!

Functionality – It’s all well and good choosing selections and materials that look amazing but if they are impractical for a given purpose then they just won’t work. For me that means that different materials need to react to their environments and purpose of use, and it's crucial to think about accessibility and how this materials use may change over time. 

Timelessness – This is something I always strive for. Hard finishes need to work as the people who use them age. Children’s spaces are relevant here, what may work now may not be sophisticated enough as they age into them. When working with my own clients I set the design direction and intent before we even get to choosing colours, sizing, or textures. I start by selecting a palette of materials in styles and colours that fit with the direction we agreed.  

And the key principle in mind here is simplicity, why? Because homes are meant to be lived in and if the hard finishes are too ornate or too fancy then they may not be right. 

Our New Build & Renovation Service

Are you about to embark on a ground up project? As daunting and exciting as it may be hiring an interior designer not only simplifies the experience, it also gives you access to our suppliers, and experts of whom we have trusted relationships with. At Styled, we regularly attend trade shows and visit our suppliers to keep up to date with the latest trends and materials available, but most importantly, we make sure we listen to your vision and work with you to bring that to life, with as little stress or worry as possible! 

Get in touch to have a chat about how we can work together to select the perfect hard finishes for your home. 

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Ebury Street London

Greenlands Cambridge

The Anchor Cambridgeshire

Swaffham Road Cambridgeshire

Duxford Church Cambridge

Moor House Newmarket

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"A lovely person, and the best in the business, it really is that simple!"
Ollie Drake, Drake Property & Developments
"Tash elevates properties to the next level. She has a wonderful style and eye for design"
Alex Babouris, Babouris Property Management
"Tash is so organised, it's been a very easy journey and a pleasure to work with her in my home."
Daisy Dowler, Private Client
"Tash is a lovely, warm, & thoughtful person to work with. She takes time to get under the skin of what her clients want, learning about who they are to help guide the design process."
Louise Border, Private Client
"Tash worked within my budget, so that I had the option of several products to work with that would all compliment each other. On top of this, Natasha has such a warm presence which made her so easy to work with and so comfortable to talk to"
Sophie Van leeuwen, Private Client
Tash completed a redesign across our home, working with some existing furniture we wanted to keep. The house feels so cosy & warm now, & I have some lovely pieces of furniture!
Natalie Saunders, Private Client
We can't thank Tash enough. Her eye for design, combined with her understanding of our needs and limitations was key. The first stage of our renovations have been received so well and we look forward to working with Tash again to complete phase two
John Rowell, The Anchor
I would highly recommend working with SHD, Tash has a fantastic eye for detail and creates stunning spaces with her unique designs to make your property stand out from the crowd. Tash's communication is brilliant, keeping you informed at every stage of the process!
Sam Carter, SJC Property Developments
We are a short term rental management company based in Cambridge, we needed fast property staging and room planning. Styled Home Design exceeded our expectations, the photography has resulted in a very profitable launch. Our guests love the design. Natasha was so easy to work with, she translated my ideas into amazing room designs. We will continue to work together
Nicky Brewin, Brewin Properties
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