You’ve been browsing through Architectural Digest, Pinterest, or Instagram, and you’re finally ready to create a home filled with beauty, joy, and pride. You have your inspiration board saved, but you know there are too many details for you to create the home yourself…

How do you choose between a thousand choices for a single item, like a lamp, a rug, or a table? How do you know which pieces of furniture are worth the investment? How do you create a cohesive design that really works together in style and color? How do you also make sure that your home is going to stand up to your day-to-day life?

Designing a home is not nearly as simple as it looks. There are so many details to factor in, including your unique personality and how you will use the space. This is where an interior designer comes in.

We can work together to bring you clarity and support to the design process — and ensure an end result that you will be thrilled to come home to every day. Today, I’m sharing my personal design process (and why it’s different!), along with what you can expect every step of the way.

Pour a glass of Malbec with me, sit back, and let’s get started...

design by keti dallas tx design process bedroom with black and gold floral wallpaper accent wall

Master bedroom redesign by yours truly

Step 1: Consultation

To create a space that works for your lifestyle, speaks to your style preferences, and fits your budgets, we have to get to know each other. Building a relationship of trust and understanding is how I help sift through all the design “noise” to zero in on the options that are right for you. 

In our initial consultation, we will discuss your lifestyle, your space, your design preferences, your budget, and create a blueprint.

Discover Your Style

We start by discussing your design preferences. Do you learn toward modern design, contemporary, traditional...? These words can mean different things to different people, so we will explore inspirational images to narrow down the colors, textures, and patterns you love most. If you have design boards, I would love to see them!

We will also discuss incorporating on-trend and current elements and a few more classic pieces to bring a timeless feel to your home. If you’re investing in your home, you don’t want it to go out of style anytime soon. Updated and fresh is the goal! 

Budget Your Project

One of the first questions my clients ask me is “How much is it going to cost me?” My answer is: “It’s all up to you!” (Not all designers work this way!) My goal is to bring your vision to life while staying within your budget to the best of my ability. 

Yes, if you have a tight budget, there are certain things that are simply not possible. However, we can usually find a mid-market option with a similar look and feel. A great example? Porcelain tiles that are made to look like marble. Who can tell, really? 

Another one of the great advantages of working with a designer is that we know how to balance a budget. I can advise you on where to save and where to splurge to maximize your investment, increase comfort, preserve the longevity of your home, and elevate your lifestyle. 

Create a Blueprint

Once we’ve covered all aspects of your design style and budget, we will create a rough sketch of the space so you can visualize an optimal furniture configuration. This blueprint — and how full you want your space to be — will help us determine the size, shape, and location of all the furniture. It will also help us consider the fixed elements of the space, like having lighting perfectly over your dining room table.

Once we have a set plan, we’re ready to move onto Step 2...

design by keti dallas tx design process accent chairs with blue textured pillows and gold sequence design decorating

Step 2: Design Development

Furnishing Selections

After our initial consultation, I will take all of my learnings back to my studio and start looking for the perfect pieces for your home. Believe it or not, this means sifting through thousands of options to find the perfect combination of items to suit your taste, lifestyle, and budget. 

No, you won’t see this happening behind the scenes, but it is a massive undertaking. Once I’ve settled on the final contenders for your design, I will reach out to the vendors and suppliers for quotes. This takes more time (and back and forth communication with various parties), but once complete, I will have a list of furnishings and fixtures for your dream home and the quotes to go with them!

Design Presentation

Once everything is prepared, you and I will meet for our Design Presentation. I will share these selections with you, show you how the whole design works together, and provide you with quotes so you can see how the pieces fit into your desired budget. 

You will have a chance to share your feedback as we fine-tune the final selections and decide which to proceed with. Once we have the green light on your selections, my team and I will move ahead with ordering your items… another long and involved process! For us, at least. 🙂

Step 3: Procurement

Procuring your furnishings is another aspect of our work that is extremely important and very time-consuming but all takes place behind the scenes. You’re probably thinking, “Wait, just to place orders?” If only it were so simple. 

Not only do orders need to be placed with exact dimensions (down to ⅛th of an inch) and specifications, but we also need to communicate with the vendors directly, track the orders’ progress, receive shipments, inspect them for quality, and remedy any errors or damages during shipping. This can last weeks, even months for custom items.

Although you won’t see much during this part of the process, your project is still fully in motion and we will keep you updated along the way. Be patient… magic is happening!

design by keti dallas tx design process open concept moder living area with staircase decorating

Step 4: Installation & Reveal Day

My favorite step! This is when it all comes together and you finally get to see the results. Once all the ordered items have been received and inspected, we schedule your Installation Day. Our team is in charge of installing everything and styling the space with the finishing touches that make the house feel like home. Then, you get to come home...

TA-DA! Expect excitement, hugs, and maybe even some happy tears and Champagne! Why not?!

After we gather all our emotions, I will walk through the home with you to create a “punch list” of any final items to address. We do our best to resolve loose ends promptly, so you can get on with living your amazing life in your new space. And now, the house is yours — enjoy it!

There you have it — my 4-step decorating process, designed to bring all of your home dreams to life with clarity, customization, and you at it’s center. Exciting, isn’t it? 

If you’re ready to get started on your space, let’s chat!


Today I am bringing you behind the scenes of our design and renovation process. Renovating your home right before putting it on the market can increase your sale price considerably. However, while you might have an idea for your budget, you need to be mindful of which updates will truly increase your home value and make the investment worth your while. 

Lucky for you, that is what I do, and I am the best at it. But don’t just take it from me — Design by KETI did receive another year of Houzz awards for Best in Design and Best in Service! Together, these two categories perfectly sum up what we do for our clients, and today, I’m showing you exactly how we do it.

Ready to design and renovate your home? Sit back, relax, and explore our tried-and-true process...

highland park home renovation success story living room white furniture builtin
A successful Highland Park home renovation. The first buyer who toured the property bought it!

Step 1: Consultation Phase

We always start with a pre-project Consultation or “Work Session” as I like to call it. (Yes, we’re already getting to work at this phase!) This is the time where we get to know each other and determine the driving selling points of your home — which are essential to knowing what to renovate. 

Here’s what we’ll cover in this jam-packed session:

1. Identify your target buyers

We need to determine first and foremost who your target buyers are. You might think, “But Keti, I want my home to appeal to everybody.” I can understand that line of thinking, but trying to appeal to everyone is going to result in appealing to no one. 

When renovating the home, we want to make sure it appeals specifically to the target buyer and their lifestyle. During our discussion, we’ll determine how old they are, if they are married, do they have kids, their annual income, etc. Targeting a specific group will make your property stand out to those people and get them to the closing table!

2. Set your design & renovation budget 

During this Consultation and Work Session, we will discuss how much you should invest in the renovation as well as the current price point of your home. The purpose of upgrading your home before putting it on the market is obviously to increase its value, so my responsibility is to ensure we target upgrades that maximize your ROI... without pricing the home out of the market. We specialize in finding that sweet spot!

3. Define the scope of your renovation

When it comes to the scope of the renovation, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Not all design projects are the same; some could be minor upgrades, while others could include intense renovations. Once I know the property and your budget, I’ll be able to advise on the best course of action:

4. Assess the fixed elements of your home

The “fixed elements” of your home refer to items that are physically installed, like countertops, cabinets, flooring, fireplace surround and mantel, trim, etc. Since these elements are stationary, unlike decor, it is important to decide which ones we will be keeping and which ones we will be changing. (Remember, this decision is made based on your target buyers, what suits their lifestyle and most importantly your budget and whether the change makes financial sense.) 

5. Create your design concept

You know that feeling you get when entering a newly designed home? When it feels fresh and welcoming? That is the exact experience we want to provide your target buyers with when they tour your home. Using our decisions for scope, budget, and fixed elements, we’ll create a design plan that includes on-trend elements that exude freshness and timelessness and will attract your target buyer like bees to honey!

6. Map out the staging plan

The last step of the consultation phase is mapping out the design blueprint for staging your home. We will create a visual of the furniture placement, of the scale of fixtures we will be using, and account for the additional furniture pieces we need to make the home feel spacious and welcoming (using price point appropriate staging furnishings, of course). 

Furniture plays a big role, and we never want to cheapen your home with low-level furnishings, regardless of price point. Staging should be inspirational. At the end of the day regardless of the price point, when people buy things, they always buy up. There is a certain status that goes along with it. I always like to say, no one buys a Rolex because they want to know what time it is... and not one single person buys a Tesla or a Bentley just because they need wheels to make it to their office each day. That's just a bit of human Psychology 101 for you. 😉

Remember, the design elements are what make make the house itself feel timeless, but the furniture and decor is what makes the house feel like the home they always wanted but never had. Emotional connection that inspires buyers to make an offer!

dallas renovation revive a dead listing design by keti dining room open concept
This renovation and home staging project was a true success story. After sitting on the market for months, we were able to breathe life into this listing. The first buyer to tour the house bought it! 

Step 2: Design Phase

Now that we have a clear idea of what the design and renovation project will entail, we move on to my favorite part: the design plan. We start by creating a map for all the minor or major renovations we need to do. The design plan includes two main elements:

1. Color Palette

The color palette is the foundation of your home’s design. It should tie all the fixed elements together cohesively, create expansiveness, and appeal to your target buyer. For homes being staged for sale, neutrals (with the correct undertones) are the best way to go.

2. Material Specification 

Although we have already established in the Consultation which materials we will need to include in the design, now is the time when we officially select them. We’ll source materials for your flooring, fireplace, countertops, cabinets, backsplash, vanities, lighting fixtures, hardware, etc. For many of these items, we’ll get quotes from the manufacturers in advance before officially purchasing.

dallas culture map feature home staging design by keti living room fresh elegant
This renovated Dallas home not only closed after 2 months from listing, but the homeowners achieved their ROI goal and sold it for $1 million! It also got featured in Dallas Culture Map

Step 3: Renovation Phase

Once we submit the design plan and we have all agreed on it, it’s time to get to work. However, there are multiple ways to proceed:

dallas renovated bedroom home staging design by keti open spacious warm
We achieved an ROI of 150% on this renovated Dallas home

Step 4: Home Staging Phase

This is where our design plan finally comes to life. My team ad I will bring in the elements of the staging, as agreed upon in our Consultation, which includes furnishings, art, and decor in a timeless yet on-trend style. Remember, it’s not about what you or I like. It’s about what your target buyer likes! (In fact, all of the photos you’ve seen so far include spaces that we have professionally staged — and they all flew off the market.)

The very last step is getting your home professionally photographed, putting it on the market, and get ready for the offers to come your way! 

Final Thoughts

Whether your home has been sitting on the market without any movement — or you’re trying to avoid this situation entirely — I am confident that we can freshen up your listing to generate tons of interest and get your property sold in no time. I love interior design, but the strategy behind designing a home for sale is my passion. 

I can’t wait to help you make back your initial investment… and then some!

Ready to start sprucing up your property listing? Book your 15-minute discovery call with me today!

To you and your best home sale,


P.S. Don’t forget to sign up here for our Guide to a Stress-Free and Profitable Renovation!

One of my clients’ most frequently asked questions is “Why do I need home staging services to sell my home?” The answer: Marketing! 

We are all familiar with the concept of home staging and how important it is in the selling process. But, you wouldn’t believe how many homeowners are still hesitant to invest in revamping their properties before putting them on the market. 

To sell your home, you need to market it. And for that, you need to work on your packaging, AKA, staging. This project I’m about to share with you is a special one… and living proof of why you need me! 😉

Project: Matching This Lovely Home with the Right Owners

Our clients were Dallas natives who enjoyed living in this home for some time. After a few years, they decided to sell the home and move on to the next chapter of their lives. Like most of our clients, their main goals were to sell the property fast and at the highest price possible, which is when they called me.

Here is what the property looked like before…

Before Home Staging

dallas home before renovations 
property listing real estate market
The outside felt welcoming but needed a few touches to revive it.
dallas home before renovations 
property listing real estate market walls and floor look dated
The paint and trims were in decent condition but aesthetically looked dated.
dallas home before renovations 
property listing real estate market missing a modern touch
The living room and kitchen had a beautiful open layout. They were missing a touch of modern luxury to appeal to buyers.
dallas home before renovations 
property listing real estate market needed refreshing
The kitchen was open but lackluster, and it needed a few new fixtures to feel fresh and up-to-date.
dallas home before renovations 
property listing real estate market bedroom has potential
The bedrooms had tons of potential, just needed some love.

Setting the Design & Staging Strategy

Setting the design and staging strategy is such an important step in our process. It allows us to assess the main architectural components of the home (fixed elements) that we have to take into account when planning the staging design. That’s how we create a design that looks cohesive, feels warm and inviting, and is on-trend yet timeless. 

The result will be a home that potential buyers can identify with and picture themselves living in.

Identifying the Home’s Ideal Buyers

The first step is to identify who we wanted to market this home to. When you know your buyers, you can determine what they need and plan your design accordingly. During our home staging consultation, we discussed who we believe this home would be perfect for. 

Because this lovely home is a few miles away from White Rock Lake, near uptown/downtown, and has a great school district, we established that young professionals with children were the best demographic to target. 
We knew that with young professionals as our ideal buyer, this home would need to be staged as move-in ready. You can see how this information changes our approach!

Creating the Design Plan

Once we identified our ideal buyers, it was time to get to work. We put a list together of the main areas of the home that needed our attention. 

The distinction between interior design and home staging is that we’re not renovating a home for the owners to live in, we are marketing it to sell. So our overall plan is driven by the goal of emotionally sparking that aha moment for the buyer, making them think, “This is the one!”

Here’s what we did...

After Property Updates & Home Staging

design by keti front porch rocking chairs welcoming home staging case study roi

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, focusing on the curb appeal of your property is crucial. That’s where all the magic happens. You’re not just selling a home — you’re selling an experience. Who doesn’t find rocking chairs on a covered porch inviting??

design by keti dallas home staging roi case study fresh and bright living room

We started by updating the wall paint and trim. This is something we always do in these types of projects. A fresh coat of paint is perhaps the easiest and most effective way to revive a space. You can feel it when you walk in the door!

design by keti dallas home staging roi case study warm welcoming front entry

The front entry’s open layout felt warm and welcoming, but the former travertine tiles gave it an outdated look. To achieve a more luxurious feel, we got rid of the tiles and replaced them with lightly sanded natural wood. We also stained all hardwood flooring to match everything. It has a slightly warm undertone that pairs perfectly with the cool shade of the walls and trim.

design by keti dallas home staging roi case study luxurious modern living space

Once the walls and floors were updated, it was time to bring in some furniture. For this project, we used our inventory alongside some of the pieces the homeowners already had. This entry room and formal dining space had bright large windows and nice built-ins. They complemented the overall luxury look we wanted (to match the price point of the home) yet feel warm, welcoming, and delightfully livable.

design by keti dallas home staging roi case study revived kitchen and breakfast nook

With a few light fixture swaps and furniture additions, the kitchen was revived into the warm family space it was meant to be. Can’t you picture yourself cooking and hosting in this open space? How about a morning coffee in that lovely breakfast nook? (This home’s eventual buyers certainly could!)

design by keti dallas home staging roi case study butcher block and travertine backsplash

We also shaved off the butcher block that was sticking out previously, and replaced the travertine backsplash with a stainless material to match the rest of the kitchen. So much more current and cohesive now.

design by keti dallas home staging roi case study elevated upstairs living space

As you make your way upstairs, you are welcomed by another living space with a small wet bar that we upgraded. We added a dining set and a sofa to elevate the space and make it feel warm and welcoming.

design by keti dallas home staging roi case study bright and sophisticated master bedroom

We didn’t stage all the bedrooms but chose to focus on this master bedroom. After updating the trim and flooring, we swapped the bed set for a modern looking one to appeal to today’s buyers. The room feels spacious and inviting without being overdone.

design by keti dallas home staging roi case study luxury master bathroom

This spa-like master bathroom was the true showstopper. With a large walk-in shower, and a vanity countertop, all we had to do is spruce it up with some staging elements.

design by keti dallas home staging roi case study updated light fixtures and seated vanity

The updated light fixtures and seated vanity area contributed to the overall luxury feel. These are the details that support the home’s price point — so making an offer at or above list price feels like a no-brainer to buyers!

What Were the Results?

design by keti dallas home staging roi case study renovated formal living room

Because every story needs a happy ending, let me fill you in on the results for this particular project. After Design by KETI helped renovate and stage this lovely home..

Can I let you in on a secret? This project was completed in 2017. That’s right, 3 years ago! But guess what? It STILL looks as up-to-date then as it does now.

That is the value of timeless design — and trust me, buyers know when a home is too trendy and won’t have resale value years down the road. This is design and staging done right.

If you’re having trouble with your listing (or want to make sure you do it right the first time), let’s talk. We’ll get to know each other, discuss your goals, and come up with a smart plan that pays off.


P.S. Don’t forget to sign up here for our Guide to a Stress-Free and Profitable Renovation!

Today I want to share a project we recently completed with excellent results — a design and home staging ROI of 150%. Yes, I know I've spoiled the grand finale of this transformation, but knowing the final result makes it all the more worth seeing...

Project: Reviving a Dead Listing in Dallas

Our clients were out-of-towners who had been trying to sell this house in Dallas with no luck. They were tired and frustrated but mostly eager to sell the property and move on with their lives. 

Here's what the property looked like before…

dallas home before renovations property listing real estate market
The orange door did absolutely nothing the amp up curb appeal.
dallas home before renovations property listing real estate market interior 70s home dated dark
We found dark and dated wallpaper throughout the entire home, from the living spaces to the bedrooms.
dallas 70s home before renovations property listing real estate market bedroom wallpaper
Speaking of scary wallpaper...
dallas 70s home before renovations property listing orange wood white painted stone fireplace
Architectural details with very specific style and taste.
dallas 70s home before renovations property listing dated staircase kitchen
This house was built in the 70s and the stain on the wood reflected it. It may be difficult to see it in the photo, but the floor was also damaged (standard wear and tear) in many areas.

Setting the Design & Staging Strategy

Overall, this home was clearly dated and tailored to a very specific taste, but it also had great potential. Architectural details gave it unique character… if we presented it just right.

Identifying the Home's Ideal Buyers

First, we had to determine how we wanted to market this home. During our home staging consultation, we discussed two options for listing the home: as a bargain home or a move-in ready home. Older homes can be more desirable at a lower price point, but we also know a young professional couple with a family has no time for remodeling or reno work. They are more willing to make an offer on a property that is move-in ready.

Additionally, our clients had already tried the bargain route with no luck. They agreed that designing and staging the home as move-in ready was the way to go.

Creating a Design Plan

Once we reached this decision, we quickly got to work. (We know time is money, and we don’t dilly dally!) I put together a design plan for all the make-ready/renovation work that needed to be done. 

I provided the design direction and the project management for the staging, whereas my team of subcontractors and tradesmen did the work (which you’ll see soon). The plan?

1. The house looked dark, frumpy, and not like it belonged in the luxury home category. We knew we needed to address it right from the curb (appeal) with exterior landscaping and price-conscious paint color selections.

2. With all the fixed features making bold statements, we needed to update the decade-defining features, creating a cohesive interior color palette, and bring light and life into the home.

Ready to see how the home turned out?

Investing in Updates that Pay Big ROI

Welcome to a new front step…

design by keti front porch blue door light taupe eaves welcoming home staging roi

Lighter eaves, better landscaping, and a more inviting front step make this home far more joyful and welcoming to a young family. 

We removed the dark wallpaper and opted for a light blue-gray color, picking up from the blue undertones in the kitchen counters that was used throughout the home. The end result was enormous spaciousness, making it so much lighter, brighter and airy… perfect for today’s buyers!

design by keti home staging roi redesign white light blues warm modern lighting fresh fast sale

A mix of cool tones in the staging elements and warm lighting help this space feel balanced.

design by keti home staging roi living room warm luxurious white furniture woods

In the living room, more luxurious furnishings in the right scale keep this space looking elevated, not dated.

design by keti home staging living room brick fireplace wood plank wall warm traditional luxury

This dramatic wall feels like a stunning feature instead of an eyesore, largely thanks to lighter flooring and furnishings, and small touches of warm copper in the decor to help it blend in.

kitchen stone backsplash white new light walnut stained floors renovation and home staging roi dallas

Speaking of the flooring, we stripped the wood floors of the old stain and finished them new with a light walnut stain. We know that this stain is on-trend and will be trending at least for the next 10 to 15 years.

kitchen stone backsplash white new light walnut stained floors renovation and home staging roi dallas

Tip: Painting the stair risers the same color as the trim makes for a more classic and timeless look. It was also a great way to blend the light airy feel we wanted to create with the existing warm tones of the wood.

design by keti home staging roi beautiful master bedroom view tree desk work from home

We didn’t stage all of the bedrooms (though we certainly got rid of the dated wallpaper), but this master bedroom with a view deserved to be staged for a young couple who may be working from home.

home work space dallas home staging roi of 150 simple strategic renovation design by keti

Same with this built-in workspace. As more professionals work from home (and kids “school from home”), spaces like these are essential for selling a home quickly and for profit.

How did this home sell after some strategic design changes and staging?

Well, I know I spoiled the surprise in the beginning, but I’ll say it again. After sitting on the market indefinitely, this house sold in less then two weeks of being put back in the market as a newly renovated home

It listed for $110K more than the old list price. 

And — if that wasn’t enough — my clients told me that their investment on the reno-work and the repairs paid off BIG time. For every dollar they put into the house via the reno work and staging, they were able to get $1.50 back. That’s a 150% return on investment!

Strategic design and home staging work. I can’t wait to show you how it can help YOU sell your property and get on with your life, too.

If you’re ready to enlist our help in a speedy and profitable home sale, let’s talk.

— Keti

While you may or may not want to start a kitchen renovation right this second, there’s no reason not to use this time at home to start planning! And when it comes to planning a remodel, it usually starts with creating a smart investment strategy. 

If you’ve never budgeted for a kitchen renovation before, you might have only a vague idea of what the total investment really looks like. Or maybe you have no idea. Which is also okay. We all start somewhere.

In any case, let’s take it from the top...

How to know what to invest in your kitchen renovation

To know how much you’ll be investing in your kitchen renovation, you’ll need a budget. A budget, not to be confused with your TOTAL investment, is an itemized list of the funds that will be allocated to various aspects of the renovation. 

To create a true budget, you will need to…. 

You can see that true budgeting requires researching, getting your team together, making a real plan (not a rough one), getting realistic quotes, and of course, TIME...

...which is precisely why it’s so difficult for me to give you an accurate cost estimate without looking at the property in question! 

So, what’s my point? The point is to be aware that this will be the eventual process for a real functioning budget. For now (because I know you’re looking for a number), we’re going to talk in general investment ranges.

design by keti kitchen renovation remodeling design for sell investment what does it cost dallas

Discover this kitchen’s story in our portfolio

What can you expect to invest in a kitchen renovation?

As I said above, it depends on the kitchen, but there are two components to the overall cost of any and EVERY kitchen reno: labor and materials. 

Labor Investment

Unless you’re renovating a super high-end luxury kitchen that will have all the bells and whistles of a commercial grade kitchen, your investment in LABOR is more or less the same. That makes labor a fixed (and non-negotiable) expense.

Materials Investment

Materials vary widely in cost and therefore contribute most to variations in investments. Before we can estimate or calculate your materials investment, we need to know whether the home we are remodeling is a budget home, a move up home, or a luxury home. Each of these comes with different material choices and slightly different features, which will affect your total investment.

Total Investment: Labor + Materials

Entry Level Kitchen in Dallas: $7-12K

Move Up Kitchen in Dallas: $15-25K

Luxury Kitchen in Dallas: $25K-50K+

Again, these are general, average ranges based on my many years of being involved in Dallas kitchen renovations. Yours might be different, but this is what I’ve seen to be true.

design by keti kitchen renovation costs investment plan modern traditional dallas

Hear this kitchen’s story in our Portfolio

Where can you control costs in a kitchen renovation?

There are a few ways you can control costs in a kitchen renovation without skimping on style. YES, even a budget renovation can look nice!

As a Homeowner

If you’re renovating your kitchen as the homeowner, I highly suggest working with a designer who knows trends in real estate. If so, they will be able to deliver a kitchen that is timely and timeless. (Never let your General Contractor make design decisions!) The idea is that, should you decide to sell your home in the next few years, the home will still hold up its value. I think we all want that, right?

The other benefit of hiring a professional (versus doing it yourself) is in saving on costly mistakes. The cost of a single expensive mistake made on your own could likely have paid for the professional to do it right the first time. And saved you the stress and heartache of investing twice. So I say do your homework and go with a professional you trust.

As an Investor or Builder

Just because you are working on a budget-friendly or move up kitchen it does not mean that it has to look ugly. You can have a well put-together kitchen on a small budget by adding classic elements. Such as an inexpensive subway tile and on-trend hardware and faucets. Even painting the cabinets white will do the trick. 

(Here are some other timeless selling design features in today’s housing market.)

This is where hiring a design professional is worth its weight in gold, because your budget-friendly kitchen won’t look like it was pieced together — it will look well worth its selling price!

design by keti kitchen renovation costs investment plan modern traditional dallas

Read this kitchen’s story in our Portfolio

I hope this post has given you a foundation for what a kitchen renovation investment looks like, as well as some tips for planning your own. 

If you need a professional opinion on what your renovation will take (and how to do it right the first time!), I’d be happy to support you. Book your free discovery call here, and let’s chat!

— Keti

P.s. You can grab our Guide to a Stress-Free and Profitable Renovation by signing up for our newsletter below!

Do you know which design trends are going to boost your bottom line, and which are going to sink it? 

In my last post, we talked about some of the features that today’s buyers want most in a home. These were mainly related to spatial desires, such as a sociable kitchen, designs for joy, smart homes, etc.

Today, I’m going to talk about the MATERIALS that are on-trend, timeless, and going to support a great bottom line for your renovation. 

Note, this post is hot on the heels of my trip to the International Builders’ Show (IBS) and Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS), where experts meet to talk trends, market shifts, and the latest in home design. 

Timely vs. Timeless Trends

It’s important to note that just because a beautiful slab of stone or oversized modern lighting are on display at KBIS doesn’t necessarily make them a prime candidate for a profitable renovation. 

Not everyone is designing to sell. Some are designing to live. So it’s important that I use my experience and judgment to assess the trends that everyone is gushing over.

Some trends are timely but will have a short lifespan. Others are timely as well as TIMELESS (Meaning future buyers aren’t going to be worried about their interiors having an expiration date.)

The trick to profit-driven interior design is that it is equal parts timely AND timeless.

Knowing which trends are profitable (and which aren’t) is an area where I excel. So, what’s the verdict?

design by keti dallas kitchen renovation classic traditional modern lighting chandelier pendants bar stools dallas

(Design by KETI)


1. Choose Kitchen Cabinets in White or Warm Wood

White kitchens are incredibly on-trend right now, but I wouldn’t call them “trendy.” White is timeless and can make well-lit spaces look larger. Another tip is to take those cabinets all the way up to the ceiling. They make the room seem taller, in addition to adding more, desirable storage space.

If you’re selecting wood cabinets, go with a warm tone. It makes the space feel more inviting, social, and comfortable.

classic modern kitchen renovation design by keti dallas investor flip smart

(Design by KETI)


2. Black is Back in Home Design

Black is another timely and timeless color that can be used to create elegant impact in a home. It’s best used as an accent color, either in some of the furniture used in a home staging, or as part of the hardware of a home, such as an elegantly slim curtain rod, light fixtures, or window frames.

design by keti staging renovation lighting selections design plan dallas real estate investors

(Design by KETI)


3. Green is Taking Over Interiors

Much like blue did in 2019, green is taking over homes in 2020. Color is always timely and timeless, but should be used tastefully when selling a home. I like to add pops of color with pillows and decor, or in the case of this year’s color, fresh greenery. 

classic modern traditional interior master bedroom bathroom staged for sale profit dallas white

Spring green accents are tasteful and inviting. (Design by KETI)


4. Light fixtures are the jewels of the home

Light fixtures are incredibly underrated – they are the jewels of the home, and you shouldn’t sell a home without great-looking ones! 

Below are a few that we’ve chosen for dramatic impact. And yes, they sold quickly!

luxe white furniture walls dark woods chandelier lighting staging dallas ketibathroom remodel design by keti dallas modern classic white exciting lighting stone flooring marble veins
Living room or bathroom, lighting matters! (Design by KETI)


5. Bringing the outside in

This trend applies more to the home staging than the renovation, but is equally important. A home without some semblance of the outdoors will feel cold and lifeless. With today’s shift toward design for joy, bringing the outdoors in is ESSENTIAL!

staged living room lighting bed plants outdoors indoors design by keti dallas

I like to use flowers, small potted plants, indoor trees, or succulents. (Design by KETI)


6. Mixing patterns (timely, NOT timeless!)

This is the only trend on our list that is timely but NOT timeless. You might be tempted to install a backsplash of beautiful patterned tiles that are completely on-trend right now… but not only are you taking the risk of the homeowner not liking the pattern, it may go out of style quickly.

This is why I suggest pattern mixing in the home staging, not in the renovation itself. Keep your backsplashes and tiles more neutral.

white living room classic traditional modern built in bookshelf flip home profit

Mixing patterns with the area rug and pillows are timely and tasteful. (Design by KETI)


In my next post, I’m going to break down what a kitchen renovation costs and how to budget for it. 

Until then, download our free guide to profitable staging or contact us here for help with your project!

— Keti

Every year, I see large and small shifts in the housing trends that buyers want most in their homes. This is true of aesthetics — such as color, material, and style  — but also functionality, HOW people are using their homes.

As someone who designs homes to sell (for homeowners, builders, investors and flippers), it’s extremely important for me to stay in-the-know about these housing trends and give my clients the upper hand.

Part of staying educated includes attending conferences and industry events, and I recently returned from two that were held in January in Las Vegas:

So, what features are Dallas homebuyers loving most in 2020?

dallas home staging features selling profit smart ROI design by ketiStaged by Design by KETI

1. Millennials are the largest population of home buyers

Today’s market buyers are mostly millennials, and gone are the days of the big mansions. It’s challenging to sell a 5000 square foot home to a millennial, even if they have the cash to buy it. In fact, the ideal home in 2019 was about 2,500 sq-ft with 3 bedrooms.

Home features millennials love:

Allow me to elaborate…

bathroom design dallas keti remodeling materials selection luxury smart ROIDesigned by KETI

2. Homes are no longer about having a roof over your head

It’s sad but true that people are lonelier than ever before. Nearly 80% of Americans say they are unhappy. There is rising emotional anxiety. 

Naturally, a trend to design for joy has taken root and flourished in the housing market. Health and quality of life has taken precedence amongst the builder community because that’s what their buyers are asking for. 

How can you capitalize on this housing trend?

Design the home to be a safe haven, a place for people to take time to decompress. This can be achieved in how you stage the home (creating restful spaces), as well as the attention given to materials in private areas, such as a master bathroom in cool, soothing colors designed for relaxing. 

As I said before,  when you design a home that appeals to the senses, millennials are not the only buyers who will be impressed.

dallas mid-range home staged for profit fast sale bedding art master bedroomDesigned by KETI

3. Home features that follow social trends

Another aspect of housing trends is the way we use the different spaces in our homes. Here’s a quick room-by-room breakdown of the changes that are happening in the 2020 market:


Along the lines of Americans feeling lonely, the kitchen has made a 180-degree turn in how it’s being used day to day. No longer a place for the chef to retreat, kitchens have become a place for gathering, socializing, and entertaining. 

The most desirable kitchens are spacious, have islands, and offer a variety of seating conducive to gatherings and socializing. 


For a period, it was not trendy to have a formal dining room. Now it’s a comeback! 


We’re seeing mudrooms becoming a highly desirable feature, even more so than the entryway. Why? Because today’s homeowners rarely get into the house via the front door. 


These days, buyers are eating up “flex spaces,” a room or area that is left up to the buyer to decide what to do with it. That said, you should always STAGE a flex space with a design that appeals to your target buyer. Leaving it vacant won’t inspire anyone’s imagination.

design by keti dallas home staged office space target buyer entrepreneurs business couplesWe styled this flex space as an office, since buyers in the area are mainly business professionals who often work from home.

4. Home features that are getting more intelligent

Today’s consumers (mostly millennials) are all about the smart home and the home’s role in battling time poverty. Now, you can talk to a faucet to start it, start dinner while in your car driving home, take a therapeutic bath in a free standing jetted tub, and the bath mat will weigh you each morning. 

How can you capitalize on this housing trend?

Regardless of how you feel about technology in the home (or seeing your weight first thing in the morning), today’s consumers are interested in tech. Yet, the volume builders are not providing it in homes!!

Adding smart features to your property will put you above the competition, help your home appeal to the largest population of buyers, and usher you even faster to the closing table.

design by keti kitchen selections lighting countertop white cabinets bar stools dallas new buildDesigned by KETI

5. Luxury design is lighter than ever

This one can include millennials but also branches out into the Gen X’ers. I’m talking about billionaires. More billionaires have cash than ever before, but we’re not seeing a trend toward opulence or heavy luxury in homes. 

These days, luxury is light and livable. Luxury is classic and timeless. Luxury doesn’t need to be loud because it speaks for itself.  

How can you capitalize on this housing trend?

If you’re designing for a luxury client, focus on materiality. For example, an incredible piece of marble around the fireplace speaks volumes.

dallas home staging luxury millennials profit tips flex space casualDesigned by KETI

Since we talked about the most desirable housing trends in this post, my next post is going to share some of the best TIMELY and TIMELESS materials for your bottom line.

Until then, download our free guide to profitable staging!

— Keti

You might think a great floor plan, location, or square-footage will sell a property, but trust me, important as that might be, great real estate design is what sells homes. Buyers care what the home looks like, and if it doesn’t meet their criteria, they won’t be headed to the closing table any time soon. 

I know because we’ve encountered many situations where homes with great bones and floor plans sat on the market indefinitely until we came in and helped with some much-needed improvements. Design MATTERS. 

Here’s what great design can do to sell your property:

If you don’t believe me, here’s the proof!

dallas renovations professional design flipping investors timeless clean aesthetic

Who should you hire to get a professional real estate design for your flip or reno?

If you’re serious about your ROI, you’ll want to hire a professional in the field. Your first instinct might be to hire an interior designer, but I would caution you against it.  Interior designers, while extremely talented, are experts at creating spaces that are highly personal and specific to the people already living in the home. 

Designing a flip or renovation to sell requires a very different approach. 

Instead of asking the homeowners how they use the space and want to live in it, we have to consider the design from a profit-driven perspective:





Once these questions have been answered, a real estate design and staging professional will create the right aesthetic AND prioritize your bottom line. 

It’s design, but it’s also expert business strategy. Your pocket book and future will thank you! 

real estate design soft color palette on trend classic keti dallas

How do you ensure you have a real estate design that addresses these selling priorities?

If you work with a design and real estate staging professional, they should take you through three steps: a consultation, a design plan, and the final staging to bring everything together. 


1. Renovation & Real Estate Design Consultation

The renovation and design consultation is a strategy session. It’s the first step to a successful project and is not to be taken lightly! During this on-site meeting, we’ll…




real estate dining room design impress home flip smart investment

2. Real Estate Design Plan

During this phase we get into all the design-related specifics, or the HOW of our renovations plan. We’ll make all the selections for any new or updated features such as paint, flooring, counter tops, tile, back splash, lighting, hardware, plumbing, etc. 

We will present you with all the specifics of the renovations design plan at which time, we can either source all the material selections for you, or you can do so in collaboration with your GC. During the renovation process we can also make ourselves available to your crew for any installation and design specific inquiries.

Extra step: If desired, our trusted team of subcontractors can carry out the agreed-upon updates and renovations with speed and professionalism. Relax and enjoy letting experts take the wheel!

home staging design keti dallas timeless home flipping

3. Home Staging

The design of the home doesn’t stop with hardware, flooring, and countertops — what’s inside your home matters too. To complete the transformation, you will definitely want to stage the home. (Whether you choose us or not, we still suggest it! It is SO worth it.)

With us, while the minor improvements and renovations are underway, we’ll present you with a vacant home staging proposal that highlights the home’s selling features and is worthy of its listing price. 

Once the renovations have been finalized, we will begin staging your investment property. This is the moment when the magic happens… the home is transformed and ready to steal the hearts of potential buyers!

classic timeless luxury home staging living room neutrals dallas

For the best results, we recommend bringing in a design professional from the very beginning, before any updates are made, and taking your project step by step. (This is our Complete Concierge service for investors or homeowners.) 

But if you’re looking for design help somewhere in the middle of your project, you can still find any of these as a stand-alone service and see drastic impact. 

Next month, I’ll be back here to share a bit more about what really goes on at a home staging consultation. Spoiler… more than you think!

Until then, sign up HERE to grab our free download, How to Prepare for a Remodel!

— Keti


Does your home for sale have outdated kitchen cabinets?

3 Ways to Upgrade Kitchen Cabinets for Resale

Kitchen Remodeling Dallas  Dallas Kitchen Renovations


Kitchen Renovation and Staging Project | Before & After

Instantly Improve the Perceived Value

Instantly Improve the Perceived Value Does your home for sale have cringy or outdated kitchen cabinets? If they don't show significant wear, they are a good candidate for a paint-induced makeover. Remember, kitchens and baths are the main selling points of a home. Ensure that the kitchen, the heart of the home, is looking its best.

Whether you are the homeowner looking to sell or the agent who is handling the listing, the tips we're sharing today will help increase the perceived value of the house, which can result in a higher payoff.






Update old or builder-grade kitchen cabinets with high quality paint. If they are already painted, simply refresh their existing color. If they were previously stained, hire a professional re-finisher or take your time to learn the best way to paint your cabinets. Keep in mind that the cabinets must not show significant wear and must not be broken.





Make your cabinets look high end by painting a different color on the island or by creating contrasting upper / lower cabinets. (e.g. A tuxedo kitchen has white uppers and black lowers.)

When selecting new paint colors, choose a shade from the existing counter tops and / or back splash tile to ensure that the space still flows well.


black and white kitchen




To further accessorize, line the cabinets with a solid color shelf liner or simply remove any old shelf liners. Your cabinets should look fresh from the inside out. Don't hesitate to give them a thorough interior cleaning.

Lastly, swap out the cabinet and drawer hardware for something new and minimal. This can improve the aesthetic of the entire kitchen by leaps and bounds.



95% of home buyers look at MLS photos.

The way your home looks online matters. Ensure that your house gets the attention it deserves (and sells for a great price) by investing in quality staging and styling.



Create a statement piece.

Paint the kitchen island a deep, bold color to make it stand out from the cabinets. Navy, black, or deep green are excellent options.






O: (214) 814 – 5967


Luxury Vinyl Planks 101

Hardwood has long since been a hallmark in high end, quality homes. Its rich, earthy texture and natural beauty have made it a no-brainer, resulting in refinishing vs. replacing whenever possible to avoid the high cost of replacement.

However, hardwood has caused no small amount of anxiety to homeowners with children and pets. Because hardwood floors can be warped by excess moisture or noticeably scratched, they aren't always the best or most sensible option for busy households.

What is hardwood-loving homeowner to do?

Meet the Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP).

Dallas Home Renovations


Luxury vinyl planks make for excellent flooring in every room, especially high-moisture areas like kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. The wood-like appearance of LVP adds warmth and character without succumbing to spilled liquids, heavy use, or frequent cleanings.

Quality LVP will last anywhere from 10-15 years, though could last even longer depending on how it is treated. It also doesn't need to be refinished - ever - and is available in a variety of faux wood species, including maple, oak, walnut, and hickory. Wide and narrow planks are available as well, making it easy to create a truly custom floor.



Ease of installation matters, even if you're hiring a company to handle the professional installation of your LVP flooring. The more convenient it is for the installers, the faster they will work and the more pleasing your final invoice will be. Happy installers make for good projects - trust us!

LVP snaps together effortlessly but does require some pre-planning, measuring, and cutting to ensure the joints don't end up all in a row (yep, just like hardwood). For best results, use an installer who works with LVP and hardwood frequently.

Dallas Luxury Home staging


We never suggest that you get stingy when it comes to more permanent materials like flooring, but we also have to admit that LVP is a significantly smaller investment than hardwood.  Happy accident? Not really.

LVP was developed to be an aesthetically pleasing, durable, and affordable alternative to hardwood. It ranges from $2-5 per square foot, while hardwood rings up the bill at $8-25 per square foot. Homeowners who opt for LVP often end up having more funds leftover for other luxuries, such as a curbless shower or elaborate back splash tile.



LVP Components

Faux wood and waterproof flooring are trending - and for good reason. LVP can often contain recycled PVC, which adds to its durability.



Chemical sensitivities

If you or someone in your home suffers from chemical sensitivities, be sure to treat your new LVP as you would any other building material, allowing it to off-gas in a climate controlled space.




O: (214) 814 – 5967


We increase the value of real estate through profit driven and timeless design for renovations and home staging. Whether you’re flipping a property, renovating, staging to sell, or want to wisely invest in updates, your ROI is our business.
© Copyright 2020 – Design by KETI