Behind the Scenes of Our Design & Renovation Process

March 5, 2021

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:

  • Minor Renovation: These entail mostly cosmetic upgrades such as lighting upgrades, revisiting your color palette, changing carpet or flooring, and trading your current hardware for more on-trend, timeless pieces. 
  • Major Renovation: All of the above, plus any floor plan changes or space expansion.

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 process 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 renovation process
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:

  • I can either take over the entire execution of the renovation, including procuring materials, organizing our network of trades, managing the project, etc.
  • If you already have a general contractor you wish to work with, I am happy to share all the details we’ve solidified regarding the renovation and materials, so you can pass them along to your team.
dallas renovated bedroom home staging design by keti open spacious warm renovation process
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!

We increase the value of real estate through profit driven and timeless design for renovations and new home builds.  Whether you’re renovating your home, flipping a property or want to wisely invest in updates and staging before selling your property your ROI is our business.
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