How to Build the Home of Your Dreams

Home to build a house

I like to daydream.

But what I love to daydream about most, are houses. Beautiful houses that come in all different shapes, colours and sizes. But most importantly, houses that look and feel like home.

I have been lucky enough to have turned the concept of this daydream into a reality when I brought Emma Brown Design to life.

When people ask me what I do for a living, multiple things spring to mind. I am a bit of a mixed bag, not solely an interior designer. One moment you will find me selecting beautiful colour shades or materials for a room, and the next day I will be standing, sleeves rolled up, directing the crew on site.

I guess you could say I am something between a project manager and interior designer all in one, or as one of my clients recently described me – a wedding planner, but for homes instead!

Emma Brown Design offers more than cushions and carpets. It offers you ongoing support and guidance from beginning to end via ongoing project management.

To put it simply, I am passionate about transforming houses to homes and I am here to help you bring your design dreams to life.

Designing the home of your dreams can seem easy in your head, but in my experience, it can be much harder than anticipated. So to help you with your own design or build journey, I have written this blog to help simplify the process of building your own home. Hopefully, I can alleviate some of the confusion that comes with managing a project like this, and you can feel confident and assured to take action.




This is the very first chapter of your journey, and what a beautiful one it is.

When you start to visualise what you want your home to look and feel like, your journey has already begun. This initial stage is essential because this is when everything in your mind is fresh, and it is the opportunity for all your home décor dreams to emerge and come alive slowly.

To help fuel your imagination try asking yourself questions like; “What do I want my dream home to feel like?” “It is big?” “Or is it cosy and small?” “Is it modern?” “Or is it minimalistic?”.

If you need some further inspiration, I recommend creating a Pinterest page or even try creating mood boards for your desired looks. They provide a great way to release all your thoughts and creative energy on paper, plus you can revisit them at a later date. You can also try cutting out inspirational pictures from design or lifestyle magazines, print out ideas from websites and blogs, or even take photographs whenever you see a design feature, building or room that excites you.

Remember, the sky is your limit here!




This next step is an exciting one, as most of you have reached a point where you feel confident that building or renovating is the right way to go.

My advice here is to connect with a person who you feel comfortable with, and one who resonates and aligns with your goals. Your chosen project manager will set up an initial consultation to talk about the process and what is involved. My suggestion here is to come as prepared as possible and be ready to share your goals, any drawings you may have and most importantly, your budget. Budget is a tricky one, but it will dictate what you will be able to achieve realistically.

Make sure you choose someone you genuinely like. You are about to spend a lot of time (in cases over a year), money and energy on and with this person, so choose wisely.

This is the most exciting stage. I love nothing more than sitting down with clients and instantly begin to collaborate with them. I am most comfortable in this element, and I want you to be too. I am open to hearing anything and everything when it comes to your design dreams.




This chapter is all about decisions. Thankfully you don’t have to do it alone. Embarking on a project can be both exciting and daunting at the same time, but with a little expert advice from start to finish, you will be pulling one less hair from your head.

When you have given the go-ahead to meet with an architect of your choice and concept drawings have been confirmed, you and your project manager will book an appointment with your architect. If all the stars align and you wish to go ahead, your dreams will be designed. Once you have signed off on them, they will be planned, then tendered, and you will be notified when they are ready. You will review them and accept to go ahead with the plan or not. This process can take a few months so be patient.

After all that, once all is signed off and consented, we can begin to interior design. Hurrah!

At this point, it is vital to get your team (i.e. plumbers and builders) on board. They will have industry experience that may sway some key designs and save you a tonne of stress. At Emma Brown Design I only work with tradespeople who I trust, and who I know will work to achieve excellent results.

If you are going on this journey, I recommend you do that same.




This is where all the magic begins to unravel. Design is a word that resonates with me on so many levels. It elevates my mood, opens my heart and fuels the creative bones in my body.  If you are anything like me and indulge in retail therapy, this will be your favourite part.

Bear in mind that this is also the time where your initial budget is critical to get right, or you will most likely pay the price of any overspend earlier on in the project.

To me, designing is not about choosing and selecting something for the sake of it. It is about communication, visualising, collaborating, creating and working as a team. Partnering with an interior designer that gets what you are trying to achieve can come in handy at this stage. Since all they do is design, they will know what is out there that will suit your style, and thanks to industry connections and trade accounts, they will probably source it at a much cheaper rate.

And that is it. Sounds simple right? It definitely can be. Building and renovating is a big step, and the moral is that it can be effortless if you have a great team by your side throughout its entirety.

I have thoroughly enjoyed sharing the building process here at with you, and I hope from this you can take away some new ideas and some inspiration to think about your journey of building or renovating – have you started dreaming and visualising what your dream home will look and feel like yet?

If you ever want someone to talk to about it, feel free to get in touch.

Happy home dreaming,