An Insider’s Look Into the Design Process of a Custom Home

By Melissa Saliba – In-House Designer

It can be difficult knowing how to approach the design plan on a large home. I like to begin by creating inspiration boards or books; I look at pictures online, in magazines, and tour local homes and showrooms to get design inspiration. I may not use all of these materials or colors, but this is enough to spark my vision for the home. At the start of my design process, I like to find a tile or slab that matches my overall vision and work from that one piece.


Home site 12 has a distinctive feel compared to the other two homes currently under construction at the Sammamish Ridge Estates. The sloped roof gives the home a contemporary feel, while the surrounding landscape of trees and use of wood and stone on the exterior give it a rustic vibe. It is a true Northwest contemporary home in every sense. This home is going to have many stunning features, including exposed steel beams, barn doors, a sauna, a wine room, and a rec room in the basement with a fireplace. One of my favorite designs about this home is the custom designed fireplace. The fireplace surround will be a natural stone, with a rift white oak or walnut cabinet cantilevering on one side. The other side will have a multi-point pendant hanging from the ceiling. The stone will wrap around the back wall and under the floating steel staircase. We have not built this fireplace design before, so I am excited to see the final outcome!



The outside of a home should always compliment the inside. In this home we plan on using very natural materials, including: wood, steel, stone, limestone, and marble. Adding natural finishes, colors, and textures will allow the Northwest contemporary feel to flow through the home.

If you are interested in customizing your home to your unique taste, I recommend checking out photos online, in magazines, and also touring homes to get some design inspiration. Pinterest is where I find most of my inspiration. Lately though, I find inspiration through Instagram. A lot of independent designers have their own pages and show their professional projects and their personal homes. I also use furniture magazines for inspiration such as Restoration Hardware. This lets me know what’s in style for furniture styles and colors so I can relate the finishes to those trends.