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Why I Chose to Use A Designer for My Home Build

December 19, 2020

If you follow along on Instagram, you know Michael and I have been building our dream home for what seems like years at this point. It’s been such an exciting process, and one we feel so fortunate to be able to do. When we first started, I thought my years of pinning and bookmarking pretty spaces would have prepared me for designing my own home. After all, it can’t be that hard, right? Or at least that’s what I thought, ha! After a few meetings with our builder, it became very clear to me that wasn’t the case. I knew I needed to find a designer I trusted and could keep an eye on all the details – details I didn’t even know existed until she would point them out to me later in the process. 


If you’re building a home and have wondered if you need a designer, or maybe you’re just curious what the process of working with one is like, I think you’ll find this post helpful, or at least I hope so! Part of what Cella Jane is about is me sharing my lessons learned with all of you, and for me, thinking I could design this house on my own without the help of a designer was one of those lessons.
So if you’re looking for the short answer for “Is a designer worth it?” My answer is a resounding YES, but if you want more details I broke down who I worked with, her expertise and some examples of why her eye for detail and her experience brought so much to the table for this project. Basically all the reasons why I ultimately decided to work with a designer on our build and why I would highly recommend it to any of you who are also building!


First things first, I want to share the amazing and incredibly talented Laura of McCrosky Interiors. The moment I met Laura and saw some of the spaces she’s designed I knew she was the perfect fit. She’s honestly one of the kindest humans and so sweet yet very professional. Both Laura and the design firm have been the best to work with and have listened to us and provided insight and advice every step of the way. McCrosky does remodels, new builds, custom homes or even single rooms of your home so if you’re in the Kansas City area and are looking for an interior design firm, look no further!  

In hindsight, I have to laugh at myself for thinking I could basically take on another full-time job making decisions about our home. Interior designers exist for a reason! And it’s because they’re trained to see things we don’t and to rethink spaces to create homes that serve the family living there. This was definitely the case with our kitchen and one of the biggest reasons I’m so thankful I had Laura to help guide my decision making.

To give a bit of background, I was feeling completely overwhelmed with the kitchen design. Laura listened to what we wanted out of our kitchen and subsequently redesigned the entire cabinet layout to make it function better for us. We were literally about to give the green light to the builder when I spoke with her and she completely changed the game in the best way. That’s really the difference between a builder and a designer AND why it’s important to work with a designer from the very beginning. Our builder was fantastic but it’s not necessarily their job to design spaces around your life. They have solutions and layouts that work historically for them that they use over and over again when building homes, but when you work with a designer you’re much more likely to get a design that functions better for you and includes custom solutions the builder doesn’t just do automatically or even suggest. I also loved that Laura seemed to add a soft and very personal touch to each space, which definitely won’t go unnoticed by us or anyone who visits our home. For example, the finish and style of the cabinet doors.


When it came to the cabinet doors and the finish and style, Laura also saved the day. Not that what we would have ended up with was bad, but it would have been much more cookie cutter. Laura showed me designs and options that never even crossed my mind and I know that because of her our kitchen turned out even more perfect than we could have ever envisioned or created on our own. Working with her truly made our kitchen look and feel custom to our taste and family, which is exactly what we needed from working with a designer.Working with Laura not only affected big picture items like the kitchen but also the smallest of details like windows and millwork. For the windows, we did a walkthrough of the entire house and she helped me plan everything out. I knew I wanted windows with grid detailing so she showed me options and colors and once again delivered in a way I never would have been able to on my own. The same goes for all the millwork throughout our home. I knew I wanted millwork but I was just going based on a photo I saved from Instagram that had a cross design. In my mind, that must have been the only option available but then Laura introduced me to an entire world of millwork! I was literally clueless! We decided to use a circle design in our main living room that you’ll soon see. It was also Laura who made sure that circle design then carried throughout the house. I definitely would not have thought of this and it was just another detail on the long list of small but impactful things she pointed out and helped us with throughout the design process. 

Lastly, I also want to add that people think of working with a designer as a luxury expense when building a home, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s so, so worth it because it’s an investment in making your new home exactly what you want it to be. I would 100% pay the design fee over and over again to have the result and experience Laura gave us. Our home is going to be exactly what we want, which is what anyone building a home should have.
I know this is a lot of information to digest, so if you have questions, please drop a comment and I’ll do my best to get back to you! In a nutshell, if you’re building a home or doing a complete remodel, get yourself a designer! Like I said, it’s an investment in your home that I know you won’t regret!

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  1. We live in Overland Park and are about to start the build process with Rodrock. I know they have designers we will get to work with. Why did you chose to hire a separate designer from the builder? And what other designers did you consider? I don’t think I have as healthy of a budget of you so wondering if you know of any others that would assist with floor plan considerations and kitchen/master bath design. Thanks!

  2. We live in Overland Park and are about to start the build process with Rodrock. I know they have designers we will get to work with. Why did you chose to hire a separate designer from the builder? And what other designers did you consider? I don’t think I have as healthy of a budget of you so wondering if you know of any others that would assist with floor plan considerations and kitchen/master bath design. Thanks!

    • Hi! at the time Starr was independently contracting designers. I am so glad I got matched with Laura. I think you should def interview a few. Depending on the designer you get will change your home build so much! Def worth the investment!

  3. Great post, thanks for sharing! Your post is so timely, my husband and I are just starting this process and have been contemplating hiring a designer. Love the stone! Could you share the details of the stone? Thanks!

  4. Do they charge by the hour? And if so do you know the hourly fee? I’m assuming it’s many, many hours of work. We are trying to budget for a new build and wondering if a designer is something we will be able to afford. Thanks