For This Raleigh Interior Designer, Creating Design Flow & Continuity Begins Before A Single Wall On The Home Goes Up

Posted on | April 7, 2015 | No Comments

Designing a newly-built home from scratch is a task that would daunt even the most stalwart of homeowners. For Eddie Rider, owner of Eddie Rider Designs in Raleigh, it’s all in a day’s work. Eddie puts entire homes together – from floor finishes to window treatments to drawer pulls – before a single wall even goes up. Still, he is always able to create a wonderful sense of flow and continuity, which adds beauty and harmony to every project. North Carolina Design talked to Eddie about his process, and how he manages to make such a tall task seem so effortless.

Images Courtesy of Eddie Rider Designs ©

Eddie begins with a blank slate, and works methodically to create a plan. “We have an initial meeting before construction, where we start looking at finishes that will be in the home – walls, floors, trim, fireplace, cabinets, lighting – even shutters. We move from the interior finishes to the exterior ,” he explains. “I create a spreadsheet, and as we make decisions, we add photos, color samples and swatches for every item. Then we spread it out on a big conference table, and look at it as a whole to make sure that it all works.”

Eddie notes that the kitchen is one of the most essential parts of a complete design. “Kitchens have the most materials and the most moving parts,” he explains. “You have the cabinets, the glass in the cabinets, the appliances, the backsplash, flooring, the lighting fixtures – a lot goes into that space, so it’s important to take it all into consideration when designing the whole home.”

Furniture is also a point of significant consideration. “The furniture the homeowners will be bringing into the space will typically set a color palette for the home,” says Eddie. “For example, if you have pastel fabrics you’ll want to stay with cooler colors overall. You also want to bring the wood tones of the furniture into the design in some way.”

When it comes to color, Eddie notes that keeping the undertone consistent is more important than the colors themselves. “You don’t have to be trained to know when colors work together,” he notes. “It’s intuitive. When you walk into a room and it doesn’t feel right, the undertones are usually off. If you are putting gray on the walls and it has a blue undertone, you want all of your colors to have the same blue undertone. It’s a super way to get a very consistent feeling throughout.”

Wall color is one large-scale design component that can simply, yet dramatically impact the flow of a space. Flooring is another. “I like using hardwoods,” Eddie affirms. “I recommend bringing hardwood flooring from the common space into the kitchen, and anywhere that you can budget to incorporate it. It’s a very, very easy way to preserve continuity throughout the home.”

When integrating a whole-home design, the smallest components can matter just as much as the largest. “The details are crucial,” Eddie stresses. “Moulding, trim work, decorative accents – they all have to be consistent. And your plumbing finishes should complement your cabinet pulls, light fixtures, and door handles.” Eddie also intentionally creates details that bring the whole space together. “I might use the same material for a great room bookcase and the kitchen cabinets, or create a fireplace surround out of the kitchen countertop material,” he explains.

Designing an entire home is always complex, but Eddie’s advice is simple and reassuring. “Go with what you love,” he says. “Just find a way to make sure it’s all pulled together. Getting it right is about intuition and feeling as much as anything else. If you can walk into a space and say ‘wow, this feels good,’ the design is a win.”

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