The first step in home design is to thoroughly review your lifestyle and family circumstances. If you have a large family, then space is a priority. If you are a career driven person, who spends little time at home and wants to avoid too much housework, then a smaller home with minimalist design is called for. If you intend to run a business from home, or if you are an artist or craftsman who needs space to do the work you love, then the home arrangement must include that. Any animals you have or would like to have should be included in the design of the home, with accommodations suited for them..

Next is the style of the home. Think about what type of art and fashions you prefer. Look around at your present abode for clues on what style of home best reflects your tastes. French country, Mediterranean, Zen contemporary Asian, Bauhaus, or even a Medieval Castle design may be your choices. Perhaps a blend of several styles is what you would prefer. An important decision is whether you want a one story, two story, or multi-level home. Sometimes long range planning for old age and the possible inability to climb stairs must be kept in mind when making this decision. Another factor in the decision on levels is the size of the lot on which you are building. If your lot is small, you may choose to do a multi-story to get greater housing space.

The number of rooms you want depends on how many bedrooms and baths you need, whether or not you want a separate office, library, media room or game room. The number and purposes of the rooms is limited only by your budget and your imagination. If you have more than three bedrooms, then certainly more than one bathroom is called for. Sometimes if the price of increasing square footage to have more rooms is too much, then you can plan some rooms to serve dual purposes. A room that can serve as both a bedroom and an office is a space saver.

The materials you have to choose from are astonishing. The exterior of the home can be brick, stone, wood siding, adobe, metal siding, or stucco. Innovative exterior building materials are abundant today. For flooring you can follow the classic route with wood floors adorned with area rugs, or you can use tile, brick, finished and sealed concrete, linoleum or carpet. Each of these flooring choices offer a variety of styles and types. For example, you can use a tight weave carpet if you have pets and children, to make clean up easier. You can use a plush shag for a retro look, or use a Berber for an upscale look. Add to these options the availability of marble and granite materials, and you have a myriad of options. Interior details such as fireplaces, built in bookcases, alcoves, or custom doorways and windows will give you even more opportunities to personalize your home design.