Great Tips for Designing Your New Home Together

We just love our brides!! Some of them even have exciting careers such as interior design!! We sat down with Courtney Otte, from The Modern Hive Design Studio (Past bride and collaborator of Carrie Dayton Events & Consulting) and asked her to give us some ideas about how couples can successfully build their new home together.

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Courtney Otte, Allied ASID, Owner of The Modern Hive Design Studio

1.       What is the most difficult part about making a new home look beautiful?

Getting it all done at once. It’s just not realistic to expect to move into a new home and two weeks later have it all done. Making a home beautiful requires a lot of time. I recommend starting in one room and focusing on that room. Plan out how you want to situate your furniture, decide what colors you want to use in the room, on the walls and pops of accents in textiles and décor. Finally make a list of things you don’t have that are needed to complete the room. Start in the rooms that are most prominent and work your way back. If you entertain a lot, the living room and kitchen are an ideal place to begin. If you are a homebody and like to come home to a place of relaxation, start in the master bedroom.

2.       How does a couple choose the style that best suits their lifestyle? And, how do they maintain that style throughout their lives together?

It’s natural that your style and preferences will change throughout you life due to exposure to design and life experiences. It’s typical to update your home style or renovate an area such as a kitchen every 10 – 15 years, so don’t feel too pressured to choose a style and feel like you will be stuck with it for the rest of your life.  When choosing a style for your home, think about where you are in your life currently. If you’re a busy couple always on the go and utilize your home as a “home base” consider a design style that is simple in nature and incorporate convenience and organization throughout. If you’re a sophisticated couple who enjoys hosting and entertaining, incorporate a design that feels open and welcoming to your guests with touches of elegance throughout.

3.       Can you provide three tips or suggestions on how to successfully merge styles of couples?

Blending style and tastes can be tricky.  No matter how long you’ve known your partner or how much the two of you have endured during the life your relationship, designing a home together is a challenge that no one is prepared for. Each of you have your own unique style, and no matter how well the two of you get a long or how many interests you have in common, your design tastes and preferences are going to differ.  Here are a few things to keep in mind when designing your home together:

i.     You’re not the only one who lives there. Sure, one of you may care more about the design of your home than the other, but keep in mind that they have to live in it every day too. Key to a happily designed home is ensuring that your significant other is represented. This can be done in the smallest of ways – little things here and there that are significant to your partner can make all the difference in making a house feel like a home. Try hanging one of their favorite pieces of art or incorporating their championship winning baseball into the accessories of your living room.

ii.      When merging things you both own into one home, decide what stays and what goes with clear communication. Both of you must give and take so that the other doesn’t feel like their belongings are being pushed out completely.

iii.      Talk about it – if you are both on polar opposite ends in the design world a compromise has to be made. If an agreement can’t be made on a design style, allocate a specific area where each of you can express their taste however you want and compromise on the remainder of the home.

4.       Where can a couple go to obtain ideas for their new home? all the way! It’s the Pinterest for home designing, and it’s not JUST for females.  You can follow your favorite local professionals, and search for ideas for your home and save them to an idea book. If you’re working with a local pro or designer, it’s a great way to communicate what you like and dislike. Follow me at:

5.       Many couples start off in a small apartment, what suggestions do you have to maximize space?

  1. Plan it out! If you’re looking to move into an apartment, evaluate what you currently have and what the apartment space has to offer. There are multiple programs available that can assist you with a floor plan before you move in.  Try: The Make Room
  2. Think small when you buy furniture. Sure a love seat and sofa sounds great! But in some cases, a sectional may fit the space better and actually take up less space than a sofa, loveseat pair. Pair the sectional with a small accent chair and you get even more comfortable seating and conversational seating than what a love seat and sofa would give you.

6.       As a last thought:  What “words of wisdom” do you live your life by with regard to interior design?

  1. My personal mission statement is what I live by and it’s great to keep in mind for those who are just starting out:  “Interior Design is a process. It doesn’t all come together at once. It is a continual relationship between the designer and client, which is built over time. That relationship creates trust and results in a space that is a true reflection of the client’s life and experiences.”
  2. Even if you aren’t working with a designer, it’s good to keep in mind that a good interior design does not happen over night. It truly is a gradual process of searching for the right piece and for collectibles that are a true representation of that individual and their family.



7.       Where can we find more information about The Modern Hive Design Studio?

  2. Also find me on at


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