Designers’ Own Home: Creating a Master Plan, Part 1

As an interior designer, you can bet I understand the value of master planning a project before proceeding.   My plans for my upcoming renovation project are progressing: we will be renovating our kitchen and dining room and adding on a small mudroom to the back of the house. As I move through the design process and begin to discuss implementation, the true value of master planning has been driven home to me in some very concrete ways, and I’d like to share two of them with you.   In Part 1 of this post, I’ll share with you how having a master plan for landscaping has blown wide open my options for exterior lighting.

Planning Ahead Makes “Wow” Lighting A Real and Affordable Possibility

Since we are building a mudroom, the indoor/outdoor connection will be a major element.   So, in addition to assembling a team that consists of myself (in the role of interior designer), we also brought on board an architect, a contractor, and a landscape designer.  We will be completing the work in phases; the patio and landscaping will have to wait a couple of years.   I knew that I wanted to know where we were headed with the landscape plan because I need to consider things like paving material for my steps and walkways, rain water collection, and garbage and recycling storage.   I knew that if I could establish what my ultimate vision was for my patio and plantings, I could be more strategic in my decision making.

Plus, the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, so maybe I could get some things in the ground, taking root and gaining size while I wait to do implementation.



So I knew all this, but the real value of having this master plan done was really driven home to me last week when I assembled the team for a meeting and we discussed exterior lighting.   My landscape designer (Andy Sykes of Garrett Churchill) had some amazing ideas for where exterior lighting might go, and because the team was all assembled, these ideas can be incorporated into the blue prints and transformers, outlets, and junction boxes will be provided in the proper locations, WHILE THE WALLS ARE OPEN AND WHILE ELECTRICIANS ARE ON SIGHT!   This will be a huge savings both in terms of cost and in terms of future inconvenience, and I am so grateful we have the vision to incorporate these elements so they will be there when we need them.

I’ll be using these beautiful fixtures at my doors from Hubbardton Forge.



And now for the fun part….dreaming about all the lighting possibilities for the future.   We will have infrastructure for strings of outdoor lights, barn lights on arms at the sunroom, and uplighting on the trees.   Imagine the possibilities!

Strings of Outdoor Lights:


Find at My Bohem




Find at Terrain

Barn Lights:


Found at Sand Creek Post & Beam

Uplighting on Trees:


Found at John Davies Landscape

There is more to learn about Master Planning and in the next Designer’s Home we will look at what planning ahead means for Air Conditioning Registers and Thermostats and where they belong.

Thanks for coming on the renovation journey with the down2earth team, have a specific question? Ask us in the comments below!








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