Furniture, Art, & Decor: The Finishing Touches; We Truly Are Foundation to Furniture.

Furniture, Art, & Decor: The Finishing Touches; We Truly Are Foundation to Furniture. 800 640 White Sands Design/Build

Building a new custom home, particularly along the sunny beaches of Manhattan Beach, is a rewarding creative endeavor. From choosing a location to finalizing the layout, every step of the process brings a new and invigorating opportunity to create something that reflects your passions, personality, and lifestyle. So often, though, the final step in this process – curating and artfully arranging the home’s furnishings, art, and decor – is overlooked.

Let us help. Even if your home is already built and furnished, our talented Interior Design team can help make your house feel like the beach home you’ve always wanted; that magazine home that makes your heart flutter at the grocery store. It’s the contents within a house that truly give it character. A custom home may appear vibrant and inventive on the outside, but its interior will only ever be as inviting as its furniture, art, and decor. 

In a previous article, I explained the many reasons why it’s important to avoid prefabricated, “fast” furniture: it’s environmentally dangerous, it lacks basic durability, and it fails to add aesthetic character or value to a home. Avoiding fast furniture, certainly, is an essential first step in the process of properly outfitting a home, but that’s all it is – a first step. In order to maximize your home’s potential, you should come to see the building as a canvas, and the ensemble of furnishings as the illustration that makes the canvas something special. The perfect interior design comes when the best features of the home are effortlessly accentuated by everything inside.

Below, I cover the five most essential elements – furniture, drapes, rugs, original artwork, and light fixtures – that make up the foundational palette of home finishing, and how you can use them to elevate your house into a truly complete home:

The Finishing Touches

Furniture: From dining sets to couches, beds, and armoires, furniture does so much to determine how a home is used on a day-to-day basis by residents and guests alike. When curating furniture, then, it’s vital to remember what kinds of experiences each room was originally conceived to foster. By equipping those rooms with the perfect pieces, you can realize their full potential. That’s why working with the same designer from start to finish – or “foundation to furniture,” as we call it – is always a great idea. The firm that originally designs your home will have an intimate understanding of your original vision, and they’ll be able to apply that to the interior curation.

Drapes: Obscuring your outside view in the name of privacy doesn’t have to feel restrictive – with the right drapes, you can foster a sense of expansive possibility whenever they’re drawn. Textures and fabrics can be selected to complement the surrounding coastal landscape and the interior details of the home. More well-made drapes also provide a degree of insulation that can prove useful in the summer and winter months. Whether you are pulling them open and closed by hand or controlling them remotely, high-quality drapes are essential to withstand daily use. With the right drapes, you’ll have the privacy and comfort you need to sleep with a full moon or take in the view on a sunny day. 

Rugs: Hardwood, stone, tile or concrete floors are a dream for keeping floors clean, but they can feel a bit harsh on bare feet. Rugs in the right spot, made of the right material, make a clean home feel cozy. They’re also useful for distinguishing subsections of a single room. By simply positioning a piece of tapestry on a specific part of the floor, you can organically guide the flow of bodies in space: a couch and coffee table become an intimate social area; the floorspace in front of the TV can comfortably accommodate any spillover at a large gathering; the foyer transforms into a runway. Sourcing the right rugs, though, can feel like a puzzle unto itself: from placement and size to pattern and material, there are so many elements to consider. Working with the original designer of the house, who understands everything from the paint colors to the floor’s wood finish, could make the process that much easier.

The Finishing Touches

Original Artwork: It’s no secret that luminary artwork can serve as the centerpiece of the most breathtaking rooms. But just like rugs, the right artwork for your custom home won’t simply appear out of thin air. There are so many routes one can explore: perusing local and international galleries, following the internet till you land on an obscure artwork that you must have, or, best of all, commissioning a work from one of your favorite artists. It’s especially great to commission work from locally active artists – it demonstrates a commitment to your community, and offers an easy way to deepen your local roots. Working with a locally-based design firm could be the best way to identify the most interesting local art. If you need some guidance, we love working with artists and sourcing the perfect piece for your home. 

Light Fixtures: Even if it’s tastefully furnished, a room needs great light to achieve its ideal form. The best lighting design allows different levels and directness of light for every occasion: one level for daytime, another for your dinner parties, and yet another for movie night. Goldie Hawn is famous for walking in on an unauthorized party thrown by then-teenager Kate. Hudson says, “She looked around as you would think she would in one of her films. And she goes to the lights, and she turns the lights way down and she goes, ‘Kids, lighting is everything.’”

Just like picking out the right appliances, furnishing your custom home merits the same attention to detail that went into the home’s original design. At White Sands, we take great pride in our custom home designs and our interior finishes. If you’re looking for a company that can cover every step of the process, reach out! We’d love to hear about your vision.

To see more images from our latest furniture picture click here.
Hawlie headshot for home air purifiers

Hawlie Ohe heads White Sands Interiors, and she and her husband are raising two boys along the South Bay coast. Hawlie brings the curiosity that fueled her first career, as a journalist, to her interior design approach: Who are you, who do want to be, and how can this space get you there? Great design makes you feel present and engaged, and Hawlie is here for it. Because she wants to help you be “here” (in this space, in this moment), too.