You awaken on a Saturday morning and it's a gorgeous day...perfect day to go house hunting in that new community they are building across town. After coffee and a bagel, you hop in the car, excited to get busy looking for your future home.
Once there, you see the sign, "Model Home." You go in and...WOW, you are blown away by how beautiful it is. Have you ever wondered who designed the beautiful interior that made you fall head-over-heels in love with your home? Today, you'll meet designer, Kimberly Riley, with Offay Design Studio
, and hear the thought process that goes into creating a dream model home.
Please tell us about the home we are touring today.
It was a home I designed while working at Creative Design Consultants (CDC) in Costa Mesa, CA. CDC received the National Elan Award-Detached Community of the Year for this project in 2004. It is located in Claremont, CA. The community is called Stone Canyon Preserve and was developed by Centex Homes. The overall style of the community could be described as Italian in nature, but it really has a very transitional look
(that can be seen throughout each home's unique and very different interior design).
At what stage were you brought in?
Model home designers are brought in at the very initial stages of a new community development. They are a part of the planning process along with the owner/developer
, architects, etc. One of the most important jobs as an interior designer for model homes is knowing how to hit a specific market. We really have to understand, from the very beginning, who is ultimately going to be buying these homes. There is so much more that goes into designing the interiors of model homes than making them look good. Beyond the initial planning phases of a project it is the job of the designer to space plan the furnishings, make selections of furniture, drapery, lighting, finishes, etc. Most of the time there is opportunity to do a lot of custom work, as well, which is always very fun. Once you move through those phases of a project, the designer is on the job site to install the job making sure that everything looks wonderful and placed perfectly before the home buyer can walk the models.
Could you tell us more about the individual rooms?
We really wanted to create a flow throughout each model. The overall color scheme shows itself in each of the rooms to give a very cohesive feel to the home. In this home we went for a casual, comfortable, California Spanish feel. I don't like my design to get overly themed and I like to keep things very clean. So, although you can see elements of the California Spanish style it is accompanied by clean, contemporary art and accessories. The lower level of this home features a formal living room, dining room, library, family room, and kitchen. Upstairs has a great master bedroom
with a side casita and a gorgeous master bath.
This home looks quite spacious. Would it work well for a family or is it better suited for a couple?
This home is meant for a family with older kids
, or possibly empty nesters. The two smaller bedrooms were modeled towards teenagers, and the upstairs loft was designed with teenagers in mind (rock posters, a comfortable sofa, etc.).
This home has so many gorgeous rooms. Which was your favorite?
I especially love the master bedroom. When you walk into that room you instantly feel like you are in a retreat. The room is large enough for a king-size bed, seating area at the foot of the bed, French doors that lead out to a balcony and a dual sided fireplace that can be viewed from the bedroom as well as the adjacent casita/workout area. All of this then leads into a huge master bathroom
one step away from a full-fledged spa.
How did you became interested in design?
I have always been interested in art and design since I was a young girl
. After high school I started my college career at Moorpark College where I received my AS in Interior Design and AA in Liberal Arts. I then transferred to California State University, Chico to finish my Bachelors Degree in Interior Design. While living in Chico, I worked for a local model home design firm where I gained my first experience as a designer. After graduating I moved back to Los Angeles and got a job working for one of the top model home design firms in the country. I was with them for about 6 years, and then I decided to switch things up and pursue hospitality design. During that time I decided to take the NCIDQ exam and passed. That allowed me to become a part of ASID as a Professional Member.