17 Take Away Tips from HGTV 2015 Dream Home

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Back Patio

Hello! Have you all seen the HGTV 2015 Dream Home? I just stumbled upon it over the weekend. I love so much about it, I couldn’t stop staring at the photos thinking about all the details! There is much that could be said about this lovely home, but today I thought I would share some take away tips so we could create this feeling or style in our own home! Don’t believe your house could look like this? Well, for most of us, it probably won’t. Let’s be honest. BUT, there are design lessons to be found and plenty of inspiration to motivate us so let’s take a look at this fine house and see what we can learn and take away!

Take Away Tips - The Inspired Room

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Built in Bookcases and Fireplace in Great Room

1. Built -ins

I’m a sucker for built-ins. They add so much character! Sadly I don’t have any in my house, but they are on my list of dream additions for some day. I have had aspirations of adding built-ins to this house, but I’m still deciding whether or not the cost would be worth it to me if we ever moved. Not that I’m planning on moving (I’m loving staying put these days!), but our son will graduate from high school in a little over four years (NO!!!! Stop the clock, please!) so I know life will change. And with change comes new possibilities and opportunities, so I’m keeping an open mind.

Built-ins have to stay with the house, obviously, so that’s why I’ve been going the route of adding furniture rather than built-ins. With that said, in many houses built-ins add good value so they are worth considering and investing in. In some cases, adding built ins can be even more cost effective and make better use of space than free standing furniture, especially if you can do the work yourself or have a good affordable contractor. You can also get the look with free standing furniture nestled into feel more built in.

The backs of the bookcases are emphasized with dark paint, which adds even more drama and interest to the built ins.

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Connected Living Room Dining ROom and Kitchen

2. Large rooms can have multiple seating areas and purposes.

This large room has a seating area, a dining area and extra chairs dispersed around the room. Large rooms can be awkward to furnish, so dividing the room into usable zones can make sense of all the space. See my post with 10 Tips for Styling Large Living Rooms & Other Awkward Spaces for more advice on furniture arranging!

HGTV Dream Home 2015 Great Room Design - Neutral with Pops of Blue

3. Repeating elements.

I love the repetition throughout the room.  Notice what elements are repeated! The blue fabrics and art, the dormer windows on each side of the room, the two matching dressers, pairs of chairs, and the three curtain rods with curtains that unify the door with the two windows.

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Great Room

4. Classic pieces.

Notice the use of classic furniture, fabric, and the overall timeless design choices. Buying furniture in classic styles and fabrics is a great investment, as they will make a home feel just as fresh even years later!

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Dining Room Design

5. Bold statement lighting.

Wimpy lighting in a big room like this would be lost. But you don’t want to get carried away and add something so crazy dramatic that it distracts from your room. This lantern is a great example of statement lighting that fits into a room. It has enough character and style to hold it’s own in a big room like this, but also has enough glass to make it light and airy enough to not be a distraction.

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Dining Room View Into Great Room

6. Architectural detail.

The high cathedral ceilings and walls are covered with white painted wood paneling, textural rustic wood beams contrast to the white wood, skylights and windows add unique shapes and trim work is interesting throughout the space. While your room might not be as dramatic as this one (if it is, SEND ME PICS! I want to see!!!), adding even small touches of architectural detail can make a dramatic step towards the feeling you like. I have added small bits of architectural detail to every home I’ve had and it really does make a difference. Even if you don’t own your home or cannot directly add to the structure, adding in architectural detail in non-permanent ways can transform a space.

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Dining Room with High Ceilings

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Great Room - Wood Floors and Wood Beams

7. Warm wood.

All white rooms are lovely but it’s the contrast between the white and the warm that bring a room to life. In a big room like this, the wood grounds the space and makes it cozier. (See my post with more white and wood inspiration here!)

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Great Room Vaulted Ceiling

HGTV Dream Home 2015- White Kitchen Design with Wood Countertops

8. Cozy kitchen.

For the grandeur of that great room, I was pleased to see the manageable scale of the kitchen. It’s tucked into a smaller niche, which makes it feel cozier and more homey. The scale of the island is in good proportion to the room (an island that is too big makes a room feel awkwardly designed, is more challenging to clean and makes maneuvering around the room less efficient). While the kitchen isn’t huge it offers everything you need in close proximity and plenty of counter space for multiple cooks. While it has the more comfortable feeling of a separate kitchen, it is open enough to the great room that the chef can still feel a part of the activities.

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - White Kitchen French Doors

9. Light and airy.

If you are building or remodeling, more windows and skylights can transform a room and your mood!

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Kitchen View to Living Room

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Wood Beams on Ceiling

10. Rugs.

A large area rug grounds the conversation area and makes it feel cozier.

HGTV Dream Home 2015- Great Room - Natural Light

11. Color flow.

Notice the blue art in the room just beyond the great room. It invites you to the next space with the pop of familiar blue. In the hallway on the other side of the room, you are drawn in to the repetition of blue on the lamp, but also the warmth of the lamp and console table, and the blue room beyond.

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Dining Room and Hallway

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Navy Blue Lamp - Hallway

12. Shades of Color

I love this home’s shades of blue throughout. Sea blue, navy, dark teal, baby blue, gray-blue, royal blue, and turquoise flow throughout the home on ceilings, walls, rugs and accessories. The various shades make the home interesting! While the blue of the bedroom below is a little bright for me in an entire room, check out the blue ceiling a couple of photos down. Color is a personal thing, so whether you choose to add it on the walls, to accessories, to textiles, on rugs, or painted ceilings, there are so many ways to bring shades of colors you love into a room.

HGTV Dream Home 2015 Blue Master Bedroom - Cathedral Ceiling

HGTV Dream Home 2015 Master Bedroom French Doors

HGTV Dream Home 2015 Blue Master Bathroom

13. Views of outdoor spaces

My dream has always been to work on both the inside and outside of my home so I can enjoy the outside even when I’m in! Since we live in the NW we have nice weather in the summer and fall, but it isn’t like San Diego or any place where you might be able to live outside year round. It’s nice if you can have a yard that is pretty enough to look at, even from inside, so you can enjoy it in all seasons. This house is obviously amazing and I certainly don’t have this type of view or amazing architecture to look at, but I try to find happiness even in small improvements to what I have.

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Guest Bedroom Corner Patio

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Guest Bedroom Private Patio - Singled Exterior

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Master Bedroom Outdoor Lounge

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Master Bedroom Patio with French Doors

14. Small outdoor rooms

While this home has some amazing outdoor rooms and patios with views, you can make the most of even small areas by furnishing them with comfortable spots for lounging and relaxing. Add details like you would add to an interior room: small coffee tables, lanterns, and even pillows for sunny days!

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Exterior Design - Patio with French Doors

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Back Patio with Copper Exterior Lighting

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Copper Outdoor Exterior Lighting

15. Unique outdoor lighting

These copper lanterns are unique and make interesting statements on the house. Scour old house part stores to find lighting or lanterns you can have refurbished for your home!

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Patio with Outdoor Lounge Furniture

16. Unexpected surprises

I dream of fun unexpected surprises outside to make our small property fun and interesting! What about an outdoor shower or a super cute dog house or charming shed?

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Outdoor Shower - Shingles

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Outdoor Shower

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Outdoor Shower and Dog House

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Exterior and Bike Rack

17. Curb appeal.

I’m really into the curb appeal of a home. While my budget doesn’t always match my dreams, it’s fun to think about what details would be fun to add or ways I could add them for less. A tidy yard and shrubs, shutters, window boxes, a place for bikes…what details could you add for curb appeal?

HGTV Dream Home 2015 - Front Entrance

OK, that was the longest list of take aways ever. And I don’t feel like I even scratched the surface of all the beautiful ideas one could incorporate to even a more modest home.

What more would you add to the list of take aways? What were your favorites?

Be sure to go see all the galleries for the HGTV Dream Home! There were so many inspiring spaces that I didn’t include here so enjoy the rest over at HGTV!


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  1. Ms Maggie says:

    I agree- so much this year. The colors, the look, the texture. If you could hug a house…

  2. I too am a huge fan of built ins but don’t have any either! I’m hoping to try to incorporate some in our TV room. We’ve only been in our house for 8 months so slow and steady. I’m currently working on a bathroom. I really did love those two large patio lanterns, another favorite decorating item. They were so different and got me in the mood for spring/summer and spending time on my deck! Love your blog!

  3. It is dreamy, indeed! So many wonderful ideas to draw inspiration from! Thank you for taking the time to bring this to our attention!
    Cecilia recently posted..2015 SAG Red Carpet Quick ViewMy Profile

  4. I love everything about this house! Love the medium brown wood floors and all of the white. The kitchen really is a good size to work in. I also love how they tucked it into it’s own space, but still kept it open to the great room. Blue is my favorite color, especially when paired with white, so I also love all of the fabrics they used in the house. Just a wonderfully designed house!
    Jann from Newton Custom Interiors recently posted..Craftsy Class Pillow #1: Euro ShamMy Profile

  5. The attention to detail is my favorite design feature of this house.
    All the bead board, all the wood trim, all the beams, etc. etc. etc. — it’s very inspiring!
    Kay recently posted..Kitchen Floor Tile Is En Route!My Profile

  6. The colors in this home are what I’m seeing in all my “young” client’s homes.. blue, white gray. It is so open and airy and inviting. I think it looks comfortable but still beautiful. I’d take this house:)
    Seana Turner recently posted..Polly’s DesktopMy Profile

  7. It’s very pretty, but I’m always curious what happens to these dream homes? I mean people who enter to win them rarely live in the area these houses were constructed. Do people just sell them? Are they allowed to? If not, how does the average joe/jane pay for the taxes? I hate that I’m so practical, all anyone else seems to see is a gorgeous dream home. I look at them and go, “Gosh, imagine the tiny house you could build and retire in after selling this one and all the stuff in it.” I’m such a wet blanket.

  8. Bright Orange says:

    Hi Melissa, I just started following your blog — very inspiring. I love how the HGTV Dream Home disguised the TV behind the cabinet doors above the fireplace in the living room. Can’t wait to read more of your posts.

  9. I feel like I just stepped through a pottery barn catalog. The whites and warm woods and touches of blue…so calming! I love it.
    Lisa recently posted..School MomMy Profile

  10. Great tips! I love them all!!

    The Office Stylist
    The Office Stylist recently posted..How much pattern is too much pattern?My Profile

  11. Built-ins can be wonderful, and I’ve had some that were. But they can also be limiting. I’ve also come to like the idea of pieces that are free-standing, but are finished to look like built-ins. Where that works, it’s the best of both.

  12. My husband and I just bought our first home last summer – an older home built in 1949 – and it has tons and tons of built-ins, in nearly every single room! Built-in bookshelves, cabinets, drawers – even a built-in vanity! I should definitely upload photos sometime. However, they do create some decor challenges from time to time!

  13. Pat finan says:

    Hi……love this house.What color green are the shutters?

  14. I really love the texture and fabric that you used in the house. This looks very pretty as I think my home look like.

  15. Had no idea the ceilings in the great room were wood. Thanks for pointing that out. If you have a Passion for Detail as I do this home checks off all the boxes. Her design and use of area art always amazes me. She never dis-appoints year after year.. I love New Years just to watch this show..

  16. Love this house! Can you tell me the color of white paint that was used in the great room?

  17. Anyone knows where I could purchase the rug from the great room? Thanks!

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