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Secrets from a Model Home Design Pro: Eight Great Two-Minute Videos to Inspire Key Rooms in Your Home

Mary DeWalt

By Jennifer McCutchen

Creating the interior design for your dream home -- and selecting your favorite furnishings, wallpaper and paint -- are some of the most exciting and rewarding aspects of building your home.

Personalizing your new home is all about realizing your individual style. In addition, good design rests on a solid foundation of color and design guidelines that help you achieve the look you desire, from cutting-edge to timeless.

To help you create key rooms in your home from scratch, NewHomeSource enlisted award-winning interior designer Mary DeWalt. Together, we created eight short videos chockfull of hot design trends and decorating ideas.

Mary and the team at Mary DeWalt Design Group specialize in model home merchandising. They're behind some of the most appealing model homes in the nation -- rooms that elicit ooh's and ah's. And when it comes to luscious, head-turning models (homes, that is), imitation is definitely the sincerest form of flattery.

The videos below provide an insider's look at homes built by Jimmy Jacobs Custom Homes and designed by DeWalt in Caballo Ranch, a new home community in Cedar Park, Texas. Their work on these homes received a 2012 Silver Award in The Nationals, a leading award program for builders. Room by room, you'll find inspirational design ideas and loads of fresh, fun and wildly helpful advice from DeWalt.

When it comes to your home's interior space, good design is easy to attain. As DeWalt reveals, there are various ways to add pizzazz to your space, many at a surprisingly low cost. One simple technique? Paint.

"It's the most important and affordable tool for creating ambiance in a room," she explains.

Other pointers DeWalt provides include using drywall to mimic wainscoting; selecting a lower height for the kitchen island to expand the room; and accessorizing solid furniture with print fabrics and accent pieces you can easily and inexpensively change, should you want to freshen or redesign the space down the road.

Whatever your budget and tastes, tune in as DeWalt offers the lowdown on what's trending behind the front door:

In addition to her advice in each video above, Mary also shared her top 10 design tips:

  1. Don't be a sissy when selecting paint colors. It's the most important and affordable tool for creating ambiance in a room.
  2. Make sure every room has an exclamation point!
  3. Art, wall hangings and window coverings that contrast with the wall color will make interior spaces come to life.
  4. White shades on lamps and hanging fixtures make rooms bright and inviting.
  5. Add sparkle and reflective elements with glass tiles and shiny accessories.
  6. Use fewer, larger table accessories for a less-cluttered look.
  7. Group colorful accessories over the kitchen cabinets in lieu of plants and baskets.
  8. Address high volume areas of the home with large-scale artwork. Room-dividing screens can be taken apart and hung together for an affordable way to fill the space.
  9. Save the splashy print fabrics for pillows and accent pieces and select solids for sofas; it will be less expensive to change the look of a room.
  10. If you only purchase things for your home that you really love, you will really love your home!

Jennifer McCutchen is content manager for

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