The Mercedes Homes decorated model, the Danielle, recently opened in Seven Oaks in the Watermark neighborhood. We sat down with the model decorator, Gina Pendleton, to talk about how she made the model selections, what inspired her design, and her decorating tips.

Danielle_KitchenWhat is your decorating background? I have been decorating model homes for eight plus years, and it is truly a passion of mine. I feel very lucky to be doing something I love so much. While in college I studied business with a concentration in advertising because I hadn’t really decided what I wanted to do for a living—I thought business would be a versatile degree to have. I got my start at an advertising agency that worked with residential homebuilders and fell into model home design from there. I left my job at the advertising agency and moved to this design-based job at Mercedes Homes. At Mercedes Homes I am able to do what I love. They encouraged me to take design courses at the local community college to further my design knowledge base. I have been able to learn so much while on the job and continue to grow as a designer on a daily basis.

What is your favorite aspect of the Danielle floorplan? The vaulted ceiling and custom-fixed glass in the family room, which allows for a lot of natural light in a two-story open space.

What is your favorite room in the Danielle? My favorite aspect of the Danielle floorplan is the Great Room and Kitchen area. I love that it creates one large space where the family can all hang out together. There is a ton of storage space in the kitchen and the large curved island is perfect for entertaining.

What was the basis of your inspiration for the interior design? Because the floorplan and elevation are so grand, I wanted to make sure the design was rich while adding a touch of contemporary elements. The wood beams in the study and family room make such a statement, and I wanted the paint color to be neutral to make them stand out. I added the pops of blue in some areas to showcase a more contemporary color scheme.

How did the architecture inspire your selections? The architecture of this home is very Mediterranean, so I wanted to select dark rich finishes that would work with any color scheme or any furniture style. I kept everything fairly neutral so that when someone purchases this model home they can easily change the paint color to match their taste without having to change any cabinet or flooring selections.

Which accent pieces do you find most interesting? I don’t have any one accent piece that’s most interesting, but I always try do the unexpected—whether it’s mixing furniture styles or different colored woods in the same space. It’s so easy to just buy matching sets of everything, but it always makes for a more interesting space when you mix it up with different furniture pieces for a more eclectic look.

Danielle_StudyTell us more about the dark-stained beams in the great room and study ceiling. The beams are actually an option that is in the master floorplan brochure, so any homeowner can upgrade to have these in their home. The beams enhance the already dramatic architecture of this home, so from the model, homeowners can see how much a small change to the ceiling can make a huge impact on the entire space. The beams help add such richness and warmth to the rooms.

The paint colors you selected are fabulous. Do you have any paint selection advice? My biggest advice is to paint a small square of the color you are considering in your home before you completely commit to it. Live with it for a few days and make sure to look at it during different times of the day to see how much the color changes in the sun or at night. I also think a lot of people are scared of color—embrace it, since paint is the easiest and most inexpensive way to change a space.

Do you have any decorating tips for those looking to enhance their home? My advice for enhancing your home would be to invest in really good quality items that are important to you and that will last for a long time. I would also suggest selecting neutral color upholstery items so that when your taste changes (and it does) all you have to do is change your paint colors, pillows, and artwork and the expensive sofa or chair you invested in can still work great in your newly designed space by changing out the textiles.

Make an appointment to visit the Danielle model today!

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