An In-House Designer Can Make all the Difference

When considering a home remodeling project, the best road to take is always the one where you seek the advice of a professional designer. That’s why Barnes Custom Builders in Falmouth has its own in-house designer on hand, to help you meticulously plan your remodel project from start to finish. Interior designer Erika Eccleston knows that each client is different, and she focuses on their needs and wants, implicitly.

“We incorporate the design process in every project,” she says. “I’ll make a list of all rooms and the materials needed for each room. The materials used to complete a project can include flooring, lighting, tiling, windows, cabinets and more, depending on the size of the project, and whether or not the client is adding an addition. I’ll also either give them a questionnaire or have them look at Pinterest boards for ideas, if they are unsure of what they want. This way we’ll have a strong vision before we begin the selections process.”

Eccleston builds a trusting relationship with her clients by being by their side throughout the design process. She goes with them to look at samples, or takes them to the company’s suppliers so they can get a good idea of what they want.

“Once we have gone through the design process and chosen materials, we are able to provide them with a concrete number, based on all of the selections that they made,” she says. “This is a huge benefit to design-build. There are no ‘allowances’ or ‘estimates’ that can spike the cost later on down the road.”

Interior designer Erika Eccleston

The questions Eccleston asks her clients are valuable toward the goal of a beautiful, functional space. Budget, she says, is the most important piece of information. “Kitchens and baths are usually the first things people want to update. Knowing what your budget is goes a long way to accomplishing this goal. People are often afraid to say what their budget is, but this is a vital piece of information. We will work together to accommodate any budget.”

As for the projects she is currently working on, “Kitchens remodel is always a big one,” she says. “We’re also working on a couple of additions right now, as well as a garage with an in-law apartment.”

Eccleston adds that the addition of their new showroom allows Barnes Custom Builders to showcase a couple of different types of cabinetry, as well as quartz, granite and wood tops. It also features four different types of flooring – LVT, hickory hardwood, French oak and a patterned ceramic tile. The faux exterior wall shows clients window and door trim styles, as well as a small deck with a popular cable rail system. It also provides the team and clients with a meeting space, where all can look at plans and idea boards, and meet with subcontractors.

The key to a successful project, Eccleston says, is getting on the same page as the client, showing them all of their options, and making sure the area to be worked on is structurally sound. She also adds that working with a designer who does not have a working relationship with the builder can cause communication problems.

“If you’re working with a designer who is not associated with the builder, there won’t be the same process, means of communication, etc. It won’t be as streamlined a process as it will be when you use a builder’s in-house designer,” she says.

Additionally, an in-house designer has a thorough knowledge of the company’s brand and how the design and build process works. This knowledge is hard for any agency designer to replicate, as they are typically hired for short-term projects. An in-house designer can simply walk across a room or building to ask a question, instead of waiting for replies to email or text messages.

Eccleston, who has a background in furniture design, kitchen and bath space planning, and plumbing, has also worked for Boston Interiors and has a genuine passion for design. She will be sure to keep your project functional while creating a beautiful aesthetic, and get it all done at the right price and on time. “My job,” she says, “is to guide you and help you.”

To speak with Erika Eccleston, and to find out more about what Barnes Custom Builders can do for you, call 508-648-9396 or visit them at

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About Ann Luongo

Ann Luongo is the Marketing Writer and Lifestyle Reporter for, and has been writing for Cape Cod and South Shore publications for over 15 years.
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