The 90/10 Rule


Designing the interiors of a home comes with an abundance of decisions that have to be made. From major ticket items like kitchen cabinets, to smaller details like the drawer pulls in a guest bathroom, it can certainly become overwhelming. However, all of these decisions can be streamlined with the help of an interior designer. The 90/10 Rule is a simple principle that has also proven to be extremely helpful and is one that we use often with our clients. Not only does this help throughout the process, but it aids the overall design experience as well.

How it Works

The 90/10 Rule is based on where you foresee spending the most time in your home, and it helps you decide which areas to put the substantial part of your budget toward versus where to conserve. As an example, you may use natural stone in the master bath and switch to ceramic in the guest bath. With that mindset, you may choose higher end, better constructed furniture in the great room that will stand the test of time and everyday use. On the other hand, the guest suites could be selected with midline furnishings that can handle guest-level use.

For the Mahoney Residence, the 90/10 way of thinking has proven to be very beneficial:

The Mahoney’s at their ground breaking ceremony.

“It has been a blessing and a joy to work with Jennifer and Erin from LH Design Studio.  Their creativity, knowledge and enthusiasm -as well as their respect for our budget considerations -have made the design process truly enjoyable.  One aspect they have encouraged us to consider is the “90/10 rule”.  They continually ask us to consider how we will be using our home 90% of the time.  It has been a great framework to make design decisions that will maximize the use of our future home and use our resources most efficiently.  The 90/10 philosophy has caused a paradigm shift that has had us consider everything in our home from the number of rooms, finishing materials, appliances, future “aging in place” requirements etc.  We are so thankful we chose to use this amazing team of Interior designers at LH Design Studio.”

Karen Mahoney, LH Design Studio Client

As designers, we find this rule of thumb helpful to our clients during the selections process. It can feel taxing with the amount of hardware, tile, furniture and finishes that there are to sort through. The 90/10 Rule provides the ability to make all of your spaces appealing while working as a guide to help you know where to add that extra splash of WOW!

Erin, one of our LH Design Studio designers, with her fiancé Russ and the Mahoneys.

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