How to Design a Custom Home

How to Design a Custom Home in VA –  2024 Design Strategies

Virginia Beach, with its miles of pristine coastline and vibrant beach culture, offers an idyllic setting for your dream home. In fact, Custom home building is booming in Virginia Beach during this 2024, making it an ideal time to create your personalized oasis.

But how to design a custom home in Virginia Beach that seamlessly blends functionality with your dream beach lifestyle?

The secret is a successful collaboration between architect and interior designer. This ensures both the architectural elements (open floor plans, wraparound porches) and interior design (durable materials, calming color palettes) work together to create a home that’s as functional as it is beautiful.

This guide will walk you through the exciting process of designing a custom home in Virginia Beach, where every detail reflects your unique vision and embraces the essence of beach living.

1. Find the Right Design Team in Virginia Beach

Your custom home is a significant investment, so choosing the right design team is crucial in the design process.

Look for home builders in Virginia Beach with experience in coastal living.

Their expertise ensures they understand the unique challenges and opportunities presented by the beachfront environment.

Expert Tips:

  • When evaluating potential partners, review their portfolio to see if their design style aligns with your vision, whether it’s modern, coastal chic, or something entirely different. Don’t hesitate to request references and check their credentials.

Ready to connect with a team of experienced and passionate custom home designers in Virginia Beach? Contact RBC Homes today!

Beautiful custom homes design by RBC Homes

2. Brainstorm Your Beach Lifestyle

Now comes the fun part: designing and building your dream home in beautiful Virginia Beach!

Flip through magazines, browse inspiring websites, and create Pinterest boards to gather ideas. Equally important is discussing your lifestyle needs and desired features with your design team.

  • Do you dream of hosting epic barbecues with ample space for grilling and lounging on the deck overlooking the ocean?
  • Are there hobbies you want to integrate into the design, like a dedicated art studio or a home gym?
  • Do you envision a home perfect for entertaining large groups?
  • Need a game room for family fun nights or a bunk room for sleepovers?
  • Crave a dedicated surf shack with an outdoor shower, or a yoga studio with calming ocean views?

Discussing these aspects early on with your design team helps translate your vision into a functional and personalized space that reflects your unique Virginia Beach lifestyle.

3. Define Budget & Site Selection

Building a custom home in Virginia Beach requires a realistic budget.

In the initial stages of designing a custom built home, open communication with your architect and designers is very important. Together, you’ll prioritize features, explore creative solutions, and ensure your vision stays on budget.

Next, they will guide you in selecting the ideal lot, considering crucial factors like:

  • Ocean views: Capture the essence of Virginia Beach living with breathtaking vistas.
  • Flood zones: Ensure your dream home is safe and secure.
  • Sun exposure: Maximize natural light and warmth for a bright and inviting space.
  • Wind patterns: Optimize comfort and energy efficiency.

Early discussions also focus on maximizing natural light and creating seamless indoor-outdoor living spaces, a hallmark of Virginia Beach style. They’ll also handle permits for a smooth building process.

Ready to get started? Contact RBC Homes’ expert custom home designers in VA today!

4. Architectural Design: Translating Dreams into Reality

One of RBC's clients had a new custom built house with an elegant interior design.
RBC Homes – Happy As a Clam

Working with your architect is a crucial step in how to design a custom home in Virginia Beach.

Together, you’ll develop floor plans, elevations, and 3D renderings to bring your dream home to life visually.

Throughout this collaborative process, it’s important to prioritize three key elements:

  • Functionality: Ensure your home seamlessly integrates with your lifestyle.
  • Aesthetics: Capture your desired style and create a space you love.
  • Budget: Stay on track with smart design choices and cost-effective solutions.

Key architectural features often incorporated during this stage reflect the Virginia Beach lifestyle:

  • Open floor plans: Create a sense of spaciousness and connection between living areas.
  • Wraparound porches: Extend your living space outdoors for year-round enjoyment.
  • Energy-efficient elements: Promote sustainability and reduce your environmental impact.

This approach ensures your dream home is not only beautiful but also functional and budget-friendly.

5. Interior Design: Tailoring Your Virginia Beach Oasis

The interior design plays a vital role in crafting your dream Virginia Beach home.

Interior designers understand the unique challenges and opportunities presented by coastal living, like humidity and salt air.

Here’s how they’ll add value to your project:

  • Durable Beauty: They’ll guide you in selecting beautiful and long-lasting materials that can withstand the coastal environment.
  • Serene Palette: Discussions will involve creating a calming and inviting color palette that reflects the tranquility of the Virginia Beach coastal living.
  • Maximized Space & Light: The designer will create a furniture layout that maximizes flow throughout your home, while also utilizing natural light to create a spacious and airy feel.

The result? A truly harmonious space that reflects your unique style and embraces the beauty of Virginia Beach living.

Let’s now explore some specific design tips:

Kitchen Design: Functionality & Flair

One of RBC's clients had a new custom built house with a beautiful and clean kitchen design.
RBC Homes – A Crown Jewel

Virginia Beach kitchens are designed for a unique blend of beauty and functionality, catering to the area’s vibrant coastal lifestyle.

Here’s a look at key considerations for your dream kitchen:

  1. Open Floor Plans & Ocean Vistas: Architects and interior designers in VA prioritize open layouts, maximizing interaction and connection to the outdoors. Imagine whipping up meals while enjoying breathtaking ocean views – a hallmark of coastal living.
  2. Durability for Beach Life: With Virginia Beach’s humidity and salt air, material selection is crucial. Local experts recommend countertops, cabinets, and appliances that are durable and resistant to these elements.
  3. Ample Counter Space for Entertaining: Beach cookouts and gatherings are a staple of VA life. Designers will help you create a kitchen with ample counter space to accommodate large groups and culinary adventures.

Expert Tips:

  • Personalize your space with features that suit your cooking style. Smart storage solutions, energy-efficient appliances, and built-in features for entertaining can further enhance your kitchen’s functionality and enjoyment.

Considering a renovation? RBC Homes offers kitchen renovation services in Virginia Beach.

Bathroom Design: Spa-Like Escape

Similar to the kitchens, Virginia Beach bathrooms transcend functionality, transforming into spa-like escapes that harmonize with the coastal lifestyle.

Let’s explore key design elements for your dream bathroom:

  1. Natural Light & Relaxation: Architects and designers in Virginia Beach prioritize maximizing natural light using windows or skylights. This creates a bright and airy atmosphere, perfect for unwinding after a day at the beach.
  2. Calming Palette & Luxe Finishes: Soft color palettes and luxurious finishes like stone or marble elevate the space, contributing to a tranquil spa experience. Local experts can guide you towards materials that complement the coastal aesthetic.
  3. Walk-In Showers & Beach Bliss: Essential for rinsing off after a day in the ocean, walk-in showers are a must-have in a Virginia Beach bathroom. Consider collaborating with your architect to explore the possibility of incorporating an outdoor shower. This unique feature fosters a deeper connection with the beachfront environment.

Expert Tips:

  • Consider incorporating features that reflect your personal style and needs.This could include heated towel racks, smart mirrors, or a soaking tub for ultimate relaxation.

Ready for a Bathroom Renovation? If you’re looking to transform your existing bathroom, our experienced team can help you create a spa-inspired oasis that reflects your unique taste and complements the coastal vibe.

Deck Design: Functionality & Ambiance

One of RBC's clients has a new custom built house with an outdoor swimming pool and customized view deck.
RBC Homes – All Inn

Virginia Beach decks are more than just outdoor spaces; they’re an extension of your coastal living area.

Here’s how to design a deck that seamlessly blends functionality with ambiance:

  1. Optimizing for Entertainment & Relaxation: Architects and designers in Virginia Beach understand how to best utilize your deck space for both entertaining and relaxation. This could involve built-in seating for gatherings, fire pits for cozy evenings under the stars, or screened porches that allow for year-round enjoyment, regardless of the elements.
  2. Weather-Resistant Materials: Durability is key in VA’s coastal environment. Local experts will recommend materials that can withstand sun, wind, and salt air, ensuring your deck provides lasting enjoyment.
  3. Creating Ambiance: Transform your deck into a magical nighttime retreat with strategic outdoor lighting. This can set the mood for intimate gatherings or simply create a relaxing atmosphere for unwinding after a day at the beach.

Expert Tips:

  • While decks are a popular choice, consider additional options like patios or walkways to expand your outdoor living area.

Ready to Upgrade Your Outdoor Space? If you’re looking to transform your existing deck or create a new outdoor space, RBC Homes offers deck remodeling and home addition services in Virginia Beach.

Living Room Design: Flow & Comfort:

Virginia Beach living rooms are designed for effortless flow and comfort, blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor living (Expertise). This is key to capturing the essence of coastal life. Here’s how to create your dream living space:

  1. Seamless Indoor-Outdoor Connection: Architects and designers in Virginia Beach prioritize layouts that maximize the connection between your living room and outdoor areas like decks or patios. Large windows, sliding glass doors, and strategic furniture placement all play a role in achieving this seamless flow.
  2. Durability for Beach Life: Considering the constant flow of beach traffic, selecting durable flooring and furniture is crucial. Local experts can recommend materials that can withstand sand, salt, and everyday wear and tear.
  3. Comfort & Coastal Style: The interior designer will focus on furniture arrangement and coastal-inspired décor to create a space that’s both stylish and comfortable. This could involve light and airy color palettes, natural textures like woven baskets and sisal rugs, and comfortable seating arrangements that encourage relaxation.

Expert Tips:

  • Beyond these core elements, don’t forget to personalize your living room with unique touches that reflect your style and interests. This could include artwork with a nautical theme, cozy throws for movie nights, or comfortable seating arrangements for enjoying ocean views.

Ready to Transform Your Living Room? If you’re looking to renovate your current living room or build from scratch, RBC Homes offers remodeling services in Virginia Beach. We can help you design and create a space that perfectly blends comfort, style, and the essence of coastal living.

Bedroom Design: Tranquility

Custom home bedroom with simplicity design and overlooking view of the sea by RBC Homes
RBC Homes – American Dream

Virginia Beach bedrooms are tranquil retreats that embrace the coastal lifestyle.

Here’s how to design your dream master suite:

  1. Ocean Connection & Privacy (Expertise): Work with your architect to explore the possibility of incorporating a private balcony or prioritizing an oceanfront view for the master suite (depending on lot availability). This connection to the beachfront environment fosters relaxation and sets the perfect tone for unwinding after a day at the beach.
  2. Restful Atmosphere (Expertise): The interior designer will guide you towards calming color palettes and maximizing natural light to create a serene and restful atmosphere. Think soft blues, light grays, and whites that evoke the coastal vibe, while strategically placed windows allow the calming sounds and sights of the ocean to lull you to sleep.
  3. Ample Storage for Beach Essentials (Expertise): Virginia Beach living often involves beach gear, towels, and extra clothes. Local designers understand this and will help you plan for ample closet space to ensure your bedroom remains organized and clutter-free.

Expert Tips:

  • Personal Touches for Comfort (Comprehensiveness): Incorporate personal touches to further enhance your bedroom’s comfort and relaxation potential. This could include plush bedding, cozy throws, or artwork that reflects the calming beauty of the ocean.

Ready to create a tranquil haven in your bedroom? Contact RBC Homes for deck home renovation services and home remodeling in Virginia Beach!

6. Building for Today and Tomorrow

Further considerations for your Virginia Beach dream home go beyond just aesthetics.

Here’s how to ensure your custom build reflects not just your current desires, but also future needs and broader value:

  • Future Plans: Is this your forever home? Consider design elements that can adapt to changing needs as your family grows.
  • Universal Design: Implementing features like wider doorways and accessible bathrooms can enhance the home’s value and livability for people of all ages and abilities.
  • Personal Touches: Don’t forget to incorporate unique design elements that reflect your personality and style, making your home a true expression of you.

In this way, your Virginia Beach custom home becomes not just a dream realized, but an investment that grows in value and functionality alongside your life.

Expert tips:

  • Staying on Trend: Virginia Beach’s design scene is constantly evolving. Partner with a local architect or designer to explore the latest trends in 2024 home design, ensuring your dream home feels modern and reflects the coastal aesthetic.
  • Don’t forget to discuss incorporating energy-efficient features and sustainable practices with your design team. This will not only benefit the environment but also help you save money on utility bills in the long run.

Showcasing Design Excellence in Virginia Beach

RBC Homes takes pride in its commitment to designing and building exceptional custom homes in Virginia Beach.

To illustrate this dedication, we invite you to explore our gallery of projects:

Atlantic Villa Fran-to-Sea:

The Atlantic Villa Fran-to-Sea kitchen with aesthetic design built by the RBC Homes

This stunning oceanfront property exemplifies the seamless blend of indoor and outdoor living. Features include expansive living spaces, a gourmet kitchen, and panoramic ocean views. The design emphasizes open floor plans and extensive use of glass to maximize natural light and connectivity with the outdoors.

View Project

Over the Moon

One of RBC's clients has a new custom built house with an outdoor swimming pool and bathtub.

Designed with functionality and luxury in mind, this home boasts spacious living areas, a fully equipped kitchen, and multiple ocean-view decks. Amenities include a heated pool, an outdoor shower, and a recreation room with a pool table, ensuring a perfect blend of relaxation and entertainment.

View Project

Sandfiddler – Custom Oceanfront Home:

Inside the RBC's clients custom-built house with elegant living area.

This breathtaking residence showcases coastal living with eight en-suite bedrooms, a game room, a home theater, and a private pool. The expansive decks offer uninterrupted ocean views, while high-end finishes and smart home features provide luxury and convenience.

View Project

Each of these projects highlights our outstanding performance in the design process.

We take pride in collaborating closely with our clients to understand their vision and translate it into a reality that exceeds expectations.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How difficult is it to design your own house?

While exciting, designing a custom home requires careful planning and expertise. Partnering with a qualified architect and interior designer ensures a smooth process and a successful outcome.

2. What sets custom home builders apart from other builders?

Custom home builders specialize in creating homes tailored to your unique needs and preferences. They work closely with you throughout the design and construction process to ensure your dream home becomes reality!

3. How long does it take to design and build a custom home?

The timeline for designing and building a custom home varies depending on several factors, including the home’s size and complexity, the design approval process, and permit acquisition. On average, expect the design phase to take 3-6 months, with construction lasting anywhere from 12 to 18 months.

4. Will a custom home design fit within my budget?

Working with reputable custom home builders like the RBC Homes team ensures open communication about costs throughout the design process. We will collaborate with you to develop a plan that aligns with your budget and explore creative solutions to achieve your dream home.

Do you have more questions?

Our experienced team is happy to answer your questions and guide you through the exciting journey of designing your custom home in Virginia Beach. Schedule a free consultation to discuss.


Designing a custom home in Virginia Beach is an opportunity to create a space that reflects your unique personality and embodies the essence of coastal living.

By working collaboratively with a skilled design team like RBC Homes, you can ensure a smooth and successful process that results in a home you’ll love for years to come.

Embrace the possibilities, contact RBC Homes today, and start living your dream beach lifestyle!