Q&A with Authentic Custom Homes Designer, Israel Peña

We pride ourselves on our unique approach to custom home design. Our team is led by President and Founder Israel Peña whose innovative designs, attention to detail and appreciation for distinctive home characteristics mean each of our clients have the opportunity to design and build a custom home that fits their IP Smilelifestyle.

I sat down with Israel to find out what makes the design process so special, and what clients need to know before designing their home.

What inspires you as a designer?

The thought of creating a new, one-of-a-kind custom home that will impact people’s lives, is very rewarding. My hope is that through thoughtful, innovative design the new home will enrich the lives of the family who live in the home and the many people who will experience the spaces and details that gives each home it’s own personality.

What is your design process?

The design of a custom home involves careful consideration of the physical attributes of the building site, including orientation, natural vegetation, existing trees, vistas, surrounding properties and terrain. The single most important aspect of the design process is to listen carefully and to understand the lifestyle of the client, their tastes, desires and preferences.

Often the underlying reason for building a new home can be very telling. Discussion about how they live in the existing home and what they would do differently in the new home. This is often accomplished in a couple of hour long interviews with the clients. The last thing before starting the design is to spend sometime on the building site and reflecting on what I have heard from the client, this is where the initial concept for the design is born.

What’s your favorite feature you’ve put into a home design?

It is always a priority, in the design of a home, to incorporate features that are important to the client. Each home should have a distinctive feature–it could be a secret room, a wine room, a computer gaming room, a greenhouse with an operating water wheel, the latest technology or any other unique aspect that sets it apart.

What’s your most valuable piece of advice to a new homeowner about how to design and decorate their home?

Be open and clear with the designer about what you like and what you don’t like. The more a client can communicate their ideas to the designer at the beginning of the design process, the better the probability of an outstanding success.

What are the most popular materials to design with right now?

Any material that gives a new home something memorable that both the owner and their guests will recognize as innovative and unique. It can be a different type of countertop, a distinctive tile or a new tile pattern. Architectural details in the use of stone and/or stucco are also popular.

Building a custom home begins with design. Download our free interactive guide to start designing your custom home today.