Take a peek inside the Shea Design Studio

by Shea Homes Colorado on March 17, 2015


When it comes to making a house feel like a home, it’s all in the details. The little touches that express your unique individuality can make two homes with the same floor plan feel wonderfully, beautifully different.

In Shea communities, you can enjoy a dinner party at any neighbor’s home without that awkward sense of déjà vu, thanks partly to the unusually large amount of choices available in the Design Studio. Located in Highlands Ranch (and with a smaller studio in Erie), the Shea Design Studio is where buyers meet with designers to create their home’s unique style.

Shea’s studio is more comprehensive than many other builders’, notes Senior Interior Designer Melanie Best. For instance, other builders might offer just one national brand of tile, granite, and natural stone. But Shea offers selections from Dal, Arizona, Emzer, Capco, and Glenrock.

Kitchen Color Scheme







“We like to give our clients lots of choices,” Melanie says. And that’s what she and Shea’s other six highly experienced and educated designers love about their work. “With so many kinds of materials, we can get very creative.”

Which leads to this question: Can the design process feel a little overwhelming? “Even if it doesn’t start out fun, it ends up fun,” Melanie laughs. “We really try to minimize that overwhelmed feeling. We all have design backgrounds, so people don’t have to go through every single tile—unless they want to. Once we nail down the buyer’s style, we can just bring out things we think they will like.”

Figuring out your style is just part of the process, which breaks down like this:

Preview Meeting
Before you sign a contract, you can catch a one-hour group meeting at the Design Studio to see what selections come standard and what upgrades you might decide to include. A designer will answer questions and give you a tour of each section of the studio, including four completely decorated kitchens; tile and carpet; wood for flooring and trim; natural stone; cabinetry; and a granite room.

First Meeting
This two-hour meeting will be one-on-one with your designer. First up: getting clear on your tastes. Through a series of questions and looking at samples together, you’ll clarify your style. (Feel free to bring ideas, though. See the tips below.) You’ll start with cabinetry to set the tone of the house, then move onto kitchen and floor choices. A spreadsheet of your picks will help you keep track of your budget.

Second Meeting
At this two-hour meeting with your designer, you’ll move on to choices for your master bathroom, laundry room, and secondary bathrooms. Samples are portable, so each time you meet, you’ll see all your choices assembled on one of the kitchen islands like an inspiration board. This way, you can make sure you’re still loving everything you’ve chosen and see how it’s working together.

Subsequent Meetings
While some owners will complete the process in one or two sessions, others may take five to seven. No pressure—the pace is really up to you.

Once you’re comfortable with the plan, you’ll sign off on final selections. But do consider the Design Studio as a lasting resource. Long after closing, many homeowners email the staff for design insights—which Shea designers don’t mind at all—and provide feedback about how much they love their new homes.

“When it’s a year later and we hear how happy people are in their home, with the design and function of it, that’s a great feeling,” says Melanie. “It’s where you come home every day, so it’s important to have everything just the way you like it.”

Melanie’s tips for prospective buyers:
While Shea’s staff of designers is experienced enough to sleuth out anyone’s style, you can speed up the process by doing a little homework before your first Design Studio appointment. Spend some time on design websites like Houzz.com where, perusing their 5+ million photos, you can create idea folders of your own. Buy some home decorating magazines and dog-ear your favorite photos of kitchens and master baths. Just defining those two areas can help drive the design of the entire house. And finally, watch some HGTV. Melanie says just spending an hour a day thinking about design can make a huge difference in choosing something you’ll love for the long run.

Save the date—July 19th—for the Shea Design Studio annual fundraiser for the Inner Circle Foundation, which supports those diagnosed with rare-aggressive cancers and their caregivers. This silent auction offers hourly giveaways and the chance to take home items like tile, area rugs, signed footballs, spa gift certificates, and more.

1-Guests 9-Grand Prize Drawing

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

gail August 15, 2016 at 11:26 am

I’m thinking Shea designers cannot offer the general public their design expertise in homes other than Shea. I live in Lone Tree, CO and recently toured models at Stepping Stone to get some ideas for my home. I LOVE everything the designers do. Even when its not my particular taste, it looks so inviting. Can you recommend a designer to help me with my downsized ranch home. I realize you might not be able to help….but I’m hoping you know designers who understand the great Shea taste. -Gail


Sheri Troy August 16, 2016 at 1:49 pm

Hello Gail,

Thank you for the wonderful compliment on our Stepping Stone community! I am happy to have the onsite office at Stepping Stone reach out to you regarding the designs in our model homes. For your convenience the Stepping Stone office may also be reached at: 720-851-1444.


Paulette Eidsmoe September 24, 2017 at 7:56 am

We are thinking of getting a shea home. I’m worried that you will not have enough porcelain wood floor tiles from which to pick. Is it possible to get our choice that comes from Tile Bar? We live in Phoenix area. Thank you.


Sheri Troy September 25, 2017 at 3:47 pm

Hi Paulette,

Thanks for your question. The onsite team at the Shea Homes community you are considering can talk with you more about specific flooring options – based on what you’re looking for. Please give us a call if we can assist in directing you to a Shea community. We’re here 7 days a week at: 866.696.7432. Thank you.


Leslie Bradley October 21, 2017 at 10:04 pm

Hello — We just purchased a Shea home in Trilogy LaQuinta they were built 2004- we toured the the Model homes at the Polo Trilogy in Indio for some design ideas — One of the models has a distressed light wood parquet –headboard –how can I find one ? I am looking for a King size – I am a designer and love everything you did in your models ! Great job I have exhausted my resources looking for this headboard. Can you send me the manufacturer– I have a photo I can send — Thank You so much for your help


Sheri Troy October 23, 2017 at 10:19 am

Hi Leslie,

You can check with the team onsite at Trilogy at The Polo Club, and they can provide you information regarding who has done the interiors for the model you are asking about. Trilogy at The Polo Club is open 7 days a week and they may be reached at: 760.342.2155. Thank you.


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