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Our model home at Santa Rita Ranch in Liberty Hill just got a much-needed refresh and we could not be happier with how the space turned out. Kendall and Nancy Schmitt of Houston design studio Nancy Rae Interiors were the forces behind the transformation, turning a utilitarian design into a soft contemporary home.


Reflecting on the design process, Kendall — the firm’s Design Director — shared that there was a lot of brainstorming that took place between herself and Empire’s marketing team. Prior to redesigning each room, buyers in the neighborhood shared their desire for a lifestyle-oriented home with a clean design that still felt warm and inviting. This mother-daughter duo achieved just that by utilizing every square foot of the floor plan and creating memory points in each room using wall treatments, paint details and built-in features.


A fresh update to any home like this brings a sense of renewal. Over the past few years and still to this day, we have and continue to spend more time at home than ever before. By creating a space that is both aesthetically pleasing and functional, being at home becomes that much better. “If you refresh your kitchen with paint and new countertops, you may find yourself cooking more because you enjoy spending time in that space,” says Kendall. “Likewise, if you have a large sectional to sit on, you may find yourself watching more movies with your family and spending quality time together.” Learn more about the newest changes made to The Richmond — a 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom and 2,638 sq.ft. home.


Paint Colors and Wall Treatments

The Primary Bedroom

Modern nightstands and an accent chair were two new neutral furniture additions, while bedding and paint were used to create a pop of color in the room.

The Secondary Bedroom

“We used a unique color for the wall treatment and decided to bring that hue into the bedding’s fabric,” says Kendall. “This created harmony and a simple design that homeowners could easily achieve on their own.”

The Home Office

By utilizing most of the furnishings they already had, Kendall and Nancy were sustainable and proved that buyers can create a home office with ease.

The Flex Room

“Using light woods contrasted against a dark moody backdrop, we brought colors from the rest of the house into this space,” says Kendall. “Built-in desks and floating shelves are popular right now and give buyers the feeling of a custom home that’s still within budget.”

The Flex Room

Having a space that can meet residents’ varied needs is every homeowner’s dream. Once a dedicated game room, this space has since been transformed into a multifunctional area of the home, perfect to use as a playroom, a home office or a gym. “Families can have a quiet game night while lounging on comfortable upholstery, while spending quality time with a member of the family who may be working on a project or studying at home,” says Kendall. There’s so much versatility with this space, but not so much that buyers don’t know how to utilize it.


The Finishing Touches

Kitchen Pendant Lights

By updating the lighting in the kitchen, the home immediately feels more custom. “Buyers are becoming more likely to upgrade the light fixtures in their homes because it makes a big impact and can be less costly than other upgrades too,” says Kendall.

Color Scheme

New colors were incorporated into every room in the home without them feeling overbearing. The color blue was used most often to impart a sense of calmness and serenity.

Open Shelving

Just like the built-in features in the flex space, the open-shelving in the living room makes the home more custom and unique. It also allows homeowners to display beautiful accessories, family photos and momentos.

8′ Interior and Exterior Doors

Larger doors were incorporated into the interior and exterior of the home to give the model a more custom feel, and bring residents’ eyes up to enjoy the natural light in each room. This change is just one example of the ways in which Empire can make product adjustments to meet the needs of today’s homebuyers.


Outdoor Landscaping

The landscaping was updated to enhance the home’s curb appeal and blend in with the Austin landscape. As a versatile space, the backyard allows buyers to visualize how they can use the outdoors for personal use or for entertainment purposes.

Interested in touring The Richmond model and seeing its refreshed decor in all its glory? Book an appointment now. Next, go behind the design of our model home at Venetian Pines in Conroe, Texas.


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Nicole and Karla

New Home Specialists


Nicole and Karla

New Home Specialists


Hi! We are your New Home Specialists. Ask us about updates on our release, model home openings, special incentives and other Empire communities information.

T 647-372-0619