Home Improvement: Adding Flare to a Builder Grade Home
Purchasing a new home an exciting, emotional experience – and going with a professional builder can often mean more savings for you. Of course, the finished home likely won’t be tailored exactly to your preferences.
But you should never feel obligated to keep things the way they are. This is your home! You deserve a space that speaks to you and shows off your personal taste. There are plenty of options at your disposal to enhance your new home to your personal taste.
Make Your Mark With Home Improvements
First things first: you don’t need to go all out and renovate everything. That’ll just increase your renovation costs needlessly. You picked a builder grade home for a reason, so just work on smaller improvements. Little changes can have big results!
Plus, you can always complete a major upgrade down the line if you want to and your budget allows for it.
Here are some fairly simple renovation projects to add flare to your home.
This is one of the most dramatic yet straightforward ways to change the look of your home. Wall color can have an instant impact, and builder-grade beige can get old.
Try to keep the color consistent for connected spaces like the entry way, living room, and hall.
Carpeting in builder grade homes is often whatever is cheapest, which means the colors are likely not ideal. Replace the mishmash of flooring and consider adding hardwood or engineered wood across all surfaces.
Your new home might have vertical blinds or thin horizontal ones. Either way, they won’t have much character. Uninstall the blinds and replace them with something that works for you – perhaps plantation shutters or bamboo blinds.
How does the kitchen look? If it’s a darker space or the cabinets are plain and uninspiring, it could improve dramatically with a bit of tweaking. You could paint your cabinets a brighter tone – the same color for uppers and lowers or lighter on top and darker on the bottom.
Another option is to replace the cabinet doors with a more attractive design. Builders and interior designers alike are springing for cleaner lines with less inset paneling on cabinets. Attractive kitchens like the one above give your kitchen a great update while also being functional and organized.
Builder grade mirrors have no definition; they’re just a big square or rectangle of glass on the wall. To give your mirrors some character, you can add trim around the edges. The type of trim is up to you – decorative molding, MDF baseboard, or stained hardwood. Make sure the stain or paint color you pick matches the rest of the space. Spring for a circular mirror if you're the adventurous kind!
Most of the doors in your home are likely flat, hollow-core ones. Elevate your doors with paint for a budget-friendly upgrade. You can also add trim like decorative molding if you want to create some definition. Interior doors with inset design give depth and elegance to your space.
Using molding or paneling, you can dress up your walls and create a more attractive room. Beadboard comes in everything from MDF (medium-density fibreboard) to solid wood, so you can choose the option according to your budget. You can also use molding to create your own raised panel wainscoting. For a modern look, though, you should paint the wall treatments a lighter shade – common options include white, gray, soft green, pale blue and taupe.
Another option with your walls is to be bold with a darker accent wall. You can use various methods of applying texture to an accent wall to give the room a gradient of color. This can look especially appealing when paired with lighter furniture.
If the vanity is a bit plain, consider removing the end doors and adding some type of storage basket – such as wicker or fabric. Make sure you keep the middle doors, though. They hide the plumbing underneath the sink! You can also paint the vanity to freshen the look.
Most builder grade homes will lack crown molding. Consider adding it to some or all the rooms in your house for an elevated look and feel. Crown molding gives great depth and elegance to your home that is well worth the investment.
You can always undertake extensive renovation projects to improve a new home. These are just a few of the easier, more affordable options that will help make your house a home.
For more tips on homes in your price range and DIY projects for the home you already have, check out the Homes & Land blog.