How To Personalize a Builder Grade Home

How To Personalize a Builder Grade Home

Let’s imagine you just found the perfect house, on a great street, in a lovely neighborhood. The only problem is, the finish out is builder grade and, well, you were hoping for something several steps beyond “one size fits all.” What do you do?

Recent clients of ours found themselves in this exact predicament when they came to us. Their house was great. It was clean and new and thoughtful in many ways, but nothing about it was designed with them in mind! Afterall, it was built for the market, not for a family with specific needs, tastes and desires. From hearing your stories, we know many of you can relate to this situation, so today we thought we’d share simple tips on how to personalize builder grade finish outs so that you can realize the full design potential of your new (almost perfect) home.

Our 3 favorite ways to personalize builder grade homes

  1. Paint

Builder grade homes are often painted a single neutral color throughout. Sometimes, as in the case of our clients, this works to your advantage. Theirs was a nice, soft color that complemented their design vision (fresh, timeless and layered) perfectly.  Since the original paint color worked, we advised keeping it (and saving a pretty penny in the process), and instead focusing on places to add intentional depth of color such as the kitchen island.

  1. Lighting

Lighting is an opportunity to transition a space’s design in a very meaningful way. In our client’s home we exchanged the original, modern lighting for more traditional, mixed metal selections to achieve the timeless, layered look they were after.  Sconces above the fireplace helped create a more intimate space within the home’s open floorplan.

  1. Fireplace Surround

Often the focal point of rooms, fireplaces are spaces where you can make a big design impact in a relatively small footprint. One of the more noticeable changes that needed to be made to our clients’ new home was the fireplace surround. It was covered with a shiny ceramic tile that made the room feel too cold and modern. So, in addition to the aforementioned sconces, we added warmth to the fireplace by designing and installing a custom cerused mantle, and replacing the original ceramic tiles with closely spaced textured tiles for a more seamless look.