Add Character to a Builder Grade Home
Hello again! It’s Cassie here and I am excited to be back with the second part of my builder-grade home series. In my last post I talked about why we bought a builder-grade home and some of our best and worst decisions. This time I want to share some tips for how to make a builder-grade home better.
Most basic, builder-grade homes lack character, not all, but generally speaking they tend to lack the charm of older homes. They usually have less woodwork, basic finishes, and simple lighting- think lots of can lights! When making a builder-grade home better, these are the areas I try to focus on improving.
A great, inexpensive way to add character and charm to a builder-grade home is to incorporate vintage accent pieces and/or furniture. Flea market finds or antique store treasures can be used as-is, or up-cycled and they add good visual interest to a basic room. These items tend to have lots of yummy texture, and that’s always a wonderful thing when your house finishes lack much visual interest.
Our living room plank wall
You can also bring some texture and visual interest in with adding woodwork, such as molding, built-ins, shiplap/pallet walls, and even doors, like the ever popular barn door.
These are things you might find in an older home or a custom built home. Some basic homes have built-ins included, but they tend to cost the most if the builder is doing them. In our own home, we have done a few plank walls, added mudroom built-ins, and are in the process of designing some fabulous barn wood doors for our office
Our bedroom plank wall-after
Our bedroom plank wall-before
Another inexpensive option is to update your walls. Paint is cheap in comparison to other updates and it can make a huge difference in how a space feels. There are also lots of other fun wall options, from decals to removable wallpaper, you don’t always have to make a life-long commitment to your walls, but you can play around with options that make your home feel more personal.
Cloud decal wall and updated, vintage dresser (more from this room)
Updated dining room chandelier – Paint color is Seaworthy by Sherwin Williams
My favorite way to add character in your home is through lighting. Lighting tends to be overlooked by many people, but it can be a huge game changer in how your home feels. Not only does adding different sources of light in your home make it feel cozier and more pulled together, the light fixtures themselves can add lots of charm and character to a home. If you buy a builder grade home and get a chance to have say where they put lights, think about any extra places you might want prewiring put in, and add your own lights later on. We chose to do this in our dining room (for a chandelier) and over our kitchen island. You can also replace current fixtures or add fixtures relatively easily if you bought your home later on.
Updated kitchen lighting and paint (see all paint colors here)
I hope you all find these ideas useful!
Until next time!
We love having our friend Cassie share periodic updates on her home and her projects. It’s so fun to see how she’s personalizing her builder-grade home! — Melissa