There seem to be more and more luxurious new-build homes on the market, with beautiful upgrades and high-end finishes. These “Dream Homes” are definitely sought-after, however it goes without saying that not all new-builds are finished at this level, and quite frankly, we can’t always afford to have it all sign, sealed and delivered! The good news is that there are several handy ways that you can upgrade your basic builder’s finishes and add character, value and beautiful impact to your home!

It’s often challenging to know where to begin with certain upgrades- but don’t worry- we’ve come up with some fun & simple tips that will help you to prioritize the impact areas AND ultimately enhance the look and feel of your space! Here are some of our key tips on how to enhance builder’s basics in your home:

Basic Builder’s standard doorknobs:

When making changes to a space, many people overlook doorknobs, however, the right doorknob can really enhance and update the most basic of door styles. This small change is a great launching point to transforming your space. It’s important to make sure that your door hinges match the finish of your doorknobs. Although this requires a bit of time and elbow- grease this is a change well worth the effort!

basic builders

upgrades we love

Basic builder’s ceiling fixtures:

It goes without saying that basic builder’s ceiling fixtures can be quite drab and unattractive. Upgrading your lighting fixtures is a great way to add character, style and a quality look to your space. A great tip with lighting is to match the finish of your door hardware, as this creates a consistency throughout your space (for example- if you go with matte black door knobs and hinges, then you can’t go wrong with the same matte black finish on your lighting fixtures). Also, when you have standard 8’ ceilings, it is important to keep in-mind that hanging fixtures can not only get in the way but can make your ceilings feel even lower (unless hanging fixtures are installed over a table, or an island surface). That said, flush-mount lighting fixtures are often the best option to keep your space feeling open.

basic builders

upgrades we love

Mouldings:

Another great way to add character and to elevate the overall look without breaking the bank is to add crown mouldings and ceiling medallions. You can start by focusing on the main areas that you may want to highlight, such as the living-room, dining-room and master bedroom. We also recommend adding ceiling medallions in any room where a chandelier/hanging fixture is featured, such as the dining room or master bedroom. Once you’ve added these beautiful moulding details, we suggest painting out your ceiling mouldings, baseboards and ceiling medallions in a satin or pearl finish to highlight them and make them pop! Adding character to your space with mouldings can often increase the value of your home as homebuyers are typically looking for these types of features/upgrades.

upgrades we love

Kitchen Backsplash and cabinet hardware:

Many basic builds do not include kitchen backsplashes. In fact, backsplashes can often be a pricey upgrade for the home buyer. Adding the right backsplash can bring a finished look and high-end feel to your basic kitchen. We recommend keeping your backsplash in the white or light grey family as this is neutral and great for resale too! (Don’t think of neutrals as “boring”- Neutrals offer a fresh & clean look that is always in style!)

For fixed elements, such as a backsplash, avoid trendy colours and styles that you could easily tire of and that might not appeal to the average homebuyer when you go to sell your home (if you’re big on colour of pattern in the kitchen- invest in a colourful dish-ware set instead!).

Another simple change that can add a lot of impact to your kitchen is to switch-out your cabinet hardware. Just be sure to purchase hardware that fits the same holes that are already drilled into your cabinets and go with timeless/classic lines- this will never go out of style! (when trying to match-up hardware sizing, we always remove one of each of the old hardware styles and bring it with us to the store to avoid mistakes and returns!)

upgrades we love

Bathroom Upgrades:

Simple upgrades to a boring or dated bathroom add more function and style, AND In most cases, it really doesn’t take much to add these upgrades! We’ve found that many standard bathrooms offer a flat, boring vanity mirror…it may seem like a daunting task to switch this out, however most always, these mirrors aren’t glued-on (If your mirror happens to be glued to the wall there are many online video tutorials to guide you with safely removing this). Once you’ve removed the basic mirror, we suggest switching it out for an attractive mirrored medicine cabinet- this creates a more stylized look and offers great added storage for toiletries! If you feel you already have enough storage- simply adding a more decorative mirror style can make a big difference in updating your bathroom!

upgrades we love