If you’re looking for ideas for ways to make your home look less builder-basic and feel more custom, then today’s post is for you! I’m sharing common things we do in our clients’ homes that give that designer look, and you can do them in your own home too. These updates and details really help elevate the look of a home and make it feel more luxurious – I hope you find these tips helpful.
Never underestimate the benefits of a fresh coat of paint – Your space will feel brand new. Hiring a professional painter or really taking your time to do it right if you’re doing it yourself is key – Nothing looks worse than a poor paint job. Wallpaper is an excellent option if you really want to elevate the look of a particular room. Powder rooms, studies, bedrooms, and dining rooms are some of my favourite spaces to use wallpaper, but it can work well anywhere if you’re mindful of the style and colour.
Updating baseboards is one way to add impact throughout a home. Often builders will use itty-bitty baseboards because they are cost-effective. If you update your baseboard to something more substantial, your home will look more custom. For ceilings that are 8 feet high, I like to use baseboards that are 5-7 inches high. For ceilings that are 9 feet high, I like to use baseboards that are 7-9 inches high. For ceilings that are 10 feet high, I like to use baseboards that are 9-11 inches high. If your home has crown moulding, you’ll need to increase the size of that as well so that they are balanced.
Panel mouldings are a fantastic way to add dimension and a custom look to your home. You can hire someone to do it for you, or if you’re handy, you can even do it yourself – I measured, drew up a plan, and Chris installed panel moulding in our dining room over a weekend, and it looks fantastic. Consider the look that you’re after – Flat panel mouldings give a more modern look, and something with more of a detailed profile is best for more traditional spaces.
Builders often use cost-effective lighting or don’t even add decorative lighting where there should be decorative lighting. Great spots for decorative lighting are in the foyer, over the dining table, over a kitchen island and/or sink, sconces on either side of your bathroom mirrors, and in the center of all bedrooms. Investing in quality lighting will make all the difference because the finishes are far superior to what you would find in big-box stores. I’ve linked some of my favourite decorative lighting below!
A lot of homes have very simple and often frameless mirrors in the bathroom. I suggest removing them and adding a decorative mirror to make the bathroom look more elevated and custom. Builders will often install a giant mirror over the whole vanity, but you’re better off having a smaller mirror with sconces on either side to create a designer look.
The term builder-basic is because builders often choose the most basic options, and faucets are no exception. Replacing your kitchen and bathroom faucets will really help to make these rooms feel more unique and custom, and may even make doing dishes a little more enjoyable.
A lot of homes have very standard door and cabinet hardware, so I often recommend updating them. There are so many fantastic cabinet knobs and pulls out there, so finding something to improve the look of your home is easy to do. For doors, I recommend looking for something with a substantial rosette, which is the piece that sits between the knob and the door, because this is an excellent detail that helps the home to look more custom.
Bathroom accessories such as toilet paper holders, robe hooks, towel rings, towel bars, and tank levers (the flusher for your toilet – yes, there are nice ones) can be a beautiful addition to any washroom if you select nice ones. Swap out what you have to coordinate with a new faucet, mirror, and wall sconces et voila, an instant custom look for your washroom.
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