It happens to everyone—you tour a model home or watch a home-buying show, and instantly fall in love with all the fancy upgrades, only to be shocked at the final sticker price.
Suddenly, the builder-grade model seems more appealing. Builder-grade homes, however, are basic for a reason. Builders work with designers to come up with a scheme that’s affordable and appeals to as many people as possible.
Sometimes these homes can look a little vanilla. They meet construction codes but don’t have the distinctive features that reflect your style and make a place home.
Here’s the thing—you want to feel good when you walk into your house. Even if you know nothing about design, your mood is instantly lifted when you come into a well-designed space where there’s beauty and balance. Add some unique touches that reveal your personality, and you have a one-of-a-kind sanctuary.
What Does Builder-Grade Mean?
Builder-grade means that in the pursuit of a good profit, builders used the least expensive materials. There are four grades of building materials:
Builder-grade materials will usually be mass-produced, so the windows, the doors, the tile, and other materials may have a familiar look.
Consider These Upgrades to Builder-Grade Products
Luckily, there are some easy ways you can give your basic builder-grade home an updated, more individualized look for less:
Upgrade Kitchen and Bathroom Hardware
Some personal touches aren’t huge jobs. One easy and quick solution is swapping out your cabinet or vanity hardware. Small replacements can give kitchens and bathrooms a fresh look. Take off those functional pulls and knobs and choose what you love, from sleek and modern to ornate vintage.
If you want to add value to your home, kitchens and bathrooms are the places to begin. These are the functional spaces that potential buyers want to see clean, modernized, and convenient. If you have to be careful about where you spend your money, these are the rooms to concentrate on.
Seeing the Place in a New Light
Lighting is another element that you can swap out to give your home a unique look.
When adding lighting, think about where it will have the biggest impact. Pendant lights over an island will give your kitchen an upgraded look. Bright task lighting over your counters can make food prep easier, then be turned off while you dine to hide any kitchen mess.
Make a bold statement with a unique dining room chandelier. Hanging over your table, set to low light, this one feature can turn your dining area into its own relaxing, set-apart space.
In a bedroom, consider removing standard mushroom lights for flush mount fixtures with seeded glass or fabric shades.
Mirrors Can Maximize Light and Style
Remember that mirrors can pull light into a room, reflecting what comes in from natural sources. If plain, unframed mirrors are giving your place a dull or dated look, MirrorMate DIY mirror frame kits are a convenient way to turn them into a design feature.
Installing MirrorMate frames can take as little as 20-minutes, and you don’t need to hire a handyman to do the job. This is a great DIY project to tackle first and build your confidence for harder projects down the line!
Simply measure your existing mirror, select from their many different styles, and order online. The frame is custom cut in their shop to your specifications and sent directly to your door with everything needed to assemble in minutes.
The frame adheres to the face of your mirror, so there is no need to remove your mirror from the wall! The only tool required is a tape measure and small hammer! This is one upgrade that will certainly add value to your home.
Make an Impact with Your Backsplash
Adding or upgrading your kitchen backsplash is another task that you can take on yourself. It’s the perfect place to add a pop of color or use a unique material that sets your kitchen apart.
If you’re not comfortable using a tile saw, you can choose a stick-on tile that looks and feels like real tile. Some of these even come in natural stone or glass, so you can’t tell that they’re peel-and-stick. Also, look for embossed metal sheets or thin wood veneers that can be applied to the wall.
If you find tile that you love but can’t afford to use for the whole backsplash, you can coordinate it with a less expensive material, and feature it in one or two smaller spaces, like behind the stove or sink.
The Power of Paint
Finally, don’t overlook the power of paint. Most builders offer you one to two colors for the entire home.
If you want to give your home a more custom look, consider painting an accent wall in a living room or family room for a dramatic statement. One wall, or doors or window trim painted black, in an all-white home can add instant sophistication.
Pick a palette of colors you love and stay within it throughout the house to give the whole interior a coordinated, yet personal look. For instance, an all-white builder-grade house could have a new palette of white, pearly gray, sage green, and black. Builder-grade kitchen cabinets that were white could be painted sage green, with dramatic black counters added, and a backsplash of black and white tiles in a pattern you’re drawn to.
A few DIY projects and simple upgrades can change the whole look and feel of your spaces.
How to Frame a Builder-Grade Mirror
Start with a manageable DIY upgrade, such as adding mirror frames to your existing, wall mounted mirrors. With MirrorMate DIY mirror frame kits, builder-grade mirrors become custom mirrors, without the expensive price tag.
MirrorMate has done the work of choosing a variety of designer styles, so you can pick what suits your home and follow the simple installation instructions, knowing this is going to add an on-trend, custom look to the room.
The frame adheres directly to the mirror itself, so all you have to do is measure, order, and install.
It’s so easy, anyone can do it! This can be the first of the upgrades you take on to make your house the inviting, personalized space you love to come home to!