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Friday Five Roundup: 5 Tips For Upgrading A New Construction Home After Market

Welcome to this week's Friday Five Roundup.

As a designer, I get to visit many new construction homes. One of the things I always notice is the missed opportunities where builders could have made different choices that would have taken the home from builder basic to fabulous, but skipped to save on costs.

If you just bought a new construction home, here is my roundup of some things you can do after market to customize it for your own style

#1 Add Door Hardware

Knurled Door Lever - Hardware By Emtek

Knurled Door Hardware

If I had a penny for every time I see the most utilitarian style door levers and knobs in new construction homes, I would be a gazillionaire by now.

I am sure it would cost builders more to install specialized door hardware like these gorgeous options from Emtek, but imagine how much more desirable the homes would be.

Upgrading door hardware in the main areas of your home is fairly easy and inexpensive to do, and can add a more custom and luxurious touch. I think it is worth making the change - especially in the main areas

#2 Bathroom Mirrors

Round Mirror In Brass And Gold Offers A More Custom Touch In Guest Bathroom

Looking back at this bathroom project, I cannot imagine why the builder used the basic slab frameless mirror they did before we renovated.

Switching out mirrors can be an easy upgrade in your home and can make a huge difference and definitely be much more custom

The chunky round mirror in brass and black is the perfect complement to the other elements and finishes in this guest bathroom. Similar one HERE

#3 Light Fixtures

Brass Pendants Add A Custom Touch In This Kitchen

This one can be an expensive upgrade depending on what fixtures you choose, but it is a fairly easy one to do to add a great detail to your home.

Instead of doing every single room, consider upgrading light fixtures in key areas like the kitchen island, the dining room and foyer if cost is a concern Those are areas where it makes sense to go for drama and customization.

#4 Wallpaper Accent

Katy TX Living Room With Grasscloth Wallpaper Wrapping The Fireplace Wall

A little wallpaper can go a long way to take a builder basic room from drab to fabulous. I always recommend that clients stay away from accent walls and limit them only to where they make sense

In our Katy Texas living room project, the fireplace wall was plain and did nothing for the room. The client wanted to keep the existing tiles installed by the builder - which matched the flooring.

Before the upgrade, the wall looked unfinished. To make it more of a feature and more intentional, we added the chunky wood mantel and the grasscloth wallpaper above. It now feels like the strong focal point it should have been all along

#5 Custom Millwork

Floating Wood Shelves Add a Custom Touch

This may not be the least expensive upgrade you can make to your builder basic home, but it is one of the things that can have a major impact. It is certainly worth the investment

I see empty niches flanking fireplaces in the living room of many new construction homes. The best solution is to add custom millwork that will add function and architectural interest to the space. You get to design it in whatever way works for your needs.

In this Bellaire TX living room, this gorgeous wood floating shelves add a rich presence to the living room

If you implement some of these ideas in your builder basic home, you will begin to see just how custom and unique it will become.

And here's a little bonus for ya! One of the most impactful things you can do is painting some walls in your home. I would start there first if your builder included builder grade paint on your walls. Check out some of my paint color resources in the Community Forum, and check out this article I wrote a while back about what builders don't want you to know about the paints they use. Click HERE to read

Wishing You Beauty And Inspiration!


301 views2 comments


yes the chunky round mirror in brass and black is the perfect complement to the other elements and finishes in this guest bathroom and light fixtures in a key areas is a nice idea thanks for sharing this blog

Veronica Solomon
Veronica Solomon
Apr 04, 2021
Replying to

Thank you for your kind comment 😊

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