5 Ways to Elevate Your Space + Stay in Budget

Trying to decide where to put that extra cash when building your new home? We’ve got a few suggestions for you! First, think of Pinterest and Houzz as inspirational tools and not your building road map – it will save you money and emotional stress. Stay focused on what is a want vs. need – this is different for every family. I’ll tell you, the building process will be much more enjoyable if you stay in budget! So here are 5 areas worth spending a little more in order to get you that WOW look, while keeping cost to a minimum.

1. Countertops – keep yourself in check on this one – if you upgrade the entire house, it will be a pretty penny. Think kitchen and master bath only – keep your secondary baths reasonable. There are so many options, don’t be afraid of mixing and matching to create interest and keep your wallet happy.

2. Built-in Cabinets – A non-negotiable for me. The more custom a home, the more built-in cabinets it typically has. They elevate your space and save you from the headache of moving furniture when you sell. Now, I wouldn’t advise adding them throughout the house. Moderation is key. Think about adding another row to your kitchen uppers, taking the cabinets to the ceiling, banquette seating in the breakfast nook or bookshelves flanking the fireplace. To create interest (and storage) in our dining room we added a shallow built-in piece.


3. Cabinet Hardware – This can be brief, as most clients are on board with hardware. Hardware is jewelry for your cabinets, so think about the space before you make a decision. Do you want the hardware to stand out or be a supporting role? No, your hardware finish does not need to match the finish of your light or plumbing fixtures.  Choose hardware that is functional and attractive. The below pretties are from Anthropologie, my favorite spot for hardware.

3. Lighting – Two areas to address - light fixtures and can lights. We often see floor plans with a fan/light kit as the only overhead lighting in a large area (living, game room, master). If you are all about the fan, great, you’re still not excused from adding can lights – you will need them. There is nothing more frustrating than not having full light during a large gathering. Interested in removing the fan altogether, now we’re in business! A great way to set a room apart is through lighting; again, just add to the main traffic areas (living room, master, etc)


5. Trim – I love what I see regarding trim these days! Trim is a big player in transforming a space – you can add opulent crown molding for a dramatic effect or ship lap for a casual rustic feel. Too much can be a bad thing, so make a plan, knowing where you want to make a statement.

As with every decision in building, it’s all about moderation. We spend a fair amount of time talking through these decisions with our clients – striking the perfect balance between design and price.  Happy Building!