When it comes to building a home, most people prefer to start with a pre-designed floor plan. Of course there are some who want to customize everything from the ground up, and others take the simple, tried and true method of choosing a ready-made floor plan from a builder you can trust to do it well.
But customizing everything can cause a lot of headaches for you and your contractor, especially if you’re not a professional architect or builder yourself. Too much customization can also make it much harder to sell your home later on, especially if your changes are over the top.
That said, there are plenty of smaller customizations you can consider to make your new home fit you. These are just some of the ways to make your home more welcoming and attractive to anyone who walks in the door—including you.
Built-in shelving can add appeal and utility to any room. You can also use shelving to create an accent wall that can be changed with the seasons and your own tastes. Consider open shelving in the kitchen especially, where your dishes and other favorite kitchenware can double as décor.
Add the kinds of details that make a room look polished but not overwhelming. Molding is a classic and classy addition around doorways, to divide walls, and to add character along the ceiling. Speaking of ceilings, architectural details on the ceiling can add just the right wow factor. Ceiling medallions, exposed wood beams, and embossed ceiling tiles are choices that will beautify any room.
Just remember that details should be just that—details. Too many embellishments, or things that feel too ornate, may ruin the feel of a room and it harder to sell your home down the line.
Now, you don’t want to add so much storage that you cut into more valuable living space. But not enough is no good, either. Make sure there’s a closet in every bedroom, at least one in a main hallway. And if you’re in a climate where coats are a must, then you a coat closet is a must, too. And depending on how much cabinet space the kitchen has, consider building in a pantry for additional food storage. Adding an island is worth considering, too.
It’s hard to imagine a room in the house that wouldn’t be better with overhead lighting. Even closets and hallways are better when they’re well-lit. Especially make sure there’s enough light in the kitchen—it’s one place where you definitely want to be able to see what you’re doing.
If natural light is important to you, then make sure there’s plenty of it by adding or enlarging windows—as long as your builder agrees and it doesn’t interfere with structural stability. Just keep in mind which direction those extra windows are facing so you don’t end up with direct sunlight in the wrong place at the wrong time. And remember that more windows will likely mean higher utility bills.