Everyone loves that custom farmhouse look, but the question is, how do you achieve it? Most of today’s homes boast basic builder-grade finishes and elements that make your home look, well, just like everyone else’s. So how do you achieve that custom farmhouse look? Where do you start? Are there budget-friendly options? I may not answer all of these questions today, but I certainly hope to help answer some of these today with my five tips to take your modern farmhouse from builder grade to custom.
The first, and possibly my favorite solution, is to swap out the frameless mirrors in your bathroom. Builders typically place these large mirrors in the bathroom which makes them feel generic and bland. This swap is not only easy, but it’s pretty affordable (depending on where you get the mirrors from). Switching from a singular large mirror to two unique ones instantly elevates any bathroom.
Although mirror options are endless, I do have two recommendations to follow when selecting the right ones for your space. First, try to keep your mirrors two to four inches shorter than your vanity. If you select one narrower than that, add filler decor such as sconce lighting to balance the space. Secondly, try to stick with mirrors that are between 30″ – 36″ tall and place them at least 5″ above your sink. This guideline will help ensure your tallest and shortest house guests can still see themselves.
The second option can be a little more expensive purely due to the amount of area it covers in your home. Another simple way to update your builder-grade home is to add or upgrade the crown molding in your home. Most homes only have a smaller trim lining the baseboards of their home so to elevate your space select a larger molding option to trim the baseboards and ceiling of your home. If you want to get fancy, add some unique trim around your windows as well.
Right now it’s also trending to add things like wainscoting, board and batten, or wall frames to a room. These added features can also create a beautiful custom feature for your home. I highly recommend using at least one of these if not more.
This one may be a little more controversial, but honestly, I love the idea of playing with different shaped and sized doorways in your home. In almost any house you’ll see simple, standard height identical doorways. The front door of the home may be a bit taller, but typically the rest of the house features a matching set. Instead, upgrade your home with a mix of rectangular and arched doorways. The varying heights will help create an illusion that your ceilings are higher than they are.
For instance, select a tall pantry door, upgrade to a double front door, and swap in a massive arched doorway in the foyer. Mixing and matching these different shapes and sizes help to cultivate a more unique look versus the cookie-cutter style of builder-grade homes. If you’re interested in how to DIY arches, let me know in the comments below! I’ll be glad to throw in some tips and tricks for updating your doorways.
If switching up doorways isn’t an option for you, I have a simpler tip for you. To instantly and easily update your home, swap out your basic hardware for something a bit more stylish. Builders often add basic-level finishes to homes that don’t quite do it for me. Those builders that offer better options often offer them at a very steep price that isn’t exactly worth it. This is why I recommend waiting to upgrade your hardware on your own.
You can easily find hundreds of affordable options for upgrading your door handles, faucets, and cabinetry hardware. If you’re looking for something even cheaper, sometimes updating the hardware can be as simple as applying a fresh coat of paint to your existing hardware. Going from basic silver to a bold black can make a big impact! Don’t worry about making your metals match either. Feel free to mix metals and finishes as much as you want throughout the home, but a good rule of thumb to follow is to cap it at two different kinds of metals or finishes per room.
Last, but certainly not least, update your lighting! I honestly think it is a challenge for builders to find the ugliest light fixtures to put in a home. Okay, that may be a bit harsh, but I truly believe that changing up the lighting in your home makes the biggest difference. I also suggest that if your budget allows, spend the extra cash here. I promise you that the additional spend will be well worth your while.
To fully give the details of the best lighting fixtures for each home would require an entire post itself, but let me know if you’d like to learn more and I’ll write one! The biggest piece of advice I can share here is to ensure the lighting fixture you chose makes a statement and tells your personality. Have fun with different shapes, sizes, and textures, and ensure that the fixture provides the right type of lighting for the space.
At the end of the day, your home is a work of art and like most art pieces, they often never feel complete. This means there is always room for improvement but don’t try to update everything at once. Select one or two of these upgrades at a time and see what a difference they make! If you’d like more tips on how to elevate your builder-grade home to the modern farmhouse of your dreams, let me know and I’ll be glad to help!