grey white and black modern farmhouse exterior

4 Easy Upgrades To Elevate Your Builder-Grade Home

Most of us don’t have custom home money and instead have to settle for your average builder-grade home. That’s perfectly okay, but it can be pretty disappointing not to have all those little details exactly how you want them. In fact, that hideous chrome showerhead may be driving you insane or you may not enjoy the flimsy hardware they installed on your doors. Trust me when I say, you aren’t alone.

Now to be fair, some builder-grade homes have really stepped their game up with wide trim and matte black hardware, but that isn’t the case for all of them. In fact, some homes contain extremely cheap finishes and bland walls which leaves the house feeling less like home. If you feel like this describes your house, then you’ve come to the right place.


Transforming Your Builder-Grade Home

If you’re feeling less than enthused with your house, you’re also probably asking yourself what you can do to update it that won’t cost an arm and a leg. Sound like you? Great, I’ve got four extremely easy and affordable solutions to help you take your home from a boring builder-grade house to the home of your dreams.

Swap Out Your Hardware

matte black door handles on interior doors

Start elevating your home by swapping your hardware. This simple, stylish, and affordable swap can quite literally transform your space. Standard home builds often use very basic, and less-than-ideal hardware on your interior. Often the finishes of these items look cheap and unoriginal.

Spending the extra couple hundred to a couple of grand to update your hardware will significantly impact the overall look and feel of your home. Find a unique style and finish you love and execute it throughout your entire home. The added effort will help your home feel more connected and give it a better flow.

Update builder-grade bathroom with black matte hardware on white cabinets and doors

When it comes to hardware it’s easy to just think about the knobs or handles on your doors, but there’s a lot more opportunity there. These are my favorite places to upgrade my home hardware for a more custom look:

  • door knobs/handles
  • cabinetry knobs & pulls (bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, etc.)
  • towel holders
  • Showerhead & bathtub faucet

All of these are great places to upgrade, but they don’t have to all be the same finish and material. It’s perfectly acceptable (and even, dare I say it, encouraged) to mix and match your metals. If you love your black door handles but want to have brushed bronze hardware in the bathroom, you can do it! I do recommend keeping your finishes to 2 (maximum of 3) per space, though.

Upgrade Your Lighting

rustic pendant lights in modern farmhouse kitchen

If there is anything you’ve learned from reading my blogs, it’s that lighting matters. The lighting in your house can absolutely make or break the space and let’s face it, most of the time light fixtures in builder-grade homes are atrocious. The dreaded boob light seems to be around every turn and even the bathroom lighting feels dim and uninspiring.

The good news is, that this is an easy fix. You can find a fantastic selection of varying-priced light fixtures almost anywhere. They’re fairly easy to replace and if you don’t know how you can research how to DIY it or hire a professional to make the swap. Either way, it’s a very affordable option that makes a major impact on elevating your modern farmhouse.

Change Those Mirrors!

oval mirror over vanity in neutral half bath

The number one thing I absolutely cannot stand about builder-grade homes is seeing those dreadfully boring bathroom mirrors. They have no character, no originality, and scream generic. I wish I had more positive things to say, but I promise getting rid of this will make your bathroom feel so much more luxurious.

Instantly elevate your space, by swapping the rectangular boring reflective sheet, for something a bit more fun. Incorporate an abstract shape or a unique frame to help give your space a more designer look and feel. If you absolutely can’t afford to replace the mirror, try instead to frame the existing one with some painted wood.

Don’t Forget About Your Closet

This upgrade is so underrated. Trading those traditional wire rack shelves for real, wooden shelves creates a true feeling of luxury. Whether it’s in your master closet, pantry, or coat closet, this update will instantly elevate your space. Plus, it’s not only pretty it’s practical. Wooden shelves are stronger and sturdier, allowing you to rack up the number of clothes and shoes you can store.

If you really want to take your space to the next level and make it feel more custom, don’t stop at just upgrading your shelves. Add in some drawers or custom built-ins to help make your closet feel a little less builder-grade. This used to be a lot more challenging, but now with closet solutions at stores like Ikea or the Container store, creating the closet of your dreams is a lot easier.

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