Builder’s Standard to Buyer’s Dream: Tips for taking your house from cookie cutter to custom on a budget
There are five other houses on my street that are the same floor plan as mine. Little by little, on a limited budget, I have added personal touches around the house to make it feel more like a custom home and less like Plan No. 2440.
D.I.Y.? Why Not?
There are many do-it-yourself projects that can be done on a limited budget to add personality and style to an otherwise standard-looking home.
With twenty minutes to spare before the kids came home from school, I added a frame to my bathroom mirror. I purchased the mirror framing kit from Lowes. The kit included the frame and corner pieces. The mirror glue was sold separately. The overall cost was under $20. The overall all look is awesome.
Next, I turned my D.I.Y. eye to the kitchen. “Do-it-yourself-idness” runs in the family. My dad and I added a backsplash to my kitchen in one afternoon and for less than $100.
What looks like a metal backsplash are really plastic/vinyl not-metal-at-all panels. The panels (also available at Lowes) are easily cut to fit with a razor blade. They can be adhered with glue, but knowing my tendency to change my mind, I opted for the project-grade double-stick tape that is sold with the backsplash materials. The backsplash is secure, until I am ready for it to come off and it cleans up easily with a damp cloth.
Let there be light
A great way to add character or to update the look of a room is looming right above your head.
Light fixtures are like earrings. A great pair of earrings adds your personal style to an outfit, just like your light fixtures can show-off your personal style in a room.
Just like earrings, light fixtures come in innumerable styles and price points. There are light fixtures out there to fit any style and budget.
To make it feel more lux, I hung a mini chandelier in my bathroom. I never dreamed I could feel like the Queen of Sheba while brushing my teeth, but I do.
Something to hold on to
You wouldn’t have a door without a handle, don’t deny your cabinets the practicality and character of knobs. Lowes and Hobby Lobby have a great selection of knobs and drawer pulls, from the practical to artsy-craftsy, starting at a mere two dollars.
Aside from being inexpensive, adding knobs is also easy. How many do-it-yourself projects can you think of that only require one tool? All you need is the quick zing of a drill to take your cabinets from plain to just plain great.
Paint is an inexpensive way to make a big change to a room.
Plan No. 2440 came with one choice of paint color for the whole inside of the house. Room by room, I’ve added more colors to the walls of Casa de Payne, usually when Secret Agent Man is out of town. He loves me, but he hates painting. As long as he doesn’t have to sully his hands with semi-gloss Robin’s Egg Blue, he doesn’t care what colors I chose to paint and repaint the upstairs hallway.
My next project is to paint the front door. A punch of color at the entrance is an easy way to set your home apart from the others and it’s not as big of a commitment as painting the whole house. I’m doing a complete about face from the color of my previous front door which was Aerospace Blue. This time (completely un-influenced by the Rolling Stones) I am painting the front door black; clean, sleek, sophisticated black.
Which one of these Plan No. 2440 is not like the other? It will be the one with the black door.
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