What to spend on to make your new house an impactful Home!
Paint and Wall paper:
- In new homes they suggest you wait a year for “the house to settle” – but that is a year of boring primer white walls – Add the colour now. If you get settling or “nail pops” – repaint when they are repaired – the cost is worth your sanity!
- Paint an Accent wall in a deep dramatic colour – but not the longest wall in the room! –
- The fireplace column –
- The short wall of a rectangular room
- Walls and ceiling of powder rooms
- Don’t paint trim or ceilings in super white/white blue colours – try slightly creamy for ceilings (BM – cc 140 cloud white for example – trim in HC 27 Monterey White)
- The warm white make the house feel much warmer than the cold white
- Feature walls – like a headboard wall –
- Great in a dining room – in warm colours with perhaps some sparkle
- An accent wall in the family room or breakfast nook
- Quality wall papers have never gone out of style – but are certainly trendy again
Window coverings/ fabrics
The house may not come with window coverings –
- Fabric can add a finish and drama to the windows you have
- Pinch pleats
- Grommet top
- Roman blinds with side panels
- Soft valances
- Blinds or shutters
- “Ready made” can save you money if need be – or discount fabric stores (Designer Fabric outlet)
- Have extra fabric to make throw cushions in the same fabrics for the furnitur
- Rule of thumb – if you use it a lot – buy quality – if you use it rarely – be frugal
- A quality sofa or sectional will last you a very long time and likely you are going to be in it several times a week or day!
- Buy a neutral colour for the large pieces – (sofa/ love/ sectional) – you can add “trend” colours with cushions and accessories –
- Select a simple line for the large pieces so they will work through “taste changes”
- Leather is a good choice for a young family – Not Fabric
- BUY A GOOD MATTRESS! – You spend half your life there!! – try them out in the store to get the right thing for you
- What is great decor if you can’t see it! Lighting completely changes a drab space into a bright spot in your life!!
- Have a look at installing pot lights thoughout the space to brighten it up dramatically. They make a huge difference in the winter months – Having lighting overhead – Like the sunshine – is much better than lamps that have a light source “at the horizon” when it is just 5pm!
- Change the bedroom lighting from those cheap square bedroom overhead lighting fixtures to something with a bit of style – you are going to want to use a flush mount fixture that doesn’t show the bulb – however a cute little chandelier for kids rooms – and a larger one for the master can make a huge impact without breaking the bank. Be careful of the ceiling height before you buy anything!
- A new entrance/Foyer light can make the first impression much more impressive for you and your guests. You can get this done generally for well under a thousand dollars!
- Bathroom “beauty bars” – horrid!! – get new bathroom fixtures over the mirrors. Make sure you maintain “good” lighting for getting ready in the morning – you will hate the new fixture if you miss this part – bathrooms want good lighting – powder rooms can be more dimly lit.
- DIMMERS BELONG EVERYWHERE! – the function of rooms like the kitchen is that they go from “sliver surgery” – to “romantic meals” and parties
- We are in the closet at least twice a day – make it a pleasant experience!
- The single bar in a “walk in” is more frustration than anything
- Get a system from a company (Simply Closets or Organized Interiors) OR go to a big box store and buy one that you install yourself
- Get drawer dividers (Solutions or IKEA) and organize the mornings and life
- Use the storage space from floor to ceiling with the organized closet – avoids having a basement as a JUNK area
Large canvas or Mirrors
- If you have a tight budget – get a large canvas and paint it yourself in bright “block colours” it takes up a big wall space- saves money and creates drama in the room
- A large mirror or a collage of mirrors can also use up wall space and create visual interest – search Craig’s list to find what you might need – used is fine for things you don’t interact with.
Where to save — Don’t Waste Money Here:
- If you are a chef-like cook – then splurge on the Subzero Wolfe or Miele or Bosch – but if you aren’t?
- Most people can’t tell you the “make” of their appliances – unless they don’t work!
- Do what suits your lifestyle in terms of “warming” vs. “really cooking”!
Poor Quality/ Inexpensive Sofas and Chairs:
- Nothing about them lasts very long with a new/young family or with animals
- They look good for a short time – but look bad in months
The Diningroom Table / Furniture:
- All for show but rarely will you use it at all! – The dining room in our world – tends to be a “walk by” room – why spend a ton of money here!!
Poor Quality Plumbing Fixtures:
- Water is a nasty thing when it’s where it isn’t supposed to be
- Quality faucets cause the fewest problems in general
- The beauty of good faucets and showers adds both personal pleasure (rain heads) and saves on plumbing bills in the future – leaking faucets, broken fittings, etc.
- You interact with them at a minimum of 2 times a day – worth making them worth while
- Tend to be trendy
- They have no “real” function – but they do add form
- Can be expensive in the scheme of things
- Framed children’s art can be fun – if you are on a budget
- Oversized televisions can ruin a room completely – turning the living room into a “movie theatre” because that TV was on sale – is not the right spot to put your money now
- Create a Home Theatre when the money is there to do so – not when you start out!
Fix the structure first:
- You can live without the 82 inch flat screen! Instead repair the “unsexy” things – good heat and windows, roofing etc is way more important in the long term of your home happiness!
The Open Concept
- Knocking down walls to create open concept space – can be more problem than assistance
- Walls need to be supported
- Furniture placement may become more difficult than it was before
- Cost and “unforeseen” elements really drive up costs
- Figure out how the house works now – before you rip stuff out!