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Home Finishes 101

By March 5, 2019April 21st, 2022No Comments
dining and kitchen room

Building a home is certainly fun and exciting but it can also be overwhelming! There is much to consider and dozens upon dozens of decisions that need to be made. If you are building a home, or thinking of building a home, here are some things to consider as well as tips to help you organize the process.



Step 1: Determine a BUDGET. How much do you want to spend on the whole of the house? I recommend spending between 5% – 10% of the cost of the home on interior finishes. For example: If the base cost of your home is $400,000 then plan on spending another $20,000 – $40,000+ on your interior finishes. I highly recommend considering the areas of your home which hold the most value to you, this is where you should put the largest sum of your design budget. For example, do you love to cook or entertain? In this case the Kitchen may be where you want to focus on finish upgrade costs.



Step 2: Determine the overall STYLE you want reflected in the home. Modern Farmhouse, Vintage, Classic/Timeless, Contemporary, Bohemian/Eclectic etc. Keep in mind that this is YOUR home, YOUR sanctuary; it’s great to incorporate trends but make sure they are trends you love, connect with, and want to come home to. Never do anything just because it’s popular, do it because YOU love it. Most people are a combination of several design aesthetics, THAT’S OK! But when it comes to interior finishes pick a dominant theme and let the rest grow from there.



Step 3: Get INSPIRED. Begin compiling images you love from a variety of sources: Instagram, Pinterest, Houzz, magazines, friends/family homes, nature, etc. Create your own “mood board” in whatever way works best for you. Collect these images and then begin editing your selections until there are only a few per category (i.e kitchen, master bath, fireplace, etc). This process may actually help you determine the overall style of your home if you don’t already know the look you’re going for.



Step 4: Get ORGANIZED. Here is a list of the major categories that you will need to make decisions on:

  • Cabinetry – Color/Style.
  • Countertops – Material/ Color.
  • Kitchen Appliances – Function/ Color.
  • Flooring – Laminate/Wood, Carpet, Tile.
  • Wall Tile – Kitchen Backsplash, Fireplace, Bathroom Shower Walls, etc.
  • Hardware- Style and Finish Color.
  • Plumbing (faucets, sinks, etc).
  • Paint Colors.
  • Lighting.
  • Trim Work (baseboards, door/window casing, shiplap, board and batten, grids, etc).

Step 5: Stay COMMITTED. Everyone needs some time to stitch together all of one’s selections; to make sure the finishes have a consistent flow, choices are in line with budget, and of course if the choices make you feel happy/excited.  But once you finalize your decisions, stick with them! DO seek opinions from others, but limit the number of people you are getting feedback/opinions from; design is incredibly subjective and everyone will have a different interpretation of what is beautiful or desirable. DON’T clutter your own point of view with too many opinions from too many people. I also recommend limiting exposure to your initial inspiration sources. There will always be other compelling images on Instagram or Pinterest, etc that will make you question your decisions, or make you wish you had done something different. STAY FOCUSED. Your first instinct is usually the right one, so don’t over think it!