Choosing the Right Finishes for Your Home

Image by Mike Gattorna from Pixabay

The benefits of buying a luxury home that’s under new construction include customizing it to fit your life and your family, and choosing your own finishes is a perfect way to achieve this goal. But which finishes will still maintain their beauty under the stress of busy families on the go? Which ones require the least maintenance and will wear well under heavy traffic? Our experts have put together the perfect primer for homebuyers who want to customize their new construction from the ground up, so that the surfaces look great, last long and require minimal upkeep. Here’s what we recommend:

Cast Concrete Countertops

Concrete tops the list for designing versatile-yet-gorgeous countertops. Completely customizable right down to the color, concrete is an upscale, elegant material for countertops in both kitchen and bath, and it has benefits that make it worth the effort, including:

  • Superior Heat Resistance
  • Extreme Durability
  • Ease of Maintenance
  • Versatility
  • When you choose cast concrete as your choice of countertop, you can customize it to fit any shape and any space. You can even choose to have materials such as decorative river rock embedded. You can have your concrete countertops dyed, stamped or polished to ensure that they’re custom to your luxury home and your home only. 

    Eco-Friendly Flooring

    Even if you’re drawn to exotic hardwoods such as jatoba (Brazilian cherry), resist the urge to install them in your new luxury home because they contribute to harmful deforestation of the world’s rainforests. Opt for eco-friendly, sustainable woods instead. There are plenty from which to choose, including:

  • Bamboo
  • Cork
  • Plantation Teak
  • Reclaimed wood is a viable alternative to non-sustainable wood, as well. Old barn timbers and salvaged pine logs make beautiful, luxurious flooring options that add history and architectural appeal to every home without harming the planet. 

    Sustainable Cabinetry

    Wood is, far and away, the most popular choice for luxury kitchen cabinetry. And it’s not just the type of wood used, but the style and design of the cabinets, as well. For upscale, luxurious wooden cabinets in your kitchen, pantry or bath, consider American hardwoods such as cherry, maple, alder or ash. The growth and harvesting of these trees are monitored by the American Hardwood Export Council and strict best management practices ensure that no species is stressed or over-harvested. Additionally, they’re exceptionally hard to withstand all the dings and scratches that come with family use. Lastly, they look exquisite when installed in your kitchen as paneled ends on upper cabinetry, decorative legs on islands, and as the frames for elegant, glass-paned doors. 

    Your new luxury home is only made better by customization. Talk with your builder today about which finishes you’d like to see incorporated, and you’ll love the end result even more. 

    DIY Upgrades For A More Luxe Home

    When looking at new homes, home buyers with high expectations can sometimes feel disappointed with their options. In a world where wood paneling, blue bathtubs, and wallpaper in every room have been popular trends it can feel like a lot of houses on the market are eyesores.

    An important factor to keep in mind, however, is what parts of the home are merely cosmetic and which are structurally important. If a home is in a neighborhood you love with all the structurally important systems in excellent shape you can still add it to the top of your list. Poor design choices, or lack thereof, can always be changed down the line. 

    If you were hoping for a home with lots of character and detail but the neighborhoods you love are filled with ranches and builder grade homes don’t despair. There are plenty of style upgrades you can DIY yourself to give your home the luxe look you’re looking for. 

    Ready to make a dramatic first impression? Wow guests with just a few of these simple upgrades. 

    If your entrance opens up to a staircase you can create a drastic difference with just a small change. The newel post, that is the first main post of the stair railing, can be swapped out for something more ornate and classic. With plenty of options ranging from boxy posts with molding to something sleek topped with an ornate finial ball. Add more drama by choosing a contrasting color for the finial, newel cap, and railing from the main post and spindles.  

    A large mirror placed in an entrance or along the length of a hallway never fails to make a statement. Place a pier mirror between windows to create more light and dimension to the room. Create a built-in look by adding molding and wainscotting painted to match the trim of the room. 

    Add elegance by installing a ceiling medallion. Not just for the foyer they are also a great detail to add to your dining room, guest bedroom or home office. With a wide selection at your fingertips, you can pair one with a chandelier for a chic look or for a more modern flair coupled with a contemporary style pendant light.

    For a truly classic look wall trim instantly makes any room look more luxe. Keep it simple with box shapes or opt for an art deco touch with more geometric shapes. Paired with other vintage elements wall trim brings a sense of refinement. If you’re aiming for a more effortless yet modern theme pair with a mix of mid-century modern and minimalist pieces.

    When house shopping keeping an open mind as to what can be changed and what is imperative for a safe home makes all the difference in your shopping experience. Print out pictures for inspiration or create a board on Pinterest to keep the ideas flowing. As you look at each new house keep in mind how you can easily add these elements to create a more luxurious home with a quick weekend project.

    Home Office Design Tips

    Home is, first and foremost, a place of rest and relaxation. It’s where we come home to after a stressful day to be with our family, our pets, or our favorite books and television shows.

    But sometimes, the home also has to double as a place of work. Whether you have a job that allows you to work from home, or you just need a quiet place to sit down to pay bills or do taxes, at some point your home will need to be a place where you can focus. That’s where the home office comes in.

    Designing and decorating a home office is different than the rest of your home. You’ll have to create a balance between being comfortable and but also uncluttered. You want to give it your personal touch, but at the same time avoid filling it up with distractions. Finally, you’ll have to think about your personal requirements for a home office. Will it be used often enough to merit a dedicated room in your house? Or can your office items fit right into your bedroom, opening up space for things like children’s play rooms and spare bedrooms.

    The bare necessities

    There are a few things that nearly all home offices will have in common. We’re talking desks, organizers, office supplies, etc. However, it’s easy to get carried away with file organizers or containers filled with 10 different sizes of multicolored paperclips. One of the benefits of cloud computing and paperless billing is that all of your important paperwork can usually now fit in one small folder.

    So, before you start picking out organizers, go through your important papers and find out what you can shred and what needs to be saved. Tools like Google Drive allow you to scan documents right with your smartphone camera and store them safely and securely in the cloud. That means fewer papers and less money spent on organizers and staplers that will just clutter your desk.

    What kind of worker are you?

    A hard one, I’m sure–but what type of environment helps you be the most productive? Are you better off tucked away in a dark corner surrounded by pillows and blankets, or do you work best in a well-lit room sitting upright at a clear desk.

    Before you start decorating and arranging furniture in your office, take into account your needs. There’s no use spending money on a large wooden desk if you work better curled up on the couch.

    If you fall asleep and lose focus in the dark, consider arranging your desk next to a window or even purchasing a UV light for rainy days or dark nights. These will help you stay refreshed and alert to tackle whatever tasks you have before you.

    Use space wisely

    If you have a lot of items to store, consider a desk with drawers or a cart that you can push out of the way. This will help you from letting your desk get overcrowded.

    When it comes to furniture, shop modular. Space-saving furniture can make a world of difference in a home office, which tend to be one of the smaller rooms in your home. Cube bookcases that let you choose a size are excellent for home offices because you can buy only as many as you need. You can always add more cubes later on.

    Similarly, desks can also be modular and adjustable. One great option for home offices is a wall-mounted fold up desk. This will allow you to open up the room when you’re not using the desk if your office doubles as a home fitness room.