Monday, February 28, 2011

Choosing the finishing touches for your newly built home

Normandy Park New Construction TownhomesImage by burienundressedblog via Flickr
Many home builders out there offer a wide range of upgrades that will enhance a buyers home for years. In some instances, the choices of wood finishes, hardware, and counter tops is limited, along with paint colors, while others run the gamut. There are a few things to remember during this process.

1. Take your time and research-
  Just as important as pleasing your color pallet, it is important to know what upgrades are worth it and what upgrades aren't. This is an investment opportunity, and in some cases, making the wrong choice in finishes can be costly mistake later.

New Construction InteriorImage by thepatriotcompany via Flickr
2. Wood finishes-
Try to match your wood finishes in your new construction- Flooring and cabinetry look best when they are the same. Some may argue that this seems to be too much of a good thing, but to counter that is the fact that mixed woods are distracting to each other. Also know that trend wise, Oak is on the lower end of the totem pole, with more desirable woods falling under Maple, Mahogany, and Cherry. All of which can be finished in different stains, so try to at least keep stains similar. Contrasts are nice in a home, but you can easily bring in contrasts via paint colors and in decorative elements.

3. Hardware-
Make sure you don't mix your finishes in the room. While some designers will think it a bold move, most of the time from a visual stand point, having brushed Nickel and Oil Rubbed Bronze in the same setting just doesn't  jive well. There are metals that flatter each other that you can mix, such as Oil Rubbed Bronze, antique bronze, and  Copper, or Brushed Nickel and Pewter. Do not forget your cabinetry hardware when planning your fixtures. Lighting fixtures, faucets and cabinetry should all go well together. You can go a little creative, but this isn't the best area to be daring in. A pulled together room will always have a professional touch to it, and the way to achieve it is when you carefully match your finishes throughout.

Dried green paintImage via Wikipedia
4. Paint color and type-
 There are two schools of thought with regards to paint colors for you new home, one is to paint before you move it, which is a great way to avoid getting paint on furniture and allows you the ability to move about freely from room to room. The other school of thought is wait to paint until you move in the home for a while so that you can be certain that the color choices you make will work well with your furniture and decor. Another consideration is that if you move into your home first you will have the opportunity to examine the effects that lighting cause in each room. Perhaps you want to capitalize on a rooms natural light by picking a color that will enhance the natural light. There may be a room that receives little light that you may want to paint a brighter color, or use a semi gloss to redirect what light does come into the room. One thing you want to remember with regards to painting is to keep the same color family in any areas that are connected, or open up to each other. When several rooms are visible from one viewpoint, you can stay in the same color family. You can make distinctions by going with a varying shade of the same color. Make sure to go with the correct type of paint in kitchens and bathrooms. Kitchens usually do not fair well with flat paints as even small grease particles can eventually be seen on your walls. Bathrooms need a paint that will have waterproofing characteristics and also be mold resistant. See : Sherwin Williams Bath Paint.

An example of solid wood flooring with a top c...Image via Wikipedia
5. Flooring-
Ideally using the same flooring through out your home is playing it safe and for most a wise route. However, you can mix flooring if you are doing different materials as long as the colors meld well with each other. For instance, Brazilian Cherry hardwood floors will look perfectly fine in your living room, but you may wish to have stone tile in your kitchen. This is perfectly acceptable if you go with a stone tile that embodies the same warm red, gold and tan tones found in the Cherry flooring. Do not mix hardwoods with other hardwoods, example, an oak floor in your living room should never butt up against a mahogany floor in your dining room. This will make the areas look choppy and your flooring will appear to be an afterthought. In some cases it even suggests that part of the home is older, or has an add on. It just doesn't look pulled together. Tiled stone flooring shouldn't be a mix of styles either. The exception perhaps in bathrooms.
Granite Installation, Santa Cecilia Countertop...Image by granite-charlotte via Flickr

6. Counter tops and Vanities-
Make sure you go with a pattern in your counter top choice that will accommodate a change in color scheme. If a granite counter top has several color variations, you will have an easier time at a later date, should you grow tired of the paint color in the room.  For the same reason, you may want to chose a Vanity top that can easily go with any color.
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