After the initial shock of the flooring situation, we tried to get our heads back on the task at hand. With much debate, we decided if any serious upgrades were going to be done,
it was definitely going to be on the flooring since it spans the entire home design’s open floor plan and is present or visible from every room. And, although our final color choice isn’t quite as dark as I pictured us selecting, it is probably a wiser choice seeing that a lot of our furniture is in the deep brown color I planned on choosing for the floors. I think a little variation in color is going to look better in the end. Our initial flooring choice may have lacked contrast with our furnishings. With that important choice behind us, as you can imagine, the carpeting color selection was a breeze especially with my handy photos I took in the spec home.
The next bump in the road came in selecting kitchen cabinets. We already decided in the initial contract that we wanted crown molding on the top of our cabinets, and we wanted to upgrade to 42” cabinets as well to add that additional storage space. Once again, the color choices for the standard cabinets in our style were a bit disappointing. We were left with color choices that definitely weren’t a part of the dream kitchen floor plans in our minds. All of the fun I thought we were going to have choosing everything for the interior of our new home was suddenly turning into major dollar signs! But, our interior designer was wonderful and really had us think outside the box. I always felt like I have a pretty good eye for color and color schemes, but with our hearts set on one “look,” I was having a hard time wrapping my head around something different. The cabinet color we chose was definitely a lighter brown than I pictured, but the designer truly explained that all homes need layers of color and our choice was a timeless one that will look great with our other color choices so far. I felt like we had to think with our head and not our heart with every decision, or suddenly we’ll price ourselves right out of this house! Well, if a year or so from now we still want our darker cabinets, we can always stain or paint, but to end up with the dark brown color that was stuck in my head was just not worth the extra expense in the price of the house.
We continued the selection process and chose the oil rubbed bronze hardware throughout the house in everything from the lighting package and bath fixtures, right down to the very last doorknob. Then, we chose granite countertops, and stainless steel appliances, both of which were also considered upgrades. The paint color we liked was easy to select, but having white ceilings and trim were a must for us, so there was additional cost in having it finished that way. After seeing the additional costs we incurred with our flooring, hardware and lighting choices, a few items such as crown molding in the dining room moved to our “wish list,’ and we’ll add our wish list items down the road.
Our lesson learned from choosing the exterior and interior home finishes for our new home is that it may be wise when doing an initial contract for your home to make sure you fall about 10-15% under what you ultimately want to pay for the completed home. Then, when you start upgrading materials you won’t panic that you’re going over budget.