Friday, September 21

From Builder Grade to Custom

Don't let the title give you the wrong impression.  Customizing your home doesn't have to break the bank!  I'm not talking breaking down walls or putting in additions, guys.  I am referring to a more simplistic, but eye-catching customization {Customizing really runs the gamut - but for right now we are talking a difficulty level of 4 on a scale of 1 to 10}

When I was lived up north, the homes were older, had more character and as a result felt a little more custom.  You could walk down any given street and see a variety of home elevations and landscaping plans.   In the south, it is very different.  It seems that every third neighbor has the same floor plan as you and every neighbor had the same choice of one of two lighting packages or granite selections. Ha!  From what I have experienced, living in the burbs of Atlanta,  new construction is booming and subdivisions are EVERYWHERE and because builders needs to produce for production, they don't provide many options to buyers, unless you go with a true custom built home.  If you have that type of home, then this post may not be for you - but please, keep reading anyway :)

For the rest of us, I hope this post gives you some inspiration and a chance to look at your home in a different way.   There are so many ways to make your home stand out and look a little different from your neighbors and it's really not that hard.  There are so many things you can change over time (or immediately); and I have found that the easier way to achieve that custom look is by changing out your lighting fixtures!  I am talking about the hardwired fixtures, chandeliers and such.  Think of lighting as the earrings to your home - they are shiny, can be subdued or flashy and if coordinated correctly, can really set off a space.

We love our home.  We did not love the lighting package.  My idea of cozy, charming and classic is not a 9 arm brushed nickel chandelier; neither was a faux wood ceiling fan, so I knew right away, the lighting would have to be changed first.

Look around your house at the fixtures, do you love them?  If not, change them! It is so simple to do and the change it provides in your room is huge.  Don't believe me, take a look at my Dining Room's before and after.

                                                   BEFORE W/ BUILDER GRADE LIGHT

This is the 9 light chandelier that the builder installed in our dining room.  This is a room you see from the road and it is visible when you come in through the front door - ewww!

I hated this light, hated it.  I tried to decorate around it but it just stuck out like a big silver blob.  If you're in the same situation, don't worry; changing lights is not that hard.  If you don't know how to do this ::raises hand:: hire a contractor on Thumbtack or get your husband, brother, partner etc. to do it.  Ok, back the post:  So after looking online for lighting fixtures, I found a warm toned, classic, chandelier that fit the aesthetic of our home so much better. to the rescue!   I found this chandelier for under $300!  Take a look at the transformation.

                                                             AFTER WITH NEW CHANDELIER 

Now, isn't that so much better!  Do you see what I mean?  New lighting just takes the room to from average to custom/pretty/different/eye-catching (pick a word :) )

Granted, I did paint and add new curtains to finish the look, but that's what happens when you update decor.  You look around and think of other things you can enhance to tie the look together.  Fun stuff guys!

Ok, so just in case your curious in purchasing the same light, it comes in two sizes, small and large.  I purchased the large because we have pretty high ceilings.  The large is just under $300 and the small is just under $200.  So not an over the top investment.  To me, I think this light fits in with any decor aesthetic.  My home is not Victorian at all; yet this light is Victorian inspired, but it works!  Always go for what YOU like, don't let labels box you in!  If you like it, then go with it! :)

Here's the links for both lights, if you're interested.

Large Chandelier:
Small Chandelier:

We updated a ton more lights throughout our home.  I think almost every ceiling fan or chandelier has been replaced.  I look forward to posting those transformations in later posts, so stay tuned!

This post contains affiliate links.

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