Slowly I’ve been tackling room by room trying to bring a customized look to the basic builder grade features. Many newer homes come with boring beige walls, subpar cabinetry and fixtures. Thankfully there are many ways to achieve a custom look and do it affordably. I want to share a few Tips to Transform Builder Grade Drab into Custom Made Fab!
TRANSFORM THE WALLS WITH PAINT
The most basic tip in creating a custom look is of course to add color with paint. Painting a room can transform the entire mood and feel of a space for very little expense. I like to add interest to a painted room by adding stripes and additional colors that complement each other. If adding additional colors is a bit too bold for you, consider painting a room first in a flat or egg shell sheen and then painting horizontal or vertical stripes in the exact same color, but in a gloss sheen. You’ll have created a subtle and sophisticated effect. Click to read my tutorial Painting Stripes Made Easy like you see in the “before and after” pictures below.
TRANSFORM YOUR HARDWARE & FIXTURES
The next way to get that custom look is to transform your fixtures and hardware. You do not have to spend money on changing out your hardware for new ones though! You can paint it. I have fallen in love with Rustoleum’s Universal spray paints. They are primer and paint in one, will cover any surface, and come in several metallic finishes. Look at how I transformed this ugly plastic and ceramic towel bar into a pretty oil rubbed bronze bar. Click HERE to see all the different types of hardware you can spray paint.
TRANSFORM YOUR MIRRORS
Most of us have these gigantic plain mirrors in our home, lacking any type of originality. Paying a company to add a custom frame to you mirror is expensive! My tutorial How to Frame a Mirror demonstrates how to create a gorgeous, lightweight frame made from PVC/vinyl moldings for under $30. Once you make your first mirror frame, you will be framing every mirror in your home! It’s that crazy easy!
TRANSFORM YOUR BATHROOM WITH TILE
Now I really can’t complain about my master bath. It’s “bones” are gorgeous but it lacked any kind of special personality. I decided to Add Glass & Stone Tile Border right above the top edge of my tub and my shower surround. If you’ve never tiled anything in your life, I promise you, that you will be able to do this! Just look at the difference the tile makes in the before and after pictures below.
TRANSFORM YOUR KITCHEN
I love my island. I get used more than any part of the kitchen, and it is also the focal point of the kitchen. The problem was that it looked like a plain box. The cabinet fronts are maple but the ends are thin fiberboard with a “maple looking” veneer. I transformed the island by adding bead board and newel posts to the ends and then painting the entire island a new contrasting color. This project requires the use of power tools but the overall results are amazing. You can save several hundred dollars by doing this project yourself vs. hiring it out. Click here to read how to do a Kitchen Island Makeover.
TRANSFORM WALLS WITH BEAD BOARD & TRIM
Adding bead board to a wall gives a room a ton of character. If you are just starting out I recommend trying bead board below a chair rail. For our daughters’ bathroom we added bead board to a wall that reached 3/4 of the way up and installed a picture ledge.
Power tools are a girl’s best friend!
In the post Bead Board Bathroom Reveal you will learn how we installed each part of the bead board wall as well as links to other projects you might see in this bathroom.
TRANSFORM YOUR CABINETS
Our maple cabinets are getting an orange hue that seems to intensify with each passing year. I don’t like it. I wanted rich espresso brown cabinets but replacing them seemed ridiculous because they are still in wonderful condition. Rustoleum has make a Cabinet Transformation kit that you custom color to what you like. This kit allows you to paint with out priming even. There are steps you must do to prepare the cabinets for paint but it does not involve sanding! In my tutorial Painted Cabinets I walk you through how to paint, distress, glaze, and protect the cabinets. Your will love the custom look of your painted cabinets when you are done!
If you are willing to put some effort in and apply some of these tips, then I know you’ll be just as addicted to transforming your builder grade drab into custom made fab.
For more DIY ideas check out the DIY Project Gallery tab.