You're on the new home search and you've found a move-in ready home with a functional floor plan, perfect backyard space, and a great location. There's just one problem.. it doesn't quite feel like "Home" to you yet. On today's episode, Whitney and Chelsi discuss creative and inexpensive ways to add your own personal touch to a move-in ready home. Whether it be exterior or interior projects, there's so much you can do in your new home to create a space that feels special to you and your family.
Intro: [00:00:03] Welcome Home, a podcast brought to you by John Houston Homes. Join hosts, Chelsi Frazier and Whitney Pryor, as they walk you through the exciting adventure of your home buying and building journey.
Whitney Pryor: [00:00:18] Thank you for joining us today on the Welcome Home podcast. I'm Whitney and I've got Chelsi here with me.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:00:24] Hello friends!
Whitney Pryor: [00:00:25] Today, we have another themed episode of our Destination Home Series. We're going to talk about some awesome things today and specifically about what you can do to maybe personalize that spec home that you might have purchased. We have a lot of inventory homes for sale these days, with how the market's been. Chelsi can tell us a little bit more about what we're going to be talking about and what that means to the home buyers.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:00:57] With the Destination Home Series, we've just been talking about things that can inspire you to make your home yours and make it really the place you want to be, a true destination. Like Whitney said, with spec homes, you didn't get to go and choose the backsplash, flooring, paint colors and your countertops. You want to come in and you want to make that space yours. We're talking today about upgrades you can do personally after move in. You obviously can't do that throughout the build, it's done and chosen, but you've moved in and you really want to make it your space. We talked on a previous episode about home organization or dedicated spaces to what's important to you. Of course, we've been on Pinterest. We have friends that have done things. We have customers that have done things that we're going to talk about, but yea, that's our topic!
Whitney Pryor: [00:01:47] Yeah! What do you think about starting with the outside of the home. As you're walking towards an inventory home that you just purchased, you're like, "how am I going to make this into something I love?" The first step to me is landscaping, and sometimes it gets overlooked. You can drive through a community and see the green bushes, but what how can you make that yours? I think that anyone driving up to their home at the end of the long day at work, school with kids and practice, it's nice to drive up to a home that has some beautiful color, maybe some flowers, some personalization and putting pavers around your trees or your flower beds.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:02:33] Curb appeal.
Whitney Pryor: [00:02:33] Yeah, curb appeal, make it look pretty! I think that's just one step you can do that immediately makes you just say, "ah," when you drive into your garage.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:02:45] If you're looking for tips, tricks and advice on what to do with landscaping, see previous episodes where we had the Ellis County Master Gardeners on to talk about those things and also our landscape partner, Eric Savin. It isn't very far back. I think this was like March or April episodes that you could check out for ideas on that.
Whitney Pryor: [00:03:08] Yes, they gave a lot of information, tips and tricks on landscaping, so it definitely worth checking out if that's where you want to start with your personalization of your new home.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:03:18] So you walk in. I feel like one of the easiest things to do is paint.
Whitney Pryor: [00:03:25] Yeah, definitely!
Chelsi Frazier: [00:03:26] I say easiest, painting isn't always easy, but it's the most inexpensive but most impactful thing that you can do. There's a lot of things around paint. It's not just painting the wall.
Whitney Pryor: [00:03:37] Yeah, definitely. You have to look at kind of where your space is and how that paint would carry through, right? You can't just paint half a wall or one wall. Maybe it makes sense to paint the whole room, but how does that tie in with the rest of the house too? You kind of got to look at it, plan it and then paint.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:03:56] Yeah, because we do have a lot of open concept from where you see the living room from the kitchen or your nook from the kitchen and living room, so keeping that in mind.
Whitney Pryor: [00:04:07] Yeah, also when you walk into your home, you know that entryway, what lighting do you have there? With our inventory homes, you're going to get your standard lighting package. How neat would it be to upgrade that pendant at the entry to something really beautiful and eye catching? What that does when people walk in your home or you even walk in your home, what that can do to personalize that home into your style. Even adding ship lap, bead board or some sort of wood accent up in the recesses where there might be a ceiling feature in the entry, is an awesome way to do that.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:04:47] Yeah, and you don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on a new light. Home Depot and Lowe's have some really great options for pretty pendant lighting or chandelier kind of lighting. The Enclave model actually has a really cool ship flat feature wall in the entry. If you want to check that out and it's painted, I think like a gray.
Whitney Pryor: [00:05:07] Okay, that's right, yes!
Chelsi Frazier: [00:05:08] It's a darker color than the wall around it, so it really stands out.
Whitney Pryor: [00:05:11] Yes, you can definitely go there and check it out. I think they did, like you said, they did a darker paint over it. It's a great wall to check out for ideas. Also something to consider is with the lighting, you have a two year warranty on what was installed in the home. If you do replace lighting, maybe try to wait until that two year mark just to make sure that there's no issues with your lighting. If you get antsy and want to change that out right away, no problem, just understand that that will void the warranty of the product that we installed in the home.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:05:46] Good tip! Maybe stick with what you got for a couple of years and make sure everything's operating as expected. It gives you time to do other things. It's on your list, but for later.
Whitney Pryor: [00:05:57] Exactly.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:05:58] Well, speaking of walls and the paint, we've all seen the geometric accent, feature wall. Those are just so neat. I've seen a friend do that in their dining room. Of course, we can look on Pinterest and see all kinds of ideas, but it really adds texture, dimension and even personality. I think somebody who has that kind of wall, it says a lot about them. Even the color that you choose to paint it too, is really cool.
Whitney Pryor: [00:06:26] Yeah, that's such an easy way to personalize something and it doesn't have to be an entire room, right? It can be just one wall of that space. If someone's eye is immediately drawn to it, it doesn't have to be expensive. It doesn't have to take a lot of time to transform one wall in your home, but it makes such an impact. I think oftentimes people think, okay, what artwork or what shelf can I put on this wall? Think bigger and think how can I transform this wall? It's so much space. A lot of times, with our open concept homes, you're dealing with large wall spaces, so think in terms of how can you transform the wall? That way, you're not having to spend the money on the décor, shelves and filler to make that wall not seem so big.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:07:18] Yeah, for sure, or like a mural, painting a mural on that wall.
Whitney Pryor: [00:07:21] Yeah!
Chelsi Frazier: [00:07:22] Don't just cover it, like you said, with pictures and shelves, but a beautiful mural.
Whitney Pryor: [00:07:26] Yeah, only if you're going to stay in the home, because that would be sad to sell the home and leave the mural behind!
Chelsi Frazier: [00:07:31] I know!
Whitney Pryor: [00:07:33] Too sentimental!
Chelsi Frazier: [00:07:34] Who's going to paint it? I mean, that's a little bit harder. Everything. I wouldn't be able to paint my own mural. I would call Whitney because she's a painter and she does a great job, jack of all trades, but that's something cool you could do. We were actually on a Zoom call with somebody recently, and she had a really beautiful, painted wall behind her in her home office. It looked like it was also her workout room because we could see her back in the corner, but it just makes such a huge difference.
Whitney Pryor: [00:08:02] You bring up a good point with people working from home remotely. There's a lot of people who do that 100% now and they're not going back into the office. If you're in meetings, think of how neat it would be to transform that space behind you, of what people look at in your meetings. They might not actually be in your home, but they're seeing it every day, so that's a neat way to transform it, really make it your own and personalize it, since it is your your actual study or office in your home.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:08:34] Yeah, that's true. We actually did that at my house. We had this little room originally part of the wraparound porch, but the homeowners before us enclosed it. It was really small, but that became the office space. This wallpaper, I just couldn't deal with anymore. I tried to cover it with something else, that just didn't work. My husband put in ship lap and I get more compliments on that wall behind me than I would have ever imagined. It was simple, maybe not for him. It was simple for me because I didn't have to do it.
Whitney Pryor: [00:09:09] You also get compliments on the gun safe, as well.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:09:13] Yes!
Whitney Pryor: [00:09:14] It's like ship lap is so cute, chic and the the gun safe, as well!
Chelsi Frazier: [00:09:17] Yeah, it's too big to move from the corner, so it just permanently a part of the background.
Whitney Pryor: [00:09:22] And deer antlers, I think there are deer antlers.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:09:26] Yea, on the shelf back there.
Whitney Pryor: [00:09:27] Yeah.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:09:29] Speaking of wallpaper, this wallpaper was old and ugly, but there's some really beautiful wallpaper out there now. It's not like the 80's wallpaper that we all think of.
Whitney Pryor: [00:09:40] Yeah, and I think that they make it much more removable, so it's a little bit easier to change out if you ever need to. It's beautiful patterns. It reminds me of what they used to install in the 1960s I've seen, with these just giant patterns on them, but they're just so pretty! It feels like they could really transform a space. Not only can you paint, but also don't leave out the idea of this luxury wallpaper and not even just on walls, right? If you have a home that has cabinets to the ceiling with glass panels on the top cabinets, think about even like putting that luxury wallpaper on the back panel or even putting it in your pantry. If you really want to organize your pantry and make it look really pretty, think about putting it behind the shelving of your pantry. There's a lot of different ways that you can use that.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:10:41] Yeah, we did that. It was more like contact paper, but it had a pretty pattern. Contact paper has come a long ways too.
Whitney Pryor: [00:10:47] Yeah, absolutely!
Chelsi Frazier: [00:10:49] Or like I'm looking at these pictures in in your guest bath, maybe where it's a smaller wall, you could do it behind the sink or behind the mirror. Even with those small spaces, you can do more of a pattern. It doesn't feel overwhelming because it's just on one little area. It's a smaller space.
Whitney Pryor: [00:11:09] Yes, and speaking of bathrooms, there's a lot you can do, like you said, with those smaller spaces. Even in the toilet area, which none of us really want to think about or talk about, but there's a lot you can do in there. If you have guests coming over to use the restroom, it's a great way to make it pretty and upscale. I've seen people do tile, halfway up the wall and then paint the rest of the way. That smaller mosaic tile really brightens up the space and gives it a unique feature. Even doing like floating shelves across the back area for cute little air plants or whatever on there. I think that there's a lot you can do with those smaller spaces in the way of tile, trim and paint.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:12:00] Yes, you can for sure. Just because it's a small space doesn't mean it doesn't have lots of potential.
Whitney Pryor: [00:12:06] Yes, definitely.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:12:07] Okay. On the topic of paint, one of our sales managers was just showing us a picture. We'll try to get a hold of it and post it, but her homeowners had painted their island. Then, they had a ship lap wood hood and they painted just the base panel of it, to match the island. That was something just very unique to them. I know people do that, but it was just something that they did after and that really spoke to them as a way to make that more their space.
Whitney Pryor: [00:12:38] Yeah, I thought that was really neat because a lot of our homeowners are painting or having their cabinets painted white or beige or a light gray color. To have a homeowner go in after the fact, take the island, make it their own and make it more of a light sage green or a light teal blue, it really makes it like an accent piece in the whole room because it is that different color that you're not expecting. It's not just a white island, it's a really cool color. Then they carried it into their mud bench area too, which I thought was neat. It was like they were able to tie that color into different rooms in their home and so it really made it stand out in every room.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:13:23] It did! There was another room she shared showed us. It was a very vibrant wall paint color. Was it blue?
Whitney Pryor: [00:13:35] I want to say it was an emerald green.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:13:37] Emerald green, okay. It was just very much a statement color. can't wait to see what she does with that room, with the furniture and the décor. We'll try to get a hold of a picture, but maybe choosing a color that just really speaks to you or speaks about you. If that's your room, if that's your office or your guest room, that you get to be a little more fun than you do in other spaces of your house, that you can choose a really big, bold color.
Whitney Pryor: [00:14:03] Yes, I think that's awesome. Also, we've seen people add faux wood beams into their home. That's something that you can add after the fact. One of those kind of trim elements that you can do for fairly affordable price and add so much character to the home.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:14:23] Now, when they're doing that, do you have to already have beams in the ceiling? Are you replacing the whole wood or is it kind of a shell of material?
Whitney Pryor: [00:14:34] Yeah, so they have different types of material. The faux wood beams that I've seen are very lightweight. They look wood, but they're actually more of almost a Styrofoam type of product. They're very lightweight and they can go across a flat wall. If you have a wall to wall in the living room that's just flat, you could add a few beams to it, going horizontally all the way down, so that's an option. Also, if you have kind of a split between maybe your living in your kitchen, there might be an option there to add a beam to make it look like there's a beam splitting your living room and your kitchen.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:15:15] Oh, gotcha, like up and down and then across the top?
Whitney Pryor: [00:15:19] Correct, yea. We've also seen, I like to call it "the Pottery Barn look", but I've seen homeowners going after the fact and take down the mirror in the guest bathroom, which might be a large mirror that's stuck on the wall. They take down that large mirror and paint, or maybe do tile work from halfway up or all the way up, even the whole tile wall along that way, and then hang individual mirrors over the sinks. Maybe it's a guest bathroom with two sinks on the vanity. They've hung two oval shaped mirrors and some really beautiful dropdown lighting over those mirrors. Man, it really transforms that space whenever they do that. That's something that can easily be done. It's a cosmetic thing, or you can easily hire someone to do that, as well.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:16:15] Something that's kind of more under the décor, but does make a big statement, are throw pillows, area rugs, curtains and plants. There's a lot you can do with just décor that really transforms that space. It's not necessarily an upgrade or a DIY project, but just things to keep in mind that you can do to really make that your your own space.
Whitney Pryor: [00:16:39] Yeah, I would agree. I moved into my home just over a year ago, maybe a year and a half ago, and I just recently added curtains to one of the rooms. I'm telling on myself, it takes me a long time to get everything decorated. I did just recently add curtains to one of my rooms and I was amazed at how it transformed this space. Sometimes our spaces can feel kind of bland, especially if you just have blinds on a wall or on a window, but adding curtains, how much that softens the room but also adds more character to the space. Even if you have blinds in your new home, make sure not to discount that and make sure to actually put curtains in because that can really transform the space ,as well. Also on that same point, I know that plants, I think not enough people put houseplants in their home. It makes a huge difference!
Chelsi Frazier: [00:17:36] Yeah, they are making a comeback, for sure. For years now, we share an office that doesn't have any windows at all, and we've managed to keep a Snake plant alive. It needs no sun!
Whitney Pryor: [00:17:49] We forget to water it.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:17:50] Yeah!
Whitney Pryor: [00:17:50] I think we've watered it twice in a year.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:17:53] Yeah, so there's low maintenance plants that don't have to have sun. Even fake plants, they've come a long way too. There are some times I have to actually really look and feel to see if it's a real plant or not. That makes a big difference, I feel like inside.
Whitney Pryor: [00:18:10] It does! I know a lot of our homes have the window boxes in either the master or the dining area, and that creates a great space to have your houseplants there, so they can get their sunshine. Also, houseplants actually do a great job of filtering the air in your home. If you are prone to allergies, there's a lot of research you can do. You can go online and see which houseplants are the best for filtering out those toxins in your home. They really help with that, as well as, being beautiful in your home, too.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:18:45] Yes, dual purpose!
Whitney Pryor: [00:18:46] Yes! Another thing that you can do and this kind of goes along with organization and it serves a really great purpose, not just for looks but also functionality, is in your laundry room. A lot of times in our homes you'll get that high upper shelf above the washer and dryer, but you don't get anything lower, unless you've added it into the home. What you can do after the fact, if you have a front load washer and dryer, you can take them off the pedestal and build a table top over the washer and dryer.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:19:22] Oh, yeah, I've seen that.
Whitney Pryor: [00:19:23] Yeah, maybe like a butcher table top or something that looks really cute, goes across the washer and dryer and it gives you that space to fold your clothes after your clothes are done drying. That way, you can just sit there and fold them there instead of designating a piece of furniture in your house for your laundry that never gets done.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:19:44] Then you have to go put them up after you fold them, don't forget that!
Whitney Pryor: [00:19:47] Yes!
Chelsi Frazier: [00:19:48] Step three.
Whitney Pryor: [00:19:50] I'll leave them there.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:19:51] That's the hard part! A lot of our stairs, I say a lot, maybe almost all of them will have carpet. I have seen where people have put either tile or use that removable paper, sticky paper on their stairs on the front, so it gives a pattern on your staircase and that's really cool.
Whitney Pryor: [00:20:11] Oh yeah, that's neat. That's a good idea.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:20:15] Well, that's it for some ideas for upgrades after you move in, things that you can do to make your home your destination and really make it you and personalized for yourself. Definitely share with us your ideas, tag us in them and post pictures. We'd love to see what you've done in your home, as well, and just go on inspiring each other.
Whitney Pryor: [00:20:32] Yes, and thank you for listening to this episode of the Welcome Home podcast. We have an awesome 3D Home Tour gallery and Model Home gallery on our website at jhoustonhomes.com. Definitely encourage you to go there to get ideas, view some of our models and what we've done to really personalize those homes. They'll give you some good ideas for when you move into your brand new John Houston Home. Feel free to give us a call at 866.237.7803 or click the link in the show notes for our website. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks again for listening in!
Chelsi Frazier and Whitney Pryor: [00:21:16] Welcome Home.