Hot New Home Looks on a Tight Budget

Room with sofa dresser blackboard wall and yellow details

One way to get that new-home look is to add texture to your rooms with wall art and textured walls, like this brick wall and chalkboard wall where you can create your own artwork.

Does your home’s style need an update but your bank account says, “No can do”?

Even if your home is new, you can use these tips to help style your abode when it is complete.

Designer looks may appear expensive, but there are many budget-friendly home design ideas that can be achieved even on a tight budget.

New Home Trends on a Budget

Use Fresh Colors

Homeowners, designers, Realtors and builders have long agreed that one of the simplest, easiest and least expensive ways to change the look and feel of a room or the entire home is to change the color.

Rick Overby, owner and lead color strategist of Stella Color + Design of Denver, Colo., says that whites, grays, and blacks are trending right now: “We’re moving away from the warm beige tones and more to the cooler, fresher neutrals.”

As to the concern that a color or color scheme may become dated, Overby suggests bringing “in an accent color. It’s fun. It resonates on a personal level and it boosts curb appeal.”

Go Bold in Small Ways

You can’t afford to bling out the entire house? There’s no need for that, according to Marc Thee, founder of March-Michael Interior Design, Inc. in Winter Park, Fla. “If you’re going to throw some money at something, do it on something you see when you walk in the door.”

Doing so creates a wow factor and establishes a unique presence in the home. Pick an area of the home that you love and want to highlight and spend your money there. If the budget allows, you can then enhance the surrounding area with less-expensive solutions like paint colors. Doors, countertops, flooring, artwork — any and all of these things are small changes that can create a big impact.

Embrace Repetition

Pick an area of the home that you love and want to highlight and spend your money there. If the budget allows, you can then enhance the surrounding area with less-expensive solutions like paint colors. Another way to stretch your budget is to use the same material or pattern in different rooms of the home. A natural place to do this is in the master bedroom and master bath.

Can you buy larger quantities of tile at bulk pricing? Do that and then use the tiles in different areas. Perhaps tile a bathroom backsplash and use the same tiles to decorate a built-in bookshelf, a recessed cove or a mudroom. You’ve visually tied the rooms together, created a unique focal point and maximized your dollars.

Add Texture

Texture is big in new homes. New home looks are clean and modern with plenty of hard surfaces. Texture can help offset those hard surfaces and add interest to a room as well. Maxine Lauer of Sphere Trending in Waterford, Mich., had this to say about texture: “Think of the five senses in everything you’re doing. Think of touch points … a soft touch is a wow point.”

Mike Hetherman, a distributor of building materials based in Burlington, Ontario, takes texture one step further by suggesting the use of wall panels to add interest, texture and to help manage acoustics. “Acoustics is one of the most powerful things, but it’s being neglected. We have hard surfaces everywhere. We’ve got to manage acoustics better and there are thousands of ways to do it. Wall panels, wall art and texture walls all help.”

Bring in Light

New home designs are full of light. It adds to the clean, open feel of these homes.

Light can be added in many ways. Perhaps the easiest and least expensive is simply to add more lamps. If your budget is a little higher, you can add recessed or cove lighting just about anywhere. If you prefer natural lighting, consider enlarging or adding new windows, skylights or light wells. Light wells are open areas or vertical shafts located in the center of the home that allow natural light to penetrate to the lower levels.

Rethink Doorways

Another simple and inexpensive idea to bring a more modern, expansive feel to your home is to rethink your doorways. John Thatch of Dahlin Group, an architecture and planning services company in Pleasanton, Calif., explains, “Sliding door systems and accordion door systems open up the house and keep a contemporary feel. It adds to the feeling of where does the house end and the outdoors begin?”

If your space doesn’t allow for sliding doors, even something as simple as removing doors between two rooms can open the house up. Open doorways allow light to flow through the home and remove barriers that can contribute to a closed off feel.

Clean and simple seems to be the theme in today’s new home looks. Anything that opens up the house and enhances flow from room to room and even from indoors to outdoors is in. Anything that closes off the house and darkens it is o-u-t.

How do you feel about today’s new home trends? What affordable trends would you like to incorporate in your home? Let us know in the comments below.
Sarah Ristorcelli is a freelance writer and editor for leading print and online publications. Formerly editor in chief of Garden Design, she has also written and edited for Cottage Living, Modern magazine and Orlando Arts. You can find her on Google+.

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