7 High End House Building Ideas For Your New Build

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House building ideas are something you almost can’t research enough. But when you’re building a home, not regretting anything is just about impossible, right?!

We custom built our dream home in 2017 with a local builder, and we are very much still in a honeymoon phase 3 years later! That being said… no project is perfect so we also have a short list of regrets! This is a list of my 7 regrets!

white brick house in the building construction phase

Even with the best planning, there are a few sentences that still start with “I wish we had…” or “if we ever do build again, we should….”

If you are lucky enough to be in the planning stages of a new / custom build and are looking for luxury home building ideas, do as much research as possible. Don’t leave it up to someone else at a design meeting – you are the one living in your home.

Read about building our home here… or tour our new home here.

a brand new house being built


7 High End House Building Ideas I Would Consider In 2021

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We didn’t do these things mostly because of budget, but also other reasons. Some seemed “extra” at the time – but the worst reason was simply because we just didn’t think about it.

Here are 7 house building ideas that didn’t make the cut for us that I wish we had utilized. Hopefully I can inspire you to think over them!

1. An Indoor Drinking Water Fountain

High on the functional AND cool meter – an indoor drinking fountain just makes so much sense with our 4 kids. And it’s not actually as complicated or as fancy as you might think!

a mudroom in a house building idea with a drinking fountain indoors
Studio McGee


a drinking water fountain in a mudroom indoors

We briefly considered installing a wall mounted indoor drinking water fountain inside our mudroom. Nothing fancy – just a basic and pretty model. I was quoted around $2500 for the installation and the unit itself.

If you really want to get extra – add a water fountain with a touchless bottle station (bottle stations alone cost roughly between $500 and $1,500). Of course you will want the kind that has both drinking and bottle filling options included!

In the end, we could have saved on plastic bottles (better for the earth), water from alllll the kids’ cups we wash daily, and less work for us. Plus – what a fun feature!

And currently? I can’t get my middle schooler to stop running in from outside and sticking his mouth under our kitchen faucet as if it is a drinking fountain anyways. Ewww… where is his mom? 😉

a drinking water fountain indoor in a house just built

house built with water fountain and a double sink

Shop These Drinking Fountains Here:


2. Using the Classic Double Kohler Brockway Sink In A Bathroom

The double (or triple!) Kohler Brockway sink is a statement piece and seen in a lot of new homes. It adds something unexpected and fun to a bathroom! For larger families it just makes sense.

Perfect for hand washing before dinner with double faucets and a wide cast iron sink basin, the Kohler will run you about $2k+ with a variety of colors!

Kohler Brockway sink under round mirror is a new home building idea
Studio McGee
black Kohler double sink in a bathroom with black and white tiles

This Kohler Brockway has an industrial style so it is seen a lot in modern farmhouse type homes, but don’t pidgeon hole it into specifically being a “farmhouse sink”. It looks good in a variety of interior styles.

Like a coastal sink in a beach property!

girl at a Kohler Brockway sink brushing her teeth
Better Homes & Gardens
Kohler Brockway sink with 3 faucets in a coastal bathroom as a new home building idea

Decor Pad

Just make sure you have enough room on either side for the sink – this baby is wide. Especially if you’re going for the triple! And the kids’ bathroom step stools that are always in the way? Those just tuck right under this sink!

You also want to think about what faucet to pair it with – I like this faucet from Chicago Faucets that has a little old-world elegance.

mint kohler Brockway sink in a bathroom, a new house building idea

mint kohler brockway sink in a grandmillenial bathroom

Can I Paint the Kohler Brockway Sink?

Yes, you can! Many people simply paint this sink using an oil-based paint. Either a semi-gloss or flat finish will work – both will look good. 

Shop The Kohler Brockway Sink + Faucet:

3. Black Window Frames: How To Know If You Should Jump on This House Idea

Black window frames have been a classic over the years. But nevertheless, I was nervous black windows were a passing trend, rather than seeing them as another timeless option to consider for the exterior!

Although white windows are a safe bet, black window frames on the right home is like putting lipstick on a house! Using black window frames with a white exterior helps distinguish your home, adds a bold contrast, and makes your curb appeal pop!

Now, listen up carefully before you jump on the black window frame train. Black frames simply aren’t for every house.

How do you know if they are right for you? Well, consider that if your windows are black on both inside and outside, you will be decorating with black for a lifetime. Are you ready for that commitment?

black window frames on a new home build
a white modern exterior with black window frames, a house building idea
Becky Owens
black windows frames on a modern farmhouse as a house building idea


source: unknown
black window frames in a kitchen with navy island, a house building idea


Regan Baker Designs
black window frames in a living room

Do you need curtains or blinds for privacy where you live? Think carefully how you will cover them, as some types of blinds (especially vertical blinds) compete with black window frames – making the windows look busy and ugly. Romans tend to look good, and white drapes. Wooden slats? Never.

If you don’t need window coverings, this could work for you. Do you not need privacy? Are you surrounded by mountains and trees, or ocean and sky? Black windows will emphasize your surroundings, drawing your eyes outside. Black windows will accentuate nature’s beauty.

black window frames, a new house building idea


Hello Fashion Blog
black window frames in a kitchen is a house building idea


crediting: Veronica Rodriguez

The black will be a permanent part of your color scheme going forward. If you’ve always had a love affair with black and white – then this is not a new commitment for you. But if this is new, tread carefully!

Another option to consider is installing black window frames just on the exterior of your home and use white for the inside. Or even use black windows in just a few rooms.

black window frames in a kitchen

source: West London Painting Group

4. Make Room For A Large Butler’s Pantry: The House Idea New Builders Are Loving!

A true butler’s pantry is a luxury indeed – and also very helpful! We built a spacious walk in pantry filled with built in shelves (tour it here!) but we didn’t go all the way with cabinetry and countertops!

The modern-day butler’s pantry is high on my list of house building ideas. It is simply your ordinary walk in pantry on steroids.

My biggest regret is that all my bulky appliances are kept in our kitchen currently. In a butlers pantry, we could have kept them out on the countertops, ready for use.

Think of it as a place to keep your higher end kitchenware you don’t use as often, your bar needs, and a place to store and even use appliances! 

a butlers pantry with a window and cabinets, a house building idea


Jillian Harris
butlers pantry with a window is a house building ideaCambridge Home 
  butlers pantry is a house building ideaJaimee Rose Interiors

butlers pantry with appliances, a house building idea

It can be located in a pass through or in an alcove to the dining room. We did this on a small level – we have a nice little spot for our bar supplies and wine fridge right outside our dining room. Not exactly the butlers pantry of my dream, but I felt lucky I could take part in this house idea.

But, since dining rooms are not as common in new builds (we turned ours into our office at the 2 year mark, after all!), an extra large pantry with more cabinetry, countertops and storage is really ideal!

butlers pantry with cabinets and windows, a house building idea
butlers pantry with shelving


Rachel Parcell
butlers pantry with wallpaper


Bria Hammel

Bria Hammel actually used feather wallpaper all throughout this butlers pantry. This wallpaper has been around for years and it is still just as popular going into 2021. I appreciate the muted color options!

5. Forget a Wood Fireplace Surround – Use A Cast Stone Fireplace

Creating a cast stone fireplace didn’t even cross my mind when we were building in 2017. But take the time to consider your fireplace options- you can add incredible luxury to your living areas with a hand carved cast stone fireplace surround!

Wood is expected. But peek at these fireplaces carved out of limestone!

a cast limestone fireplace in a living room is a house building idea


Jillian Harris Via Style At Home

I like a bold mantel, don’t you? This is a house idea you don’t want to miss.

A cast stone fireplace can run you anywhere from as low as $1000 for something simple and man made, but on up pretty quickly. Use man made limestone to keep it affordable (“architectural cast stone”), or natural limestone for a more high end design. 

Serena and Lily use these fireplace look alikes in a lot of their stores:

inside a Serena and lily store, with a cast stone fireplace as a house building idea
Serena and lily store has house building ideas

Photos Via Serena & Lily

cast stone fireplace in a living room is a house building idea


Shop This Stone Cast Fireplace On Etsy

6. Panel Ready Appliances In The Kitchen To Keep It Seamless

With appliance finishes going in and out of popularity, panel ready appliances are something to consider for a more classic, timeless kitchen!

I wish we had gone this route, although I do love my kitchen. I am not crazy about our stainless (or the fingerprints), especially now that we switched to brass hardware. Take a peek at our blue and white kitchen we designed here!

Panel ready appliances is a house idea every high end builder should be utilizing. It allows a custom cover to be installed on the front, creating a consistent feel with the rest of your kitchen cabinetry. This streamlined look makes kitchens more high end and lux feeling.

a women by panel ready appliances in a kitchen, a house building idea
panel ready appliances in a new home kitchen, a house building idea


@parkandoakdesign, paint color on cabinetry is a custom mix
panel ready appliances in a breakfast nook for a house building idea


Becky Owens

7. The Patio / Outdoor Fireplace House Idea

When it came to our long list of house building ideas, the patio fireplace seemed totally extra and over the top, and was quickly crossed off. Take it from me – yes this is extra, and yes you want to plan a spot for it!

White painted brick mixed with bluestone is my own personal favorite and would be so classic. It also looks like an English garden, a look that’s trending these days.

an outdoor fireplace and chimney on a porch  is a new house building idea


a cast stone fireplace on a porch is a new house building idea



An outdoor cast stone fireplace outside? Yes please! But it doesn’t have to sit on your patio. It could be covered – in a 3 season or screened in porch (but then my husband would insist on a television above it).

This turns your outdoor area into more of a room. 

house building ideas like a fireplace inside a porch


Homestead Built

If painted brick isn’t for you, how about using an outdoor tile or stone?

patio fireplace as a new home building idea


Cle Tile
new house idea to build an outdoor stone fireplace


Moore House Interiors
house building idea like a porch with fireplace inside it
outdoor porch fireplace


Life With Neal and Suz

There are so many great house building ideas out there. Think through each design decision carefully, without feeling pressured to rush any stage of your build. This is your home after all, and you are building it to suit your own tastes – nobody else’s. This list of house ideas was sure to be helpful!

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Tour Our home Here

a black and white bedroom with black and white wallpaper

Our Hardwood Floors

living room with hardwood floors

Our Home Tour Featured On Serena & Lily

blue and white kitchen

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