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!
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.
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!
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? 😉
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!
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!
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.
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 They’re Right For Your Home
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?
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.
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.
4. Make Room For A Large Butler’s Pantry
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!
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.
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!
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 – 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!
Wood is expected. But peek at these fireplaces carved out of limestone!
I like a bold mantel, don’t you?
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 fireplaces in a lot of their stores:
Photos Via Serena & Lily
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, especially now that we switched to brass hardware (or the fingerprints). Take a peek at our blue and white kitchen we designed here!
Panel ready appliances allow 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.
7. The Patio / Outdoor Fireplace
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 it!
White painted brick mixed with bluestone is a classic. It also looks like an English garden, a look that’s trending these days.
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.
If painted brick isn’t for you, how about using an outdoor tile or stone?
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.
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