5 Ways to Make Your Cookie-Cutter Home More Unique

Newly built homes certainly offer all the convenient amenities a home owner could want, but they just lack that old-world charm that typically comes with older homes. But all is not lost. There are a number of ways to tweak your home’s interior so it doesn’t look like every other cookie cutter home on the block.

If you’re looking to add a little more character to your model home, follow these 5 tips.


1. Add Lots of Architectural Molding

Decorative features that are built into the walls and ceilings is a sure-fire way to dig your home out of a cookie cutter rut. Crown molding, oversized baseboards, pained ceiling coffers, wainscoting, recessed wood panels and chair rails can help set your home apart from the rest of the houses in the subdivision. More vintage charm can be added with floor-to-ceiling built-in bookcases and recessed cabinet space as well.

This type of work might take a bit of capital and effort, but it will be well worth it in the end.


2. Change the Light Fixtures

If you bought a new home directly from a builder, chances are all the light fixtures in the home are the cheap, boring ones that you can buy at The Home Depot for next to nothing. These standard fixtures do very little for the look of a home’s interior, and just make your home blend in with the rest of them on the street.

To make your home more unique and esthetically appealing, consider replacing all these unattractive fixtures with highly decorative ones that appease to your home’s decor, and your tastes. Look for pieces like chandeliers, pendant lights and wall sconces in unique finishes. These will help wash the generic look out of your home.


3. Upgrade Your Light Switch Plates

Don’t underestimate the power of detail. And this includes things like your light switch and outlet plates. Nothing screams “contractor-built” more than plain-old white, plastic switch plates.

For a few measly bucks and a few minutes of your time, you can quickly and easily change up all the plates in your home with much more decorative ones that will add a lot more character to the space. For a particularly classy and different look, go for something in a brass or nickel finish with intricate detailing, which can add a sense of nostalgia while still staying era-appropriate.


4. Change the Interior Doors

Most builders will install cheap doors that serve little purpose in the area of decor. These hollowed-out doors are as cheap as can be, not to mention dull. The solution? Replace them. While this job might be a little more involved, time-consuming and expensive, it can really make a massive difference to the look of your home.

If changing the doors altogether is not within your scope of practice, consider giving them a paint job instead. Rather than boring white, you might want to paint them in the color of your choosing, or even apply a decorative paint technique to give the finish a little bit of depth and texture.


5. Elaborate Your Staircase

While you may have settled with what the builder installed as far as handrails on the staircase are concerned, you don’t have to leave them as is forever. Updating your staircase is a fantastic way to add a little pizzazz to your home, especially if the staircase happens to be front and center in the home.

Consider changing the handrails and spindles with more sophisticated and unique or wrought iron or woodwork in the finish of your choosing. If you really want to go all out, consider completely refinishing the stairs themselves. If you’ve got carpeting, install wood planks in a rich finish to give your home a much more elegant look.


What you gain in conveniences with new construction often means losing that coveted old-home feel. But you don’t necessarily have to sacrifice these amenities in the name of design exclusivity. By following these tips, you can get that old-home feel back into your house and set it apart from the rest of the model homes on the street.