We recently completed two penthouse projects at well-known condo developments in downtown Montreal. One of the two was super flexible in terms of the options available for the fixed finishes and the other was very limited, however, both units are considered luxury properties. In fact, I would guess that the developer with less flexibility was a more expensive unit. As you can see in our portfolio, we wouldn’t necessarily call our style modern so it’s a struggle for us when we’re confined to specific, limited options that are mostly modern. Although, we’ve learned that a modern backdrop can work for even the most traditional decors if selected properly. A beautiful eclectic look can be achieved by mixing modern and traditional through the right balance.
What’s our trick? Go simple, go bright, and ask the right questions. In this competitive real estate market, it’s advantageous for your new build purchase to stand out. Making changes to the standard finishes is a great way to make your unit unique.
A lot of new home buyers will follow the building’s suggestions regardless if making modifications is an option. This may be because new homeowners can feel overwhelmed with all of the decisions to make when purchasing new. It may also simply be because they don’t know any better. Surprisingly, you can actually change a lot if you simply ask for it. Some builders have insane surcharges for extras and upgrades while others will only charge you whatever the difference in price is between the item you selected and what was included. Either way, it’s nice for you to know your options and asking the right questions will get you the answers you need to make the decision.
Some questions can be;
It’s hard for us to give solid, specific advice without seeing the options, but when in doubt, opt for white! White is timeless, fresh, and creates the perfect backdrop for most aesthetics. The good news is that every developer will have some white options. The biggest mistake is going bold with fixed finishes that you aren’t crazy about.
A white cabinet works in both a classic setting and a modern one. It looks good on flat-panel doors and on shaker profiles. Dress it up with decorative hardware or blend in with concealed cabinet pulls.
Be open to different ideas. Going in with a fixed idea of what you want may get frustrating once you see your builder’s options. We sometimes have to work with what we have and that might mean changing your mind on one element to find another that works with it. For example, you might be dead set on a specific type of backsplash, but if the counter options available don’t work with it, be open to changing the backsplash.
If you really can’t find anything you like from the builder’s options, you can always ask that some finishes be omitted and credited. For example, if the builder won’t provide the countertop you’d like, see if they can leave out the countertops and you can have them installed yourself after you get the keys. Mirrors, faucets, and hardware are all pretty easy things to install yourself when the unit is yours.
If you need help with selecting the finishes for your new home, a consultation with one of our interior design experts may be exactly what you need. Contact us today to schedule a free twenty-minute discovery call.