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Making Your New Home Work for You

by Lauren Busser, Direct from the Designers™’ Editorial Director

After you have built your home and you’ve started to think about finishes and fixtures, you may find yourself running close to your budget ceiling. Fear not—there are ways to make your money go further in your new home while still having beautiful, durable surfaces. Whether you are looking for timeless looks that will last a lifetime or simply wondering where you should splurge, we've gathered some great design tips that will help save you money.

The GE Artistry™ Series brings stylish appliances within reach. Packaged with cool metallic handles, sleek chrome trim, and clean and classic lines, the GE Artistry™ Series has all the essentials you need. The full suite won’t even come close to pushing your budget and you'll still get all the essentials for food storage, cooking, prep, and cleanup.

GE Artistry Series

Make a List

When you shop for appliances, the same rules apply as if you were shopping for groceries. Take some time to think about the appliances you need and the features you want so you can make a list and stick to it. Doing so will help you keep your budget under control and make sure you get the features you really want and need.

Fireclay offers tile made from recycled materials. Pictured here is 3x6 offset tile in Sky Blue. This tile starts at $16.50 per square foot and is unique in that you can add a timeless personal touch by selecting one of over 150 standard colors, and even create your own unique combination.

Fireclay Tile

Go for Subway Tile

For your kitchen backsplash, you might want to go for custom handpainted tiles, but a great alternative is subway tiles. This timeless design provides a stylish, modern look while also invoking a bit of vintage flair. Since they are a such a classic look and come in a wide variety of stock colors, you can add a truly personal touch to your home without the large price tag of a custom job.

Pictured here is the Dream Home - Nirvana PLUS 10mm+pad Delaware Bay Driftwood from Lumber Liquidators. This attractive flooring has the weathered appearance of driftwood and gives any room in your home a little bit of character.

Lumber Liquidators Dream Home - Nirvana PLUS 10mm+pad Delaware Bay Driftwood

Take a Good Look at Laminate

If you want the look of hardwood flooring in your home, laminate floors are a great way to get it and still keep to your budget. Laminate floors are durable, versatile, and naturally resistant to bacteria and mold. On top of this, laminate can stand up to wear that may damage wood floors and it is also easy to install.

Quartz can look just like granite in many cases, but it comes in at a lower price point and is more durable with less maintenance. Dupont™ Zodiaq® Quartz Surfaces like this one are a perfect example of what beautiful durability can do for your counters.

Dupont Zodiaq Quartz Surfaces

Creative Countertops

Many homeowners automatically assume a granite countertop is best, but it carries a hefty price tag along with its amazing looks. There are a lot of other creative countertop options you can pursue that won’t break the bank. Wood butcher block countertops are great for invoking a rustic, country farmhouse feel, and quartz countertops can look remarkably like granite, but with the benefits of lower cost and better durability.

This beautiful LAMPS PLUS® sitting area features an elegant Chrome Swirl Glass Drop 26” Wide Chandelier (MSRP $329.99) that beautifully lights up the room and adds a stunning decorative touch.

LAMPS PLUS Sitting Area

Don’t Skimp on Lighting

Lighting is essential to your home’s design. After all, why would you spend all this effort decorating if no one is going to see the results? If you are trying to get the most from your lighting dollar, you may want to consider fixtures that perform multiple functions. A typical room lighting design involves an ambient layer, a task layer, a focal layer, and a decorative layer, but you can sometimes find fixtures that perform a couple of these functions at once.

If you are a baker, amateur chef, or just spend a lot of time in the kitchen, consider a Moen® faucet equipped with MotionSense®. This convenient technology costs a bit more, but could be worth it for those who often find themselves with their hands full. Plus, this faucet uses water economically and comes with a five year warranty on the digital components. Pictured here is the Brantford Kitchen Faucet with MotionSense®.

Moen Motionsense

Know When to Splurge

When you are making a budget for materials in your home, allow yourself a few spaces to splurge on things you will really love and use often. Whether it is a fantastic floor, beautiful paint, or extravagant lighting fixtures, spending money on something you truly enjoy and will see or use many times a day for several years is always a worthwhile investment.

This kitchen from KraftMaid® uses custom cabinetry and open storage in the island to display beautiful jars and dishware.

KraftMaid Custom Cabinetry

Consider the Long Term

When you are picking out fixtures such as faucets, showerheads, toilets, and lighting, you should consider the long term savings that might be associated with the product. Installing a dimmer, for example, can save you money over the years. The same is true when it comes to installing LED lights, ENERGY STAR® appliances, or water-efficient faucets and fixtures.

When it comes to selecting finishes for your dream home, there are plenty of budget-friendly options available. The real key when it comes to staying within your budget is deciding what is most important to you. Let yourself make allowances for the things you really want and then make conservative decisions somewhere else.

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