With all the fixing, renovating, and flipping showing on television, your standard builder grade home seems sadly lacking. When you bought it, you intended to plant yourself here for a while, to moving to a farm to get the farmhouse look isn’t in the cards. Luckily, builder-grade makes the perfect canvas to boost your basic look without busting the budget.
Get the [Farmhouse] Look for Less
- Beadboard: Adding beadboard along breakfast nook and dining room walls bring instant country charm. Instead of expensive solid oak beadboard, choose four-foot by eight-foot faux pressed beadboard panels from your local DIY store. Cut them in half width-wise to get two four-foot by four-foot sheets. Attached them side by side to your walls with a nail gun and glue for best results. Top it off with flat pine board and paint it all a glossy white.
- Board and batten: This wall-treatment works best for mudrooms or hallways and adds character and charm to a plain stairway wall too. Get the look by nailing flat four to six-inch pine boards evenly spaced vertically along the wall. Leave measured room at the top and bottom for baseboard and chair rail or crown molding. Paint the boards and the wall between in a satin or semi-gloss paint in farmhouse blue, mint green or another color that speaks to you.
- Faux shiplap: While you sometimes can find real pieces of shiplap in outlets that handle reclaimed wood, you can get a similar look using pine planks. Similar to the board and batten treatment, nail the boards onto the walls, but horizontally, with about a three-quarter inch space between them. For easier installation create a couple of spaces from scrap wood to hold your boards in place. Choose an accent wall or niche for your installation area, then paint the boards with chalk paint to give you that aged country look.
- Butcher’s block countertops: If your budget lends itself to replacing the countertops, replace that Formica with natural butcher’s block. If solid butcher’s block is out of the question, stores like Ikea carry a bamboo version for less and Wilsonart has laminate versions with coordinated edges that are hard to tell from the real thing.
- Fixtures and finishes: Even if you can’t afford the farmhouse-style sink, you can change out the fixtures to give you the look. Opt for bronze or coppery finished for cream or white sinks and go for brushed satin nickel to complement your stainless steel. Change out light fixtures, drawer pulls, and knobs from the “that’s-so-90s” brass ones and consider chalk-paint to give your cabinets a stress-free new look.
- Timely trims: Finally, trim the doorways with—you guessed it—more flat pine boards. Use four-inch boards on the sides but add some drama to the top with six or eight-inch boards and a little bit of half-round to cap it off.
If you love the farmhouse style, try one or several of these steps to get a look that sets your builder-grade home apart from all the rest when it comes time to sell. For an estimate on what your re-imagined farmhouse will fetch on the market, talk to your realtor.