How to Decorate a Builder Grade Home

The Bold Abode is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to as well as other affiliate networks.

Oh my goodness, I can’t believe after writing this blog for 8 years, I never really shared a home tour! But let me tell you, I definitely learned a lot about decorating over the years… especially how to decorate a builder grade home!

Let me show you some pictures of before I started decorating my house.

The epitome of a builder grade home

cape code house with four columns and two gables
The boring beige-orama outside
The family room that is completely beige
Beige dining room
The beige on beige dining room
Grilling porch on the side of the house
Beige, beige, beige even on the grilling porch.
pantry and breakfast room with wood floors
Teensy tiny breakfast room that is b-b-beige
kitchen with cherry cabinets and dark granite with wood floors
Brown on brown on beige kitchen


Pros of a builder grade home:

  • It’s a blank canvas
  • No crazy things to undo like existing wallpaper or weird paint colors

I guess those are really the same thing, but I felt like I had to have more than one bullet list in my pro column. lol.

Now, let me show you what I did to shake up my builder grade home!

stone stacked fireplace

How to Decorate a Builder Grade home

Decorating the Front Porch

  • Paint the front door a pretty color
  • Add bulbs and seasonal flowers to the flower gardens
  • Hang ferns and add decorative pots to flank the front door
  • Put some colorful furniture on the front porch if you have one
  • Hang a pretty swing if there is adequate space
  • Display a colorful garden flag to welcome visitors
  • Hang a pretty wreath on the front door


Before you ask, I didn’t write down the color that I used for the front door. Travesty, I know! 

I’d always wanted to rip out the boxwoods and what ever is behind them in front of the windows and just start over with two small flowering trees and some daintier shrubbery. (#montypythonfan) But the moohlah was tight from day 1, and that never happened!

Also, you’ll notice the absence of a pretty wreath.  I tried and tried, but everything I would hang drove my DH cray.  Our street was like a wind tunnel and whatever I put there would bang against the door. Oh well.

Decorating the Foyer


You can’t see it in these photos, and I never blogged about it, but there is a really cute light hanging from the ceiling that matches the little cage light sitting on the piano.  I used the same mint color cord and bought a pretty lamp shade cage similar, but larger, from ebay.

Decorating the dining room

Mirrors are always great to hang in the dining room or foyer.  They can make the space feel so much bigger. These pictures are from where we staged the home, so the only furniture in the room are the table and chairs.  Normally, I would have my antique carved oak sideboard as well.  But only that.  Too much furniture in a dining room can make the walls close in super fast.  Also, I previously had a rug under the table, but, being a white rug, it was terribly dirty and had to go to stage the room properly!

Decorating the kitchen

  • Add color to the boring beige walls.
  • If you have room, add an DIY island in a contrasting color
  • Keep your counters clear of clutter and unnecessary appliances
  • Display fresh fruit in a big bowl along with colorful dish towels and napkins
  • Hang some functional art to help keep you organized
  • Hang a simple valance over the window
  • Hang a paper towel holder underneath the cabinets

You’ll notice that this is the first room where there is color on the walls.  In the foyer and dining room, I used Snowbound, a pretty soft white color. But with allll this brown, It really needs color on the walls to pull it out of beige-town.

You’ll also see all of my appliances missing.  We stored them in the lower cabinets to stage the house and I loved it that way.  It might feel like a pain at first, but you get used to it and your kitchen will feel so much lighter!

The biggest part of decorating the kitchen is just to keep it clean and clear of clutter.  I have a pile of mail sitting on my bar right now that needs to be put away!  It’s never ending, but totally doable.

Decorating the Home Office

Did I love the white painted floors? YES!  Did they stay white? Sort of.  I should have sealed them with something. I didn’t so after about three years, they did start chipping and staining a little.  So we did have to re-carpet this room for selling the house.  And you know what?  I didn’t hate it.  But the white floors were GREAT for photography.

My favorite part of this room was the light and the pixel art, both of which I, of course, kept!  I have the art hanging above the sofa right now and the light is in storage.

Decorating the Family Room

  • Add color to the walls (or see the next bullet item!)
  • Buy a vibrant colored couch (which will make it ok not to paint the walls)
  • Add a graphic rug
  • Hang vibrant colored art
  • Add tall plants for texture (always wish I had done this!)
  • Add pops of color with pretty pillows
  • Add a giant spot-light lamp from Ikea
  • Update your lighting by glamming up a basic $20 barn light

The above pictures are of the staged family room.  The rug is gone, and we moved the DIY Pixel art in here for drama. The color on the walls is Moody Blue by Sherwin Williams.  Sometimes it looks blue, sometimes it looks green.  🤪

Here is a photo of when we had the family room in the dining room.  I loved it like this, with the wallpaper and rug and updated barn light… you can also see the mint green color cord light has been moved into this room as well.  But we switched everything back to stage the house.  Cuz selling is good.

We’ve had this couch for 4 years and it is holding up extremely well, and we have cat.  Yes it’s a bit worn, but this pet-friendly fabric from Joybird has done remarkably well.

Decorating a Boys Bedroom

  • Use heirloom or antique furniture that can grow with you son
  • Add display shelves for their most prized legos
  • Frame special items and hang them on the wall
  • Use neutral colored bedding so you can add fun pops of color

My great grandfather made Morgan’s bed and my mom crocheted the blanket for him.  We painted the room back to beige to sell the house, and I have to say, I didn’t hate it.

It made his blanket and legos really stand out!  It’s nice to have a blank canvas to let the details really shine!

Above the bed, we hung his Arrow of Light award from Boy Scouts.  It’s a very simple room that was able to grow as he did.

Decorating a child’s bathroom

  • Add color to the walls, but if it is small keep it light and neutral.
  • Buy a fun modern shower curtain from Target
  • Add pops of color in the towels and art work
  • Keep it simple

Decorating the Master Bedroom

  • Use white bedding for a spa-like feel
  • Create an interesting stenciled wall pattern on the walls
  • Mix vintage and modern furniture for an eclectic vibe
  • Use soft white curtains to allow the light to flow in
  • Buy some giant pillows from Ikea
  • Add some fun patterned throw pillows to add interest

Does this room need something above the bed?  Yes. Maybe.  If I were still there, I would definitely add some DIY art.  But just feel house clean and modern it looks with just the Ikea Bed, side tables and lamp.  Simple and fresh!

The antique furniture is again, from my great grandparents. The TV is a little too big for the console, but now it’s hanging on the wall above the fireplace in our new apartment. Hanging a guitar is also great wall art!

If you really work at it, you can take a builder grade home and truly make it your own.  I love to decorate, and have done everything myself, except for the added benefit of my home stagers.  I liked what they did, and learned a lot from them.

And honestly, this isn’t everything I did.  To see the whole gamut of decorating at The Bold Abode, just visiting my category page for Decorating ideas!

Have you ever had to decorate a builder beige home?  Let me know over in the comments on this Facebook post!



front porch with stone

Similar Posts