Customizing Our Home: Selections, Part 1

We’re back from our selections appointment, and I am so relieved it’s over! Yes, it was fun to design our new home, to see the different elements coming together to form a palate of colors and textures, but it was exhausting. I’m not naturally a decisive person, so having a full day to not only select the finishes but to finalize them, with no changes allowed once we left the showroom, definitely caused some anxiety.

Because we spent the whole day in the showroom, and because so many details were decided, this may take a few posts to get through, as I attempt to be as thorough as possible. I also have to apologize for the subpar photos — not only did I forget my good camera, the lighting in the showroom was absolutely terrible (you would think an investment in some daylight bulbs would be a priority, so people can actually see what they are getting). I did the best I could under the circumstances.

I was a mix of anxious and excited for the appointment and barely slept the night before. We were scheduled to start at 9:00AM, so after a hearty breakfast at a local spot, we arrived at the showroom, binder of preparation materials in hand, ready to make some decisions.


It’s just how I imagined it!

Once we were checked in, we were greeted by our selections consultant, Kim. Kim was there throughout the whole process, offering suggestions, looking up prices, and keeping our overall look consistent throughout the house.

Kim went through all of our structural options with us for a second time (we’d already done most of this with our sales consultant) and asked what were the most important parts of the house to focus on. Without hesitation we answered kitchen, master bathroom, and flooring, which were the areas we started with.

First up was the kitchen.

Starting with the no-brainers, I knew I wanted white shaker 42” cabinets with black hardware, dark granite countertops, and a large undermount sink. Based on the price booklet we had been provided prior to our appointment, I had put together a spreadsheet with estimations on what each upgrade would cost. For the kitchen, we were under budget on the cabinets, but upgraded to a higher level granite to get the color we wanted (Arctic Pearl is what we ultimately decided on).


Ignore that rogue tile, we went with something fancier for the backsplash.

We opted not to include hardware when the color we wanted wasn’t available, and our big sink was included as a standard option.

kitchen sink

Another place we went over budget was the backsplash. Originally neither of us necessarily wanted a backsplash, but since it is a requirement to include one, we needed to pick one we liked. All of the standard options weren’t doing it for us, so we went with a nice matte gray tile with light gray grout.

kitchen cabs & backsplash

Very, very washed out photo, but you get the idea…

The backsplash was one of the harder decisions we made that day, since neither of us were thrilled about spending money on something we didn’t really want in the first place. But it was required, so we picked something we were both happy with, and in the end I know it will really finish out the kitchen and look great.

We also upgraded the kitchen faucet to a nice Kohler Bellera in a stainless finish.

kitchen faucet

Same faucet, different finish.

Because we wanted to get higher end kitchen appliances than the builder offered, we didn’t plan to even venture into the appliances area in the showroom. However, Kim still showed us the standard range, dishwasher, and hood vent, since those would need to be installed in order for the house to pass inspection. Ideally, once the house is nearing completion, we are hopeful that our project manager will leave these appliances uninstalled so we can have our own put in instead.

In tandem with the kitchen, we also chose the wood floor that would be installed in the kitchen, breakfast nook, foyer, mudroom, and powder room. This was actually the very first decision we made, and might have been the easiest: I had previewed all of the wood options online and priced them out. As soon as we saw our top contender in person, we both agreed it was exactly what we wanted (I’d even say better in person!). It’s a 5” hickory engineered hardwood in “charcoal” so it has a bit of a grey tint to it (are you sensing a color theme yet?).

wood floor

Yikes, an entire post devoted to the kitchen?! This might take longer than I thought…

Ready for part 2? Click here!


8 thoughts on “Customizing Our Home: Selections, Part 1

  1. How strange that the backsplash was a requirement, same with certain appliances–I can understand the hood, I suppose, as it is more of a safety issue, but the rest? *eyeroll at builders*

    • And her reasoning for requiring the backsplash didn’t make any sense either — because there is wiring behind it? I don’t know, I didn’t press. I’m sure I’ll be happy when it is all in place!

  2. Pingback: Customizing Our Home: Selections, Part 2 | Stieve Says...

  3. Mm, totally feel you on the overwhelming “make a decision now!!” feeling for an indecisive person. Luckily we could go back to showrooms a couple times if we wanted. I think our kitchen took 2 if not three visits to the showroom to decide everything… and we just got basic whites and blacks for most colors!

    Exciting though! I hope you like all of the decisions you make. FWIW, I wish we had a backsplash in some areas in our kitchen because it’s wallpapered and really annoying/impossible to clean things like spaghetti sauce off of.

    • Thanks for the feedback, Katie! So far I haven’t had any regrets about our decisions — I hope it stays that way! And yes, I think I will be happy with the backsplash, it just really threw me when there was no good reason to put it in, in my eyes.

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