September 16, 2020

EGD Projects: Turning Spec Into Special

A part of my business that I’ve really enjoyed and tried to develop further is working with developers and builders in providing finishes and design for spec houses (you can see previous examples here, here and here). It’s an interesting process that combines the freedom of having “no client” with the challenge of… having no client!  You have to balance the tight budget restrictions (so the house isn’t TOO expensive and the developers make the profit they need to) with not picking cheap fixtures (huge pet peeve of mine in lots of new construction homes) and creating something that appeals to a broad audience of buyers. We spend where it counts (for example, hardware is important to have weight and heft since you touch them everyday, where lights you can get away with more budget options in a lot of spots, as well as simple subway tile!)

This house we did with Haven Builders just sold, but I wanted to show the results, as I think it can be inspiring to those building their own houses or renovating and not able to spend a zillion bucks on tile, lighting and plumbing fixtures. I’ll round up some similar options at the end of the post to get a look like this:

This door came out amazing, and this handle is one of my all time favorites.

The foyer is simple and awaiting the personal touch of the buyers!  Keeping things traditional and streamlined is always smart.

This is a gorgeous fixture in the dining room, and the glass doors separate it from the formal living room.

My favorite interior door knobs :)

The formal living room. Such great light in this house!

The kitchen! I love how this came out. Believe it or not those pendants are by Ellen Degeneres and under $300 each.  We kept the cabinetry simple Shaker style (you won’t see me veering much from this style in spec houses as it’s so appealing to traditional and modern buyers).

Quartz countertops, simple brass hardware and a clean lined hood, all make for a timeless kitchen. A Wolf range doesn’t hurt either :)

Paneling the appliances makes the kitchen feel less choppy and therefore larger.

*my Iphone pic

The kitchen is open to the family room, and we designed this simple built in to work with the windows, joined in the middle by a slightly modern mantel design.

How cute did this mudroom come out? I LOVE this tile- it comes in a few colors and is so affordable and is such a great pattern! The bench is a great spot for putting on shoes, cubbies underneath to store them and the paneling adds a nice little touch (hooks to be added to hang coats!)

This might be the best master bathroom we’ve done in all of our spec projects! I LOVE IT!!!!! That floor is everything- and we took a little risk doing the brass fixtures (not everyone likes brass) but I think it makes the space feel SO much richer!

The beautiful fixtures!

Another simple detail.

This is the Jack and Jill bathroom connecting the two kids rooms. I also am pretty crazy about how this turned out! I love how the separate vanities give some privacy (there’s a matching one on the right side of the toilet)

*my Iphone pic

The tile details.

The guest room en suite- done in a classic flower patterned hex tile and Carrara marble.

*my iPhone pic

A small but mighty laundry room (crappy phone pic).

Love this floor as well!

The basement has another bedroom, full bath and two living areas divided by these sliding doors. Such a great space for a playroom and office or gym!

The basement bath.



Photos by Sarah Winchester except where noted.

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