Skip to main content
BrownEvery man should read this oneGreenTimeless

Builders Don’t Care About Trends: Yay or Nay?

By 02/03/2013December 11th, 202045 Comments

I know this is not a complete absolute truth because it won’t apply to the high end market but I do a lot of design and colour consulting in brand new homes and the homeowner is usually saying things like, “The builder only gave us two options, so we chose the lesser of the two evils”.

Classic White Kitchen

Barbara Barry’s Classic White Kitchen

I was recently in a $750,000 house (2 years old) where the builder had installed the cheapest possible laminate in the kitchen which was open to the living room/great room, which connected to the entry tile. There was carpet in the living room?? Why would you do that? I mean at least install the cheap laminate in the living room too, instead of chopping up an open space?

The owners said the granite option was so ugly they opted for a laminate countertop instead. They too were counting the days it could all be changed.

Before Irene came to work with me she worked for a developer, just a short 1 1/2 years ago in 2011. She said they hired her to decorate the display suite for a 64 unit condominium complex. The walls were already painted pink beige, the kitchen cabinets were either espresso or cherry, and the granite countertops were Uba Tuba (below).

uba tuba granite

They got a deal on the granite that was so good, it was installed in every unit.

And do you know why they got such a deal? Because the brown trend was here and no one was interested in sage green countertops.

Irene said all they cared about was selling them for the most profit, not that people would realize what they had as soon as they moved in and then be unhappy and start planning for the day it would be ripped out.

I get emails from readers all the time who are house hunting. They tell me they see brand new house after brand new house with the same dark brown cabinets and cheap porcelain tile.



Over to you my lovelies. Have you had this experience? It upsets me to see this kind of waste. I would rather have laminate countertops in a colour that worked for me if I was buying new. Taking stone countertops out is expensive and wasteful! Why install dated granite countertops just so you can write it in the copy?

In this case as designers and colourists, we are trying to make the best of the bossy and bad finishes that have been installed and sometimes, there’s no amount of magic in our colour chips that can make it disappear.

Do you agree or disagree? Builders, please weigh in. I’m totally willing to be wrong here. What tips do you have that can give buyers exactly what they want?

ps. The Homies are back at Apartment Therapy, you can vote for my blog right here. 


Related posts:

Is Your Flooring Bossing you Around?

Colour Trends are Important: Yay or Nay?

Are Granite Countertops Timeless? Yay or Nay

If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, become a client

Download my eBook, How to Choose Paint Colours – It’s All in the Undertones to get my complete step-by-step system on how to get colour to do what you want.

To make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large samples!

If you would like to learn how to choose colour with confidence, become a True Colour Expert.

0 pins


  • Natalie says:

    My husband and I are both in the building industry and I am disappointed you feel that this description applies to builders in general. It is in the major interest of home builders to follow the trends. They sell homes based on a visual basis, and appealing to the majority of homeowners should be their goal! A potential homeowner should be cautious in choosing a builder as there are great ones and not so great ones. But my point being there are good builders out there and not just in the high-end market! The only homes I have been in that my husband has built where I have hated the finishes are the presales where the homeowners have made their own selections against the recommendations of the builder!

  • Susan Telfer says:

    Our spec house came with beautiful maple hardwood in most of the main living areas, but OK tile in the kitchen and ugly tile in the entry. The kitchen cabinets were fine, medium knotty wood (6 years ago) but the counters were dark brown laminate, even the washrooms. We had to change them right away. And the paint was the cheapest, ugliest builder beige, which we had to change before we moved in. I do like their exterior colour choices, and the stairway bannister is gorgeous. It was a mixed bag.

  • liz says:

    i agree with every word you wrote. i do think builders are trying to appeal to the masses and use various trendy items, but in doing so, they do not follow any rules of good classic design that will last. i also feel that the builders are not using experienced designers to choose the finishes. i’ve spoken to new home salesperson after salesperson in just the last month who all spoke of how they themselves chose or were about to choose the finishes for a spec home. yikes! one sales guy tried to push my husband and i into purchasing the spec home we were standing in, which in my opinion, is already seriously dated even though lots of the general public probably would think it looks great since it is new and that look is all they see around.

    i worked with a client eight years ago to help her choose all of the finishes in her new home. she was referred to me just after she signed and before ground was broken. we ended up working together for the whole year right through furniture, window treatments and accessories throughout. she called me last month to help out with a little project for an upcoming party…. not having seen the home for seven years, i was thrilled to walk through and see that it still looks fresh and fantastic. she says the smartest thing she did when building her home was to get professional design help at the start.

  • Wanda Lindsey says:

    My entire family is builders, we do try to always follow the trend and what the market dictates. Buyers have a choice of selections and colors, they make the decisions and if they do not like they can always upgrade. Easy on the builders 🙂 we are just trying to pay the bills, no one here is getting rich, our economy does not allow for that. As far as specs go, we try to give everyone the best deals for the money. BTW I love your blog and have learned a lot!

  • Sassy says:

    We bought a new spec house in 2000 and tore out the kitchen and re-did it: the standard in the development was really, really nice homes with cheap kitchens — all beige, cheap cabinets and brown speckled granite tiles. Weird but everyone noticed and commented on the cheapest kitchens possible in otherwise nice houses (I would argue bathrooms were treated the same way).

  • Michelle says:

    We are currently building a house with a very good builder who uses lots of higher end materials, but has a fairly traditional and somewhat dated design style in their spec homes. We chose a spec plan and I’ve customized almost every material (not necessarily upgraded) to what I concider to be more simple and classic colours.
    It definitely seems that a lot of the colours and patterns they choose are based on getting a great price and don’t always compliment eachother. People seem to be dazzled by the high end materials (granite, quartz, stone fireplaces…) and not notice whether or not they really look good together.

  • Kathi says:

    There is nothing more fun than going through builders open houses, maybe it is just our area in Ohio, but our builders have a room full of cabinet colors, wood floors,different tiles to choose from-paint color chips-different types of brick or stone- even the condos have many choices-they usually hire designers and I love to get ideas from their selections-so I say yay-most builders want to sell a current style house-it is their business after all!

  • Lola says:

    Is the $750,000 the build cost or the sale cost? If it is the sale cost in the Vancouver market that house (I am assuming it was a spec build) barely got built. It was built cheap and hopefully they cheaped out on the finishing and not the structure, plumbing, electrical and foundation. (Which would be the smart choice when building on a budget.) We have been building for years, and if the client or spec is budget the first thing to go is finishing, for the primary reason that the final owner can easily pull out cabinets and laminate flooring and put something better in. Unfortunately if you want a house that is finished by an architect and interior designer you are looking close to $300/sf (+) to build. Compounded over the average family home (4500 sf) – that cost is now $1,350,000.00, plus the $500,000.00(+) for the land. Now you have a proper home and the consequential cost.

  • BillP says:

    It is difficult to generalize but from my experience I’d say that the national homebuilders in the US are on point with style and offer tasteful color palettes. In competitive markets it is a necessity- the buyers can always go on to the next builder. Of course, the most expensive materials are upgrades.

  • Doris says:

    In my area (Midwest US) a $750,000 home will be custom and the builder is doing everything the customer wants. Spec homes here are in the 120,000 to $200,000 and most builders are doing a good job with the finishes just not a great job with their finish carpentry and detail. Also cut corners by not using primer and enough electrical options, not enought TLC in the spec home arena.

  • anon says:

    I use to go to showhouse open houses (single family homes) in the spring, so I just saw the decorated models. The decorated models usually looked good. I think national builders generally do a good job, some local ones do well and some are not good at all. I find that most want to go as generic as possible (except the showhouses). Everything is beige except for the kitchen cabinets and granite. I think condos do a worst job than others, particularly if there is not much profit margin and the builders are smaller.

    I wish the white trend would catch on here instead of everything beige/cream/off-white. I particularly wish the there were more white kitchen cabinets! I hardly ever see them.

  • Brenda Thomson says:

    We just did custom decor in our new townhouse. The builder offered two colour packages, dark espresso and yellow tan or lighter wood cabinets and floor with the same yellow tan walls. I was not interested in either. I was surprised they were building with colours that were on their way out. The trouble with installing white cabinets is the ones they install usually look really cheap, not painted maple. I had to pay quite a bit more for my white cabinets.

  • Erik says:

    I’ve lived all over but am currently in the Seattle area. Very frequently, even on the high end market, huge towers are built as condos, don’t sell or generate hyper-inflated ask prices, but ‘do’ sell as hyper-inflated apartments. Quite a number of highrise and posh complexes turn around 2-5 years later and convert to condos. This is relevant because the first thing that happens when the apartments turn to condos is that many new owners rip out everything.

    Apartment and condo builders especially go for premium rents on the cheapest trends in most all aspects in the Northwest. Of the condo-turned-apartments or apartment-turned-condos built since 2006, it is extremely common to see the following: Black speckled faux-granite counters or faux black marble counters, espresso or dark cherry pressboard cabinets, the absolute cheapest stainless steel (or faux-stainless, in many cases) appliances, and, without fail, a black or stainless ‘look’ glass top range on top of, without fail, light laminate ‘hardwood’ tile flooring. Also extremely common, these are advertised heavily as ‘gourmet’ kitchens. If there is actual hardwood flooring, it is always light/yellow undertones, and whichever cheap-looking single-tone beige carpet the builder can get @ < $.35/sqft. After 6 months, the naps are already frayed at the entryways or in the living room. I know the focus of this is on SFH home builders – but I'd argue that as price per sqft is generally much higher in larger cities, the place to brush the 'paying too much to be unhappy due to my builder' lies here.

  • Squeak says:

    I’ve bought new homes in both Ontario and British Columbia and toured many houses in both provinces before making my choice. I’ve come to the conclusion that the average Canadian developer has never read a shelter magazine. They barely build to the provincial standards and install the cheapest versions of any trend that they can possible get away with. All they are interested in is making the biggest profit possible.

  • Lauren Tyson says:

    My husband sold used and new homes for over 30 years, so I’ve seen a lot of model homes. All the builders he worked for offered a good variety of contemporary finishes. And we just bought our 4th brand new home. Problem is, it was “standing inventory” and in order to get it moving (sold), they went ahead and installed their own choice of upgraded cabinets (dark), granite and shower/tub surround tile in colors we wouldn’t have chosen. These and other features totaled $40,000 or so in upgrades, as an incentive to get it sold. We could have waited for another lot within this new home complex, but we were ready to move, loved the floor plan and location, and the builder did let us choose our own flooring. In summary, most builders do offer great choices. 🙂

  • Paula Van Hoogen says:

    Can’t believe you just posted this VERY THING I just dealt with this past week!…My brother called me to look online at a photo of a house he was looking at
    to buy. I took a look and saw right away that the elevation of the front was wrong. He did not like it when I told him some things that were wrong with it. ( I should have not!) Later I checked out the older postings on that builder’s website and found the original architect’s rendering. It was charming and so right. ALL of the things that seemed wrong were corrected! (roof pitch, window proportions, porch support columns,etc.) This is not a new phenomenon.
    Builders have been cheapening the homes designed by architects for decades. I’ve heard some say, “What does the architect know–they don’t build houses!” So instead of asking an architect to redraw a house to a more economical
    rendition, they take it upon themselves to “fix it”. What a mess. This particular house ended up looking like a post-war home from the early 50’s. Frankly it makes me wonder–if they cheapen the things we CAN see, what else did they scrip on that we CAN NOT see? Buyer beware!

  • Donna Frasca says:

    Builders build – that’s it. I don’t think they care or are aware of the fact that they mix a pinky beige floor tile with a yellow granite or that the traffic pattern into the kitchen is a little too close to the columns (in my house). Very frustrating indeed.

  • Paula Van Hoogen says:

    Pardon…the word is “scrimp”. Builders—quit the scrimping!

  • Angela N says:

    We just built a new home and were very thankful that the builder had many options. For our kitchen we opted for Corian coutertops after living in our prior house with a busy granite. It seems that Corian is looked down upon by the general public here in the suburbs of Orlando and ANY type of granite (even if its ugly) is better. I was a bit disappointed in our tile selection though. We ended up opting for the basic level of tile and carpet and are going to replace it all with hardwood or laminate in the next couple of years. Seemed like a better choice than to select something we were not totally happy with for the long run.

  • I agree they don’t! Nor do they care about architectural design based on aesthetics. We are all brainwashed by manufacturers to see and buy what they want us to. Builders don’t care about undertones or rules of proportion. Just sell a “one size fits all” and the public will accept it. Sadly this usually works.

  • We see this a lot! My husband and I own a small building company on the south shore of Massachusetts. We find ways to include quality finishes at value pricing. 5″ character wood oak floors by Somerset, Supreme White granite perimeter counters that look like marble with absolute black honed finish on the island. It’s possible to include architectural interest without breaking the budget!

  • Katy says:

    My experiences in Maryland and Texas with new home builders were a little different. In Maryland we bought a starter home from a spec builder – and they don’t hire “designers” – like I think of when I say/hear that term. The woman from the cabinet vendor was “designing” the finishes in the house. We bought our house right before she made the final choices, but this was back in 2002. So we had oak cabs, gray laminate, gray carpet, gray linoleum. I painted those cabs white as soon as I could.
    In Texas in 2006, we bought a house in a higher price range (upper 200’s) – but again it was a national spec builder. They were putting cheap tile and dark granite EVERYWHERE. So again I got stuck with oak cabinets, beige tile everywhere (same huge beige tiles used on the kitchen/bath floors as well as the kitchen backsplash and the shower enclosures) and black/brown swirled granite.
    Because it was Texas and I was stuck with those finishes, I had to embrace the cowboy aesthetic so I did more wrought iron and wood than I normally like.
    This current house I bought in the Southeast in 2009, and my choices were again limited. I decided to upgrade to wood floors because I couldn’t stand to have carpet ever again. But I still got cheap OAK cabinets which I’ve already painted.
    I have not seen ANY spec builder offer decent white-finish cabinets, or any colors that are on-trend. Everything is still BEIGE, BROWN, etc. Even the choices of vinyl siding are limited to brown, brown, brown, beige, and gray.

    • michele says:

      YES on the exterior! The home we built is white the one white house in a neighborhood full of shades of brown. There are two gray homes, but that’s pretty much it. And the house that was built across the street from us is atrocious – grayish vinyl siding on three sides, a different shade of gray painted on the siding on the front, with a third shade of gray on the trim, a gray-blue on the peaked faces, and BROWNISH ORANGE stonework. It looks horrendous.

  • Beth says:

    The “cheapening” I see more than any other, even in the most upscale homes, is 4″ granite backsplashes. I’ve told clients if they can’t arrange for anything else, have the builder leave it out and they can put in their own afterwards, rather than tearing it out. In one very high end home, the two pieces of bathroom backsplash didn’t even match – one was goldish and one pinkish. Maybe they were from the same slab, but didn’t look like it.

    I don’t think the changing from wood to carpet or tile bothers everyone as much as it does others. Or maybe I’m just saying that because I have to deal with three ugly thresholds that catch my eye and can’t be completely removed due to floor dilfferences. : )

  • When we built nearly 9 years ago we specifically looked for a custom home builder. He and his partner met with us several times to go through everything they offered. Generally he gave us 10-12 samples of some options for things like flooring, but told us what he’d budgeted for it. That way we knew what our out-of-pocket costs would be if we chose something he hadn’t shown us that was higher in cost. We actually were under budget when we chose lighting, but used the money to upgrade a few other areas and to add another window. The only reget I have is that the builder typically installed an of-the-moment cabinet finish in the kitchen, wish I’d gone with my instinct to skip the maple/black granite and go with what I really loved-even if it meant spending more.

  • Martha Hughes says:

    I can’t speak about all builders, but there is one particular builder in our area who builds really nice homes. The outside is very well done. The inside rooms are nice size-wise and functional. The finishes in the kitchen are horrible. In one home the builder had installed a stone on the back of the island and on the base of some of the columns in the open floor plan. The stone was a blue grey combo. The counter tops were a yellow beige granite with a dark brown cabinet. It just looked horrible. This is not cheap a home either. All the spec houses he had were crazy like that. It looked like all the granite was the same in all the houses. Nice homes generally, but he definitely needs someone else to pick the interior colors.

  • Martha Hughes says:

    I can’t speak about all builders, but there is one particular builder in our area who builds really nice homes. The outside is very well done. The inside rooms are nice size-wise and functional. The finishes in the kitchen are horrible. In one home the builder had installed a stone on the back of the island and on the base of some of the columns in the open floor plan. The stone was a blue grey combo. The counter tops were a yellow beige granite with a dark brown cabinet. It just looked horrible. This is not cheap a home either. All the spec houses he had were crazy like that. It looked like all the granite was the same in all the houses. Nice homes generally, but he definitely needs someone else to pick the interior colors.

  • Janice Waterman says:

    As all these comment show, generally, in the Western Canadian market we have two or three colors packages only to choose from. If we are lucky, they’ve used a designer to specify these packages and again if we are lucky, the builder installs what was specified. These can be very nice without being too trendy. (Maybe a bit too neutral…)

    The American market has more of the “design center” style type of construction where homeowners can choose each of their finishes even paying for upgrades. This is good or bad. Great if you’re an informed and stylish purchaser. Awful if you inherit a home where someone else chose with $ in mind rather than getting proper Decorating/Design advice.

    This may help illustrate the extreme range of comments above. I wish we had the American model here in Western Canada.

  • michele says:

    We built a home last year (in the midwest, in the $600k+ range) and chose a builder who would allow customizations because of the very thing of which you write. We went through numerous model homes by numerous builders, and there was definitely an underlying theme: every room is beige/khaki, all carpet is some shade of brown shag, all woodwork is stained instead of painted, all cabinetry is stained instead of painted, every counter top is dark speckled granite, and every bathroom uses 12×12 beigey-brown ceramic tiles.

    It got to the point that I finally told my husband there would be no brown of any sort in our house. The designer we worked with (who was “thrown in” for 10 hours via the builder) was thrilled that I A) knew exactly what I wanted, and B) wanted something different. Even she said that she tries desperately to steer people into fresher directions, but people are so afraid of anything “different” and so concerned with resale that they don’t experiment in their own home. Our house is lovely – and everything is white. The exterior, the majority of the interior, all of the woodwork and cabinets, the tile in the bathrooms, etc.

    We have very dark wood floors, and the carper is restricted to only the basement and the upstairs bedrooms … and is it all a slightly grid-textured looped carpet in a pale grayish white. All of our lights were purchased by us to avoid being boxed in by what was offered in our “standard” allowance; there are no “boobs lights” in our house. Our kitchen counters are soapstone and stainless steel, and all the hardware in the house was also bought elsewhere by me. And every person we talked to along the way was equal parts mystified as to why we were going so far off the reservation and excited to see it. Once it was finished, most of the people working on the house said it turned out to be one of their favorites that they’d ever worked on simply because it IS so different, and has so much of OUR personality in it.

    And every person who has come to our house since moving in – especially neighbors – can’t get over how much they life it, and comment that they wish they had put more thought into changing things in their own home. We live in a neighborhood of houses that range from $400k to more then $1mill, and to hear people have regrets about their house makes me so sad. It isn’t hard to ask a builder for something different; it is YOUR HOUSE and YOUR MONEY. But from everything I’ve heard along the way, people either don’t know they can speak up, or don’t have any idea what they would want because nothing different is shown to them.

  • I built a custom house, so I chose every. single. material. used on the entire house, inside and out. Our prior house was a spec home and while there was nothing technically wrong with it, it was a typical suburban subdivision style house, with finishes to match. My husband and I are into classic style, and after a while, we just couldn’t handle living in a home that didn’t reflect our core tastes. Even the hollow core fiberglass doors and the puny moldings drove me batty on a daily basis.

    Where I live near Louisville, KY, the typical suburban subdivision house is what most people are looking for. typical buyer/renter thinks granite equals high-end, and a soaker tub in a large master bathroom is even better. We looked and looked for an existing house to buy in our desired school district, but it was going to cost us too much to buy the house AND replace all the blah cabinets, countertops, trimwork, etc. That’s why we ended up building. We get so many compliments on our house that surely we won’t have a hard time selling it when the time comes, since we certainly don’t have much competition in our area.

    My hope is that along the way, we also open more eyes to classic style, and convert more folks away from the blah builder basics.

  • To add to my already long comment, I wanted to say that I do understand that builders need to make money too. But it doesn’t have to cost any more to make classic choices, rather than trendy choices.

  • Fiesty says:

    I worked in commercial construction for a while, and my dad was a homebuilder for a long time.

    I guess the main thing I can say is that these are “decor” decisions being made by men who are not interested in color harmony. They do usually have a good eye for proportions and details, but if they get a deal on granite, they aren’t going to turn it down because it’s a non-typical color.

    As far as the wall colors being boring/beige/awful, no matter what color you pick the homeowner isn’t going to love it, and white shows every single flaw. They expect that the homeowner is going to re-paint.

    Also, they’ve probably seen a million ugly choices made by homeowners, so they know that generally, there’s no accounting for taste. I was involved in a very upscale condo project and the tenants chose mind blowingly ugly finishes from some very nice ones. (Also, the main difference between condos and apartments is the appliance package. That’s it.)

    My 2 cents.

  • Penny says:

    Not only are the finishes bad in speck homes in Houston, the placement of windows and doors, the overall flow of most of the homes is horrid!! We wanted to build a new home, but I was told I couldn’t change the windows (leaving 3 of the 5 windows in the bedroom off the plan). My big pet peeve is placement of kitchen appliances, oven opening into kitchen island, and oven placement so low that the open oven door is inches from the floor. Designers of homes and furniture lines need to coordinate efforts, we kept our 30 yr old sofa and had it recovered because everything on the current market we could afford was too deep and too large, or had cushions too soft. Overall it is a crazy market and dying for good classic design for the masses. You and Joni with Cote de Texas need to team up!!

  • mairi says:

    I would say that if at all possible buyers purchase their lot of land and hire a custom builder to avoid the waste of time and resources. My experience has been that it is not any more costly and you get exactly what you want. We priced both out. Our builder was a good match with our needs at the time. Buyers pay attention to the care taken in details when it comes time to sell. The outstanding ones go quickly-at least in my area.

  • Dee says:

    My husband and I have built 2 houses together. The first one was a starter home (in 2000) and we had VERY limited choices. The entire house was painted pinky-beige because we weren’t allowed to choose the paint. Cheap maple cabinets, faux-Corian countertops. We built the 2nd house in 2006 and we were given some basic builder choices, but then told we could customize anything we wanted. But everything I wanted to do was an upgrade because it wasn’t a standard option. And all upgrades come with an inflated price to match…. so we settled. We wanted quartz countertops but ended up with granite. We wanted white cabinets but ended up with solid maple because the white options were cheap laminate. Our carpet is cheap because we plan to upgrade. We tried to choose the high-end finishes even if it wasn’t what we wanted, because we wanted to be sure that our appraisal would come in high enough to avoid homeowner’s insurance. It is very wasteful though, because we’ve already had to redo our master bathroom. So while there are of course exceptions, I think that generally speaking (at least where I live), builders definitely care about the trends and how cheap they can get them for you. Any time I look online at houses for sale in my area, they are all brown. Inside and out.

  • I recently worked in a new high-end spec home and was surprised that it was all brown, with very little contrast. Really brown kitchen. And, I just go crazy because my clients think they have to have dark granite countertops! So busy and bossy, but they can’t see it.

  • When I toured the show homes of upper end tract builders in California and Seattle years ago, there was an almost universal quality and design style that was very good. In fact we used to go tour the show homes and “Street of Dreams” houses as well to see what the “latest” design styles were. These builders recognized the value in quality design, and because they were getting decent money for their product they spent it in the home. What this concept requires, however, is for the builders to recognize the value of quality design and pay someone to do it. Sadly, and especially when the economy has been poor, paying someone to do design work is a cost that gets dropped or greatly diminished. As commented in previous posts, some builders actually think they have some design ability or worse, they think their wife does. Maria, I think you will agree with me on this one – quality design does not cost money, it saves money by providing the real value of q quality product and also saves the headache and heartache of having to redo finishes in the home so when complete. the space actually makes the owner feel great when they look at it.

  • I think it highly depends on the builder. My husband builds high end custom homes and is quite knowledgeable about trends. Often tract home builders have to be more concerned about the bottom line.

  • Susan @ Susan Silverman Designs says:

    I have to disagree on this topic. I’m only going to speak for the Toronto area and the larger builders. Whenever one buys a pre construction home or condo from a builder, which seems to be the way here, they all have large design centres and the purchasers are able to customize their entire home from tiles to kitchens to faucets to flooring etc. Having said that, there is a price for everything and there is no limit to what you can spend. But there are options and they are definitely in keeping with the trends. The only thing that there is a limited choice of is paint colours.

  • Vicky Rizzardo says:

    What bothers me is the amount of waste generated in the long run. Ripping out cabinets, countertops, flooring etc is so environmentally irresponsible. Its better to pay more right at the start to get what you want and can live with for a long time rather than a short term solution that ends up in the landfill.

  • Wendy says:

    Wow, what a lot of feedback! Very interesting to those of us in the trade.

    In my experience (San Francisco Bay area), it seems as though builders enter projects fully intending to choose something “safe” if not trendy, but it all comes down to who is selling materials to them.

    If a tile or stone salesperson has good taste, and a feeling for Flow throughout a new house, the builder will benefit from this design input. If the builder stumbles onto someone with a truckload of tile to sell quickly, no matter the color flow, then he will be drawn to the concept of increasing his (already slim) profit margin.

    Best advice: hire a professional interior designer if only for an hour’s consultation! Just getting the counters, tile and flooring in the same colorway will be money well spent.

  • ellen says:

    I’ve found the builders in our area are very conservative & tend to follow rather than lead trends. Many rely on the flooring person or cabinet person to tell them what is selling or cheapest & in it goes. Whether it is forward thinking or not… they deem it safe.
    More recently here are some who hire designers or have in house design staff which showcase some innovative concepts. I’ve also found some of the younger builders are embracing a more trendy buyer & catering to their more sophisticated tastes. This is a big reversal from past years, when many got their wives to pick. This didn’t always work out to their benefit as they had little training or experience and tended to go with “beige is best” motto. Having never read a Maria Killam block, they didn’t know the difference between pink beige & yellow beige.

    As a young designer in those years it was frustrating to see how “wrong” it all was and the waste as it just needed replacement, though brand new.

Leave a Reply