The Hubs has a new hobby - he stalks Zillow, looking at all the places we could live and the amazing houses we could own in other places in America for the price of living in Orange County, California. Here we have a tract home in a nice neighborhood, on a golf course, with a postage stamp sized yard. We could have twice the house and 4 x the land in Texas, Georgia, Utah, Oregon or North Carolina...to name a very few, with ocean or lake views.   But this is South Orange County -  we have amazing weather, beautiful sandy beaches and incredible surf.  There are mountains, the desert and the beach all within a couple hours driving time. There is a steep price tag for living here.

The Hubs has no real intention of leaving his native state .... yet....
But it is fun to look.

When we purchased our home 17 years ago, we were pleased that there were upgraded baseboards, window casings and crown molding in some of the rooms.  We were pleased because a tract home is usually sorely lacking in any of the finishing touches we believe a home should have.  We have been upgrading a little each year, with our largest project so far being the extension of the family room and a complete remodel of the kitchen.

The difference between tract and custom homes can often be seen in the details. Not everyone can own a custom home, nor wishes to - however, we can all benefit from more beautiful details.

So, instead of living in a 'custom' home with beautiful details... I'm trying to make my tract home feel more custom by adding details.

And you can, too.

It can be as simple as framing your doors and windows in wider than the standard 2.5" moldings
Bluestone at :Point West
Insignia Homes
If you are handy or are married to someone who is, these DIY photos are a good guide...
The Joy of Moldings

burlap and tin

Here is a good way to incorporate that new wider doorway molding into the existing baseboards.
the handymans daughter

 Larger openings to rooms can also be framed with molding.
a charming nest

Here's an easy 'How-to' diagram...

While you are adding casing and moldings to that wide room opening, consider this treatment for adding additional storage and display...

It provides an amazing amount of storage for just 10-12" of room space.

You can also add a high wainscot to your walls. Combined with the framed windows and crown molding, it creates wonderful architectural detail.  This style is called 'board and batten' and is quite simple to create.
Sheri Olson
Sheri Olson Architecture PLLC

Thrifty Decor Chick (Tutorial)

I think this is one of my favorite treatments - very urban farmhouse!

Here is a Shiplap version

thrifty decor chick (with tutorial)

 a paneled version


and a beadboard version...

They all have their own charm - and all add that custom "I love my home" look.  You just have the daunting task of choosing which one and where to use it!

Good Luck!!!

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