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Home Building Journey, Home Decor, Our Home

Builder Grade Kitchen Into Your Dream Kitchen


Is it possible to get the kitchen of your dreams from a builder grade kitchen? YES! We spent months figuring out which builder to go with when building our very first home. Omaha has A TON of options and building is very popular out here. We decided on a semi-custom home builder instead of a fully-custom home.

What is a Semi-Custom Home?

What is the difference you ask? When you choose to custom build, you get to decide everything, I mean EVERYTHING. As much as I wanted to do custom, it wasn’t in our budget.

We found the next best thing, which was a semi-custom home builder. Usually, semi-custom home construction happens like this: A homebuilder has a library of designs they’re familiar with and can economically source materials for. From this list, you select a plan that meets your expectations and fits your family’s needs. Then, you work with your home builder to customize the home’s selections, materials, and finishes.

Let’s talk about the model we picked out. Below are some photos of the model house kitchen. Their style is not my style, but I could visualize the space and what it could turn into with me designing it.

1. Ask Questions

Asking questions is the #1 piece of advice that I can give you. Looking back, I’m so glad I asked our builder question after question after question. I wanted to remove the cabinets on one side and add a bigger window (47inx47in). We ended up getting a credit applied to our account for deleting 4 cabinets. It did cost us extra to get a bigger picture window installed, but we still had money left over from the cabinet credit.

The kitchen island that came with our model was very small and I didn’t like the idea of the kitchen island is right next to the kitchen table. I wondered what it would look like if we deleted the island (get that credit) and save up to build a custom island (more on that in a future blog post). Our house took 6 months to build and we lived in my parent’s basement during those 6 months so that we could save up every paycheck. A custom island was totally doable for us.

2. Lighting/Electrical

Knowing that we wanted to have a custom island built for us, we made sure to add electrical and pendant rough-ins where our future pendants would go. We met with our builder at our future home and we measured the ceiling and figured out where to add the rough-ins and where to delete ones that came with this model.

3. Hardware (this is what will take your builder grade kitchen to the next level)

Tell your builder you’ll add your own hardware once you move in. Our builder only offered the basics of basic hardware and I didn’t like any of them. Instead, I picked out my own hardware online and my husband installed it shortly after we moved in. Hardware isn’t that difficult to install and you can really add that wow factor by choosing your own hardware.

Want the full list of the hardware that took our builder grade kitchen to the next level? Check out this blog post:


Main kitchen views

I love waking up in the morning and making coffee in our new kitchen. With touches of champagne and brass hardware on the cabinets. Matte black barstools and hardware on the island give me the mixed metal kitchen of my dreams.

This is the side of the kitchen where we deleted the upper cabinets and expanded the window to a 47×47 picture window. Isn’t it gorgeous? I added brass brackets and marble shelves where the upper cabinets used to be. Remember when I mentioned above to add electrical rough-ins? We added a sconce rough-in above the sink and once we moved-in we installed the sconce.

Are you currently building? Looking to build or live in a fixer-upper? I hope this post inspires you to build your own dream kitchen. No matter what your budget is, you can get the look you’re going for.

If you want to learn more about our Home Building Journey? Check it out.

Shop my kitchen looks below!

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