The Finishing Touches

Etch Design Group turns a spec home into a custom home with minor updates and major style.

BUYING A NEWLY BUILT HOME IS exciting, but a common complaint among homebuyers is the lack of personaliza - tion. Many homeowners desire to make their space more unique, but they may not be willing to dish out more money on customization or undergo a lengthy remodeling process. So, how can they achieve a personalized design without major renovations?

Etch Design Group recently took the blank canvas of a spec home and turned it into a dream family abode through simple materials and finish details, achieving an updated and per - sonal design without the major expenses of changing cabine - try and flooring. “When you move into a new home, no mat - ter how perfect it may be, the first thing you are itching to do is put your own stamp on it,” says Etch’s Jessica Nelson. “When the owners of this beautiful new-build modern home stepped through the door, they instantly wanted to transform it into something that felt more like them.” And with the help of Etch Design Group, they took this (albeit stunning) shell and transformed it into a modern Spanish-style home.

When her client purchased the home, it felt like it was missing the finishing touches, says Nelson. “We focused on updates that didn’t require a lot of reworking, but added the character and charm that were lacking.” Etch provided all the furniture and changed lighting, cabinet hardware, some tile and added wallpaper in private areas.

In the kitchen and dining room, Etch updated with new brass hardware and decorative lighting, as well as new counter stools and furniture to create the look of a modern yet rustic country kitchen. “A challenge we ran across was the existing cabinet hardware sizing, as it was very odd spacing and took a lot of digging to find a brass pull that would work without having to re-paint the cabinets and drill new holes. Eventually, we found one, but it wasn’t without a lot of searching,” says Nelson.

The high beamed ceilings are reminiscent of a rural Spanish farmhouse, but the dark stain gives it a contemporary edge and is the perfect contrast for the white cabinetry and marble countertops. “The kitchen island and matching wall cabinets bring those lovely wooden tones of the ceiling down to eye level, warming up the space and giving the kitchen more of a country feel,” says Nelson. A set of striking, oversized pendant lights are the perfect balance between modern and traditional, a theme that’s reflected throughout the whole house.

A runner with lovely muted hues adds just the right amount of color to this otherwise neutral space, breaking up and softening the expansive stone flooring. “From this angle, you can see how the kitchen opens out into a dining nook, with large windows flooding the room with light and providing stunning views,” Nelson adds. The rustic furniture in the dining room mirrors the kitchen cabinetry, and the pendant light which matches the pair above the island bridges the two rooms.

The main living area that leads from the kitchen has a more modern feel, with a cool-toned color scheme, low-slung furniture and lots of clean lines. Yet, the slight rustic feel is maintained with the wooden beams and huge open fireplace. The dark wood from the kitchen can be found in the living room too, with simple floating shelves and a built-in cabinet that’s perfect for keeping the space clutter-free. “In the powder room, we added a fun Cole and Son’s Piccadilly black and white wallpaper that looks almost like tile, a new oversized brass mirror and all new brass bath accessories,” says Nelson. “Despite not being a huge space, the dark wall and the busy pattern, plus the large mirror, really expand the room.”

Color comes into play on the second floor with hints of pinks and blues throughout. “In the bedrooms, we had a lot of fun with wallpaper, lighting and custom-made draperies, especially in the kids’ rooms,” says Nelson. “We added fun and whimsical elements and finished each room with new furniture which completed the look and feel we set out to achieve.”

For instance, the girl’s room features a delicate floral wallpaper, a matching pink rug and an adorable double bunk bed. The nursery has a lovely soothing feel (“exactly what you want for a baby’s bedroom,” says Nelson) with cool tones of gray, soft pinks and blues. A floor-to-ceiling curtain runs along the large window, so nap times can go uninterrupted.

Pinks and blues continue into both guest bedrooms. One has printed curtains with vivid and modern colors, but the floral pattern is the perfect nod to a more traditional style. The second guest room has a more minimalist feel, but the iron bedstead brings a touch of country charm.

The master bedroom features a large, pink-toned area rug with hints of deep blue, which reflect in the sheets and throw pillows. “It’s just the right amount of color for the room to feel fun and fresh, but without interfering with the modern farmhouse aesthetic,” says Nelson. A cozy seating nook tones down the brighter colors with dark brown leather armchairs and grey pouf.

The homeowners now have a home that reflects their personal style and it proves that customizing a new home without the hassle and expense of a complete remodel takes expertise and a keen eye for design, but it is certainly possible with the right design company.

ETCH DESIGN GROUP 512-568-3224 |