Want to turn your tract home into your own luxury mansion? You’ll be glad to know that you can – and it won’t cost you a small fortune. It doesn’t matter what your home looks like on the outside, transforming the interior into something magnificent is probably easier than you think.
Tract housing is often referred to as cookie-cutter housing. The term is used to describe large residential developments consisting of hundreds of identical houses. While this approach keeps property prices low, it can leave owners with generic-looking homes that simply blend in with the scenery.
But while your ability to transform your home’s facade may be limited, the interior is fair game. There are many decorative and architectural changes you can make in order to create your own luxury mansion. With a little know-how, a modest budget and some expert help from professionals, the sky’s the limit.
To help you get started, we’ve put together a few tips for turning a tract house into a luxury home. Pick and choose the ideas that might work for you – there really is no right and wrong when it comes to creating your dream pad.
Let There Be Light
Simply by adding a few spotlights and floor lamps here and there, you can transform living spaces into something far more luxurious. Imagine a beautiful bathroom lit to perfection by a few carefully positioned LED lights — built into the ceiling. Or think how great your reading chair will look with an antique floor lamp standing right next to it.
The right lighting is capable of changing a room’s dynamic. Look for dark spots in the space, and illuminate them with artificial lighting. And do everything you can to harness natural light – including clearing obstructions from windows.
Recessed lighting is on trend right now, and for good reason. It delivers a clean, stylish aesthetic without taking attention away from decor and furniture. And let’s face it; this sort of lighting never goes out of fashion.
Be Selective with Paint Colors
The colors you choose for your walls will have a big impact on the aesthetic you create. In most cases, neutral shades are best, as they allow your furniture, fixtures and soft furnishings to take center stage.
Try to avoid bright, vivid colors. If you want to add a splash of color in a space, use a pastel shade. Alternatively, a feature wall with wallpaper can break up the monotony. But, in most cases, whites and pale shades of yellow work best — particularly if you have real wood floors and wooden decals.
A tract home is often limited for space, so cramming it full of ornaments, clutter and personal possessions isn’t a good idea. Less is definitely more. Keep furniture to a minimum, and be selective about the art and wall-hangings you put up.
Clutter can be a big problem for large families living in relatively small tract homes. So make sure you have a home for all your everyday possessions. Shoes, magazines, bags, coats and other items should have a permanent home — one that’s out of eyeshot.
Other things you can do include hiding wires and cables, creating innovative storage solutions in hidden recesses and being ruthless in your approach to decluttering.
Embracing technology is a very effective way of tuning an everyday tract home into something a lot more special. Control mood lighting in “zones” of you home with your mobile device. Play music in specific rooms with a touch of a button. Control heating in your home from anywhere in the world. The possibilities are endless.
While tech is great, it can become a little overpowering — at least visually. Wherever possible, try to hide tech. It should be there, but not seen. Use wall recesses, hidden areas or storage solutions. If tech requires a lot of wiring, embed it into walls or bury it under floors.
Choose the Right Flooring
Along with your walls and ceilings, your floors are an integral part of the blank canvas you need to create in your home. Get this right, and you’re halfway to creating a luxury mansion of your own.
And it has the power to transform any living space into something luxurious and decadent. If you’re looking for the ultimate in class and elegance, real wood and tiled floors take some beating. They are hard-wearing, relatively easy to clean and practical. But most importantly, they look beautiful in almost any space.
Carpets also add an air of luxury, but usually when they’re used sparingly. For example, carpeting the area around your fire, or where you relax and unwind, delivers both elegance and comfort. But when it comes to functional spaces, social areas and thoroughfares, hard floors are usually best.
And when it comes to wood-effect flooring, you’re spoilt for choice. Engineered wood utilizes a thin layer of the real thing — the base layer is made from a composite material. And there’s always laminate flooring, which now looks more realistic than ever before.
This is a big decision, as well as a significant investment. To help you make the best possible choices, the experts at Express Flooring can visit your home, and give you options. Get in touch, and we’ll assess your property. We’ll also make some recommendations, and provide you with a free, no-obligation quote.
Add a Bespoke Fireplace
Tract housing development companies tend to save money by bulk buying fixtures and decals. This means that every house looks pretty much the same when it’s sold to its first owner. While you can add your own mark with your choice of color schemes, something more ambitious is required in order to create a luxurious aesthetic.
Something in marble or slate will always add luxury. But you can also achieve a similar transformation with a premium wood — oak and teak work brilliantly.
Build an Extension
Every mansion requires lots of space for socializing and leisure time, right? After all, space is, by definition, a prerequisite for any luxury mansion. And there are several ways you can extend your home without a huge bill.
For example, if you have an attic, you might be able to convert it to a third or fourth floor. And the same is possible with a basement. You can also add more space with the addition of a conservatory. These mostly glass structures can be attached to any exterior wall — thus extending your kitchen or living space without a big price-tag.
Tile the Walls
There’s a certain retro, almost urban chic delivered by a wall of brick tiles — particularly in a kitchen. Tiling a feature wall can add an air of elegance overnight. Add a few shelves, some industrial lighting and lots of chrome, and you have a recipe for a luxury kitchen at a reasonable price.
Replace Interior Doors
Again, large tract housing developing companies save on construction costs by purchasing in bulk. This means your home may have some pretty standard interior doors — the same doors ALL of your neighbors have. This usually makes a property look tired, dull and generic.
Simply by changing your doors to something a little more distinctive, you can create a very different aesthetic. Why not try some space-saving doors that can be pushed into a wall recess. They look fantastic, but they also help you to create an open-plan space — something that always adds an air of luxury.
Create a “Special” Room
Most of us have the usual spaces in our home. A living room, a kitchen and somewhere to eat are pretty standard. But you can give your home that certain something by creating a “special” room. For example, invest in some fitted bookshelves and antique books, and you can create your own library. Turn a spare bedroom into a home gym, or an extra living space into a games room.
Frame Your Walls
Most tract housing is delivered to new owners with bare walls. While this can be a good thing, it doesn’t exactly scream luxury living. Older mansions and bespoke homes often feature framed walls, which add an air of sophistication.
Framing your walls is very easy. Use some narrow strips of molding to create a series of “picture frames” on your feature walls. Inside these spaces, hang mirrors or wall art. And if you really want to impress your neighbors, fit some wall lighting. Just try to keep your frames symmetrical.
The walls in your home shouldn’t be overloaded with stuff. Less is more when it comes to creating a luxurious aesthetic. A great idea involves keeping three walls in a room bare and making a feature out of the fourth.
Create Feature Windows
Windows in tract homes tend to be generic and basic. They’re functional without adding anything to the overall aesthetic of the property. But spending a little cash on your own windows could set your home apart from the rest of the properties in your neighborhood — both inside and out.
If your budget allows, switching to Victorian-style sash windows is a sure-fire way to achieve that luxury “mansion-look” you’re going for. Failing that, installing some old-fashioned New England-style shutters also delivers instant results.
The curtains or drapes you hang in your home play a big part in the creation of the overall aesthetic. For the best results, hang them from ceiling to floor. This will create the impression of a much taller and more spacious living area.
Add Bespoke Art
You don’t need to spend a fortune on bespoke art. In fact, you can make it yourself if you have the talent. If not, simply visit your local art fairs, antique markets and garage sales — you never know what you might be able to pick up.
Anything exotic or hand-crafted can create a luxurious aesthetic – as long as it’s in the right place. Don’t cram as many artworks into your home as possible. Be selective, and think about the overall image you’re trying to achieve. Choose something that looks bespoke at first glance, and light it up to create a focal point.
Useful Resources for Transforming Your Tract House
The only limit to what you can achieve in your tract home is the limit of your imagination. There is no right or wrong way to approach this. Allow your creativity and tastes to run riot, and you might be pleased with the results. After all, most great mansions are unique.
But where do you start with such a huge project? Well, we’ve put together a few resources that might help.
- A guide to hardwood flooring
- A guide to tile flooring
- A guide to carpet flooring
- A guide to stone flooring
- Tips for making a home look expensive
- Cool fireplace ideas
- A guide to luxury lighting
- Tips for customizing a tract home
- A guide to buying interior doors
- A guide to extending a home for value
If you’re trying to make your tract home more luxurious and less generic, the importance of quality flooring simply can’t be underestimated. Start the transformation of your property by speaking to the flooring experts