9 Ways to Make Your Cookie-Cutter Home More Unique


Living in the suburbs offers plenty of benefits to homeowners, including more space, newer home features, and access to family-friendly amenities. But there are also some downsides, including the fact that many of the homes in these communities look almost identical to each other inside and out.

How can you combat this “cookie cutter” syndrome and make your home stand out? Here are some tips to make your home more unique.

1. Paint the Front Door

Painting your front door in a bold, stand-out color is a fabulous way to make a big statement and differentiate your home from the others on the block with little money and effort. While you’re at it, consider painting your garage door too. If your budget permits, consider changing the door altogether to get maximum impact on the exterior of your home.

2. Add Shutters to Your Windows

Exterior window shutters are fast and easy to install, and can quickly add curb appeal while setting your home apart from the others. Install shutters in a vibrant color that’s in stark contrast to the exterior walls of your home for maximum visual effect.


3. Bring Your Landscaping to Life With Flowers, Shrubs, and Stonework

Perhaps the best way to make the exterior of your home truly unique is with lush landscaping. Beautifying your outdoor greenery can make a significant impact and improvement to your home’s outdoor space. Even if your home is exactly the same as all the others in your neighborhood, a stand-out landscaping job chock full of trees, bushes, plants, ornamental grass, stone walkways, and in-ground lighting can make it look as if your home was custom made just for you.

4. Flank Your Ceilings With Faux Wood Beams

Wood beams aren’t features that you would typically see in subdivision homes, which makes them the perfect addition to help differentiate your place from your neighbors’. While you can always use solid wood, you can make the job a whole lot easier (and cheaper) by opting for faux wood instead. They look completely authentic and make a huge difference to your home’s ceilings, and the entire interior as a whole. 


5. Add a Stone Accent Wall

Create visual interest and texture on a particular wall in your home by covering it in the stone of your choice. While this might sound like a tough, complex job, it doesn’t have to be thanks to modern materials available that mimic the look of real stone, but with a fraction of the effort required.

Some types of manufactured stone are mounted on sheets, stacked on the wall, and fastened with a flange, while others involve adding building paper and a couple of coats of mortar to secure the stonework. Either way, it’s a relatively simple process to bring an accent wall to life and put you one step further away from the dreaded “cookie cutter” syndrome.

6. Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets

If you don’t want to get rid of all that builder-grade cabinetry, you can still completely change the look of it with a sanding and staining/painting job. If you don’t mind the grain of the wood, stain will work quite well. On the other hand, if the grain is something you’d like completely eliminated from your cabinetry, then paint is the way to go.  These days, kitchens come in all different types of bold colors, so don’t be afraid to try something out-of-the-box.


7. Change Up the Light Fixtures

If you walk into your neighbor’s house soon after the subdivision goes up, you’ll quickly notice that their light fixtures (among other things) are a spitting image of yours. Luckily, you don’t have to stick with these light fixtures, and can swap them for models of your choice. It’s amazing what a difference light fixtures can make to an interior. From chandeliers, to pendant lamps, to wall sconces and beyond, the lighting in your home can often be an underestimated feature, yet packs a big punch.

8. Install Crown Molding

Newer homes may have modern finishes, but they often lack the character that comes with the details of older homes. Crown molding, in particular, is one architectural feature that you can add at the junction of your walls and ceilings to help merge modern with classic characteristics in your home.


9. Spruce Up Your Walls With Wainscoting and Trimming

If your walls are covered in plain painted drywall, you can bring a dramatic element to this surface with some wainscoting or trimming. Flat-turned-sculpted walls bring an elegant and sophisticated ‘old-world’ charm to an interior space, and can even give you the opportunity to cover up any existing scuff marks or scratches!

The Bottom Line

Your home may have the same design, layout, and finishes as your neighbors, but there are plenty of features that you can add to it to make it look like truly unique. Give any one (or all!) of these suggestions a try and transform the status of your home from “cookie cutter” to “one-of-a-kind”!