A Guide to Choosing Finishes & Upgrades For A New Chicago Home

This guide, hopefully will be of help to buyers who plan their living spaces and make choices for finishes and upgrades in their new homes and condominiums. Planning furniture placement and the task of choosing finishes for new construction (countertops, carpets, flooring, plumbing fixtures, etc.) can be somewhat inhibiting and taxing. The process of making selections can take several hours and leave the buyer drained!

Use this "12 Pointe Checklist" of things to consider when making these choices, and your task will be much easier!

  1. Visualize and plan for your furniture and possessions in the new space. Take the necessary measurements yourself and do not rely on general dimensions given in the brochures.
  2. Continuity is a big factor for successful selections. Consider your decorating style and choose cabinetry, plumbing fixtures and other items with this in mind.
  3. Speaking of continuity, remember to coordinate cabinets, flooring, hardware, and other selections to create a smoothly flowing space.
  4. Choose white or neutral colors for bath floors, tiles and countertops.
  5. Remember that granite and marble samples give only a general color guideline of the final product. The final pieces installed in your space can and will vary greatly from these samples.
  6. Think twice before choosing a porous material such as limestone for a countertop or floor. This material has to be maintained with special sealers and cleaning agents. Even with sealers, it stains very easily.
  7. Choose one carpet color throughout the living space ? preferably something neutral and durable.
  8. If budget is a consideration for carpeting upgrade, make the most of a less costly carpet by choosing the best padding.
  9. Pay attention to the windows. Think of how you will use them and what types of treatments will be possible or nor possible.
  10. Most builders will finish your space with white walls. If you have an option or decide to bring in your own painter after construction, pay attention to the flow of colors from room to room. Variation on one color is usually a good bet.
  11. Consider how all of your choices of finishes will look in 2 years3;5 years3;10 years.
  12. If you are planning on staying in the space for more than a few years

With some homework and planning, the process of creating your new living space doesn´t have to be agonizing and can actually be fun! Of course, if it´s all just too much for you, call a decorator!

Note, if you purchase and close on a property before January 1, 2008, Sheldon will give you a $500.00 gift toward drapes or design services. You must make mention of this offer in order to receive the gift.

Joseph Rice is an interior decorator who offers full decorating services. With 23 years of experience, he specializes in "hard to treat" windows and also provides consulting services for color selection and choosing finishes and upgrades, Visit him online at or contact him at 773.27l.2361.