Tag Archives: residential construction philadelphia

Residential Builders, Rehabbers and Developers: Select Sunflower Creations for Your Finish Selections (And your home staging!)

13 Dec

1Building or rehabbing a luxury home sounds like so much fun.  But if you’ve done it, you know it is really, really hard work-

There are many decisions to make, deadlines to meet, and details to keep straight.

These are some of the reasons that many builders choose to work with an Interior Designer for their finish selections.

Sunflower Creations simplifies the process because we have the answers at our fingertips.

Based on floor plan and budget, we put together a plan that includes everything from paint colors to door knobs, and everything in between.  We save builders time and money by preparing a spec report complete with pricing, sourcing, and necessary lead times.

The project pictured in this posting is in South Philadelphia’s Bella Vista/Hawthorne neighborhood and is listed at $550,000.  We visited the property during the early phase of construction, and selected:  paint colors, doors, flooring, stairs, lighting, counters, tile, vanities, cabinets, hardware, back splash and appliances.


We see tons of homes, so we know what is on trend.  We see a huge variety of products, so we know what works.

Designing to sell is a little different from designing a lived-in home, because we do not know who the buyer will be.  We have to do a little inferring about who will be looking at the property, and what he/she will want in a home.

Of course, we know that kitchens and bathrooms are major points of interest.  So, we put a large emphasis, and large chunk of budget into the “bells and whistles” that will make these areas of the home stand out from the competition.   Most buyers looking for a fully rehabbed home desire stainless steel appliances, solid stone counter tops and ensuites with high-end plumbing fixtures.

In terms of color and stylistic choices, we opt for finishes that are tasteful, contemporary and somewhat neutral.  The goal is to appeal to the greatest number of potential buyers.  So, we need to make selections that are top-of-the-line for our builder’s budget, but also ensure that none of our selections will be highly taste-specific.

6 7 IMG_9367 IMG_9368

Designer Side-Note:  Save a little money by skipping the dining room chandelier in an open floor plan design.  Nice chandeliers tend to be taste specific, and fixture placement really dictates furniture placement.  Instead, we recommend having your contractor run wiring, and install an electrical cap in the ceiling.  This will make installation simple for the new home owner.


Quartz counter tops have become the most desirable surface option in modern kitchens and baths.  Although they are more expensive than granite or marble, they are safest, most neutral, and easiest to maintain.  This makes for a really good selling point for potential buyers.  At the same time, if the budget does not stretch far enough, we may recommend a slightly more affordable granite option.  Check out this comparison chart to learn more about the various options in counter surfaces.


Another recently emerged trend is using hardwood flooring in the kitchen/bathroom.  This came about with the popularity of the open floor plan design, where one open space includes living area, dining area, and kitchen.  Keeping one type of flooring throughout helps to create one unified space.  This home does have a separate kitchen, but we still chose to go with hardwoods throughout because the continuity feels very contemporary.  Once thought of as “not durable enough for the kitchen”, manufacturers are now producing pre-treated, heavily sealed wood flooring options that are designed to hold up much longer and resist scratching/staining.  Read up on some interesting pro/cons on factory treated hardwood flooring.

On a related note, mixing wood tones has also become a popular design choice.  The dark wood cabinets have a chicness, especially with the simple brushed nickel drawer pull that echoes the stainless steel appliances.  And the lighter flooring brightens the room.  Lighter woods also tend to show less dirt and marking, believe it or not…


Designer Side Note:   A kitchen back splash really takes the look up a notch.  Glass tile, like the one featured here, is very popular right now, and there are endless color and style options.  But, even a simple white subway tile will pull the look together, and can be purchased for as little as 80 cents per square foot.

Here’s a couple related links I found that are worth a look:

More info about granite and marble

Fresh Flooring Options for Kitchens (HGTV)

And, also take a look at Catherine Court.  We chose all the finishes for the model unit (pictured in this link), and later worked with buyers to customize their own new homes.

Thanks for reading!  We would love to hear your opinions on finishes that you have worked with at home!

And, if you are a realtor, developer, builder, rehabber, or home-owner trying to sell your property, contact us for a FREE consultation.

 Our “look”  helps homes sell quickly and our process keeps clients coming back time and again.

Contact Ali Kutner, Home Staging Coordinator



 or visit us at Sunflower Creations Home

sfc logo copy