Q: My partner and I are quite fortunate to be finally building our new dream home. We are going through the plans and the options with the development builder. The house will have three bathrooms and a powder bath. The builder gave us a budget with the plan we like, but it provided for exactly the same finishes in all of the bathrooms. How boring! And the countertops and cabinets will match the kitchen. Extra boring! We want to express ourselves with interesting and fun bathrooms, each with a different theme. The builder says it will cost extra, and doesn't seem interested in our vision. What should we do?
A: Congratulations, you two! Building a home for yourself (or simply moving) is exciting, and a bit overwhelming to be sure. For this to be your dream home, it's understandable that you want to get it right. Please know, though, that a dream house is a process. It's never really completely done; it's more like done enough. In any home, knowing how you need your house to function and how to express your personal style will make all the difference.
To answer your specific question, there are no rules that all the bathrooms in your home match each other, much less match the kitchen cabinetry. It's just easier to choose one countertop and one color for the bathroom vanity and kitchen cabinetry than to choose five different schemes.
You mentioned your new home is in a development, so it's likely your builder has lots of homes to build and not a lot of patience or time to deal with specific or custom requests. Many manufacturers or distributors offer discounts for a large order, so that also might be motivating your builder. Or, if your deal falls through for some reason, the developer/builders will have an easier time selling a more generic home than one semi-customized.
That might mean you get your house built first and customized later. Consider saving a bit of money and go with the lowest-price option, or the one you can deal with aesthetically for right now. Revise and make it your dream home once you move in. It's better to have a fully functional house at first.
For now, gather images and build your vision of how you want your home to feel and function, to you, your family, your guests. Set your intentions for each bathroom and the kitchen. If there are easy things to change, such as paint or accessories, to express your style and differentiate each bathroom, do that. Accept that you may not have as much control over your space while it's being built, and know that you can change it later.
Good luck and keep me posted on how this all goes!