Home is meant to be a place where you slip off your shoes, kick up your feet, and relax with the people you love. But for many people, the home looks and feels like an afterthought.
If you’re tired of living in a house that feels cold, boring, and lifeless, it’s time to invigorate key living areas with warmth and personality. Here are some techniques designers rely on to accomplish this:
1. Install Crown Molding
You don’t have to make massive changes to a room to make it look dramatically different. There’s no need to tear down walls, install new flooring, or fundamentally alter the structure of the space. Sometimes the simplest techniques work the best – like installing crown molding where the walls meet the ceiling.
Crown molding is extremely inexpensive and looks like a million bucks. While you could certainly hire a contractor to come out and do it for you, it’s a pretty simple DIY project. You just need some basic measurement tools, a miter saw, and a nail gun. Here’s a step-by-step guide!
2. Add an Accent Wall
If you have a room with large, plain walls, adding a single accent wall can help you overcome a boring look.
An accent wall is simply a wall in a room that has a unique/different finish from the other walls. Reclaimed wood, shiplap, brick, and wallpaper are all popular options. Even something as simple as a different paint color can work.
If you’re looking for something sleek and refined, adding molding squares is an easy project that can enhance the character of a large wall. This post has more info on how to accomplish this.
3. Install a Fireplace
Nothing says warm and cozy quite like a fireplace. The problem is that installing a traditional wood-burning fireplace in an existing room can be expensive and time-intensive.
Thankfully, there are other ways. One option is to install an electric fireplace, which can be inset into any existing wall without the need for building a chimney and working around many of the other fire-related precautions a traditional fireplace commands.
4. Replace Builder-Grade Light Fixtures
If your home still has the same cheap builder-grade light fixtures that were installed by a cost-conscious contractor, you’re doing your home’s design a serious disservice. Upgrading the lighting to something more unique can make a huge difference.
You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on light fixtures. You can find some pretty unique options on sites like Wayfair and Overstock. A local resource like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace is good for discounted fixtures that people have already owned.
5. Implement Texture
Too much congruency makes a room feel cold and impersonal. And while there’s nothing wrong with having a simple color scheme in a room, you have to find other ways to break it up. Texture is the answer.
“Texture is particularly important if you’re working within a particular color palette where the shades are very similar,” designer Tara Mastroeni writes. “When a monochromatic or analogous color scheme, make sure you choose items that heavily contrast. When they come together, they will bring a sense of harmony to the space.”
Examples of texture include wood pieces, stone, woven rugs, glass, metalwork, pottery, chunky blankets, and soft pillows.
6. Find Unique Decor
One-stop shops like Ikea and Target are great, but if you buy all of your home’s furniture and decor from big box stores, the result is very predictable. The simplest way to right this wrong is to find and implement unique decor with rich character.
Great sources for unique decor include flea markets, local artists, thrift stores, antique stores, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and Etsy. Two or three unique pieces can totally change the look of a room for the better.
Make Your House a Home
Your house should feel like more than a physical building with four walls, a floor, and a roof. It should feel like a home – your home.
You don’t need to implement every technique listed in this article. Try to really focus on two or three of these suggestions. Look for ways you can put them into action over the next few weeks. You’ll be surprised by just how transformational a few simple tweaks and additions can be.