No matter how dated or un-decorated, every home that I’ve ever been in is, I can always find a few features that are awesome and others that are well…not so much. The idea is to minimize the features that don’t make your home shine in the best light and maximize the ones that do! I’ve got five tips for how to bring out the best of your home, so that it will always put its best face forward.
REFRESH THE EXTERIOR
The exterior of your home is the very first thing that someone sees when they arrive at your home. It will be the thing that makes a good first impression or a not so good one. The landscaping at our house was a hot mess when we first purchased it. You could barely see the house from the street because the limbs on the large trees had been allowed to grow so low on the trunks. To make matters worse, the twenty year old landscaping that was around the foundation of the house was majorly overgrown.
Today, we’ve limbed-up all of those huge trees and pulled out and replaced the overgrown landscaping. The house got a new roof (thanks to hail damage) and new gutters, we beefed up the front columns (the old ones looked like toothpicks holding up the porch roof!), removed the diagonal supports from the columns and even gave the brick itself two coats of paint. You can’t see the old front door in the before photo, but it was mahogany with oval glass and we replaced it with a more modern farmhouse door. We still need to stain the chairs on the front porch and the new foundation plants need to grow-in more, but boy, what a difference!
You certainly don’t have to go to this much trouble or expense, but anything you can do to tidy up and freshen your home’s exterior is a plus!
FIND A ROOM’S FOCAL POINT
Many rooms have a ready-made focal point already in place, such as a fireplace or a beautiful view through a window. If your room doesn’t have a built-in focal point, then you can create one by strategically placing art, or with the furniture arrangement, or by adding pops of colors and so on. In fact, I wrote a whole blog post about focal points and you can find it by clicking right HERE.
Many rooms have more than one focal point and that can create another kind of problem. You want to draw your visitor’s eye toward the one that you most want to stand out. I have multiple focal points in my family room – one is the fireplace and vaulted ceiling, which is built-in, but the other is the huge tv. The huge tv is the one that I don’t want to draw attention to!
Everyone pretty much is used to seeing huge tv’s these days, so I made an extra effort to draw the eye to the height of the ceiling above the fireplace by hanging a tall decorative wood and metal faux gate above it. That’s where everyone’s eye goes, no matter which opening they enter my family room from. By the way – you can find the wood and metal faux gate HERE.
PAINT TO THE RESCUE!
Yep – did you know you can highlight the best features of a room with paint? You can even alter the shape of a room by painting an accent color or a darker or lighter color on one wall to make a room seem larger or smaller. My foyer is a good example of a room that needed a wall highlighted with paint in a big way! It tends to be on the dark side because the front porch roof prevents much natural light from coming in. A coat of white paint on one wall brightened the entire area up immensely! Take a look at the space below.
ADD TEXTURE WHERE YOU WANT THE ATTENTION
We’ve completely remodeled our whole house, but I’ve been going through room-by-room to put the finishing touches on each one. There are two rooms with walls that pretty much had zero interest until I added texture. Now each of these walls is a real feature!
Our foyer has a wall with a large opening that leads into the home office. Because of how the front door opens and because of the placement of another opening, I wasn’t able to add anything substantial to make the wall less boring. I could have hung artwork on either side of the opening, but that would have been too matchey-matchey for me. My solution was to add a board and batten treatment and dress it up with hooks that will be functional during the winter, but serve as a place to dress up when they are aren’t needed for coats. I built those matching benches too! You can get the step-by-step tutorial for those by clicking HERE.
Our dining room had a long, boring, blank wall that still had a lot of bare space even when I placed my buffet against it. My solution? I dressed the wall with a super easy planked wall treatment, then topped it with a large vintage shelf and a pair of diy hanging lantern displays. Want to make a hanging lantern display for your home? You can get that tutorial right HERE.
FRAME A WINDOW
Maybe you don’t think a room has any sort of feature that you consider a plus. More than likely, it at least has a window. Did you know that window treatments are the jewelry of a room? A pair of simple draperies, flanking a window can be the very thing to give an entire room a special feel. The windows in our office were too close together to hang a pair of draperies on each window, so I chose to hang one drapery panel on each window instead. The pair of draperies serve to “frame” the whole wall and turn it into a feature.
What’s your homes best feature? Have you taken any steps to highlight it?