Do you ever feel like your house is too much of a “cookie-cutter” home? Do you wish people would walk in and comment on how classy it looks? Do you want to be proud of your home and feel like royalty when you walk through the door? The good news is that any home can be transformed into an elegant abode. It simply requires the right approach to design.
5 Tips for an Elegant (and Cost-Effective) Look
We all have our own definition of what an elegant home is, but the following design tips and suggestions should help you move closer to your version of the word. Take a look:
- Make Living Spaces Look Bigger
Small spaces can be posh, but we tend to think of elegant spaces as being large and grand. Thus, if you want to enhance the appearance of your home, you should aim to make spaces look as big as possible. Here are a few ways to accomplish this:
- Paint walls with lighter colors – such as white – to increase depth perception and create a more airy appearance.
- Use mirrors – particularly across from windows – to make smaller spaces look bigger.
- Draw the eye up – thereby creating the illusion of a bigger space – by hanging curtains as high as possible. By hanging curtains floor-to ceiling, rather than just floor to window height, you create a perception of higher ceilings.
These are just a few simple tips. Big isn’t always better, but can help amplify perception.
- Aim for Simple, Not Boring
Have you ever encountered an elegant space that’s cramped and crowded with lots of personal effects and tchotchkes? It doesn’t happen very often.
For the most part, elegant spaces are visually simple. But don’t confuse simple with boring. The goal is to focus on quality of design over quantity.
Instead of hanging a gallery wall behind your sofa, use one big piece of art. Or instead of filling a built-in bookshelf with dozens of tiny objects, use one larger object per shelf. It’s these little details that make a big difference.
Every room should have one clear focal point. In the kitchen, it might be the island. In the living room, it’s probably going to be the fireplace and mantel. In the bedroom, it could be a headboard. If you can’t quickly name the focal point in every room, there probably isn’t one. And as a result, your design isn’t nearly as elegant as it should be.
- It’s All in the Details
While every room has a focal point, there’s also value in perfecting the complementary details in your home. One example of this is crown molding.
“Done correctly, crown molding can draw the eye up towards the ceiling and create height in a room,” The Pro Gallery mentions. “It can create depth when painted a complementary color from the walls, and it gives a room a polished look without a significant remodeling project.”
Hardware is another detail that matters. This includes kitchen and bathroom cabinet pulls, faucets, and door handles. Get rid of the cheap, generic-looking hardware and try something more unique. People will notice.
- Spend on Lighting
Lighting is one of the single most important elements of elegant design. If you have harsh, poorly integrated lighting, it will dramatically impact the look and feel of your home (in a negative way). But if your lighting is warm, soft, and properly layered, you’ll create a sense of ambiance that makes people feel at home.
Layered lighting includes three specific types of lighting: ambient, accent, and task. If you’re going to fork over some big bucks on any element of a home redesign, quality and tasteful light fixtures should go at the top of the list.
- Give Your Look Character
Don’t make the mistake of thinking elegant has to be sterile. You can still have an elegant home and give it rich, warm character. One of the ways to do this is by finding antique and vintage furniture and splicing it in with your more modern design elements. This creates a little bit of visual intrigue that’s not present when you have a totally homogenous look.
Good Design Doesn’t Have to be Expensive
Elegance has very little to do with cost. While many elegant homes certainly have expensive artwork and designer furniture, it’s not a necessity. Elegance is much more a byproduct of tasteful selection and intentional implementation. And if you master these steps, you can turn any interior space into a regal space you’re happy to call home.