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Beautiful flooring and features with personality turn a house into a home

May 17, 2013

If there's no money in the household budget for a full-scale renovation of one's home, making simple, but meaningful changes goes a long way to creating comfortable surroundings. Installing a hickory hardwood floor such as Anderson's Urban Loft collection, for instance, is a home improvement with long-lasting value.

According to The West Australian, interior designer Joanna Everitt and her architect husband Justin were facing similar dilemmas when they sold their home to purchase a mid-century, hillside house with river views. Until they could build a second story to the 1950s-era home, the attractive temporary makeover they did throughout the house reflected the dwelling's period and their personal taste.

"I've done the whole 'new [house] thing' but I would choose the older home every time because it's got more character," Everitt told the newspaper. "We haven't done any major renovations inside - it was just painting and dressing it up and adding different touches."

Use bold colors as accents
Painting architectural features such as ceiling beams and worn brick walls in a fresh white allowed Everitt to bring in any color for accent, such as the bright blue corner chair in her living room. Additional bold colors in pillows pop against the neutral upholstery of her sofa.

She suggests that homeowners always begin with a plain palette, then add the colors they love in  furniture and accessories. Using bright colors on permanent fixtures such as tiles or finishes that will  take a lot of work to change back should be avoided.

Try the unexpected
Everitt also isn't reluctant to decorate a house with outdoor furnishings or accessories normally associated with patios, it that's what reflects the homeowners' personality best.

Including unexpected touches like these doesn't require a big investment, but they bring a whimsical touch to a home design that makes family members and visitors alike feel "at home."

Add texture
Focusing on soft furnishings is a thrifty way to re-do a space without an extensive remodeling.

Window treatments allow homeowners to create a focal point with color and different textures by pairing shades with flowing drapes or hanging them alone. Roman shades, for example, are a classic window covering that come in bright patterns, subdued hues and fabrics in a range of textures.

Choosing an area rug is another inexpensive way to have a beautiful hardwood floor show around the edges of a decorative feature that ties into the rest of the room design.