October 21, 2013
Homeowners intent on finding unique focal points for their room design should look no further than the permanent features in their houses that can serve as inspiration. Like beautiful hardwood floors, including those in Anderson's Bear Canyon collection, the architectural elements of a home can be played up beyond their practical uses.
For instance, well-placed greenery can create a vignette with windows as the frame. Adding shutters or a valance draws flattering attention to parts of the home's structure that are often ignored. They can be chosen in a style that complements furnishings and accessories already in place.
Santa Fe interior designer Annie O'Carroll is a big proponent of using architectural elements, whether they are in place or added into existing decor. Some examples she gives include displaying artworks in a wall niche or using a stone or wood remnant as a fireplace mantel.
Doors are particularly interesting and have more uses than people may think, according to O'Carroll. Beyond using them for their intended purpose, doors can be turned into headboards, tables or desktops. Antique doors can be retrofitted as interior doors where the weather won't harm them. O'Carroll's contention is that one-of-kind elements like these make a personal statement about the homeowners' style.
Homeowners can add hard elements that create architectural interest in parts of a home design where they don't already exist.
Floating shelves attached to a wall - or within a window frame - decorate a wall without visible hardware, leaving the impression of an architectural element. Glass versions seem to disappear into the background, creating an airy illusion of more space and allowing items placed on them to get all the attention. Glass shelves have a contemporary look, but wood versions fit well in traditional decor.
Include the ceiling
Frequently, the ceiling is overlooked in decorating, but more home decorators are starting to paint ceilings in hues that complement their rooms. In effect, it becomes a "fifth wall," and integrates better with color than when it's painted in standard white ceiling paint.
More adventurous home decorators might consider painting the ceiling in a pattern or a bolder color than in the rest of the room. The same rules apply as with wall colors: Warm hues - reds, pinks and oranges - tend to make a space look cozier, while cool colors such as blues, greens and purples can visually enlarge a space.