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Wood floors add character to both traditional and modern homes

March 28, 2014

Handscraped Hardwood FlooringMixed-width planks in hardwood floors like those in Anderson's Vintage Hickory Hardwood Floors collection add character to any dwelling, whether it's a multi-level Victorian or a contemporary ranch style. Having a home that's looks comfortably lived-in without sacrificing style is what many homeowners are after when they embark on a decorating makeover.

That was the approach of Michigan designer Alli Michelle when she and her husband began home design changes in a quest to have their small home stand out as unique among many look-alike houses in their neighborhood.

What they learned is that creating one-of-a-kind room designs can be accomplished by any homeowner who invests time, energy and imagination in their decorating projects. The couple began with a new paint job throughout the house, keeping the walls neutral and relying on small touches of bright color to add punch to the decor. In the kitchen, for instance, a bright green and white striped fabric used as a window covering stood out against white walls.

Homeowners like Michelle sometimes have an awkward area of a room that they don't know how to decorate. According to Better Homes and Gardens magazine, even those challenging spaces can be transformed - like brightening the dimmest part of a room with the soft glow from small accent lamps. The magazine also suggested using a small game table to fill an empty corner or creating a reading nook where two windows come together at right angles.

Gathering keepsakes
One of the best ways to create a unique home is to combine well-loved furniture with stylish new items. Michelle, who has a decorating blog called Hooray, blended a selection of modern and vintage furnishings that gave her rooms a cottage style that's warm and cozy. A loft in the home was outfitted as a home office and a center for her decorating, craft work and event planning business.

A large rattan basket topped by cushions that she made provides additional seating in Michelle's living room. The nightstand in the guest room is a small stool topped by a few books, a glass jar filled with sprigs of greenery and a simple wood-framed mirror hanging above it.

The decorator's idea to have a series of vignettes throughout her house provided a way to display collectibles, family photos and other accessories. Gathering them in specific locations, she was able to emphasize simplicity over a cluttered, mish-mash of unrelated objects.