We’ve all seen it. Two very similar homes – perhaps even side by side on the same street. Walk inside them and what a striking difference. One is ordinary. The other spectacular and special. One makes you yawn. The other is so gorgeous it makes you envious! What accounts for that huge disparity? Trust us - it’s all in the details!
We recently worked with clients purchasing a newly constructed “Spec” home – helping them add details to make the home their own. To clarify, a spec home is built to the “specifications” that a typical buyer might want. There are usually popular “big” features that buyers desire such as walk-in closets, a kitchen island, a fireplace, mudroom or second floor laundry. But these homes usually are “plain vanilla” in the style, materials and finishes categories. A builder isn’t going to go all out upgrading and customizing a home like this since they want to appeal to the widest possible audience. And, of course, they want to keep their costs down for maximum profit.
Here’s an example of a common “Spec home” mentality – the builder of our client’s home told us he spent just “ten minutes” selecting light fixtures for the 3000 square foot house because he “always uses the same ones.” Needless to say, it takes more than ten minutes to pick appropriate, high quality, beautiful items that you’ll want to live with for years.
If you want to make your home a “Wow” rather than a “Snooze”….we recommend really focusing on those details. Every single item in your home should be viewed as an opportunity! The key to getting details right is to first figure out the big picture – your overall design goals – and make choices that consistently reflect and support that style. It’s simple!
What kinds of details can make a huge impact? For permanent structural items in the home, be sure to carefully consider material details such as wood stains, woods, trim styles, stone and tiles, edging details, railing shapes, door knobs, cabinet doors, hardware, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, etc… The choices are endless. Be sure the choice you make works with your overall style and you won’t go wrong. And once in a while, be daring! Push your boundaries a little! Trust your instinct! You won’t regret it.
Once the major structural elements are in place, the next choices are the furnishings, accessories and window treatments. These have their own set of small details that can punch up the wow factor. Designers use things like contrast welting, nail head trim, faux finishes, textural variation, shiny surfaces, tufting, mirrors, paint, complementary colors, custom uph0lstery, trims, wallpapers and more to make each furnished room unique, personal and interesting.
Need an example? This living room photo is chock full of great details……
Interior designer Phoebe Howard made lots of detail choices… dark stain on floors, light painted walls, two fabrics on the sofa body plus contrast welting, an accent color and organic print for throw pillows, a decorative nail head detail on the ottoman, a shiny silver tray, a geometric patterned carpet, uniformly dark picture frames, an oil rubbed bronze finish on the chandelier and custom shaped railings. Every item here was carefully considered and it shows!
Need help punching up your home’s details? It’s a fun and creative process – but can also be overwhelming and time consuming given our busy lives. That’s what interior designers are for! This is our specialty and we love doing it! Give us a shout and let us help you make your home a Wow!