You have seen these houses; they appear on the front of Elegant Living Magazine and are plastered all over Houzz. They are the lovely homes that exude graciousness and lots and lots of money.
Sometimes they are the homes of celebrities or software developers but sometimes they are the homes of real people who simply did decorating “right.”
There are tangible differences between the house that just happens and the one that is carefully sculpted into a piece of art.
The home that looks complete will be accomplished through a planned process, and, with the exception of periodic updates, will be left to enjoy.
This will sound harsh to those who just love to shop. My best advice is to decorate once and do it right. After that, focus on shoes or sweaters for the shopping fix.
Rich looking homes do have features that set them apart. Drapery is typically full, lined and interlined. It touches the floor or puddles. It does not come out of a plastic bag. Rich homes will take drapery well beyond the top of the window – to the ceiling in some cases.
Most rich looking homes will have wood floors. Wall to wall carpet can never look as warm and inviting as wood.
Accent pillows are important to a rich look. Square polyester pillows just don’t cut it so consider this an opportunity to splurge. Use pillows that are oversized and filled with down. This is a great place to use an incredible textile since the necessary yardage is far less than anything else in your home.
Use patterns judiciously to achieve a richer look. Texture is a subtle element that sets a rich looking room apart from a so-so house.
Loose the builder-grade lighting. Splurge on one fabulous chandelier for the dining area or foyer. It will set the tone for the rest of the lighting in the home.
Try painting doors black. It elevates them to new importance.
Loose the clutter. Any item that is visible should be a part of the overall design plan.
Beef up your molding. If crown molding is already in place, you can give it the illusion of being far grander by simply adding a strip 4 to 6 inches down and painting it all the same.
Take a room and paint it a deep dark chocolate or indigo. Light color furnishing and art will explode in such a room.
Remember, the homes that look as if they belong to the wealthiest among us are treated as a planned project with a start and a finish to the vision. Certainly, such homes can evolve but there is a calm luxury in living life in a home that is not in a constant state of incompletion.