How to celebrate your home's architecture

Phantom Screens / August 3, 2016

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Between remodeling and decorating, it’s easy to cover up your home’s unique features. However the architectural design of your indoor and outdoor living spaces is what makes your home special. Celebrate the style of your house during your next renovation or decorating project to show off the one-of-a-kind abode you have. Here’s how:

Research your home

If you’re going to highlight the architecture of your home, you should know a bit about it first. Find out when your home was built and the style it most closely follows. For example, if your home sits low to the ground, has several dormers or a steep roof pitch, then you might be living in a Cape Cod house. Victorian homes, on the other hand, have tall open spaces, wrap-around porches, ornate exterior detailing, bright colors and a mix of roof heights and shapes.
Once you have a solid idea of the period and style your home belongs to, you can highlight the identifying elements.

Mimic materials

As you remodel or redesign your home, select original materials in order to celebrate the architecture. The beautiful wooden pillars inside and outside your house can be used as inspiration for your design. Use the same wood elsewhere, such as for the deck in your covered outdoor spaces or for your kitchen floor. Your original stone walkway could be mirrored in the backyard by implementing the same stones in an outdoor fireplace. Even your furniture can complement the materials used in the building of your home.

Reveal, don’t conceal

Don’t hide the beautiful features of your space, draw attention to them. For instance, exposed rafters have character and can be highlighted by installing lighting among them – some homeowners place cable lights along the bottom of the rafters. The giant picture windows in your modern home shouldn’t be concealed by the installation of blinds. Choose decorating products that work with your home’s architecture instead, such as retractable screens. These screens are completely invisible when not in use, so they don’t detract from the original architecture of your house. In fact, they blend right in. You can even match your screens to the materials already present – for example, with wood grain or custom colors.

Simplify your design

Don’t try to do too much when you renovate, as the wrong additions can detract from your home’s architecture. Pick subtle details, like a beautiful new paint color or the right materials, to enhance the look of your house. An organized space (like a kitchen with plenty of storage) allows your eyes to notice the design of the room rather than the things in it.

Decorate with architecture

Hanging decor pieces is a nice way to make you space feel homey, but a beautiful home feature can also act as art. The exposed brick wall in your kitchen is a great piece all on its own. Instead of hanging a painting (place it on another wall), you can add recessed or pot lighting. The fixtures sink into the ceiling so they’re more or less invisible, but shine light down on that lovely wall.

Instead of adding bookshelves or cabinets, create built-ins. A built-in piece of furniture looks native to the home and will draw attention to the architecture. This is where knowing the style of your home comes in handy. An “Arts and Crafts” home might feature a simple wooden pillar. Play it up by installing custom-built shelves that fit between the wall and the pillar. The shelves should be made of a similarly-stained wood.

Create design harmony

Pick lines, colors and textures that all work together within your space. For example, find inspiration for your home’s color palette in the materials out of which it was built. Pull shades from the wood rafters or stone walkway and add complementary tones.