Newer homes, especially those geared toward first-time buyers, are often devoid of the level of architectural detail you would find in older or more expensive homes. If you’re not a fan of the big, boring box look, you can easily add in some detail to up the charm factor. And, many of these projects can be done yourself with minimal skill and money.
“Nothing jump-starts design envy more than walking into a home with stunning architectural details like interesting ceilings, textured walls, charming stained glass and more,” said Apartment Therapy. “Don’t despair if you don’t have any built-in architectural details in your home; there are some ideas you can try that just might give your space a similar feel as those bursting with architectural character and charm.”
If you have a Spanish or Mediterranean home, or just want to make your home look and feel like one, adding an archway can help.
“Here, we transformed an ordinary rectangular cased opening into a beautiful elliptical archway featuring fluted columns, and an arched header with keystone accents,” said This Old House. “We used a prefabricated 4-foot Model B poplar elliptical-archway kit from CurveMakers. On day one, we prepped the existing opening. On day two, we completed the installation and painted.”
Crown molding can transform the look of a space, taking it from blah to beautiful. And it doesn’t have to be traditional.
“The three-piece crown molding on this upper kitchen cabinet matches the classic Shaker-style motif of the door casing,” said Houselogic. “It’s an easy DIY project featuring a slim piece of simple trim and a plain flat board topped with a 2-inch-wide piece of fluted crown. You’ll spend about $15 per cabinet.”
“Ceiling beams can be added to any ceiling and come in a wide variety of styles, from rustic worm-holed wooden beams to sleek and modern metal designs,” said HGTV. “Ceiling beams are also great places to install recessed lighting fixtures or hide wiring from a home theater system.”
You can also paint your beams for a different look.
“Wood beams can give a rustic or antique looks but painted beams bring a different type of warmth and character,” said Better Homes and Gardens. “Don’t forget to look up when designing your space. In this kitchen, the box beams on the ceiling are a sunny shade of yellow to match the cabinets. Exposed ceiling beams make a space with a high ceiling feel more welcoming.”
Better Homes and Gardens
Another popular option is faux wood beams that give you the look you want without the weight of real wood. You can get a step-by-step guide to installing beams yourself here. Keep in mind if you’re doing it yourself, higher ceilings may require stilts or scaffolding. If you have an issue with heights or are a klutz, you may want to consider hiring a pro.
Plain walls can easily be dressed up by creating panels with strips of molding. If you can miter a corner and use a paintbrush, you can create standout room like this one.
Better Homes and Gardens
Accentuating the architectural details you do have
“Think you don’t have any architectural details at all? Well that’s just not true! You’ve got windows…consider painting the window frame a bold, contrasting color,” said Apartment Therapy.
Or, paint your doors or your ceiling, like this one. Who would’ve thought this emerald green would be so inviting.
Another way to accentuate the ceiling is by applying tin tiles. Tin ceilings date back to the “1880s as an affordable way for people to dress up a room’s fifth wall,” said This Old House. “Tin was not only an aesthetic upgrade, meant to emulate high-end decorative plaster, it also offered a measure of fire protection—a big concern at a time when home cooking, lighting, and heating were largely done with open flames.”