1. Paint your interior doors dark
Photo credits: Caroline Sharpnack
If your home has white walls and ceilings and you’re looking to add a little character to the interior without repainting the entire home, consider painting just your doors black or charcoal gray, as was done in this charming Nashville, Tennessee, home of former Paramore guitarist Josh Farro and his wife, Jenna.
We’ve written before about reasons to consider painting your interior doors dark, but to recap: It adds instant elegance and contrast and helps highlight other black accents in the room, if you’ve got them.
2. Use reclaimed wood for an island kick plate
Photo Credits: TaylorPro Design & Remodeling
Kitchen islands are busy hubs that have kids and adults bellying up to work, eat or chat with whoever’s cooking. But if you’re concerned about the inevitable kicks scratching and chipping away at your island, consider wrapping the seating portion of the island in reclaimed wood. The material won’t show dents and dings as prominently, and it’s a great way to add warmth and personality.
3. Consider a window backsplash
Photo credits: Erin Carlyle
If you’re looking to get more light into your kitchen, and if your budget and home structure allow, consider punching as many holes as possible into a cabinet wall. Here, window slivers above and below the hanging cabinets and a large window behind the range create a cool effect that brightens the industrial space.
See more of this kitchen
See more of this kitchen
4. Swap out your light fixtures
Photo credits: Sarah Terranova
If you’re looking for a relatively inexpensive and easy way to bring style to your home, try swapping out your current light fixtures for something a bit more dramatic. It’s a pretty straightforward DIY project, though you must use caution when doing any kind of electrical work and always make sure you turn the power off. Lowe’s has a pretty simple guide to follow for changing a light fixture.
5. Don’t discount plywood
Photo credits: Svensk Fastightetsformedling
These white-stained plywood walls in a Swedish home show how powerful simple materials can be when thoughtfully designed and implemented.
6. Vary your flooring materials
Photo credits: Plain English
This London kitchen features a lot of bold style choices, but the mix of floor materials is definitely at the top. Hexagonal encaustic tiles wrap around to delineate the kitchen and dining area, and then, through a dappling effect, transition into antique parquet flooring in a herringbone pattern that leads to the living spaces.
7. Get to know marble contact paper
Photo credits: Hado Photo
8. Grow herbs in the kitchen
Photo credits: HomeMade Modern
Blessed with a sunny window in your kitchen? Consider growing herbs and other edible plants that you can use to garnish drinks and meals.
9. Know where to end your backsplash
Photo credits: Evelyn Eshun Interior Design
It’s a dilemma, but designer and Houzz writer Yanic Simard breaks down what you need to know about where to stop your precious tile material. It depends on several factors, including ceiling height and where your cabinets and countertops end.
10. Get down with durable dovetails
Photo credits: Delicious Kitchens & Interiors, LLC
Deep drawers are great for easily accessing kitchen items in lower cabinets. But without proper construction, those drawers might not be able to bear the weight of heavy dishes. Talk with your cabinetmaker or kitchen designer about dovetail drawers, or another durable construction method, to handle heavy loads.
11. Consider a convertible coffee-and-dining table
Photo credits: Sarah Seung-McFarland
Space is often hard to come by in New York, but that doesn’t mean you need to give up the comforts of more spacious living. In this 400-square-foot apartment, the homeowners used a table from Ligne Roset that can be lowered to coffee table height for everyday use and raised to dining table height for meals.