When you buy a home, whether big or small, you want to put your design stamp on it and make it into something swoonworthy. Everyone wants to live in a comfortable place, and even a first home can be a dream home if you love it.
There are so many things to consider when buying a home: school district, home value, location, distance to work, and family. Sometimes the design aspect falls by the wayside.
A REALTOR® can definitely help. They know all the ins and outs of home value and can help you find a diamond in the rough.
But where do you even begin to put your stamp on a home? Just like a new pair of shoes can make an outfit, there are small ways to turn a house into a spectacular home. As you walk through your next potential home or your current one, think about these design ideas and hot decor trends so you can transform it into something truly dreamy.
Related: The 7 Most Financially Savvy Home Improvements You Can Make
#1 Patterned Tile
Patterned tile is hot, hot, hot right now. We love the fact that monochromatic tile is just as popular as colorful mosaics. Think about ways to put it on the floor or on the wall. Think of using it to make little splashes — even on a small bathroom floor or to accent an area of your backsplash.
Wood walls, planked walls, shiplap . . . doesn't matter what you call it . . . it’s a definite do. You want to look for spaces that can handle additional texture or subtle design, like the kitchen or the living room. Since this is a super versatile trend, it definitely has staying power. Paint it white for a more subdued look or leave the wood look for loads of pop.
#3 Gray Paint
Warm, gray color schemes are the new neutral. Grays are way better than the beiges of yesteryear. Rather than bluish grays, which feel sterile, try warm grays or even greige to make your home feel fresh without making things feel too stark. Gray color schemes can be accented with gold or oil-rubbed bronze finishes.
#4 Brick Accent Walls
If shiplap isn’t your thing, consider introducing brick into your space. There are lots of ways to get a brick look without hiring a mason.
Brick-patterned panels are available at most home improvement stores, and you can attach them to the wall, like plywood. Or you can do brick veneers or even brick wallpaper (as shown above).
My favorite brick accents are whitewashed brick and the German smear look, which involves smearing mortar on brick to give the brick a distressed feel.
Wallpaper is a surefire way to spruce up any space. It had a bad rep, but now it’s way easier to shop for, hang, and remove than the wallpaper of yesteryear.
Buy removable wallpaper (or paint) to change a room instantly. It's also great for rooms that are transitional. For instance, your bright, vibrant playroom might later turn into a neutral homework room.
#6 Tufted Velvet
Nothing feels more luxurious than tufted velvet. It immediately makes any space more chic, inviting, and rich. Use it on a variety of surfaces — headboards, chairs, or even accent pillows — if you want to “try it on” before splurging on a bigger piece. I especially like it on headboards (shown above) and the backs of barstools because the vertical orientation makes the fabric easier to keep clean.
#7 Waterfall Counters
A big trend in kitchens right now is waterfall countertops. With this high-end detail, the countertop is extended vertically down to the floor, creating a waterfall effect.
It requires extra countertop material — and costs more than a top-only countertop — but creates a chic and tailored look that’s great in bathrooms, kitchens, and even laundry rooms. The best materials for this feature are stone, butcher block, or concrete.
#8 Light Ash Floors
Ten years ago, floors were solidly in the dark, rich brown camp, but that’s changing. More homes are seeing lighter floors with less yellow or orange undertones and they look SO GOOD.
The best part is you can achieve this look on your existing hardwoods with the right stain and proper techniques. If your dream house has hardwoods that don't match your dreams of ashy floors, contact a floor refinishing company to see what they can do.
#9 Live-Edge Tables
A live-edge table has original edge details. It hasn't been squared off, so it has wavy edges and cracks and provides a unique look.
Some wood artisans can recreate a live-edge look. But picking out your wood slab before having your table crafted can ensure that your carpenter is making a true live-edge table for you. This small detail works really well with industrial decor as well as rustic styles.
#10 Black Trimwork
White and wood trim aren't going anywhere, but black trim on windows, doors, and ceilings is making a big splash in the design world. This high-contrast look gives a strong presence to woodwork, which normally plays second fiddle.
If you have a space that needs a little boost and you aren’t afraid of contrast, this might be the inexpensive upgrade for you. I think it looks amazing with lots of windows and doors (as shown above) and makes spaces really pop.
In the end, it's important to feel at home in your space. It's taken us a long time, but we’re finally getting a hold of our home and making it ours. So we know it's possible!