Renovations cost a lot of money. While you are spending, make sure to get some style bang for your design buck. A great way to stretch your design dollars is to choose one item for each area of the house that ups the style quotient and creates a focal point.
From a fashionable faucet to impressive window coverings, these reno style stars can be easily installed long after the contractor goes home and are elements that can move with you if you do. Whether you have just finished your reno or are planning one, these are some my favourite ways to create focal points that wow.
Kitchen: Fancy appliances
I like to give a vertical element (something easy to see) the VIP treatment to create an impressive first impression of the kitchen. In the past, that’s been upper cabinets with glass doors to display fancy kitchen products or an eye-catching backsplash.
These days, with technology developments that can’t be ignored, I’m looking at the fridge to offer some vertical star power. Often hidden by cabinetry, the fridge is busting out and demanding attention. LG’s Instaview Refrigerator with Craft Ice shows off with features like a smudge-free finish, water and ice dispenser positioned to accommodate large bottles of water, and an ice maker that makes upscale craft ice balls for some impressive entertaining at home. It’s got a beautiful on-trend black stainless finish and the interactive glass door lets you see inside without opening the door (ultimately saving energy). I love how it imparts an open-restaurant-style vibe — this fridge checks off all the boxes for style and function.
Hallway: Interior doors
Let’s face it, the interior doors on the market are fairly standard and, dare I say, a bit boring, which often translates into rows of plain doors and a boring hallway. Unless you have doors custom made, they all seem to look the same — until recently. These interesting barn-style doors have an on-trend industrial window look that not only adds a cool factor to hallways and rooms, their frosted glass inserts let light brighten a dark passageway while still offering privacy. Indoor Studio’s Cartier Metal Barn Door Kit (with frost insert) is an affordable solution for $240 and installation is homeowner friendly. Use these doors where a privacy lock is not required: I’m thinking of home offices, dens and guest rooms.
Bathroom: Lavatory faucet
The focal point of any bathroom is the sink and faucet, and since faucets are considered jewelry of the room, why not make sure they are the stars. Two of the biggest trends are gold or black bathroom faucet finishes. I often suggest gold when homeowners are teetering on the continuum between traditional and modern: a modern shape in traditional gold makes a happy marriage. Moen’s Align Brushed Gold One-Handle High Arc Bath Faucet fits the bill and is worthy of wearing to the Oscars of bath design.
Windows: Shades and blinds
Once the renovations are complete and the windows are washed, it’s time to cover them up for light filtration and privacy where needed. I always say that every window needs a fitted shade; drapes are optional to help cosy up a room or make it more formal. A fantastic discovery is Budget Blinds’ Inspired Collection, which includes artisan-inspired woven shades from eco-friendly materials such as rattan, reeds, jute and natural woods.
In modern settings, I suggest choosing a shade colour similar to the wall paint colour for a seamless look (I’d paint the window trims the same colour as the walls for a clean, monochromatic effect). In traditional rooms, choose a similar colour to window mouldings or trims, which are usually either in white or a wood finish.
Do you have a decor dilemma or want to give feedback? You can contact Karl on Instagram at Karl_Lohnes.
Karl has worked as a home decor expert and product designer for 25 years. He appears Thursdays on Global News Morning Montreal.