Interior designer tips on adding personality, details to a room

A home’s personality is all in the details. Of course, when we think about decorating a room, the obvious is to concentrate on the general layout, style of furniture, materials and the color scheme in a space.

But what really ties a room together and creates the wow effect are the often overlooked and underestimated details that, sewn together, make a space fabulous.

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Here are 6 ways to add the wow factor to any room.

1. Jazz your walls up with wallpaper.

Wallpaper is one of the easiest and fastest ways to create a focal point in a room or to simply add pattern, texture, and color to a space.

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The swirly modern wallpaper in a neutral color palette adds the wow effect that was missing in this two-story modern foyer.

Julie Shuey Photography

We have seen a revival of wallpaper in the last few years with designs including everything from modern geometrics, whimsical patterns, feminine florals and even motifs featuring glass beads. There is a wallpaper design for every taste. Be bold. Grace your walls with a wallpaper that will make your room a showstopper.

2. Anchor your room with the right rug.

When decorating your home, think of your area rugs as key elements in your design plan. Essentially, an area rug can make or break your space. Area rugs can visually define the space, integrate and harmonize eclectic elements in any décor and bring pattern, texture and color to a room.

They not only add warmth, comfort and safety to a room, but they may act as artwork for the floor. Pick a rug you love that works for you budget, taste and lifestyle.

3. Use lighting to add a touch of luxury

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The striking chandelier creates a focal point, adds much needed lighting and gives the space style and sophistication.

Julie Shuey Photography

Lighting is one of the most important elements in interior design. Effective lighting not only provides base illumination for day-to-day activities, but it also helps emphasize aspects of the design you want to highlight. Add wall sconces to provide mood lighting, a large chandelier to anchor a space or a showstopping light fixture to amp up the luxe factor in your room.

4. Personalize your home with art

Art is the most personal of all design accessories. Displaying an art piece that speaks to you is the best way to showcase your personality and style and make your feel connected to your space. Find special pieces from your travels or heirloom pieces that have been passed on from generation to generation. There is no right or wrong way to decorate your home with art; whether it’s loud and bold, or soft and serene, find something that speaks to you.

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This oversized tryptic of an airplane portrays the client’s love for planes and travel and helps drive the design of the space.

Julie Shuey Photography

5. Add some fun with color

Color can turn any space from dull to breathtaking. Introduce colors that suit your style, your life and your home. Because paint is inexpensive and can be matched to almost any color, start your color search with elements that are less flexible, such as furniture, fabrics, tile or wallpaper. Then base your paint colors on those. Add pops of color through art, decorative pillows, a colorful piece of furniture or vibrant accessories.

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Rich hues of red, orange, green and yellow where juxtaposed with crisp white to create a fun, vibrant outdoor space.

Julie Shuey Photography

6. Ban boring with contrast

Contrast is an important design element. It helps organize your design and establish a hierarchy; it emphasizes the focal point and adds visual interest to a space. A layout where everything is the same size, shape or color is going to look pretty boring, but contrast spices things up.

Make sure to incorporate dark and light colors in your design, different shades of the same color and contrasting shapes. Think of organic juxtaposed with geometric shapes and different textures to make your design interesting.

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Contrast and visual interest was created in this modern, monochromatic living space by adding black and white elements throughout as well as different hues of grey and mixed metal finishes.

Julie Shuey Photography

About the designer

Sandra Moncada-Mainz is the owner of Couture Haus, a full-service interior design firm in the Triangle that works with residential and commercial spaces. Contact her at, [email protected] or 919-426-8851

Design Master Class

Here are previous stories from Triangle designers in the Alliance of Interior Designers who participate in our Design Master Class series.


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