Mitchell Parker, Houzz
1. Create a recessed pantry wall. This Australian home features a nifty way to bring extra storage and display space to a kitchen. A system of shelves fills a recessed portion of what would otherwise be a blank wall. This gets the homeowners enough inches for glasses, jars, bottles and other necessities.
If it’s an interior wall you’re dealing with, and there’s no electrical or plumbing interference, and you don’t need the insulation, you could create this setup between exposed wall studs.
2. Avoid glass cabinetry next to your range. Designer Barbra Bright put together several great designer tips for kitchens this week. She suggests that if you’re considering glass-fronted cabinets in your kitchen, it’s best to avoid placing them next to your range hood. Otherwise you’ll likely be spending a good deal of time wiping grease and grime off those glass panels.
3. Make outlets the same color as your backsplash. Bright also suggests coordinating your outlet color with the color of your backsplash. That way those white outlets won’t disrupt the visual look of, say, your gorgeous minty green tile. Installing outlets sideways and closer to the countertop also makes for a less distracting profile than the more common vertical installation.
4. Consider a wet room. Curbless showers are all the rage, but if you have space, think about going with a wet-room concept in which all or most of the bathroom components sit within a tiled space. This allows water to be splashed around without impacting surrounding areas. In some homes, the sink, shower and toilet are all housed within the same tiled space, often with a drain in the center. This allows the space to be hosed down and cleaned with relative ease.
5. Try custom or hand-carved doors. Interior doors often get overlooked when it comes to remodeling a home. But they can be a great outlet for expression and personality (black interior doors anyone?).
The owner of this Denver home introduced several hand-carved doors that turn entrances into special design moments.
6. Introduce a feature ceiling. Last week, designer Jennifer Ott made the case that accent walls are here to stay. But if doing that isn’t enough of a visual statement for you, consider looking up toward the “fifth wall.”
Here, in the same home that features the hand-carved doors, the homeowner applied a tomato hue to the ceiling to bring interest without taking away from the artwork featured throughout the room.
7. Install wall sconces for bedroom lighting. If nightstand space is at a premium, consider installing wall sconces instead of going with table lamps. You’ll get adequate reading light while freeing up surface area.
8. Get a multipurpose coffee table. The apartment of interior decorator Whitney Jones features several great small-space ideas. One is this multipurpose ottoman that functions not only as a place to put up your feet, but also as a coffee table, thanks to a large tray, and as extra seating during parties.
9. Reupholster a chair. Most of us have an old piece of furniture or find one on the side of the road that we think has potential if only it could get a little love. A couple of homes featured on Houzz this week included reupholstery that breathed new life into the furniture piece itself, as well as into the room it inhabits.
10. Bring in a bar cart. Here’s a great addition for summertime. Even if you don’t drink alcohol, having a stocked beverage cart in your home brings function and lots of opportunity for a styled vignette.
Keep bottles of bubbly water, liquor and mixers on hand for impromptu get-togethers. Add a lamp, a plant and some knick-knacks, and you have a fun micro design.
11. Thermaform a solid-surface countertop. If you have a particular design idea in mind for you kitchen island or countertops, consider looking into thermaforming. This technique can be applied to solid-surface materials like Corian to create curvaceous, one-of-a-kind pieces, as evident in the New York kitchen shown here.
12. Don’t need your fireplace? Get rid of it. If you’re the kind of person who never plans on using a fireplace, there’s no shame in swapping it for something more useful.
13. Use paint for creative wall features. Most designers will praise paint as a budget-friendly way to add color, style and wow factor. Several spaces featured this week are proof of that.
Designer and writer Yanic Simard showed 11 ways to make an impact with color in a room, including painting a partial wall to create a headboard and a sense of drama.
14. Customize a headboard. If you can spend on a little more than just paint, consider splurging on a custom upholstered headboard.
15. DIY your own shiplap siding. If you’re trying to keep remodeling costs down and are handy with tools, you can save money on shiplap siding by making it yourself.
16. Display your travel mementos. This is a great little detail from a stunning London home inside a former courthouse. Designer Ebba Thott found this vintage display case for her clients’ small decorative pieces.
“It dates back to a time when traveling was an elite pastime and people would use cabinets to display where they had been and what they had done with their life,” she says.
It punctuates what great home design is often all about: expressing and reminding you about your identity.
17. Succumb to satin brass. We predicted we’d be seeing a lot of satin brass fixtures this year, and that seems to be the case. We found five kitchens recently uploaded to Houzz that combine dark cabinets with white countertops and walls and shiny brass fixtures to create a sultry, irresistible style.
18. Mount a sconce to a mirror. You know you’ve found a great design element when something so small and subtle can stop you in your tracks. This sconce mounted on a full-length bathroom mirror does just that.
19. Get exposed to an outdoor bathtub. Most outdoor showers seem practical for rinsing off before entering your home after a beach or lake dip, but there’s something, er, cheeky about a bathtub out in the elements.
Maybe it’s the presumed intention of lingering and relaxing in the nude in potential view of the world, but in any case, it’s an enticing, even thrilling, design feature to consider.
20. Use a pingpong table for your dining room. Homeowners Darren and Sam Sidney embraced this genius idea of using a pingpong table to double as a dining room table. “You can seat 10 people there,” Sam says. Game on!