I don’t know if you are like me, but I get very excited every few months when I find out there will be a new series of Grand Designs on TV. You could play a bingo game of all the usual craziness that the show entails (going over budget, a pregnancy, problems with materials & suppliers). When it comes to those last few minutes of any episode and Kevin McCloud is giving a tour of the home, there is always one thing I’m paying attention to: the fixtures, fittings & little touches in rooms.
If you’re a regular visitor to the site, you’ll know that our articles cover a range of topics and look at pretty much every detail that goes into making building and homes something special. For every guide to a major room renovation, you’ll often find an article or two looking at unique features. Today, I want to take a step back and have you examine the little finishing touches hiding in plain sight. It’s the little things that can help give a room some personality and allow a space to look more desirable.
I’m not going to be looking at replacing furniture, refitting your kitchen or anything like that. I’m going to pinpoint a few areas you might often overlook and some of the ways you can add those touches to improve how a room looks instantly.
Plug & Lights Sockets
While a simple white plug/light socket has its place, If you have unique shades in a room, don’t have me seeing any white in sight. I think that if someone has dark walls, slate features or natural stone/metallic colours in a room, slapping a white socket in there really cheapens the overall look.
Colour sockets aren’t that expensive, and you would be amazed at the difference they can make. I’m seeing a lot of homes opting for black nickel sockets just now. You would probably want to avoid silver, as it’s quickly going out of fashion and can be quite annoying to keep clean.
I love radiator accessories. Imagine getting a lovely new silver radiator or towel rail and having white valves or painted pipes on show. It would look like someone wearing white socks with black trousers, i.e. a bad look indeed. Radiator valves, covering sleeves and brackets are surprisingly cheap (Trade Radiators has some good deals just now) and will provide an immediate facelift for any radiator.
That does double for anyone buying a new radiator and thinking that the existing bits, especially if white plastic, will simply suffice. Trust me, a new radiator and old valves can look horrible.
While I do love a good curtain, they can sometimes take up too much space in a room. If you often find that your curtains are getting in the way or becoming an annoyance, there’s an argument to be made that taking them out and having a simple window treatment is the way to go.
You can go crazy picking unique designs for a treatment (Wayfair have some great designs just now). The great thing about them is that you’re freeing up space around the window. Yes, this finishing touch is me actively highlighting that a window treatment can help you avoid other finishing touches like curtain rails, trims, and ties; arguably one of the most cumbersome things to buy.
This last tip is (pardon the pun) something of a bright idea. You’ll most likely have inset lighting at home if you’ve been renovating in the last ten years. While it essentially hides a light, any time you a visible/exposed light everyone can see, you’re looking at an opportunity to apply another finishing touch by investing in nice looking bulbs.
I adore anyone who puts the forethought into having unique bulbs in place. When I say unique, I’m pretty much referring to someone using filament bulbs. Most brands now make cheap enough LED filament bulbs where you have a nice hue in a room. If you’re looking for cheap options, Amazon has multipacks for less than £10. If you want to go a little fancier, opt for the likes of the Phillips Hue, which can be controlled over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
There you have it—just a few ideas on creating finishing touches in plain sight. I hope you now have at least one or two areas you can make a change in.