Tuesday, April 14, 2009

CONDO2CASTLE, Part II - Adding Character

Last week, I started this series - CONDO2CASTLE - by talking about ways to make your home feel bigger. I could have BLAH BLAH BLAH'd for hours on the topic, even though I'm no professional. After six years of living in this teeny condo, I've learned a few things that work and that don't work.

When I intially purchased my first home, I loved the idea of NEW, but as I nestled in and started making myself at home, I realized this 1990s standard build condo lacked a few things...like CHARACTER! As time wound on, I found ways to jazz the place up and wanted to share them with you!

Builder beige walls? DON'T BE AFRAID OF COLOR!

    I initially was really afraid to paint my walls anything but bright and cheerful colors because I thought it would close the place in. I ended up with a yellow bedroom that the painter was "eez joost like soooonshine." I HATED IT. I now have warm neutral walls in my bedroom and parts of the living/dining room, and a new GREEN kitchen. I'm in LOVE and have actually discovered that by giving my rooms rich color, and some accent walls, that my rooms have visual interest and "pop"...it does not close in the place, and in fact, does the opposite and creates a ton of character!

    When painting one wall an accent color, be sure to choose colors that are in the same color family, so your color story doesn't clash...

    Another trick is to paint your hallways and pass-throughs a different color to convey depth.

    Color can also be used to convey height. I painted this accent stripe straight up behind my headboard to accentuate my high ceilings.

Don't have any architectural details? Not a problem...ADD THEM YOURSELF!

    Yep, most current day developments come with little in the form of extras...in fact, they usually come with lesstras (yes, I am lame). For instance, my windows came with shady plastic vertical blinds and no character...I ran to the HD, grabbed some faux wood blinds (at a VERY reasonable price), ran to Anna's Linens for some $10shears, found a sale at the Silk Trading Company on a panel (which I cut into two pieces), and then made cornice boxes with my Daddio. Wahhh-la - INSTANT CHARACTER well not instant, but the project was a half-day deal, seriously!)! If you'd like to make some cornice boxes of your own, I found a really simple to follow set of instructions here.

    I also found a trim kit at the HD for a hallway pass-through. I cut the long pieces to the right size, then liquid nailed those suckers to the wall! This was seriously a project that took MINUTES and I constantly get compliments on it!

Let's not forget that thicker base boards and moulding add elegance and grandeur, too.

Another daddy/daughter project..I LOVE the look of strong moulding.

Modern architecture making you feel underwhelmed? Bring in traditional furnishings!

    Just because your home may not be a precious bungalow, doesn't mean you can't add in traditional touches! The longer I was in my home, the less "updated" styles spoke to me and I had a stronger asthetic response to traditional and transitional style. That may have something to do with the obsessive amounts of Divine Design I watch. As time wound on, I kept picking up accessories here and there, like the lamp, table (on closeout at Bombay Co. - RIP), and ruffly pillow below.

    I also found this great console table at an inexpensive shop recently. It's the perfect size to sit behind my chair and serve as an entry table! It also serves to hold my keys instead of dropping them on the floor like I used to do. ; )

    I realized that having a strong piece near the entry really adds character! Do you have a strong piece in your entry?

    And don't forget to dress up your walls! I found this gorgeous mirror from Lola B and it now hangs above my TV... it speaks to the same colors in my kitchen, too, and ties all my greens together.

Again, I'm no professional, but these are things that I've learned that WORK FOR ME! To see some other tips that work for other people, check out WORKS FOR ME WEDNESDAY!


Mrs. Petrie said...

I do love the molding around the door. I always see it at the Depot and I never think of applying it myself. My windows could really use some bright, white molding. I'm enjoying this series. :)

mub said...

I wish I could convince my husband that bright colors are not the enemy *L* I do really like the molding around the doorways, it really kicks things up a notch!

Pam said...

Great post. And I'm a HUGE fan of red. It's my home's accent color.

the BLAH BLAH BLAHger said...

Mrs. Petrie, the moulding is SO easy! You should totally try it!

And Pam, I love me some red, too, but I think I MAY have gone a little overboard with it there for a while...it's kind of fun to add in some additional flavors every once in a while. ; )

Hoosier Homemade said...

Great ideas! Thanks for sharing!

Tess said...

I love all of your ideas....

Vivienne said...

Great details. I love Candace Olson too! Good job.

Ashley said...

Great tips!! Stopping by from SITS!!

Brittany said...


I also have a vase full of wine corks!

Amy @ Living Locurto said...

Great ideas! Thanks for sharing. I love red too... it's all over my home.

Living With Lindsay said...

Love the moulding!