By Howard Eason, HE Designs, LLC; writer for New Homes & Ideas

Photo Courtesy of M/I Homes

             One of the functions of builders and architects is to develop specific residential plans to suit the needs of buyers and their life experiences. Dividing a home into various activity-based rooms helps to define the use and flow of the home. One of my jobs as a designer is to think beyond the surface level and to ultimately mold and define a space to fulfill its greatest potential and purpose. This also includes creatively adding visual enhancements to a space in order to emphasize the home’s natural character. Embarking on a journey to decorate or remodel your home can cause some anxiety. The process of choosing items beyond the structural surfaces will require some time, effort, and research. When the appropriate planning is done, the outcome will be well worth the time spent. The ideal outcome of a well-planned space is to create a room that is both functionally appropriate and visually appealing.

Many local builders utilize designers to implement creative techniques for enhancing their model homes. In my recent interview with model home designers, we collaborated to provide you six unique ways to add creativity to a space and to enhance an ordinary room.

  • Introducing Color: Adding a “pop of color” is a favorite aesthetic used by most designers. In order to change a room dramatically, paint is always a great option for introducing color. It is also one way to transform a space. The designers at AV Homes use deep rich wall colors to enhance the trim features of their model home. They also enjoy using vibrantly colored area rugs, accessories, and artwork which can add the pops of color to a space without overwhelming it. It is important to remember that adding color is a chance to show off your personality, so don’t be afraid to be bold!
  • Mixing Textures: The texture used for materials is an important visual contribution to a creative space. Adding texture helps to create dimension and visual interest in a space. The designers at AV Homes not only choose their model home materials for their looks but also for their feel. The color and pattern of the materials help to emphasize the texture. In order for the designers to gain a greater impact in the space, they add a mixture of various textures. The fabrics chosen for the spaces are primary examples of the great use of mixed texture. The pattern and colors of the fabrics help to express the character and personality; the texture adds interest. Adding graphic accent pillows and shimmery draperies and mixing rustic metals with distressed wood elements are awesome ways to enhance a space. Texture helps to keep a room exciting. It will also keep you and your guests looking and feeling for more!
  • Adding Greenery: Incorporating plants and greenery in a space will make a room feel alive and exuberant. Greenery adds a whimsical design element and helps to connect the inside to the outside. Taller trees will add visual height and fill negative or unoccupied space while smaller plants are used as accents for balance. Not only do plants add natural pops of color, but they also add the benefit of helping to purify the air and reduce stress levels. This is always a win-win for homeowners.
  • Repurpose Traditional Spaces: Homes are typically built with floorplans to accommodate traditional rooms to satisfy a buyer’s basic needs. The challenge for those that work out of their home and creative people is defining a separate space committed to the unique needs of the buyer. A solution to meeting that need is to transform traditional spaces into workspace worthy environments. The designers at M/I Homes continue to think outside the box when designing their model homes. A traditional closet is a perfect place to use for a non-traditional purpose. Transforming the closet into a multi-purpose crafting or gift wrapping space is a great example of an unexpected use of space. The space can also be used as a home office or even transformed into a wine cellar.

Photo Courtesy of AV Homes

  • Unique Focal Points: A great focal point will immediately catch your eye and draw your attention into a room. Focal points also serve the purpose of creating impact, bridging spaces, as well as bringing emphasis to areas that are otherwise undefined. The M/I Homes designers like to use this technique in their model homes. In a current model, they used multiple vintage French-Parisian street lanterns in repetition as a focal point to bridge two spaces together. Adding a single unique accessory to a wall will only make subtle impacts; however, repeating the same or similar accessories will command focus and impact on a wall.

Photo Courtesy of M/I Homes

  • Visual Impacts: The items chosen for a room can be used to create an expansive feeling or a cozy feeling in the space. This is also true when it comes to the color, pattern, and details as they can provide visual continuity in open and adjacent rooms for an expansive feeling. These designer techniques often help to create visual impact and ultimately an emotional connection. The M/I Homes designers use flexible seating with high contrast textures to add visual impact. Choosing fabrics and colors that complement the spaces are also important. For example, a cream-color area rug will lighten the overall look of the room and pillows in mixed colors and patterns help to pull in colors from adjacent rooms and the outdoors. In addition, drapery panels in a light fabric frame the windows while also keeping the room open and refreshed.

Enhancing an ordinary room is not as difficult as it seems. Thinking outside of the box when planning your creative space is your first step. Just keep in mind that color, texture, and greenery have a way of drawing people to a room in the same way that the smell of freshly baked cookies or bread draw people to a kitchen. When your senses are heightened in a space, it is a natural impulse to navigate towards what looks and feels appealing. Bold color helps to highlight existing architectural details with deep contrasts of color. When choosing furnishings, consider the texture and pattern which will draw visual interest and add excitement and personality. Lastly, add multiple accessories to create a visual impact that will also complement the overall design and continuity.

Howard Eason, a self-taught Interior and Creative Designer, was featured as a cast member on the second season of HGTV’s All American Handyman and became one of 20 contestants on the show to compete in weekly timed elimination challenges. He successfully made it through to the top 12 on the All American Handyman series. Eason launched his company, HE Designs, LLC, as a full-time focus in 2011. 

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