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Embracing the "Wow" Factor

You're traveling abroad and after a long international flight arrive at your hotel. Walking into the grand lobby you're excited to stay a while - to explore, to sit and read, people watch, eat breakfast. Maybe the lobby has vaulted ceilings and large floral arrangements, maybe beautiful sculptures or interesting accent walls. Maybe it feels very authentic to culture of your destination in the artwork, color palette, and style of furniture. Now instead imagine you walk into a hotel that feels just like any other - an average lobby, maybe it is an international chain where the style doesn't really change even between countries. Nondescript furniture pieces, neutral color palette, hotel style artwork. It's a very different experience from the first. Not even necessarily a bad experience - just not interesting, unique, or inspiring.

Our homes are of course different from hotel lobbies - but some of the same elements of "good design" can be applied. The best designed spaces have elements of surprise and feel unexpected. Guess what? That means that not everyone will love it! If they did, it likely wouldn't be special. We've heard it said that every room should have something ugly just to throw it off a bit. Not everyone needs to love your home, that's only a requirement for you!

Is your home missing the "wow" factor or the flair? Does it feel too safe, too bland? Too much like your neighbor or friends' homes? Do you wish it better reflected your unique experiences and style?

"I was so nervous about that _________ this whole time and now it's my favorite part of the room!"

We hear this at the end of almost every project. As designers, we can help you break away from always making the “safe choice” when it comes to your home.

“What if I get tired of it?” “What if it goes out of style?” “I’m afraid my partner, husband, mother, etc won’t like it…”

Yes, if you share your home with other people you will likely need to keep their tastes in mind. We can help you blend styles so that everyone is happy.

During our design planning and meetings, we'll often present a "safe" option and one that's a bit more "edgy." We'll encourage you to go for a few of the edgier choices to get a balanced and interesting space, and one that adds that flair we're going for. It'll be those pieces that you kind of love but kind of make you nervous but also excited....but then that one thing arrives and makes the whole room and you're so glad you got out of your comfort zone.

What are some examples of what we mean by “safe” vs taking it to the next level? It's all about having a few well placed statement pieces:

  1. Use colors, textures, or patterns that you might not normally use.

    1. Pops of bright color or high contrast.

    2. A great pattern on a pillow, throw or even a chair.

  2. Choose a silhouette that is funky or even bizarre for accent pieces.

    1. A lamp or a pendant light fixture in a more modern shape.

    2. An accent table with interesting lines and movement.

  3. Something Oversized

    1. Do you have a wall with a perfect vantage point for a piece of art? Go big or even fill the entire wall.

    2. If you have an empty corner and are thinking about adding a tree or plant, go big again! If you have 10' ceilings - get a 7' tree with a big pot.

  4. Display Your Collections

    1. Showcase something that you treasure. Maybe it’s a collection of family photos, or items you’ve acquired traveling. Find a way to display things in a way that doesn't add clutter to the space, but is really intentional. Maybe an edited gallery wall, or a sectional in build in cabinets.

  5. Proper Lighting

    1. Is your space well lit? Proper lighting definitely adds to the "wow" factor of a space.

    2. If there is an overhead fixture is it the correct size and hanging height for the room?

Our goal is to help make your home personal in an exciting way - full of pieces you love that tell your own story. Your home has the potential to inspire, calm, entertain, excite, and comfort.

These are some of our favorite examples of the "wow" factor - what stands out most to you?

Design: Lisa Parker Interiors

We think the oversized art is the biggest wow factor in this space! It's the focal point for the room and color in an otherwise neutral palette.

Design: Summer Thornton Interiors

This tiny room has lots of "wow" factor - but its the color for us!

Design: Alice Lane Interiors

Lots of great details in this entryway, but especially love the tree placed not on the floor but on the table! The legs of the ottoman and the pattern on the stair runner add lots of interest and flair to the space, too.

Design: Amy D. Morris Interiors

What is an understated color palette is anything but understated in the details! We love the fun bench paired with the metallic tub, and the marble tile carried all the way up and across the arched ceiling to accentuate the focal point of the tub.

Design: Thomas O'Brien

Remember what we said about finding interesting ways to display your collections? No one does this better than Thomas O'Brien! We love the funky side table paired with the more traditional chair. Don't you want to go take a closer look?


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