8 Designer Wow Factor Tips
There is no better feeling than bringing friends and family into your home and hearing them react with a 'Wow'. Creating a space with wow factor is all about achieving a balance. You want to have enough of an impact that people will be enthralled by the space, but also avoid creating something too overwhelming and in-your-face.
Really the devil is in the detail. Combining carefully thought-out design features with quality materials and a few key special pieces is what I find to be the best methodology for achieving a wow factor in a design. Sometimes clients will opt for focal points in a room that instantly command your attention like large pieces of artwork, statement chairs or sofas, dazzling lights etc. These 8 designer tips will help you to create spaces with a sense of wow:
1. Mismatch Furniture
Gone are the days of buying a complete living room suite. For more impact and wow it's nice to mix your furnishings up a little. Combining new with old, plain with patterned and so on, will be a lot more effective in the long run, creating a dynamic look at the very basis of the contents of the room.
Source stand out fabrics, with beautiful quality or interesting designs that are a little unique. It's then nice to choose a contrasting fabric to mix things up a bit. You can tie the whole scheme together through the use of a complimentary colour scheme. I'd suggest sticking to three or four complimentary colours for the one scheme and then pick your accessories based on these colours to tie everything together.
2. Impact Lighting
Lighting is important for two reasons: mood and decor.
Number one: your lighting will set the mood of the room and low, dimmer lighting usually makes for a more relaxed and elegant space, so install dimmers where possible or opt for several lamps. Lamps create a beautiful atmospheric light that makes a room feel cosy and luxurious.
Number two: from a decorative point of view lights can also be a serious feature! Consider the height of ceilings and the types of lights that will be right for the space. Amazingly dramatic pendant lights and modern chandeliers are guaranteed to be a talking point of any room.
3. Dramatic Use of Mirrors
Mirrors have enormous power within a room. Mirrored wall-panelling can be an especially dramatic and have huge impact as a key feature of a room.
This method of paneling an alcove is particularly nice as it highlights the architectural features of the room and introduces an interesting, new material to the wall. And the best part about mirrors is the reflection. The large size of the mirror creates the feeling of a bigger, more open space. Just imagine dinner parties in this space with mood lighting and the stunning twinkly lights of the chandelier reflecting in the enormous mirror. Heavenly!
4. Highlight Architectural Features
Architectural features are a guaranteed wow factor within a room so pay close attention to the features within the room and think about how you can accentuate them. For example this space by Tod Hunt Earl uses a decorative wallpaper to echo the elaborate cornicing and draws the eye upwards.
And by keeping the remaining features of the room very simple and classic the room has a definite impact but is not over decorated. The sense of balance between the decorative details, the sumptuous fabrics and the beautiful furnishings makes for a stunning bedroom design.
5. Focus on Fabrics
The temptation may be to opt for paint colours initially when designing but often a good starting point is the fabrics. Beautiful textiles have a powerful impact within a room so focusing on sourcing quality fabric in the initial stages of design is an excellent starting point when designing. Once the fabrics are chosen a complimentary paint colour may also be easier to identify.
6. Keep things Simple
We know that more is less when it comes to design and if you are trying to create a wow factor in an existing room that is pretty much furnished and decorated, it's a great idea to consider the things you have in a room: those you love and those you've fallen out of love with.
If you don't like an old lamp, or the shaggy rug has become just a bit grubby and tired looking, take these pieces out and start again. Simplifying a room can help bring a sense of clarity and lead you to realise the space may not need much to give it a sense of wow. Sometimes that which is simple, is best.
7. Focal Points
Focal points are an obvious one when it comes to creating a wow factor. Think abstract art, large dramatic mirrors, feature walls or beautifully styled fireplaces that immediately grab your attention. Furnishings like statement sofas, tables, chairs etc. can also form the focal point, just make sure to identify your focal point to avoid an overkill of features.
8. Add Texture to Your Walls
This is probably saving one of the best until last but there is not much that has more of a wow factor than beautifully textured wall papers. Although this is not an immediately obvious feature in a room, it does create a very high-end and stylish canvas to work with, as well as demonstrating a keen attention to detail. These days wallpapers are available in textures like suede, linen, leather and many more.
What are your secrets for giving a room the wow factor? Have you made any key purchases or tried any successful techniques that left your friends and family in awe?