You’ve had the plasterer and electrician in, the walls have finally been painted and your flooring has been laid.
Perhaps you’ve finally tackled replacing draughty windows or swapped out your radiators to a much more economical option. You may have even upgraded your furniture and have finally moved them into the space. It feels pretty great, right? But is your room now ready for guests – or perhaps more importantly these days - its #beforeandafter on social media? Is it really truly done?
So many people make the mistake of stopping there. The walls are done, the floors complete, the furniture is in the room but somehow, it lacks that bit of soul that makes it feel like it’s your own space. After all that hard work, you might want to hold off on taking that #shelfie. If you want a space that truly looks polished and complete, here are six important finishing touches you’ll want to make sure you add before you aim and click.
Artwork on the Walls
A lot of blank walls can make a room feel empty and unloved. You can choose to fill a large wall with a gallery of framed prints or just have one or two single large statement pieces. Whatever you decide, don’t neglect the personality that some well-chosen art can bring to a space. Choose first with the heart and make sure you pick something you truly love. And then second with your head – asking yourself how well it works in the space. There are so many affordable options out there these days, there really is no need to neglect this important detail.
Of course, I’m not encouraging you to go out and purchase an expensive set of swags and tails for every room (unless, of course, you love that look). However, even the simplest of cotton curtains hanging from your window will make the room look a bit more polished. In summer, lightweight or unlined curtains will allow for some measure of privacy and will filter the sunlight beautifully. In colder months, consider something a little heavier for better energy efficiency.
An Area Rug
You may think that an area rug’s only purpose is to protect the floors in high-traffic areas. However, a great area rug can do much more than that. They can help to delineate areas in an open plan space, pulling together what might just look like a random assortment of furniture in larger areas. They can also add texture or colour or pull a theme together in a room. It’ll ground your furniture in a smaller space as well, allowing the room to look much more pulled together. If you have low-pile carpeting, you can also layer a rug on top for the same effect or to add a bit of colour or texture to your home.
While rugs and curtains will give your room a bit of a polish, you will also want to add a bit of your own personality to the space – otherwise, you will risk it looking like a hotel room, lacking any real soul. Your home should always tell the story of you (and those you live with) and you can do this by displaying objects that reflect your tastes and interests. No, not dirty tea cups or clothing strewn around the place. Consider things like personal photographs, items picked up on your travels, items passed down from family and friends or books that reflect your most passionate hobbies.
If the surfaces of your home (think shelving, bookcases, sideboards, accent tables, mantles) are left completely bare, your room is going to look unfinished. While I wouldn’t necessarily recommend filling every available spot with things just for the sake of it, a few small collections of items in a display will create little ‘moments’ in your home that add personality and beauty. Purposeful displays – a stack of books, a small tray with a collection of objects, table lamps, a few candles – are a wonderful way of getting a more complete look. Even a hardcore minimalist needs at least a few object d’art to bring style into a space.
And finally, with everything else considered, every room can benefit from a few plants. They add an organic element to a room, bringing the outdoors in, and give every room a bit of life. Consider hanging plants from ceilings or walls, curating a little ‘urban jungle’ in a sunny corner or dotting smaller plants on a windowsill. If you fear you have a black thumb, you could start with smaller hardier plants like succulents or snake plants, or even consider some good quality faux plants that require virtually no maintenance at all, aside from a light dusting every so often.
Now that you’ve added your finishing touches, your room is finally ready for its debut! Dig out your phone, aim and click and watch those likes pouring in!
Kimberly Duran is an award-winning interior design blogger who chronicles her decorating journey in her blog, Swoon Worthy. Her style is unashamedly eclectic, bohemian and glamorous and when she's not helplessly drooling over design websites and adding things to the imaginary 'shopping basket' in her head, she likes to get messy tackling DIY projects, stalking eBay for bargains, taking Instagram pictures of her cats and investing time in her ongoing love affair with gold spray paint.
All images via Swoon Worthy