After my blog post on Monday about my visit to Grand Pacific, I have been thinking about wow-factor spaces. Ya know the ones that as soon as you enter the room (or look at it on your screen), you get that little intake of breath? Yeah that. I have always strived for that in my own home and while it’s a constant work in progress, I like to ensure all my spaces have something that takes your breath away. There are a few shortcuts of course to get this wow-factor which I wanted to talk about today.

Even a relatively plain room on a budget can incorporate a bit of wow factor depending on what you choose to do with it. So today, I wanted to share a few different things that I think give a room that extra edge. That transform it from ‘this is nice’ to ‘THIS IS SPECTACULAR AND I WANT TO STAY HERE FOREVER.’ And I think one of the big things about creating that wow-factor is that there’s an element of surprise. Seeing something you wouldn’t necessarily expect in a typical room or home. Something that draws the eye immediately and feels inspiring straight away. So want to find out what my 7 wow-factor ideas are?

Here we go…

Mirror, Mirror

A big bold mirror in an unexpected place will visually double your room size, increasing it’s depth and immediately make it brighter. I love them in areas where you wouldn’t naturally expect them and I like them BIG. I have wanted to add antique mirror glass to my alcoves for years now but just never got around to it. (Maybe someday…) The only thing you have to remember is that whatever you put directly in front of the mirror will be reflected so make sure it counts (and looks pretty even from the back)!

The Mural of the Story

I have fallen hard for my mate Karen from Making Spaces latest project. This stunning Victorian guest bedroom is utterly beautiful but do you see what really makes the whole room? It’s that beautiful Little Green Paint Company mural that wraps around every wall, adding a subtle pop of colour and movement to the entire space. While you know I love wallpaper, murals are really just the next big thing in terms of adding drama and colour to your walls and there are just so many available on the market now – from dark and moody to bold and bright to soft and textural.

One thing to remember when using a mural however, is that you want to keep the rest of the room rather light in terms of furniture. Packing every wall with something will mean the mural design will get lost. Make sure you let it breathe by pulling furniture away from the walls to float in the room and don’t overcrowd it.

Art Attack

I’ve had a real ‘thing’ for big art for some time now. The right art can really make or break a room and it can completely change the entire mood of a space. For a larger wall, bigger is almost always better. Big pieces can be pricey, however, so if you are investing, make sure you absolutely love it. If you don’t have a big budget, consider trying your hand at abstract art with a large canvas or framing larger items like vintage scarves or textiles to make a statement.

The Greenhouse Effect

Oh, plants. They make me swoon on a regular basis. Piling a room up with a tonne of greenery is a sure-fire way to get a little wow factor. Combine larger specimens with small and mix up your leaf types and sizes for added contrast. And then go crazy. Lots and lots of plants in a space can look fantastic and it doesn’t have to cost the earth either. Hang them from ceilings, put them on shelves and create your own little urban jungle indoors.

Paint Hearted

On a budget? Get creative with paint. I adore the high contrast of Shannon Claire’s recent ORC bedroom reveal. She instilled drama and intrigue to her room scheme by creating a ‘dipped’ effect with the bottom of the walls black and the top painted bright white. This high contrast look creates a real wow-factor in the space and yet, it cost nothing more than a couple of tins of paint.

Prints Charming

Ok so here I am with the big contrasts again but while Brady Tolbert’s kitchen and dining makeover looked great, it’s the floor that gives it the extra edge. If your space is relatively neutral then a high impact floor can be a great way to add pattern and drama. This effect can be done fairly inexpensively with vinyl tiles or you might want to consider a gorgeous pattern tile for your floors instead. Pay attention to the way the patterns run as well. The angle of the squares makes the space look visually wider than if they’d been installed parallel to the kitchen units.

The Big Weird

dark blue wallpaper wall with weird chair

Domino / Photo by Brittany Ambridge / Interior Design by Benjamin Vandiver

And finally, I know I always bang on about adding a little bit of weird in your interiors but it really does work to create a totally unusual space. I love the chair used in Hayden Panettiere’s foyer seen above because it’s just so BIZARRE. I mean, it looks like a bit like Kim K from the back. And then check out those little fuzzy stools. That could be an easy DIY with some straight leg stools and a Mongolian fur. Create something different, stick it in the space and I promise, it’ll get people talking and create an exciting and unusual detail that adds personality.

Now there are lots of ways to give a room a little added oomph but tell me now, how do YOU add wow-factor to a room? Which way is your favourite?

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