8 Ways To Add Architectural Details To Your Home

February 20, 2021

Let’s face it, as we approach one year of Covid quarantine life, many of us are starting to get a little bored with our surroundings. While free or inexpensive ways of tackling this fatigue include rearranging furniture, swapping out framed photos or artwork, painting an accent wall with a pop of color or adding some unique wallpaper, you might also consider going a step further and adding some architectural details to your home’s interior. Here are a few ideas.

1. Change Your Cabinet Hardware

Take a look at your cabinet knobs, pulls and handles, and experiment with different colors, materials or types of hardware. Feeling super creative? Consider using two knobs per cabinet or mixing up your hardware. If you have silver handles, consider flat black, gold or copper. Try weathered nickel or brass knobs for a classic look. Or swap your tubular pulls with square bar pulls.

2. Swap Out Your Light Switch and Outlet Plates

The easiest solution to swapping out your light switch and outlet plates is to replace them with newer, shinier versions of the same ones you currently have. You might also swap plain white plates with those made of brass, antique brass, wood, or fun shapes or patterns. For DIY bonus points, cover plates with washi tape.

3. Architectural Lighting

The specific style will of course depend on your preferences but consider light fixtures with striking features that somehow command attention—modern geometric fixtures, arched lamps, backlit or underlit cabinets, and dramatic antique chandeliers, to name a few.

Blue yellow and white antique tiles

Photo by Chris Caines

4. Add Some Tiles

Whether you prefer antique or modern finishes, basic colors or busy patterns, choose an area to tile—perhaps a wall, backsplash or floor. Then spend some time researching materials and patterns until you find tiles that speak to you. If you prefer not to use porcelain tile and grout, there are a number of beautiful peel and stick options nowadays which are much easier to work with.

5. Switch Up Your Doorknobs

When’s the last time you replaced your doorknobs? If you have antique doorknobs made from cut glass or worn wood, maybe it’s time to try something more modern such as matte black or polished chrome. If you have something modern and want a vintage look, you could try polished brass, white milk glass or crystal. If you’d rather keep your current knobs, perhaps a deep cleaning and shine will breathe new life into them.

6. Try Ceiling Medallions

Ceiling medallions became trendy in the early 19th century and remain a popular choice today for those who appreciate a classic look. Many think of ceiling medallions as chandelier anchors for the dining room, but they can also add flair to other areas of your home. Begin by choosing a room, look at size options, research different shapes and select a color. When deciding between materials such as plaster, wood or plastic, think about the weight of each and the skill level needed for installation. Painting the ceiling medallion the same color as the ceiling will provide a subtle look while a contrasting color could made for an interesting focal point. This guide on ceiling medallion selection provides helpful sizing information to get you started.

7. Add Molding

Molding can be used to frame a door, add height to kitchen cabinets or simply as a decorative element. You’re likely familiar with baseboards and crown molding but there are also plenty of other varities. Chair rails can help prevent furniture from damaging your walls, modern wall paneling can liven up a room and picture rails (made for hanging pictures or artwork) help eliminate nail holes in your walls. You might try adding crown molding to your ceiling coffers, or experimenting with ornamental moldings such as dentil, egg-and-dart, bead or carved.

8. Introduce a Statement Piece

Now that you’ve spruced up the architectural elements in your home, one final suggestion is to add a statement piece or two. Close your eyes and picture your home’s interior gracing the pages of Architectural Digest. What’s missing? Is there a unique piece of furniture you could add? Whether you splurge on an eye-catching credenza, salvage and refinish a funky curbside desk or let your personality shine through by adding some textured furniture, the addition of a statement piece could help occupy more of your quarantine downtime and simultaneously round out your home’s new look.

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