Infuse your interior spaces with star quality by adding some kind of statement piece, like a unique architectural element, head-turning furniture or a pop of unexpected color. By working in just one “wow!” feature, you can transform your room and transfix your guests. Try one of these five ideas. 

1. Hang a Huge Piece of Artwork

Artwork has the magical ability to add lots of drama and personality to a room. So when you fill a wall with a really, really big piece of killer art, the impact is stupendous. I’m crazy about montages made out of a mix of smaller sized pieces. But there is something incredibly powerful about using an entire wall to spotlight one wonderfully oversized piece.

I tried this trick in my own home with a huge painting Dan brought back from a buying trip in Europe. You can see from this snapshot taken during my winter open house that I centered the painting over my sofa and flanked it with two sconces, the contents of which I change out seasonally. My living room has changed since this shot was taken, but the picture remains, a dramatic constant in the room.

2. Place a Bulky Cabinet in an Unexpected Spot

Large cabinets pack lots of punch and elevate the look of any room lucky enough to have one. Whether it’s a large bookcase in your study, an antique armoire in your bedroom or a cabinet in your kitchen, these big beauties steal the show. In this photo of my friend Anne’s dream kitchen, an immense red cabinet interjects a bit of color into the room’s otherwise neutral décor. And, it gives Anne a place to store and display dishes and accents.

Right now, lots and lots of Nell Hill’s customers are investing in these statement pieces for their kitchens, just like Anne did. While built-in cabinetry is a must in your kitchen, the new trend is to also add a contrasting piece of furniture to use for storage and display. I think these pieces are a perfect pick for a kitchen because they give the space a more evolved, homier feel.

3. Work in an Architectural Accent

Long before Anne was able to build her new home, she knew she wanted to add in some architectural accents that would make the rooms uniquely hers. One of her ideas sent me to the moon: barn doors hung in the doorway between her family room and kitchen. She’d seen this in a decorating magazine and fallen in love, clipped the picture and saved it until it was time to build her own home. It was worth the wait. The green barn doors that now separate her kitchen and family room look sensational whether they are opened or closed.

Another eye-catching architectural element in Anne’s new home is a ceiling crosshatched with wooden beams. She loved the rustic look of old beams, so she had her builder fashion these reproductions, which were easier and less expensive than the real thing.

Unless you’re building a new home or remodeling your existing home, you may not be able to add architectural elements like these, but you can use your creativity to create drama by mimicking the look using different means. For instance, if you want to define a large passageway, like Anne did with her barn doors, place big, bulky floor screens on either side of the doorway.

4. Add a Piece of Eye-Catching Furniture

You wouldn’t want your entire home filled with statement furniture, but a piece here and there will keep your interior spaces lively. In the photo above, Anne decided to give her bed star quality by crowning it with a statement piece headboard. I’ll let you in on a little secret – she achieved this look not by investing in a regal bed frame but by hanging two inexpensive painted wood panels she got from Nell Hill’s above the top of her bed!

5. Try a Pop of Color

Everyone has a different CQ – color quotient. Some people want their spaces filled with bold, beautiful color. Others prefer a quieter, more muted palette. No matter where you fall on the CQ scale, consider adding a new pop of color to your space. I guarantee, it will turn heads. The photo above is of my friend Rich’s kitchen cabinets, which he fearlessly painted in his favorite color. Talk about a statement!

I recently got the paintbrush out and did a little color redo in my home, too. It all started when I was at a boutique hotel in Chicago that had painted the interior doors black, creating a wonderful contrast to the rest of the interior woodwork, which was painted cream. I had an ah-hah moment and decided to try the same trick in my home. I’ve been itching to replace my lackluster interior doors with six-paneled mahogany doors. But when I got the bid from the contractor, I was floored. So, for the price of a gallon of glossy black paint, I’ve tricked up a few of my existing interior doors.

Next Week … Dust off your porch and get ready for summer. I’ll have some tips for achieving a high-style, low-maintenance look for your outdoor spaces. P.S. Don’t miss a bit of Nell Hill’s news – stay up to date on my favorite finds, new arrivals at the stores and all our special events by checking the Nell Hill’s Facebook page every day. You don’t have to have a Facebook page yourself to look in on the fun, but if you’re already on Facebook, “like” us today!

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21 Responses to “Make a Big Statement in Your Spaces”

  1. Lisa Fernandez Says:

    So glamourous! Fantastic ideas. Every time I read the new blog I started moving things around and my poor husband somhow will hear my voice over the phone and notice. Might be a bit out of breath from hauling things from the basement up or moving a chair from one room to the next, changing my mantle, who knows. But he will say, “What you doing?” My reply is usually, “Uh nothing just doing some things here and there.” Then he usually will reply, “Oh, what did Mary Carol change this time?” or “Oh wait, were you reading Mary Carol’s blog. Is it a new post?”
    God love him! Poor guy. Do you see what you do to us Mary? Hee Hee. Love your blog, love your ideas, love you. Thanks for being a constant inspiration. Lisa

  2. Terry A. Says:

    Do you know who the artist is of the large painting above your sofa, or if it is available as a print? When I was at your open house last fall, I looked at that painting for quite a long while. I love it, and would like to find a reproduction of it.

  3. Robin Says:

    Could you tell me if the Chandelier pictured it the top photo is sold in your stores and how much it is?

    I love your blog and will be in Kansas City for a visit this weekend and your store is on my list of must-do while I am there! Can’t wait to visit Nell Hill’s and see it all in person!

  4. JoAnn Augspurger Says:

    Couild you discuss redoing a master bedroom and show your beautiful duvets and spreads along with pillows. I want to replace with something exciting that will serve year round … Maybe changing a few pillows to make it more seasonal.
    Thanks…love your blogs.

  5. Trish Says:

    Do you sell the toile pillow shown on the sofa in the top photo in one of your stores?

    I’m just crazy about your blog! There is always something beautiful to see and inspire me.

  6. Suzanne Larsen Says:

    So…will Anne share her paint technique for the barn doors? Love it! The screen over the bed..fantastic! Thanks so much for all the time you put into this blog each week. It is first class!!

  7. Ann Says:

    I am trying to update the space above my firplace mantel. The mantel measures 77″ long and the wall space above it is 38″ high. I found a painting I really love that is 34″ high and 40″ wide. Do you think it is too large? I could either hang it or lean it against the wall. I like the idea of leaning it, but don’t want it to sllide off. How could I secure it? Your input will be greatly appreciated. I loved the pillow blog and changed all my arrangements.

  8. debbie Says:

    Please post a picture of your repainted doors!!!

  9. Cheryl Says:

    This is just what I needed to read. I just painted a faux finish on my dining room walls in beige colors. I have wanted to paint the knock-down inset ceiling a brick red color to add that “wow” factor. I’m doing it now and not turning back. We’ll see how it turns out this weekend. Thanks for the inspiration!

  10. Carolyn Says:

    As always, great ideas. Tell Anne I have gone one step further and used barn doors (re-made) for window coverings in the basement.

  11. Mary Carol Says:

    Hi Terry,
    The art behind my sofa from my home is from an old monastery in Belgium purchased many years ago. So sorry–no history. I too love it!

  12. Mary Carol Says:

    We have that beautiful chandelier Robin, at our Briarcliff store right now–call 877-746-4320 for more details.

  13. Mary Carol Says:

    Sounds like a great topic JoAnn, make sure you check out the blog ‘Panache with Pillows’–April 2nd

  14. Mary Carol Says:

    We do Trish–come see us at the Briarcliff store, or if you are out of town call 877-746-4320 and ask for ‘fabrics’

  15. Mary Carol Says:

    Ann–I definately don’t think it is to large and we lean our art here at the store. If you would like to secure your art—go to a art/hardware store for advise on doing that. If you are local, stop in the Briarcliff store for help.

  16. Mary Carol Says:

    Suzanne—Anne just told me the base of the doors is a green color with layers of glaze over them. Hers was done by a professional—best of luck!

  17. Robin Frank -- Vision Interiors Says:

    Question for Mary Carol ….are there films of the past years of your home tours ? A number of gals have asked and I did not know .. But a super idea and I’m sure many would sign up for it and pay for one… Just a thought …. See you then May 11 th

  18. Robin Frank -- Vision Interiors Says:

    Follow up on that idea … How about a decanting CD ? Interiors and ideas like your fab books … Only a CD !!! …. Oh the pressure … Haha … Love the idea tho … ” walking “. Thru beautiful rooms and the different seasons leave endless ideas for subjects and we will all stand in line to buy them !!!!

  19. Terry A. Says:

    Thank you for the information about the piece above your sofa. I guess I’ll just have to admire it in your photos.

  20. Mary Carol Says:

    Hi Robin—We do not have films or CD’s from the past ‘Open House’s', however, we do have pictures posted under the ‘Photo’ section of our facebook–if you would like to see some past pics!

  21. Amy Says:

    Do you have a vendor for the barn doors and hardware?
    Thank you for the time and energy you put into all of you projects (can’t be called work)..you have to love what you do…

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