If you’re looking to give the interior of your home a fresh look, there are many things you can do even if a full renovation isn’t in the cards just yet. For example, updating the flooring, adding a fresh coat of paint or installing decorative trim can each have great impact and be relatively inexpensive. Following are some tips and trends for each of these projects.
Wood continues to be the most popular choice in flooring material, with sustainable hard woods making the largest leap in popularity. Bamboo has been a popular choice, as it is natural, comes in multiple colors, and is environmentally friendly due to its ability to rapidly replenish itself. Other recent popular flooring choices have been reclaimed wood and character-grade lumber. Reclaimed wood is any wood that has been taken from an older building and then put to use in a new application. For instance, wood planks may be taken from old, abandoned barns or factories, refinished, and then shipped out and installed as flooring. Reclaimed wood has gained popularity in recent years due to the unique, “aged” appearance of the wood in addition to its inherently “green” properties. Character-grade wood is also rising in popularity because of its distinct, natural appearance. Manufacturers, such as the Blue Ridge Forest Cooperative, create wood products from tree species with naturally-occurring knots, grooves and other visible imperfections. These imperfections are highlighted on the manufactured items, giving them a very natural, rustic appearance with a tremendous depth of character. Whether you’re looking to update one room, one level or your entire home, today’s wood flooring options can help to create a beautiful transformation.
When it comes to trends in paint, “natural” is the key, whether it’s describing popular colors or the make-up of the paint itself. While bolder, more-saturated colors were quite popular a few years ago, today’s homeowners are turning to tans, beiges, grays, greens and other neutral, earth-toned colors to create calming retreats. In some instances, however, “green paint” doesn’t just refer to the color! Low- or no-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) paints are becoming increasingly popular as consumers learn more about the negative impacts of VOCs on indoor air quality. Like most paints, they come in several finishes, such as semi-gloss and flat, so it is important to consider what activities will take place in the room before choosing the appropriate finish.
Interior trim refers to the molding, baseboards, chair rails, and other decorative wood accents that add to the overall design of a room. Though smaller, understated baseboards are commonly seen in homes today, recent trends have shown significant interest in more substantial, decorative baseboards. Once quite popular, decorative baseboards can often be found in historical homes and were favored for their ability to create a distinctive style. They are now used to help add a more traditional, polished look to any room at an affordable price. In addition, crown molding continues to be a popular finishing touch for many rooms in the home. Crown molding is a decorative accent piece that attaches to the wall where it meets the ceiling, adding visual interest and helping to hide any slight irregularities. A great way to add value to your home, crown molding is available in numerous styles and at various price points. Executed properly, these and other simple changes to your home can have a dramatic impact on its design statement, as well as its value.