With the advent of home improvement shows, the term ‘wow factor’ became synonymous with striking interior design. It has become so ubiquitous with inspirational living that we seek it out at every corner, even if we don’t realise we’re doing it!
Having high standards when it comes to property is not a bad thing, especially if you are looking to sell; however, our expectations around these high standards in our home appear to grow exponentially. Fashions, styles and tastes are in a state of flux, and home furnishings have become more accessible for all, in both price and ease of installation.
We are no longer just keeping up with the Jones’ but keeping up with the world in general.
The definition of wow factor in the Cambridge dictionary is: “a quality or feature of something that makes people feel great excitement or admiration.”
Wow factors tend to elicit surprise. They draw the eye immediately and are often unexpected, either in terms of design, colour or prominence.
Homes with a wow factor aren’t perfect so much as impactful. Wow factor homes combine statement pieces, purposeful design, and an eye for detail, and they project personality and encapsulate the space.
Wow factors need not be expensive or difficult to coordinate. Follow our tips for adding that all-important wow factor to your home and ensure that friends, neighbours, and potential buyers are talking about it for all the right reasons.
We are starting bold and experimental! This is likely not to be everyone’s cup of tea, but living walls are most definitely a showstopper.
They have become increasingly common in outdoor areas such as gardens and courtyards, but their popularity for interior settings has only grown recently.
In addition to enhancing the feel of spaces as living pieces of art, the nature hit they provide promotes well-being and boosts our mood.
Living walls need to be professionally installed unless you are extremely handy, and they are costly; however, they are a long-lasting and unique wow factor, so it’s worth shopping around to see what you can find.
We often write about the virtues of lighting, and with good reason. Statement lighting is one of the easiest ways to give a room the wow factor.
We may be stating the obvious, but every room in your house has electrical light sources, as do those communal spaces like halls, stairways, and porches. Therefore, there are countless ways you can add some drama and intrigue through interesting light fittings.
Opt for unusual shapes and finishes and experiment with where you position them. Dropping pendant chandeliers in a stairwell, hanging low orbs over a dining table, or adding an opulent sparkle in a bedroom will all create surprise and visual appeal.
In show homes and magazines, we often see the monochrome palette associated with elegance and sophistication. This option is almost always a safe bet, and it creates a calm and collected atmosphere. However, these interiors rarely stun, shock, or excite.
Adding splashes of colour changes the entire feeling of a space, and the opportunities to do this are endless. You can incorporate colour by adding a feature wall, using intricate stencils, bright upholstery, throws, cushions, rugs, ornaments, and works of art – the only limit is your imagination.
The key is to use colours that work together. By referring to a colour wheel, you can discover the power of combining opposites and the harmony of choosing similar tones.
As in the photo above, do not forget to pay attention to your eye line and viewpoint. Here, you can see that the blue of the kitchen cabinets is mirrored in the next room with the furniture, which creates a sense of continuity and artistic flair.
Mirrors are an interior designer’s secret weapon. They reflect light, make rooms appear bigger, and add immediate visual impact.
A wow factor mirror needs to make a statement, so opt for something as large or ornate as possible to maximise the effect. Or try using several contrasting mirrors together as part of a display.
If wall panelling conjures up images of Elizabethan manor houses, think again.
Panelling is back with a vengeance in the interior design world and will suit almost any property type. The versatility of size, design, and colour means it can effortlessly enhance small rooms in modern apartments, grand lounges in Georgian townhouses, or dining rooms in stone country cottages.
Panelling used to be custom-made, which is still an option if you have a specific aesthetic you want to meet. However, there is now a vast range of off-the-shelf options that do the job nicely and guarantee to give that wow factor you are after.
Art does not only make a room feel complete; it adds personality and individuality.
Whether it is a one-off original, or something from a homeware store, filling in those blank spaces on your walls will have a striking effect.
Choosing the right artwork can make or break the room so pay attention to colour, size, and topic. Large, bold, emotive paintings will draw the eye and convey an intense mood, whereas a collection of smaller framed pieces give rhythm and personality.
“The details are not the details. They make the design.” ~ Charles Eames
We may require shelter, warmth and practicality, but our homes are so much more than where we live. They are places to retreat to and relax and rejuvenate in. They are where we make memories with loved ones and share both laughter and tears. Our homes should inspire us, uplift us, and make us happy.
Beauty and the elusive wow factor is as important a component in your home as the front door – in our humble opinion, of course..!