When it comes to interior design, nothing impresses quite like beautiful architectural details such as stained glass panels, decorative cornices, ornate staircases and textured walls. But the reality is that most of us aren’t lucky enough to own homes with built-in architectural flourishes, so we need to get creative.
With that in mind, here are some home design ideas to give your space plenty of architectural character and charm, whether you’re styling your home for sale or just revamping your living space.
1. Install premade ceiling roses
If you’re looking to add a touch of flair to your living space, premade ceiling roses, also known as ceiling medallions, are decorative plaster features that can be applied beneath light fixtures to create an attractive focal point. The physical carving of a rose on a ceiling was popularised during the rule of England's Tudor King Henry VIII, but today roses are available in a variety of styles ranging from ornate to minimalist. There are also plenty of online DIY guides about how to put up ceiling roses yourself using just a handful of materials.
2. Use trompe l’oeil wallpaper
French for “deceive the eye”, trompe l’oeil is a style in art and design that uses realistic imagery to create the optical illusion that depicted objects exist in three dimensions. Designers like Piet Hein Eek popularised trompe l’oeil wallpaper that depicts materials like wood and brick to add visual appeal to home interiors, often giving the illusion of more space. There is a wide range of trompe l’oeil murals and wallpapers available online spanning many different architectural styles, so the possibilities are virtually endless when it comes to styling your space.
3. Choose statement lighting
Whether it’s lightshades or ceiling fixtures, your choice of lighting can really impact the overall style of a room and can relatively easily be updated to suit your desired look. With everything from elaborate chandeliers to modern geometric forms to choose from, you have plenty of options for installing lighting that makes a statement. Whatever style you choose, pick out lighting that takes up space and grabs attention.
4. Incorporate upcycled objects
Salvaged architectural materials hung on walls or repurposed as furniture make great statement pieces around the home. Think reclaimed wood turned into a coffee table or recycled tiles transformed into a wall mosaic. The larger the piece, the more effective at mimicking a real architectural detail, but you can also cluster smaller features for a similar effect.
5. Install new moulding and trim
Embellishments like decorative cornices, moulding and baseboards are typical in older character homes – but the good news is that you can install or update these in virtually any home without making any major structural changes. Whether you want to add some old-world charm to your newer home or bring your older home into the 21st century, choosing the right style of moulding and trim can help frame a space and give it a particular architectural feel.
6. Enhance what you’ve already got
Make the most of the architectural details you already have by accenting them in an eye-catching colour or using a mirror to double their impact. This could be anything from your window frames to your doors to your ceiling. Pick out your favourite existing features of your home and think about ways you can highlight them so they stand out as much as possible.