Room with a View
Not everyone is able to live at the beach, or the lake, or in the mountains. Some live near busy highways, power lines, or trash dumps. So, what do you do if the view from your room is not exactly a room with a view? Be creative and give it a view of its own! Of course you can use window coverings, and they can be useful and do a great job of hiding what is outside. However, if you want natural light, you may want to find another solution.
You’ll want to draw the eye into the room. Attention should be on one or two focal points. There are so many products that can help give a space the beauty you envision without breaking the bank. You can do things that range from adding accessories to a complete renovation. Here are some ideas in both categories:
- Wallpaper – Today’s wallpaper is not the velvet textured paper your aunt had in the guest bath (although retro is making a comeback). There are a plethora of designs, colors, textures, and applications on the market. From a basic paper that mimics wainscoting to the most intricate colorful designs, you can let your imagination run wild. I have even seen vendors that will make a wallpaper from your design. So, if you want black & white profiles of your pets in your breakfast room or a replication of your grandmother’s wedding dress in your closet, it can be done.
- Accessories – Pillows, floral arrangements, candles, fruit-filled bowls, wall hangings, mirrors, art books, bedding, the list goes on. Pretty much anything can be used as an accessory. The key is, make it interesting. It may be a bright color, an intricate shape, or an oversized piece. I had a client that had a giraffe in their living room (yes, a life-sized giraffe from a taxidermy.) Talk about eye-catching! Once inside, you would have never known what was beyond those walls because you were mesmerized by what was inside. I caution from going over the top with items, however. Too much of a good thing is no longer a good thing. A space that seems cluttered may have the opposite effect and have people wanting to look out the window to clear their mind.
- Paint – Paint is quite possibly the most economical way to have the most impact on a room. Don’t play it safe, either. Be bold with the color. Paint the ceiling. Accent one wall. There are many ways to “try before you buy” so you don’t regret your decision. Sample size cans are typically available for purchase so you can try the color on the wall. There are also adhesive squares that come off easily so there’s nothing to paint over once you decide. If you have a hard time visualizing, there are programs that allow you to upload photographs of the space and you can “paint” the walls as many different colors as you wish until you find “the one.”
- Move the window – If you don’t own your home, have a strict HOA, or you live in a property with very little exterior walls (i.e. apartment, condo, townhouse) this may not be a possibility. If it is an option, move the window(s) in a room to show off a more desirable exterior.
- Knock down walls – If you have a galley kitchen with one window that doesn’t have the best view, open up the kitchen! Take down the interior wall and add an island. If you open up the kitchen to the adjoining room, you have a lot more to look at and it will be much more spatially interesting than what’s on the other side of the window.
- Lighting – This doesn’t have to break the bank but if re-wiring is necessary, it can be more involved and more costly. Add sconces to accent spaces and draw your eye in from windows. A floor lamp in the corner, pendant lights over the kitchen island, art lights over paintings, a re-purposed item light fixture hanging from the living room ceiling. I would suggest a chandelier in the bedroom but if you are a ceiling fan “fan,” make sure it’s different. It can be colorful, oversized, industrial, modern – just something that draws your attention when you walk in the room.
If you need help with ideas and visualizing, Pinterest is your friend, and, quite possibly, your enemy. Create a board of inspiration, keeping budget and space in mind. See before and after photos and find unique items from around the world. Houzz can give you ideas for renovations and also put you in touch with local professionals to bid the job.
Whatever you do, make it “you”. If you love the space, you and your guests will feel that energy and won’t even notice the view from the room. They’ll only notice the view OF the room.
Michelle Froedge is a residential Realtor and Principal Broker in the Greater Nashville and Williamson County areas of Tennessee. “Mom” to four-legged fur baby, Tyler, Auntie to Zelamie, she is a vegetarian and sings in her spare time. Michelle has lived in Nashville and Franklin since 1997 and has been selling homes since 2004.