Home decorating ideas: shutters, doors, and more

Published: 13th March 2009
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Spring is just around the corner, and you might be feeling the urge to redecorate. If so, here are a few ways you can brighten up your home in a cost-efficient way.

1. Install exterior wood shutters

Exterior shutters can enhance the beauty and value of your home. The right style of exterior shutters can complement period architecture handsomely. Shutters are practical home decorating choices, as well. They protect your windows from hail, rain, and wind damage. And, they offer excellent interior climate control.

Some shutter styles feature operable wooden slats, or louvers. You can open or close operable louvers to control air flow. Other shutter styles, such as Bahama shutters and board-and-batten shutters, can be opened partway to provide a refreshing breeze on a hot summer day.

Wood shutters are optimal choices for home exteriors. Synthetic shutters are more likely to warp and crack, while wood shutters withstand rough weather well. Real wood shutters are also highly customizable. A good shutter manufacturer can create period shutters from old photographs or drawings, and can add special decorative touches, like beveling, inlays, and radius work.

Before purchasing exterior shutters, measure your windows carefully to ensure optimal fit. Don't purchase one-size-fits-all shutters. Odds are good that they won't fit your house; they look sloppy, and they're more likely to be torn from your windows during a storm. You should also carefully evaluate the architectural styles of other homes on your block to make sure your shutter choices don't clash or stand out too much.

2. Install a custom interior door or entryway

Spice up a drab interior with a custom wood door. Doors provide privacy and an instantly noticeable uplift for any room. Wooden doors are ideal for interior renovations. Doors made of metal are too heavy and severe for home interiors, and doors made of synthetic materials, such as particle board, last just a few years before they begin to warp.

Before installing an interior door, consider what effect you want to achieve. If you just want privacy, a panel-style door with a sturdy brass knob will suffice. If you want to create a mood, consider a true divided light door. This style, which consists of a solid wood frame housing panes of glass, can play up or reflect natural or interior lighting beautifully. Glass doors can also make a room look less drab or institutional.

Consider customizing your door, too. Unique knobs, ornate custom hinges, or special inlay or beveling work can enhance your furniture and wall hangings, and lend a personal touch to your favorite room. Custom doors can also be painted or stained to complement various interior color palettes and decorating themes.

3. Install custom cabinets

Custom wood cabinets are highly functional and beautiful additions to any interior. New cabinetry offers you endless possibilities. For example, you could add cabinets to your den or study to store books, office supplies, compact discs and records, or videos and DVDs. If you're welcoming a new baby to your home, small custom cabinets can add cheer, and are useful for storing little clothes or toys.

The most critical part of a cabinet installation is fit. Select cabinetry that suits the space where it will be placed. Too-small or too-tall cabinets can look ridiculous and overwhelm the room. The second consideration after fit is style. Stain or paint your cabinets so they complement your furnishings instead of clashing with them. If the space you've selected for cabinets is a bit awkward or offbeat, consider custom mouldings or radius work to play up that unique space.

Pay attention to cabinet doors, too. The right cabinet door styles, hinges, and handles will look superb. The wrong pieces will look gaudy or dowdy, and will overwhelm the cabinets themselves.

Carefully selected home improvements can make your home more inviting and appealing. They can also ultimately increase your home's resale value - a bonus in this bearish market.

About the Author:

Estate Millwork makes traditionally crafted custom wood shutters; interior wood doors, custom entryways, and cabinet doors created from top grade woods. For more information, visit www.estatemillwork.com.

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