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6 Finishing Touches That Will Completely Transform Your Home

  • By Elyse Moody
  • Photos by Johnny Miller

People fall in love with a home for its unique details, but the truth is, not all places come with them. Your walls, windows, and doorways can be swoon-worthy with a few finishing touches. Read on to learn six clever ways to put your home through charm school.

Add Texture to Small Spaces

These days, wood paneling can actually brighten up a room. The contrasting material of the driftwood-esque reclaimed-pine Stikwood boards (above) sets this nook apart from the surrounding walls without making it feel recessed. Each panel is self-adhesive and easy to install. And, as with tile, a little bit can make a big impact.

THE DETAILS: Behr paint, in Campfire Ash, Stikwood, in Hamptons, $12 a sq. ft., Barbara Cosgrove Cookie Jar table lamp, $690, Maplenest Roost Driftwood console-table base, $1,155,

Frame Your View

Decorative trim boosts a basic window's personality. Take it one step further with a custom design. We fashioned a composite rosette (they come in more styles than the wooden ones do) and secured it onto a plain corner block. Combine that with a little fluted casing molding — used only on the sides (we stuck to plain on top) — for a clean-lined result.


THE DETAILS: Ralph Lauren Home paint, in Winter White, Decorators Supply circular rosette, 4 1/16", $20, The Shade Store custom flat Roman shade, in Cameo Linen, from $375, Revisions Design Sofia porcelain pendant light, $165; and Food52 x Hawkins New York hand-cut textured-glass vases, from $40 each,

Refine a Room

Picture-frame molding graces the plastered walls of beautiful older homes from the Breakers to the White House. To give your plain drywall an oldworld upgrade, look to this molding technique too. Matte paint creates a muted, plaster-like effect, and a second painting hung above the first gives the concept a modern twist.


THE DETAILS: Benjamin Moore paint, in Santorini Blue, Jonathan Adler Vertigo Swivel chair, $1,950, Safavieh Restoration Vintage Collection RVT421B rug, in Blue/Grey, $8 a sq. ft., Bunny Williams Home Albero drinks table, $1,900,

Turn a Door into Decor

A bedroom's style doesn't have to stop at the entrance to the bathroom or closet. To dress up a hollow-core door, we gave it a graphic pattern using brass upholstery nails: Remove the door from its hinges, paint it, and let it dry. Stretch various lengths of string across the door to create a design, securing the ends with tape. Draw dots in pencil along the string lines to mark nail holes, spacing them to match the nailhead diameter. Using a very narrow bit, predrill holes, then hammer in the nails.


THE DETAILS: Fine Paints of Europe The One Thousand Collection paint, in E3-56 (on walls), Pratt & Lambert Paints paint, in Rose Bloom (on door), DIY Upholstery Supply LLC BD12-81 Brass High Dome upholstery nails, 7/16", $19 for 500, Nanz spherical knob, in Polished Brass, price upon request, Schoolhouse Electric Sidnie lamp, in Natural Brass, $449, Made Goods Dante dresser, 48", in Aged Camel Full-Grain Leather, $5,600, ABC Carpet & Home vintage Anatolian rug (similar to shown), $2,900, Anna Karlin Juliet glass vessels, $110 each,

Embolden an Entrance

Spruce up doorways and flat-stock baseboard with oversize embellishments. Spacing out the upholstery nails makes the most of the contrast with the pale wall. Their oil-rubbed bronze finish also echoes the color of the trays on the wall and the early American–inspired light fixture in the adjacent room, smoothing the transition from one space to the next.


THE DETAILS: Sherwin-Williams paint, in Lightweight Beige, DIY Upholstery Supply LLC BD40-88 Crackle Medium Dome upholstery nails, 1.6", $34 for 25, Serena & Lily Larkspur Jute & Suede rug, 8' by 10', $698, Sawkille Senate chair, $2,050,

Play Up Walls with Pattern

Take a basic hallway from staid to striking. Instead of choosing a standard chair rail to divide the wall horizontally, hang thin strips of lattice vertically, parallel to one another, about six inches apart. The paneling-in-reverse creates texture and dimension — and helps protect the wall from dings and bumps.


THE DETAILS: Benjamin Moore paint, in Stone House, Kelleher Treated Pine Parting Bead molding, 1/2" by 3/4", 99 a ft., Jayson Home Gambrel September rug, from $95; and Park stool, $895, Circa Lighting Clemente wall lights, in Hand-Rubbed Antique Brass With Black, $496 each,

DIY Details: Needle-Felt Accent Pillows