Beat the Builder Home Blahs

Design expert Trish Johnston shows us how to beat the builder blah blues as she transforms a dining room from drab to dapper, with tips on adding personality and flair to a basic space.

Beat the Builder Blahs

Above: wood panels, Moncer; table, chairs, console, art, centrepiece, rug and pendant light, Elte

Add texture in unexpected places

Paint and wallpaper are not your only options for walls. Think of interesting treatments that offer texture like wood panelling and faux brick. They are easy to install.

Find interesting furnishings

There's nothing wrong with plain furniture and walls, but they certainly don't attract your eye and satisfy your senses. With the addition of a perfectly chosen piece of furniture, you can jazz up the space. Something that might really stand out like a sore thumb might just stand out as the star of the room.

Resist the temptation to have everything match

Combine soft and hard, rough and soft, shiny and flat surfaces. Select silky smooth fabrics with shaggy carpet, sleek tabletops with nubby textiles. Use glass combined with rugged wood and greens.

Beat the Builder Blahs

Use one old piece

Even one carefully chosen antique piece can add character to a room.

Hunt for unique accessories

Add a touch of whimsy for smiles and interest. Shop at flea markets to find interesting accessories that you can adapt to your space. A simple coat of paint and some decorative painting can transform a piece of trash into a treasure. Anything quirky will become the focal point.

Add Art

To create character and personality, choose art to capture your passions. Buy what you love. Be sure to light your art appropriately.

Treat your lighting like art

Invest in a light fixture that makes a statement. Use dimmers – they're very important when creating a mood.

Beat the Builder Blahs


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