Small Things that Make a Big Difference

Small Things that Make a Big Difference

Sarah Coffey
May 7, 2010

Have you ever been inside one of those homes where the furniture is gorgeous, everything is high quality, the surfaces shine, but something just feels off? Like it's a show home instead of a real place where someone lives? Small details—personal photos, a few treasured knick knacks, the exact right throw pillows—can quickly bring a home from good to great.

  1. Mismatched chairs add personality to a dining room.
  2. A favorite painting is a good place to begin when you're choosing colors.
  3. Oversized, sculptural vases help to quickly ground a room.
  4. Grouping artwork in a grid makes it read as one unified statement piece.
  5. Vintage bins add easily accessible storage and character to a room.
  6. One brightly colored element enlivens a whole room.
  7. Group books into neat stacks to make a shelf feel instantly organized.
  8. Architectural details—like tiled house numbers—personalize a home.
  9. A piano, a reading nook—whatever your hobby, make a little bit of space for it.
  10. Every home should have a comfortable, hang-out space where pets, kids, or just a little mess are welcome.


For the full tour of each home, click through the links in the captions above.

Photos: Ingrid Jansen, Brian H. Andriola, Matthew Shallenberger, Beth Zeigler, Ronee Saroff, Dana Hughes, Ann Manubay and Dabney Frake, Elizabeth Setterfield, Abby Cook, Alison for Deucecities

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