Does Your Home Lack Architectural Details? 8 Ways to Fake It

Does Your Home Lack Architectural Details? 8 Ways to Fake It

Adrienne Breaux
Mar 2, 2014
(Image credit: Andrea Sparacio)

Nothing jump-starts design envy more than walking into a home with stunning architectural details like interesting ceilings, textured walls, charming stained glass and more. Don't despair if you don't have any built-in architectural details in your home; there are some ideas you can try that just might give your space a similar feel as those bursting with architectural character and charm.

(Image credit: Better Homes & Gardens)
(Image credit: Curbly)
(Image credit: Faux Daddy Designs Blog)

1. Buy or DIY ceiling medallions for ceilings or walls
While they don't go with every home's style, ceiling medallions are an easy and fast way to create a little architectural detail in a home. You can purchase traditional medallions to install or if you're looking for a more modern style, you can even DIY a mid-century modern-inspired one. But the best thing about these medallions is how flexible they are — they're easily paintable and they don't have to go on the ceiling. They look great hung in clusters on a wall, too. We're even digging using multiple mini mirrors to create a reflective medallion on the ceiling, as seen on Faux Daddy Designs Blog.

(Image credit: Home Depot )

2. Paint to mimic crown molding
Though there are plenty of ways to DIY the look of crown molding, one of the easiest that doesn't involve sawing is to just use paint. Home Depot has the how-to. A great idea for renters.

3. Lean on trompe de l'oeil wallpaper
Piet Hein Eek's wallpapers that look like walls made of recycled wood are certainly a famous example of this idea, but not the only one. Though a bit on the pricier side, it can be an effective look!

(Image credit: Freistil Rolf Benz)

4. Accentuating what architectural details you do have
Think you don't have any architectural details at all? Well that's just not true! You've got windows...consider painting the window frame a bold, contrasting color (like these folks did). Paint your ceilings in a wild color. Paint your doors. (Admittedly the ceiling pictured is pretty stunning no matter the color, but this could still work on any ceiling!)

(Image credit: Adrienne Breaux)

5. Choose architectural lighting
What we mean is — lighting that really stands up and stretches out. Like ceiling fixtures with multiple modern arms creating a stark geometric display. Or tall lamps that arc over a seating arrangement. Pick out lighting that takes up space and grabs attention. Find a good buy and DIY option in Rebekah's High-End, High-Up, Dreamy Digs.

(Image credit: Select Wallpaper)

6. Geometric wallpaper in neutral colors
Keep colors neutral and add some wallpaper in a repetitive, geometric pattern to an accent wall — it won't completely take the place of a nice brick wall, but a repeating pattern will give some of an architectural feel to a space.

(Image credit: Kate Legere)

7. Incorporate salvaged architectural details
Much like hanging ceiling medallions on the wall, it's an old trick but a surprisingly effective one: Find some salvaged architectural elements to hang on a wall in your home. The larger the more effective at mimicking a real architectural detail, but don't be afraid to cluster some similar elements.

(Image credit: As linked above)

8. Hang stained glass in windows
You don't have to spend a ton of money replacing your windows with expensive stained glass; you can find a few hanging designs you like and hang over your windows to add interest. We've got some ideas to start.

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