Parade of Homes Inspiration – 10 Ways to Add Character to Your Space


Swanson Homes – Epicenters Dining

Were any of you able to visit the recent Parade of Homes? I popped into as many homes as I could, but still only got to a small fraction of them.

It’s always fun to see the inspiration – especially the custom details. The design elements that really add a unique spin on a space and take it to the next level. Some details can be large, complicated, and expensive, while others are easily accomplished on a smaller budget with less effort.

I snapped some pics as I was making the tour, and rounded up 10 ideas for customizing your space. Inspiration for the new home you want to build, or to spruce up an existing space (or to just enjoy browsing :-)):

10 Ways to Customize Your Space

1. Wainscoting.

The wainscoting wall treatment in this beautiful dining room (first image) is clean, simple, and elegant. A great way to add character to any space.

2. Shiplap fireplace.

I’m sure that most of you won’t be surprised that shiplap was very much in evidence throughout the tour.  And I saw it used in a variety of spaces, from traditional to modern.

This fireplace treatment is another clean and simple look, and I like the way they’ve added the inset for art, a mirror, or a TV.

White shiplap fireplace with inset for TV.
Robert Thomas Homes

3. Small spaces.

When you have a small entry, it can be hard to decorate because you don’t have much room.

Unique gray entry door, white shiplap. Entryway.
Robert Thomas Homes

That’s where custom details like this unique front door, simple shiplap, and contrast in the stair rail can work for you.  Taking a tiny space from ho-hum to one-of-a-kind.

Entryway with white shiplap. Dark stained railing with white spindles on stairs.

4. Dining room accent.

Add an accent wall to your dining room. The clerestory window is a great idea too (light + privacy), and adds a clean, modern edge to the space.

Dining room with shiplap walls, clerestory window - urban farmhouse style.
Robert Thomas Homes

5. Whitewashed wood.

I’m not sure of the exact treatment that they used on this plank wall, but it looks almost like a whitewash.  Loved the contrast against the warm wood tones and the clever way they hung the shelves.

Whitewash planked wall in the bar/kitchen area of this family room. Open shelving hung with chains. Contrast.
Gonyea Homes, Inc.

6. Beamed ceiling.

Even though this dining room was two stories high, cue the drama, it still felt cozy and inviting.  It was hard to capture so, since the ceiling was my favorite part, that’s what I went with.

You would definitely need the right home to pull this exact look off, but adding beams (or faux beams) to a regular height ceiling will add character as well.

Two story dining room with vaulted rustic beamed ceiling. Add character with unique details.
Gonyea Homes

7. Reclaimed wood ceiling.

Speaking of ceilings… Rustic wood, planed to refine it a little. It adds so much warmth and character to this space. (As does the beautiful fireplace. And the impressive light fixture).

Rustic plank ceiling, warm white fireplace with beautiful details, light fixture
Traditions by Donnay Homes, Inc.

8. Floor on the wall.

This warm rustic bedroom accent wall was actually created with flooring.   Who knew? Great idea.

This rustic bedroom accent wall was created with plank flooring. Great idea!
Pulte Homes of Minnesota, LLC

9. Modern porch.

Shiplap-look walls and tile laid vertically creates a modern statement in this sunny porch. The space was so inviting (and hard to capture).  I could have hung out there for a while.

Shiplap walls, clerestory windows, vertical plank tile on the fireplace. Add character with unique details.
Pillar Homes Partner, Inc.

10. Wallpaper.

I just had to get a pic of this unique wall, which I originally thought was stone. So realistic looking, but it’s wallpaper!

This wallpaper looks like stone - great way to add character in any room. Love the sputnik light fixture too.
Homes by Tradition, LLC

Which is your favorite idea for adding character to a space?

More inspiration.

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