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June 14, 2021
Since I was a small child, I’ve dreamed about what my dream home would look like. I pictured a reading room with floor-to-ceiling shelves, a big bright kitchen, a bedroom with a skylight, lots of natural light and, of course, furry friends to keep it feeling super cozy and homey. (As a millennial, I’ve settled for laundry in the building and almost-sufficient storage space in my rentals, but I continue to dream.) Working in the home renovation industry means constantly looking at gorgeous designs, and it’s impossible not to imagine yourself inhabiting those beautiful spaces - so, this week, the Decorner team is sharing some of our most-coveted home features, the stuff our dream-home musings are made of! We’ve asked some of our friends to chime in, so read on for some special insights from incredible creators!
In true Aries fashion, I’ll go first - at first glance, it might seem like my favorite space is my bedroom, but the real heart of my home is the kitchen. I grew up cooking and baking with my mother and creating sustenance for people I care about is one of my favorite and most invigorating love languages! My rentals in the past five years or so have been low on space, both counter and floor, and so my most-coveted home feature right now is a totally tricked-out pantry. And by that, I mean a walk-in closet equivalent to a pantry, curated and coiffed, with cabinets and shelves and easy access to appliances and a spice rack. Somewhere for all my baking sheets and silicon mats and bags and mason jars. And, of course, aesthetically appealing - a graphic wallpaper or a mural, or maybe a striking tile. Having a designated space like that for all the kitchen STUFF would make it so easy to stay organized and know where everything is, giving me more time to bake my beloved lemon thyme ricotta loaf for all my favorite people, or to make pulled pork for a get-together with friends.
(Because I can’t help myself, my runner-up would be a gorgeous bar situation like this one created by our next contributor…)
I asked Katie Davis of @sprucedesign_nyc about her most-coveted home feature, and she has the following to say:
“I think my most coveted home feature is windows - a set of black pane windows, or if you’re lucky enough to have an ARCHED window (gasp!) that absolutely can take a room (or a house) from 0 to 200, no matter what the walls or floor or furniture might look like. Everything from historic detail to modern architecture… unique windows have my heart!!!”
Oh, boy, do we get this! You can paint, re-tile, re-floor, re-furnish a space, but unless you can do a COMPLETE overhaul, the windows are what they are, and being blessed with a true statement window is akin to a miracle. Black panes bring depth and dimension to any space, whether it’s otherwise light and breezy or something darker, like a bold color or brick. Arched windows immediately add height to a space and also a sense of grandeur (arches are, incidentally, a centuries-old architectural device originally widely used because the arch adds a whole lot of structural integrity). A black-paned arched window? GAME OVER!
Our tireless and fearless CEO, Olga Vilkova, in true workaholic fashion, cited a closet office as her most-coveted home feature. This is completely unsurprising for Olga, and also a brilliant idea in itself - it’s a super efficient use of space and a great way to zone within a room. There’s a ton of flexibility and adaptability here; any closet of any size or configuration will work. Built-in shelves and a floating desk will be possible pretty much anywhere. Make it cute with a contrasting color or wallpaper, and get the desk chair of your dreams, and you’ve got yourself a space. You can even choose whether or not you want to leave the doors on the closet, giving you the option of showing off your office or unplugging for the day. It’s the perfect feature for a hard-working business owner like Olga, or anyone who works from home!
Joining our docket of friends, Laura Knapp-Alviso of @knapptime_crafts chimed in as well:
“My most coveted home feature is a book accent wall. While it doubles as an accent wall with book covers as art, I have a place to read all my favorite books! I am a sucker for a dual purpose design!”
This struck a chord for me as an avid reader - my spaces have always been overrun with books without an efficient and effective way to easily hold and display them. There are so many ways you can create a book accent wall: multiple shelving units, built-ins or floating shelves if you’re looking for an accent wall that also functions as a library. If you’re looking for more of an artsy, visual installation, you can use pages or whole books to create wall art, though we’d definitely encourage you to go with used books for a project like that! Whatever your style is - whether you have some first-editions or highly prized tomes you’d like to display, or if a cozy, floor-to-ceiling situation is more your cup of tea, if you’re a book-lover, a literary accent wall could be a perfect feature for you. And be sure to check out this super-sweet accent wall that Laura made for her little one - can’t help but love a cute installation that also gets them reading young!
See more of this stunning space here.
We also heard from DIY guru Jeff Thorman of HomeRenovision DIY about favorite home features, and he took a slightly different tack than any of our other contributors!
“Loving our under the counter dual zone wine cooler. We host a lot of family and staff get-togethers in our home and of course we all love wine! So the dual feature temp is great for both red wine or chilled white wine lovers. We have a saying in our house which is to “self your help,” in other words, don’t be shy, and help yourself to the wine cooler!”
Ok, if we’re going to talk about appliances we wish we had, this just shot right up to the top of all our lists. We’re a team of wine-lovers and are now experiencing all kinds of envy for these staff get-togethers. It tucks right in under the counter - all you have to do is keep it stocked. What an incredible kitchen update, perfect for households with a busy entertaining schedule. We’re so glad to know that this hardworking household also knows how to party!
Our resident social media maven Natalie Janvary stays true to her social, curious roots with her pick - a gallery wall.
“I love gallery walls because they’re a great way to express yourself through your home. I’m a big knick-knack collector but I find that most items are kept in drawers or closets and forgotten about over time. Gallery walls allow random things like pennants, license plates, macrame art, dried flowers, etc. to be put on display and I love it!! And anything paper can be put in a frame and shown off. It’s such a fun way to learn about the person who curated it. My personal fav is when people’s favourite musical artists are evident through the prints they choose- song lyrics, art of the person or band, concert tickets. All very cool. If you invite me over and you have a gallery wall in your home, prepare to give me a tour of it!”
I couldn’t have put it better myself. A gallery wall can be a very intimate tour of one’s aesthetic and one’s experience, a real invitation to getting to know someone better. Of course our social media manager would be in favor of human connection like that! Whether you’re in favor of a mixed medium wall (trinkets, tokens, varied kinds and pieces of art) or something more unified - all photographs, pieces by one or similar artists - a gallery wall is a veritable infusion of personality.
And capping off our round-up of most-coveted home features, we have Jenna of @608_interiors with another dream kitchen update:
“My favorite design feature is solid slab backsplashes in kitchens. Especially the marble look with lots of veins, paired with moody cabinets and copper and brass accents.”
The LUXURY of solid slab is undeniable. I’ll out myself here and admit that although I’ve lusted over solid stone countertops, it had never even occurred to me to think about a solid slab backsplash, and I’m not sure I can go back! A solid expanse of marble behind the stove, or above the counter? It’s a high-impact look with a lot of benefits. They’re easy to clean and install, and though you’ll have to be careful of staining and scratching if you choose to go with genuine marble, there are a TON of options out there that can help you get the look of real stone for less. Porcelain is a great alternative to real stone, coming in at a lower price point while still giving you the marble or slate (or, if stone’s not your thing, METAL) look you crave.
We’re super grateful to our friends for joining us on this romp through our dream homes! Whether your most-coveted feature is something you’ve already achieved in your home (congratulations are certainly in order) or something you’re still working towards, there’s a huge wealth of inspiration out there, so get to scrolling and searching. Be sure to let us know if you’ve got a dream DIY or reno that we can help you with - there’s nothing we love more than helping DIYers turning their dreams into reality. What’s your most-coveted home feature? We’d love to know!
(And if you’re reading this on June 14th or 15th, be sure to hop over to our IG for a fun this-or-that quiz in our stories about some of our favorite home features - as seen in DISNEY movies!)
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