If there's one thing that makes a house feel peaceful and relaxed it's consistency.
Consistency of colour, finishes and details is restful to the eye and goes a long way to creating a welcoming feel. Sometimes that's hard to achieve quickly. You might have to live with countertops, flooring or appliances that are mismatched and don't fit with the rest of the house, at least until you have the savings to change them out.
But one thing you can do - fairly inexpensively and easily - is bring everything harmoniously together with consistent doors, windows and trim. I'm talking all one colour and all one style - and all you need is a little caulking and paint (ok, and perhaps a little DIY handy work).
A weekend refresh of your trim can make a big difference in how your whole house (and everyone spending time in it) feels. Take inventory of every door and window, plus all trim & moulding and then do a little DIY work to make them consistent, clean and fresh. Don't worry, just take it floor by floor over a few weekends if you have a bigger home!
Start with the entry door and work your way in. Your entry should make a statement about the style of your home and the people that live in it.
The entry door can be a bold colour, and yes it can be a different colour on the inside and outside. The style, too, can be more grand for the entry door than for the rest of the doors in your home. But the feel of this door should set the tone for what's inside. Is it simple with clean lines and classic panels? Is it elaborate with curves and designs on the windows? Even if the inside doors are less grand than your entry, they should still maintain a consistent look and feel.
If you have older plain or outdated interior doors, you can put in some simple DIY wood work to turn them all into a panelled variety. If you have outdated fancy doors, take a look at salvage yards for plain hollow-core doors and update them yourself so that they're the same throughout the house. The tutorials below from Pretty Handy Girl and Jenna Sue Design are very helpful.
At the very least, make sure that your interior doors are all the same colour. Freshen them up with a coat of semi-gloss paint (I prefer white or off white - help with that here).
Next up: your windows. You may have different windows depending on how fast you've been upgrading them in an older home. But all should at least have the same trim around them. Or no trim, depending on the style!
It's pretty easy and relatively inexpensive to upgrade your window trim for consistency. Go classic with simple square-cut boards you can do yourself.
Regardless of how much time and money you put into your windows, take an hour to caulk any cracks and nail holes, and then freshen up the trim with semi-gloss paint.
Finally, check all of the mouldings and baseboard trim throughout your home. Are there some repairs to be made? Does it need caulking and painting?
Take some time to fill in those pesky corner gaps. Perhaps beef it up by adding little decorative blocks to the bases of doors or openings.
A common question - what if I have all wood trim and mouldings but want to lighten up?
I've shared some great interiors in this post that keep wood unpainted and are really light and bright.
Again, being consistent is key. One thing you could do is paint your ceiling mouldings white and leave the rest wood - it heightens the room and blends with the ceiling, so doesn't feel awkward to the eye and the rest of the trim still feels right. The other alternative is to paint all trim and mouldings white, but keep a focal doorway or two in wood. It doesn't feel uneasy if the inconsistency is planned as a real focal point in the space.
Paying attention to trim, door and window details will simplify your home and make you feel more peaceful. That's definitely worth a weekend of work isn't it?