By Shira Linden, Direct from the Designers™ Contributing Writer
If you have recently designed and built your new home, and it is somewhat of a blank slate, fall is the perfect time to give it your personal stamp.
Extend summer with a covered patio
Prolong the summer season by enclosing your outdoor patio on two or three sides and add to your functional living space. You’ll gain protection from the sun, rain and wind, so you can enjoy the outdoors longer.
Choose from an array of designs and roofing materials including wood, metal and vinyl. Styles vary as much as house designs, ranging from a minimalist look with clean lines to rough-hewn beam roof supports for a rustic flavor. Go with a style that matches your home or create a studied contrast that works.
For flooring, you can either use your current decking or switch to bricks, stones or pavers. Lighting can range from recessed lights to lanterns and candlelight.
You can even add solar panels to your patio roof and save on energy costs. Plus, increase your comfort by heating or cooling your semi-enclosed patio using ceiling fans, water misters and outdoor heaters.
Make an outdoor fireplace your focal point
Many homeowners put in an outdoor fireplace as another way to extend the season and bring all the comforts of an indoor room outside. No need to start from scratch. A prefab box can be framed in wood and finished with stone veneer. Now you have created a marvelous conversation pit and place to enjoy wine or steaming mugs of spiced cider.
Add character with columns, cornices and molding
If your focus this fall is sprucing up your home’s interior, trim can really bring out the true character of a room. Just imagine how you can set off windows, staircases and archways with trim. You will be amazed at how a ceiling molding of contrasting color from Fypon® frames a room.
Brighten your space with color
One interior decorator I spoke to indicated that the least expensive way to add pizazz to your home's interior is through paint.
Cool colors such as greens and blues convey calm, making them ideal for a bedroom, especially if there is ample natural light. Warm colors such as coral can make a family room feel cozy, while red is a wake-up color you might consider as an accent for your home office. Cheery yellow can perk up a kitchen or laundry area.
Neutrals such as taupe, beige and pale grey are restful and best suited for a library, media room or family room. Primary colors add spunk to playrooms and children's rooms while dark, rich colors add sophistication and drama to formal living rooms and dining rooms.
If you must use white, avoid bright white, which is stark in favor of white tinged with ivory, rose or grey.