Ideal finishing touches
Just as perfect accessories can turn an outfit into something extraordinary, the right fittings and trims can add something extra to the home.
The intrinsic style lies with the moulding and interior hardware, such as doorknobs and light switches. Stripped of furniture, window dressings and floor coverings, these often-ignored decorative elements shape the entire look.
Injecting character can be as simple as adding an unusual door handle or intricate ceiling rose. Trim or moulding, which includes everything from skirting boards and cornices to dado rails, help frame an interior and create a finished look.
Keep in mind that the size and scale of the moulding should be appropriate for the room. Low ceilings have a harder time supporting large, ornate crown mouldings than higher ceilings.
Most trims are made from simple plaster and medium-density fibreboard. But it is also possible to find resin ceiling roses that screw into the ceiling.
With an undercoat and seal, plaster trims resist moisture, but if you are installing these in a bathroom or kitchen, consider a mould-resistant paint.
Good-quality hardware will also add polish to your home's style. Changing door handles is a simple update, requiring only a couple of hours of easy work. Aim for quality as these are something you will be using every day.
If you are going for a traditional look, try opting for doorknobs matched with old-world fingerplates and keyhole pads in brass or aged pewter, or make a feature out of pieces inlaid with bone or timber.
Contemporary homes benefit from materials such as stainless steel, glass or Perspex. Remember to consider decorative accessories as a whole; tie-in doorknobs with items such as curtain pullbacks and coat hooks in a similar finish.
When choosing hardware, consider practicality. Ceramic and stainless steel are hard-wearing and simply require a wipe-down every so often, whereas brass requires regular polishing to maintain its sheen.
Avoid lacquered brass which, while it doesn't require polishing initially, tarnishes once the lacquer wears off. Also remember that lever handles are easier to use than circular knobs, which are difficult for children or the elderly to grasp.
Finally, power points may seem insignificant details, but they do appear in every room of the home at least once.
Decorative cover plates are perfect for adding some sparkle without costing a fortune.
Some plates come in brushed metal and even bold colours.
For a more subtle statement, select timber grains or matte-metallic finishes, or camouflage light switches with cover plates that blend with the walls.