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We all know how exciting it is to see a “showstopper” home. You know what I mean: a home, of which there are many here in the valley, that has that “wow” factor. Maybe it’s the sheer size of the residence, but sometimes it is an important attribute like a water feature, a spectacular view, a beautiful garden or all three.

While we admire those homes, most of us can only dream of having a place that instills awe and admiration.

We can all have our dream home with a “wow” factor, if we pay attention to the details that create that sensation. Here are some ideas to bring excitement into your home, without buying a palatial estate or doing an extensive remodel.

A striking entryway or hallway will be the first thing a guest will see and can easily be made inspirational. A colorful table, wallpaper or rug all with a mix of patterns can really get an entrant’s attention. Think about something with a little drama — a large floral or green arrangement or a fantastic artifact will brighten the entryway and say to your guests, “Welcome to a special place!” I have used a large manzanita branch, completely natural and native to our area, set in white stones in a large see-through vessel to create that excitement.

Use a large painting or wall hanging in the immediate line of sight to the entry of a room. Keep the surrounding area in neutral or muted tones to draw attention to the artwork.

You don’t have to break the bank with a painting by a renowned artist. It only takes a little imagination to be successful with this technique. Perhaps you have a colorful woven rug you have picked up in your travels that you can mount and hang on a rod. Perhaps you have a beautiful photograph you can have blown up and reproduced in giclée (fine art digital prints made on inkjet printers). There are many online companies that will do this for you. Or, you can find an antique mirror with an intricate carved frame. Any of these will create the effect.

The right lighting in the right space can also make a statement. In addition to the usual places for a chandelier, like an entryway or over a dining room table, there is no reason why you can’t place a hanging lamp in your bedroom, bathroom or living room. While a large scale certainly gets attention, the use of unusual materials, regardless of size, draws your eyes to the object and upward, resulting in a feeling of lavishness. Metals, stained glass and gorgeous fabric appliques on a silk shade will all work. Then, really pump up the excitement quotient with a colored bulb to imbue the entire room with a soft glow.

Of course, painting a stairwell or single wall in a room in a bright color gets everyone’s attention. I like a modern use of red lacquer (as seen at the Hall Winery ladies room) that really packs a happy punch!

There are so many creative ways to create that “wow” factor in your home. New products on the market or in the design world are abundant. Have fun and be bold to make your home a showstopper!

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Deborah Macdonald is the owner of Textured Design Napa. Contact Deborah at 707-255-0246, deborah@textureddesignnapa.com, or visit TexturedDesignNapa.com.

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