How to give your home the 'wow factor'

Homes are far more than just four walls. They are a haven to retreat to from the fast-paced outside world, but they should also be full of surprises, a place that reflects who you are. Simply put a home needs the 'wow factor' .... for both you and your guests.

Each room deserves a centrepiece, a focal point that leaves everyone dazzled by what they see. It could be something personal to you with the hallmark of your taste and lifestyle or a quirky artefact. Basically, any feature that makes the home memorable to guests and inspires them to return.

Where is the wow factor?

So, take a look at each room and ask 'where is the wow factor'? It doesn't have to be large or expensive to make a room stand-out, just something that will literally take your guests breath away.

There are many ways to achieve the 'wow' on a budget - using a bit of flair, a few DIY hacks, and a dollop of imagination.

For example, if a room is decorated in neutral shades, a pop of colour will really create an impact. Choose a bold colour paint and create a feature wall, usually the biggest or one that naturally draws the eye. Or paint an old wooden piece of furniture. Think Farrow & Ball heritage colours like Imperial Purple, Studio Green or Cola, or one of their stunning shades of blue such as Oval Room Blue, Stiffkey Blue or Hague Blue. You can achieve a similar effect with wallpaper and as you only need a couple of rolls, look for a discontinued line or try eBay for surplus stock.

Contemporary Clapham home near Wandsworth Common

Colour and movement to your space

Soft furnishings like cushions and curtains can also provide a much-needed blast of colour.

You could even decorate a room with a mural, which will bring surprise, colour and movement to your space. Either source a local artist with flair or peruse wallpaper murals to get the effect.

Another way of helping a room's 'wow factor' is with large, statement artwork. And where better to find a painting without breaking the bank than at an affordable art fair?

Immaculate New Studio Apartment in Canary Wharf


In March, Battersea Park stages such a fair where a selection of galleries showcase original, contemporary artworks priced from £50 to £7,500. Given the participating galleries are a cross-section of emerging and established from all over the world, there's a high probability something will catch your eye.

Hampstead Heath stages a similar fair in May and there will be a further Affordable Art Fair at Battersea in October.

A large mirror or a rug from one of your travels...

Year round there is Lots Road auction house in Chelsea, a treasure trove of quirky, delightful pre-loved artefacts - mostly with a very reasonable price tag. Alternatively search your local area for 'junk' yards like Aladdin's Cave in Lewisham, a second hand furniture shop/salvage yard. Some of the items may need a bit of TLC but there are many items crying out for a good home!

Enhancing a room with art isn't restricted to a painting, sculpture or artefact.

Make a statement by creating your own montage of photos or frame a larger item such as a rug from one of your travels - maybe a kilim from Turkey?

Alternatively hang a large mirror in a spot that's unexpected. Large mirrors also have the benefit of creating the illusion of space. It's also worth lighting your statement piece to cement its place as the focal point in the room.

Immaculate Victorian Home next to Greenwich Park

Bring nature indoors

Many designers recommend the use of plants to lift a room. A tall plant creates drama and height. Or you could use two medium-sized plants in eye-catching pots to flank a picture window for example. What about bringing nature indoors with a preserved botanical moss wall? Often called a 'living wall' - now that has the 'wow factor'.

So take a look at your home with a fresh eye, assess each room, decide which ones lack a distinctive feature, that certain something that makes you and your guests go 'wow' every time.

Finally, remember that decluttering should go hand-in-hand with seeking a 'wow factor'. Too many objects in a room will dilute the effect you're trying to achieve.

However you achieve it, have fun doing it!

Charming Pimlico home close to the River Thames