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Functional Beauty for Your Home

You want a beautiful home, but when you make decorating choices, function should come first. With a few changes, your home can have a custom designer feel while expressing your unique personality. Here are six ways to incorporate your style into functional pieces throughout your home.

Fire Screen

If you have a fireplace, you should have a fire screen as well. Why not make it ornamental? A distinctive, decorative fire screen can give the room a tidy look with a little extra personality and flair. Guests are sure to notice that the artistic screen makes your home seem like an upscale lodge or boutique spa.


When you remodel a kitchen you splurge on the big items: cabinets, countertops and appliances. But you can add style and color without much expense by installing a striking backsplash. Choose an offbeat material, creative pattern or bold color. Because the backsplash covers a relatively small area, you can be daring without overwhelming the space.


Shelves are almost always utilitarian; they hold numerous items in a small footprint and help keep a room tidy. Do not let their practical nature fool you. Many shelves can make a statement of their own with a sculptural shape, remarkable color or unique material. Ladder shelves come in all sizes, to make stylish use of narrow areas or line an entire wall. Floating shelves in unique shapes look striking even before you put anything on them.


An ottoman is primarily a footrest, making every seat in the house a bit more comfortable. However, because ottomans come in so many different sizes, shapes, colors and textures, they are a perfect way to add panache to a space. Try a round straw puff or an oversized tufted bench. If space is at a premium, find a storage ottoman that can hide extra pillows and throw blankets, helping you keep clutter to a minimum.

Light Fixtures

Proper lighting is essential to an attractive space. Natural light is best but rooms need artificial light, too. Since you need to install lights, why not use beautiful ones? Dining rooms are known for elaborate chandeliers — and there are styles to suit every taste — but other rooms can benefit from striking light fixtures as well. Hang pretty pendant lights above your kitchen island or peninsula and mount sconces around your bed.


Indoor plants do more than just liven up a room; there are significant health benefits to incorporating greenery into your décor. Most importantly, they clean the air you breathe. Lesser known benefits include regulating room temperature and boosting humidity levels. These small physical changes can have positive effects on your mood, productivity, stress and general well-being.