Creating the perfect space in your home can be an overwhelming task. Your home should meet your functional, everyday needs while exuding a polished look and feel that conveys your unique style, be it understated elegance, bohemian chic, vintage retro, French country or uber modern. Depending on your needs, you might need a quick pillow or rug to spruce up a room, or you might require an extensive renovation. Whatever the case may be, we’ve rounded up all the tips, tricks and suggestions from local home experts to help you along on your journey of making your house a home.

These renovated spaces are each filled with natural light and a distinct, consistent style.

These renovated spaces are each filled with natural light and a distinct, consistent style.

Renovation & Updating Tips from Local Design Pros

Cantley & Company: Don’t be afraid to gut your kitchen.

“Do not be afraid to gut your kitchen,” says Cyndy Cantley, lead designer and owner of Cantley & Company. “You should love your kitchen, and if not, it is worth the change!” These kitchen-designing gurus know that the kitchen is the heart of the home and you should take every necessary step to make it perfect for you. For lighting, which can so drastically change the mood of a room, Cyndy says to always make maximum use of natural light in your space. When natural light is not available, the ceiling can be great way to lighten a space. By using a lighter paint on the ceiling than the walls, you’ll bring more light and a feeling of height into the space. She also encourages us to think outside the box for lighting by using sconces or pendants at a mid-level height, which gives every room a warmer, more inviting glow.

Cyndy also suggests having wide walkways, when possible, to create an interactive space that is good for hosting friends and family. Create seating under windows with the use of multi-purpose cabinetry-meets-benches. With regard to the lines of the cabinetry and stove-top range, Cyndy suggests hiding a recessed hood with a sheetrock arch and dropping the tops of cabinets to create an aesthetically pleasing shadow line. These before and after shots show off how much of a change these suggestions can make!

Before: A white kitchen with minimal natural light and black appliances exudes a dated look. Image: <a href="http://www.jeanallsopp.com" target="_blank">Jean Allsopp</a>

Before: A white kitchen with minimal natural light and black appliances exudes a dated look. Image: Jean Allsopp

After: With increased window size for maximum natural light and bright white paint throughout, this renovated kitchen is a breath of fresh air! Image: <a href="http://www.jeanallsopp.com" target="_blank">Jean Allsopp</a>

After: With increased window size for maximum natural light and bright white paint throughout, this renovated kitchen is a breath of fresh air! Image: Jean Allsopp

Before: Cream and a peachy hue leave something to be desired! Image: <a href="http://www.jeanallsopp.com" target="_blank">Jean Allsopp</a>

Before: Cream and a peachy hue leave something to be desired! Image: Jean Allsopp

After: With further elongated windows and a cabinet-turned-bench beneath them, the cook is able to socialize with her kitchen guests in a bright, airy space. Image: <a href="http://www.jeanallsopp.com" target="_blank">Jean Allsopp</a>

After: With further elongated windows and a cabinet-turned-bench beneath them, the cook is able to socialize with her kitchen guests in a bright, airy space. Image: Jean Allsopp

RELATED: Stately & Subdued: A Classic White Kitchen

Cantley & Company hides a recessed hood with a sheet-rock arch, adds nice mid-level lighting with the wall sconces and maximizes the wall space with inset shelving for a fully functional and pleasing kitchen! Image: <a href="http://www.jeanallsopp.com" target="_blank">Jean Allsopp</a>

The pros at Cantley & Company hid a recessed hood with a sheetrock arch, added nice mid-level lighting with the wall sconces and maximized the wall space with inset shelving for a fully functional and pleasing kitchen. Image: Jean Allsopp

Paige Albright Orientals: Use your oriental rugs in new ways.

Paige Albright, owner of Paige Albright Orientals, has thoughtfully curated a vast collection of rugs for her Birmingham clientele and she regularly works closely with designers to match the perfect rugs to their clients’ spaces. She reminded us that ancient rugs were works of art meant to add flair, elegance and interest to a room. If you already have a rug that you love but are looking for a change, Paige suggests rotating the rugs to a different room or space or placing the rug at an angle for an edgier look.

Not only can oriental rugs and kelim pillows be layered and used creatively, but these pieces of ancient art can be treated as actual art too! "I’ve got a framed antique kelim fragment that’s very special," says Paige. "It belonged to my husband’s grandmother and is hanging in our den."

Not only can oriental rugs and kilim pillows be layered and used creatively, but these pieces of ancient art also can be treated as actual art, too! “I’ve got a framed antique kilim fragment that’s very special,” says Paige. “It belonged to my husband’s grandmother and is hanging in our den.” Image Beth Hontzas

“And small rugs can make a big impact,” says Paige, reminding us about smaller spaces like the kitchen sink, back door or powder room. “If you are not ready to commit to a larger rug, layering a smaller piece on top of a seagrass or sisal rug will ‘grow’ your rug and fill the space without breaking the budget.” Additionally, pillows, stools and ottomans all add a layer of color and texture to a space. “There are no rules when it come to rugs,” says Paige, adding, “So why not flip the rug over and use the back side or layer a few companion pieces and see what happens?! Don’t be afraid to use and enjoy your pieces!”

If you already have a rug that you love, but are looking for change, Paige suggests rotating the rugs to a different room or space or placing the rug at an angle for an edgier look.

If you already have a rug that you lovee but are looking for a change, Paige suggests rotating the rugs to a different room or space or placing the rug at an angle for an edgier look. Image: Beth Hontzas

Mix and match colors and patterns for a cozy, layered look.

Mix and match colors and patterns for a cozy, layered look. Image: Beth Hontzas

Christopher Architecture + Interiors: Use white and light to create beautiful, timeless spaces.

Christopher Architecture + Interiors knows exactly how to take a space to the next level. Through their impressive renovations, it becomes crystal clear that an all-white space is ever-elegant and timeless. It is the perfect way to make a cluttered or out-of-date kitchen look fresh and stylish. Adding some unique fixtures like a statement lighting fixture or a striking backsplash to a space can also add interest and sophistication. Natural light is key when it comes to bringing a warm and welcoming vibe to a space, and you can never underestimate the power of cozy furniture — especially in an outside patio that works to bring people together for cocktails, dinners, conversations and celebrations. Check out these before and after shots to see the impact these tips can have!

Before: Bold yellow stucco and enclosed walls leave something to be desired. Image: <a href="http://www.christopherai.com" target="_blank">Christopher Architecture and Interiors</a>

Before: Bold yellow stucco and enclosed walls leave something to be desired. Image: Christopher Architecture + Interiors

After: New openings, more natural light and fresh shades of white offer an open, airy, inviting atmosphere. Image: <a href="http://www.christopherai.com" target="_blank">Christopher Architecture and Interiors</a>

After: New openings, more natural light and fresh shades of white offer an open, airy, inviting atmosphere. Image: Christopher Architecture + Interiors

Before: Dark shades of rust and eggplant mix with colored glass, tiles and stucco textures in an overstimulating fashion. Image: <a href="http://www.christopherai.com" target="_blank">Christopher Architecture and Interiors</a>

Before: Dark shades of rust and eggplant mix with colored glass, tiles and stucco textures in an overstimulating fashion. Image: Christopher Architecture + Interiors

After: Subtle architectural elements, such as the dining hutch, iron light fixture and circular wooden table, are offset by clean whites and sunwashed interiors. Image: <a href="http://www.christopherai.com" target="_blank">Christopher Architecture and Interiors</a>

After: Subtle architectural elements, such as the dining hutch, iron light fixture and circular wooden table, are offset by clean whites and sun-washed interiors. Image: Christopher Architecture + Interiors

Before: A mix of styles leaves this kitchen feeling lost in time, not sure which era it belongs to. Image: <a href="http://www.christopherai.com" target="_blank">Christopher Architecture and Interiors</a>

Before: A mix of styles leaves this kitchen feeling lost in time, unsure of which era it belongs. Image: Christopher Architecture + Interiors

After: Soft greens and whites give this light-filled kitchen a relaxing quality. Image: <a href="http://www.christopherai.com" target="_blank">Christopher Architecture and Interiors</a>

After: Soft greens and whites give this light-filled kitchen a relaxing quality. Image: Christopher Architecture + Interiors

Before: A mix of tiles, stucco and brown accents beg for new life! Image: <a href="http://www.christopherai.com" target="_blank">Christopher Architecture and Interiors</a>

Before: A mix of tiles, stucco and brown accents beg for new life! Image: Christopher Architecture + Interiors

After: Again, white saves the day, especially when coupled with an outdoor living space, fireplace and pool, perfect for hosting fabulous gatherings! Image: <a href="http://www.christopherai.com" target="_blank">Christopher Architecture and Interiors</a>

After: Again, white saves the day, especially when coupled with an outdoor living space, fireplace and pool — perfect for hosting fabulous gatherings! Image: Christopher Architecture + Interiors

Stock & Trade Design Co.: Invest in a beautiful cabinet or hutch.

Not only can a cabinet, hutch or dresser act as a beautiful focal point to any space, it also is the perfect way to show off your china or other valuables. The design experts at Stock & Trade Design Co. advise us to opt for a beautiful cupboard or cabinet featuring glass windows that allows you to showcase fine china, tea sets, sophisticated decor and virtually any other treasured collection you love. Additionally, a nice cabinet changes the entire dynamic of a space by helping to define the layout of the room and adding the presence of elegance to any room. Thankfully, Stock & Trade of Homewood has a few different options from which to choose when it comes to gorgeous dining room storage. These pretty pieces are the perfect way to spruce up your living space.

This beautifully rustic hutch creates the perfect place to showcase fine china or valuables plus it stands out in the right way with pops of green!

This beautifully rustic hutch creates the perfect place to showcase fine china or valuables. Plus it stands out in the right way with pops of green!

For a more elegant look, go for a metal hutch that pairs perfectly with gold or silver accessories.

For a more elegant look, go for a metal hutch that pairs perfectly with gold or silver accessories.

A wooden hutch with glass lined in a unique design provides the most beautiful bookcase ever!

A wooden hutch with glass lined in a unique design provides the most beautiful bookcase ever!

Brandino Brass Co.: Make a good first impression.

“Front entryways give visitors and passersby their first impression of your home,” say the hardware experts at Brandino Brass Co.. “Properly scaled lighting and great front-door hardware help in making a fantastic first impression.” One of our favorite tips from Brandino is that lighting and hardware do not have to match but it is important to be sure that finishes blend and complement each other. To do this, keep in mind the style of your house and match that to the style of hardware. These perfectly lit entryways complement the style of each home, allowing each one to exude a polished charm — perfect for welcoming every guest with pride! For more fabulous hardware suggestions, check out Brandino Brass Co.’s more in-depth tips.

This more traditional entrance calls for a simple, classic light fixture that won't overpower the lovely architectural details. Image: James Acomb

This more traditional entrance calls for a simple, classic light fixture that won’t overpower the lovely architectural details. Image: James Acomb

The modern triangular light fixture and modern knob match the look and feel of this mid-century modern door. Image: James Acomb

The modern triangular light fixture and modern knob match the look and feel of this mid-century modern door. Image: James Acomb

 

RELATED: Don’t Make These Rookie Hardware Mistakes!

This sleek white back patio exudes the glamour of a Hollywood bungalow with a modern twist, and the muted grey doors across the threshold allow sun to pour into the home, complementing the relaxed, open feel of the design. Image: James Acomb

This sleek white back patio exudes the glamour of a Hollywood bungalow with a modern twist, and the muted grey doors across the threshold allow sun to pour into the home, complementing the relaxed, open feel of the design. Image: James Acomb

So, whether your home simply needs a dining room hutch or an oriental rug or a complete renovation, Birmingham’s local design experts have the answers for you! Now, get crackin’ and turn your house into the home of your dreams!

**********

Check out more beautiful interiors in our Home & Decor section — and follow us on Instagram for design inspiration and our favorite local FINDS.

And, be sure to sign up for our daily emails … finally, a daily email you’ll actually want to read, keeping you in the know and ahead of the curve! styleblueprint.com/subscribe