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Scott McGillivray Says Every Home Needs These 5 Things to Stand Out (No Exceptions!)

Scott McGillivray Says Every Home Needs These 5 Things to Stand Out (No Exceptions!)

I’ve been in a lot of houses over the years – hundreds, maybe even thousands. In that time, I’ve learned a few tips that make a living space work. There are obvious elements that homes should have in order to function properly, but if you really want your space to be its best, read on and learn about which 5 things I think every house should have.


Scott McGillivray is a real estate expert and host of HGTV Canada’s Income Property and Moving the McGillivrays.

1. Architectural Mouldings
There’s no better way to add depth and personality to a space than with architectural mouldings. Baseboards, window casings and door casings are the most common, but I also really like crown moulding, picture moulding and even coffered ceilings. You don’t need to go overboard with moulding in every room, but simple mouldings placed where it counts will add a great sense of character to your home.

Related: Common Renovating Costs: Walls, Doors and Windows.

2. Dedicated Entryway
Every home should have a dedicated entryway where people can pause for a minute when they enter. It should have a shelf or table for placing keys and mail, storage for coats and shoes, and lighting – either overhead or task – that can be turned on as soon as you enter. That said, some homes don’t have a dedicated entryway built in, so you may need to get creative. If your front entrance opens directly into the living room, for example, I suggest creating the illusion of a separate space with a small area rug, and possibly a piece of furniture like a bookshelf to separate it from the rest of the room.


3. Good Lighting Scheme
Every room should have three types of lighting: general (ambient), task and accent. This means a mix of overhead lights (recessed lighting, overhead fixtures, etc.), table lamps, floor lamps and sconces. I would highly recommend that, in order to balance the light throughout the rooms, you place lighting at different levels. So don’t just put lamps on tables – think about using floor lamps, hanging pendants and sconces to better distribute light. Also, try to install dimmers on as many of your lights as possible. This makes a huge difference as it allows you to alter the ambiance of the room.

Related: The 8 Coolest Lighting Trends That Will Transform Any Room.

4. Window Treatments
Window treatments are one of those things some people figure they can live without – particularly if they have a beautiful view on a private plot of land. But as far as I’m concerned, a room just doesn’t look complete without them. If you want to maximize your view, and the amount of natural light coming in, you can extend your curtain rod on either side of the window so that the curtains or drapes won’t block it during the day. And if curtains and drapes aren’t your thing, consider roman shades, shutters and even roller blinds. There are plenty of options out there, so have a look around before making a decision.

5. Natural Light
Never underestimate the importance of natural light. If it so happens that your home has small windows that don’t allow for much light, you might want to consider enlarging them. It’s not exactly a small project, but in my opinion it’s often worth it. If you have trees or shrubs blocking your windows, cut back the branches where you can. And if neither of these things are options, highlight natural light by hanging mirrors across from windows and using other pieces of reflective furniture. It makes a big difference!

Related: 10 Signs it’s Time to Replace the Windows in Your Home.


Images Courtesy of HGTV Canada

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