6 Finishing Touches That Transform A Room

pocket doors open to a living room
From the layout to the furniture, here are six tips for finishing a room or living space.

When it comes to designing a home, we all know how important the major features are. From the layout to flooring to furniture, it’s the big things that set the feeling and vibe of a space. However, small details can have just as big an impact. Here are six finishing touches that can transform a room, as seen in some of the top luxury properties currently on the market. These little details will inspire you to think big. 

black marble fireplace in a los angeles home

A bold, marble fireplace transforms the living room inside this Los Angeles home. (Hilton & Hyland)

A Bold Mantle

Fireplaces are unique architectural features you won’t find in every home. The most important part of a fireplace is the mantle because a bold mantle can amp up the style of a space exponentially, as seen at this Midcentury Modern-style home in Sherman Oaks, California. The custom black marble mantle in the living room is just striking. It screams fresh, new, and modern. The mantle isn’t just part of the wall—it makes the wall. 

contemporary fireplace with sunburst pattern art piece

A sunburst-patterned art piece draws the eyes above the mantle at this Santa Barbara residence. (Village Properties)

Alternatively, a bold mantle can add a contemporary touch, as seen in this iconic home in Santa Barbara. The shelf is very dramatic while the sunburst-inspired art piece also draws the eye into this spectacular installation.

Chair Rail

Never overlook the power of chair rail. This design feature adds a traditional detail to this beautiful Montreal home in several rooms, including the front entryway. The tan wood is subtle yet sophisticated while complimenting the vintage door and moldings. 

There is also a chair rail in the powder room, which matches the cabinetry. A chair rail is great for installing in a powder room because these spaces tend to be on the smaller side, and a chair rail doesn’t take much much space. 

powder room with a chair rail inside a montreal townhome

Looking for a vintage addition? A chair rail is a classic detail that works in smaller spaces such as powder rooms. (Groupe Sutton)

One of the best uses of chair rail in this home is on the front staircase. It’s made of a natural wood which compliments the stairs and handrail. The wainscotting also makes it pop.

Hidden Appliances

Hidden appliances are the perfect way to transform an upscale kitchen. It’s also relatively easy and affordable to do. All you need is an extra cabinet panel and a skilled contractor to get the job done. We see this in the kitchen of this stunning mountain- and city-view condiminium located in Scottsdale, Arizona. The double-door refrigerator is beautifully hidden by the honey wood cabinetry and unique hardware. 

hidden refridgerator behind wood cabinetry in a luxury condo

Hide the appliances for a clean aesthetic in the kitchen, as seen inside this Scottsdale condominium. (RETSY)

Keep in mind that refrigerators aren’t the only appliances that can be hidden. It’s equally easy to conceal a dishwasher. While microwaves can’t be hidden in the same way, they can be placed behind a cabinet. 

A Kitchen Hood

Another great finishing touch to add to a kitchen is a hood. It’s also a helpful appliance for home chefs because it helps clear any smoke and odors and is a decorative accent. We see this at this Wilshire Corridor condominium in Los Angeles. The stainless steel hood adds a modern touch but is also essential for living spaces like condos or windowless kitchens.

chef's kitchen inside a los angeles condo

Stainless steel appliances create visual interest in this luxurious Los Angeles kitchen. (Hilton & Hyland)

On the other hand, the kitchen at this Ennisbrook Villa in Montecito, California, has a more traditional look with a white hood. Designed by architects Ketzel & Goodman and master builder Paul Franz, this home is a truly exceptional property.

classic chef's kitchen inside a santa barbara home

A white hood lends a classic look to this Montecito villa. (Village Properties)

A Grand Closet

While a grand closet isn’t entirely necessary to everyone, it is the icing on the cake for some buyers and can significantly increase a property’s appeal. The closet at this Bel-Air residence is a perfect example of this.


Want an additional dose of luxury for your closet? Dark wood wardrobes and a matching island make for a clean look in this Bel-Air home. (Hilton & Hyland)

The dark wood cabinetry and hides clothing, shoes, and handbags, while the island adds an additional luxury to this incredible space. The window provides natural lighting perfect for the vanity area at the room’s far end. 

Lighting Fixtures

When it comes to the design of a room, great lighting fixtures are the icing on the cake. More than just providing light, they’re a decorative accent that can make a major impact. We see this at this masterful Brentwood Park residence in Los Angeles.

modern light fixture tops a living room with a large window looking out on lawn

The Adam Hunter-designed home in Brentwood Park features eye-catching fixtures from room to room. (Hilton & Hyland)

Designed by Adam Hunter, this home was three and a half years in the making. The property features several jaw-dropping light fixtures, of the most notable is over the staircase. It’s simply a showstopper. 

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I am a writer, design expert, host of the podcast Bougie Adjacent, and comedic performer. I am absolutely fascinated by all aspects of décor and design. It once took me six months to choose a soap dispenser and I can’t even remember what it looked like. I like bright prints, southern exposure and any location you can call a “village or town.” There are currently over 100 episodes of House Hunters on my DVR.