Mansions and McDonalds. Typically, you wouldn't put those two words in the same sentence as one another. One invokes luxury, opulence, frivolity, and wealth. At the same time, the other typically conjures up images of frugality, convenience, and the last resort on a too-long road trip. Mansions and McDonalds do not go together. This is why the term "McMansion" might sound like a bit of a misnomer. Are we trying to class up McDonalds or bring the mansion into the realm of possibility?
The term "McMansion" can mean any number of things. Typically, it refers to large mass-produced homes built on the outskirts of town and often adorned with tacky accents (think faux oil paintings in fake gold frames) and cheap building materials (artificial stucco, styrofoam crown molding, etc.)
This is where, I, Sara Fattori Interior Design enter.
Taking on a McMansion can be daunting. The houses are not so much styled as they are themed. From the Mediterranean to the French Country, Tudor, Colonial, or some strange and awkward combination of all of the above, I'm never really sure what we will be working with.
Decorators in the 90's filled these McMansions with dark colors, heavy, poorly made furniture reminiscent of the Victorian Era, which was known to be the most "garish" period in the history of design! While you can't always do anything about the architecture of a home, there is plenty you can do in the interior space to take one of these "McMansions" to the next level.
I've taken a few steps in my current project to revamp a McMansion.
1) Fine Fabrics & Fresh Colors
The impact is remarkable when you replace poor-quality polyester fabric-covered furniture with quality furniture designed with clean lines and balanced proportions. These choices will take a room from a place to avoid to somewhere you look forward to at the end of the day.
2) Original Art
To give your place an instant boost, original art or prints in quality handcrafted frame.
3) Quality Furniture
I cannot overstate this. If you buy cheap furniture, your space will feel inferior. A high-quality piece of furniture may be more expensive upfront. Still, you won't have to replace it nearly as often as the pressboard stuff that you buy from department stores. Spring for the good stuff here.
4) Avoid Visual Clutter
One of the temptations I see in McMansions is a tendency to fill all the empty space with stuff and use a variety of architectural materials. Avoiding clutter will keep your area airy, open, light and allow you to focus on a few quality items.
These cookie-cutter-style homes don't seem to be going anywhere. As cities get more expensive and people want more space, the only place to go is further out of town. There's more land, more space, and you can build as you please.
If you end up in a home designed in bad taste, remember that you can change something that looks mass-produced, kitschy, and gaudy. With a few simple steps, transform a house into an inviting, tasteful home, a true reflection of who you are!