How can I make my house “flow” from room to room?

Even at first glance, the “theme” of a house should be clear. Is it ultra-modern? Traditional? Southwestern? Country? You don’t have to go overboard with decorations or color; in fact, subtle architectural touches can tell your home’s story—without drawing attention to anything to in particular.

Simple consistency will help your house “flow” from room to room. Especially for rooms that are visible from other rooms, details like complementary paint colors and matching baseboards will tell the eye that one room is part of the same cohesive building as the next.

Even when you remodel, stay true to your home’s architecture. If you start going in too many different directions, your home will look confused.

Here are some changes you can make over time to tie the rooms in your house together to create a subtle identity based on your personal taste and style.

  • If you can see the back door as soon as you enter the house through the front door, consider replacing the back door with one that complements the entry door.
  • In rooms that have molding at the ceiling or floor level, match it up.
  • When you replace windows, choose the same style and materials for all. Windows are expensive, so consider replacing them in shifts: front, then back, then sides. That way, all of the windows that you can see in one glance will always match.
  • When you change the style of one room—or a major element in one room—touch up the rooms next to it. Leaving the old style in place in a room that offers a view of the newly remodeled room will interrupt the flow of the space. If you hate the cabinets in the kitchen but you have the same cabinets in the dining room, you should change them both. If they’re ugly but they match, replace both of them.
  • Stay consistent with finishes on fixtures and hardware. If you choose a showpiece kitchen faucet in satin nickel, try to stick with muted, silver-toned cabinet handles, door knobs and towel racks, and invest in stainless steel appliances when you’re ready to replace your old ones. If you love the look of shiny brass in the bathroom, match the towel racks and the medicine cabinet to the shower door.
  • When it’s time to paint, consider updating the drywall finish so the texture on all walls in the house matches.
  • Build additions that look like they belong to the rest of the house. You don’t want a remodel to look like an addition; you want it to flow. So if your home is stucco, stick with stucco for the addition. And build the ceiling the same height as the rest of the house.
A house with a consistent design looks “designed” rather than thrown together. It will look and feel “finished” and comfortable to you, your guests and any potential buyers—which is a crucial reason for going with the flow: When you sell the house, you don’t want anything that will make people ask, “Huh? Why did you do that?”