Easy Ways to Add Charm and Character to Your Home
In my dreams my home is new but has lots of the charm of an older home. A new home doesn’t requires the maintenance that comes with an older home with cracked sidewalks and settling cracks tracing the walls and the constant vigilance of leaking pipes and broken seals on windows. Not to say that older homes aren’t wonderful but just not for me.
I want a home that is energy efficient with updated appliances and smooth unrepaired walls and doors that close and stay shut. But I also want one that has warmth and character and looks like it has been loved and well cared for as if it had been passed down for ages.
The solution? Find ways to create character in a newer home with attention to a some details.
Today, I want to share some tips on working with your newer home, making a few changes, some small and some requiring more work, and creating that character within your home, if that is your dream too.
Replace carpets with hardwood.
One of the best features of older homes is original hardwood floors. Having lived through an era with hardwood floors in a home with pets and kids I can tell you that the new fabrications of wood are so much more durable.
Old hardwood scratches very easily and even though is beautiful the upkeep of sanding, staining and sealing is an arduous task when your home is small and there is nowhere else to send the family while the floors are being refinished.
Removing carpet from floors and stairs and replacing with any type of hardwood or even the new ceramic tile that closely resembles hardwood may be a good choice for you.
Adding hardwood to any home brings warmth and interest as well as is so much easier to keep clean than carpets.
Install new doors.
New homes typically have hollow core flush or two panel doors. To add character replace your interior doors with a molded panel, which are composite wood doors (less expensive then wood) or wood doors. Right now reclaimed wood, doors and windows are very popular but caution is needed because the wood in these doors can warp and may not close properly even with amazing installers.
To add character and curb appeal to the exterior, a new door can change the entire look of the front of your house.
Adding new door knobs and hardware can be a pricy change if you have a lot of doors in your house so try doing the exterior door first for more impact.
Lighting plays a role in placing a date stamp on your home and if you are looking to add character, a faux gold light from the seventies will need to be one of the first things to change out.
Because lighting is an easy DIY and big box hardware stores seem to have an abundance of inexpensive lighting fixtures to choose from, many homes have been updated using these types of fixtures.
By choosing lighting that looks more expensive and is more timeless in style you more easily remove the date stamp and make it more cohesive with the style and character you are looking to capture.
Another notorious DIY project that looks harder and requires more patience and time to make it appear like original drywall is patching holes and cracks in walls.Whether it is cracks or holes created by nails do your due diligence by filling, possibly multiple times, sanding, priming and painting. Take your time and try to match the existing wall texture.
Paint the walls.
Builder white walls is a sure giveaway that the home is new. Warm it up by choosing a neutral color for your walls. Neutral is not just white or tan but is anything that blends with a lot of other colors. Sage and warm earthy greens, soft golds and light shades of gray are some great choices to warm up rooms.
Adding drapes as window treatments.
Metal mini-blinds have taken the place of draperies as the window treatment of choice. Ease of cleaning and installation along with the cheap price has seen rise to them being installed in many homes and they do serve a purpose, but have little in the way of adding character and style.
Adding fabric drapes adds an elegance and warmth to an area. Choose neutral, color block or patterned. Choose sill length for less formal areas and to the floor or puddled for a more elegant look.
Painting ~ This is a big decision and should not be done without a lot of forethought. Wooden cabinets are a good selling feature and you should consider that fact when weighing the option to paint or leave.
That being said many homes have MDF or faux wood cabinets and it may actually be a selling feature if they are done well. Using the correct products and patience is required for the many layers and drying time that is needed.
Hardware ~ Switching out dated hardware can be a good beginning point to try before paining. Sometimes new hardware is all that is needed to add that character.
Glass insert – Taking one or two cabinet doors and replaing the center section with glass can make a plain and boring kitchen more interesting. If clutter in the cabinet is a concern choose seeded or frosted glass.
Trim and molding ~ adding a strip to the tops of the cabinets can make stock cabinets not only look more expensive but is a feature offered on custom cabinets.
Collections of just about anything, from model airplanes to teapots and from expensive statues to depression ware add charm to a home. They show your personality and interests and can make a new home feel like it has a past, it has history.
To keep the collection from taking away from the look of your home and create more of an impact, keep the items together in one area, on a shelf or in a cabinet or a few groups spread throughout the room.
What is your favorite way to add personality and charm to your rooms?
Blessings for a beautiful week!