What gives a home character?
Chances are the first things you would think of would be elements like weathered hardwood floors, dark baseboards and cheerful front porches, but those are just part of the package. Character is more of an overall feeling produced by a house, a combination of emotional and physiological responses to the surroundings. In other words, it’s what makes a house feel like home.
The designers of many older homes incorporated those elements, which is why we tend to think of old houses as having character. Unfortunately, many newer homes miss that mark. So how do you make a new home feel ‘old’, charming and warm? Here some ways to add character to a new home:
Decide and the style of your home and embrace it – Colonial, Cape Cod, Craftsman, Tudor, Ranch? Discover what gives your home its charm and add hints of this style around the house.
Millwork and Moulding – this beautifully detailed craft is a winner when it comes to adding a touch of character and warmth to any home. Crown molding is among the easiest ways to bring some character and architectural interest into your home. It’s fairly inexpensive if you fancy doing it yourself, otherwise a good handyman can quickly transform a boring corner into something beautiful.
Lighting – an easy way to add a character is by integrating beautiful vintage and antique lights with modern fixtures. You may be able to find charming period lighting if you scour second-hand stores, antique shops, or flea markets, or pick up a reproduction piece and instantly transform a space.
Frame your windows – add shutters on the outside and beautiful drapes on the inside to frame windows.
Wallpaper – while adding wallpaper involves a commitment to something for a good few years, it can add a touch of bright, bold or eclectic design to any room, boosting the character of the house.
Remove the carpet on your stairs – removing the carpet and revealing the wooden treads and risers beneath will transform your home (albeit slightly noisier).
Doors – your front door is the gateway to your home, so go for something ornate with detail that will set the character of your house at first sight. Reinvent your entry or interior doors with antiqued brass, crystal, porcelain, or colored-glass doorknobs. The same can be done with hardware in your kitchen and bathroom to bring in a vintage or retro touch.