10 Ways to Add Character to a New Home

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  • Last night I was talking with photographer extraordinaire Clary Pfeiffer about the misconception that everything should match when building a house. We were laughing about how many buyers have builders choose their finishes when chances are, they have little design knowledge and are more focused on building that decorating.

    Chris and I feel like we can drive down a street and point out a flip in a heartbeat. It’s all the same – masculine colors, questionable choices, but scientifically calculated for minimal investment on maximum return. So how do you make a new home feel “old,” charming and warm? Here are 10 ways to add character to a new home:

    Charleston Mag Beautiful wood shutters and lanterns
    Charleston Mag
    1. Embrace the style of your home. What style is your home? Colonial, Cape Cod, Craftsman, Tudor, Ranch? {You can find a list of styles on This Old House}. Find what defines that style and gives it it’s charm and add a few hints of it around your home. How to add character to your home | 10 ways to make a new home feel old
    2. Millwork. I have a special place in my heart for beautiful millwork. A lot of heart and soul goes into great millwork and it can add a lot of warmth to a home. It’s all in the details!

      10 ways to make a new home feel old
    3. Add variety in your hardware. Jeff Lewis mentioned a few years ago on “Flipping Out” that he rarely carries the same hardware throughout the home, usually maintaining the same hardware in one room. It’s intriguing to see what lies beyond the next door rather than anticipating more of the same. Genius kitchen tips from home blogger Julie Blanner
    4. Mix up your vanities. So often new builds will all have the same vanities from one bathroom to the next. Rather than update your vanity, you can reface it by sanding, painting or with new hardware.
    5. Lighting. Collect beautiful vintage and antique lights and integrate them with new fixtures. I promise, you won’t miss the “boob” lights your builder wanted to put in. Unfortunately my friends alerted me to their nickname and now that’s all I can think about. I must remove them – immediately! Romantic master bedroom light fixture
    6. Frame your windows. Make a room feel taller by installing curtain rods close to the ceiling. This is my favorite source on how to hang drapes.
    7. Add shutters indoors or out. Easy diy wood shutters and 9 other ideas to add charm to your home
    8. Upgrade your doors. Builder’s grade hollow core doors don’t block sound and don’t add any detail.
    9. Add wallpaper! I have to be honest, I adore wallpaper, but I’m just not sure I will want to commit to anything for more than a few years, so I have refrained. If you’re bold, go for it! It’s adds so much interest and I can live vicariously through you!

      Traditional Home | Ideas to add character to a home
      Traditional Home
    10. Remove the carpet on your stairs. Stairs are generally found at the entrance, so removing the carpet from your stairs, revealing the treads and risers, can make a significant impact. It completely transformed the foyer of our old home and I can’t wait to do the same here! 

    Image Credit: Charleston Mag | New England Home Mag | Ivassalletti | Julie Blanner |Julie Blanner | Traditional Home

    Making a new home feel “old” is really about adding character to a home. It gives a home warmth & a lot of depth. What’s your favorite way to add character to a new home?

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