Get easy ideas to add character and charm into your home. Whether it’s a builder grade new home or tired and dated from any era, learn how to take it from blah to beautiful with these tips!

A beautiful white house with a welcoming front porch and charming flower pots.
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Whether your home is old or new, it may lack charm that feels warm and inviting. Our home is older, but lacked character that is typical for our neighborhood, style of home and age.

While we loved the few elements of charm that were in tact, we knew we could do so much more. Luckily, it’s easy to add charm to a home from any era with these fresh and fun ideas!

A Restoration Hardware dining table with rattan chairs.

15 Ways to Add Charm to Your Home

While our home isn’t historic, it’s a 70s era vintage home that had a lot of potential. Through the years and several owners, our St. Louis home had been stripped of its original integrity.

I was determined to add charm and a few additional details to strip away any cookie cutter thoughts. Here are a few of our favorite ways to add charm.

Replace Hollow Core Interior Doors

Replace hollow core doors with two panel shaker or six panel wood doors. Not only will it take your home back in time, but it will offer more insulation for heat, air and sound.

Shaker Doors

Shaker doors are a truly classic style, emphasizing craftsmanship and simplicity… making them a timeless choice for your home.  Read More

 

 

Update Door Hardware

Whether you’re seeking new or old, straying away from builder’s grade door knobs can add significant interest to a hallway lined with doors.

We integrated brass and glass door knobs throughout our home. Read more about our favorite exterior door handles, too.

Brass Door Knobs

Get all the ins and outs of choosing classic, timeless antique brass door knobs that will never go out of style! Whether you choose glass door knobs with brass plates, or simple, solid brass door knobs, you’ll never regret this choice!  Read More

 

 

Add Wallpaper

While many vintage homes come with wallpaper that is dirty, dated and tired, there’s something to be said for the instant transformation of fresh, charming wallpaper.

We’ve got so many guides to help you choose the right pattern for any space – see our Serena and Lily Wallpaper guide, as well as our Amazon Wallpaper guide.

Powder Room Wallpaper

There’s nothing that can transform a room like wallpaper! Learn about our powder room wallpaper, and how a pretty paper will instantly upgrade this small room in your home. Read More

 

 

Refinish (or Add New) Hardwoods

Willing to go the extra effort? Change your flooring. Our home was filled with linoleum and carpet, but most homes in the 60’s and 70’s had at least some wood.

We decided to have traditional sand and stain wood floors installed throughout the main level and the hallway upstairs to add charm and the feeling of original integrity. For the mudroom, we added brick floors, which were frequently used 100+ years ago.

You can catch a glimpse of them from four different rooms, yet they are in one of the smallest rooms in our home.

White Oak Floors

White oak floors are a stylish and timeless flooring option that can be customized to suit your design needs. Learn the differences between red and white oak, sand and stain flooring versus engineered hardwood, and more!  Read More

 

 

Update Lighting

Replace lighting for a quick fix. Our lighting is a collection of new purchases (mostly in natural brass that ages over time) and estate sale finds in the neighborhood of original brass and crystal fixtures.

Flush Mount Lanterns

If you are looking for an elegant way to light up a space with lower ceilings, flush mount lanterns could be just what you need!Timeless, classic and beautiful brass lanterns age gracefully and add character to any space. These lanterns make beautiful entryway or hall lights. Read More

 

 

Update Faucets

Faucets are another quick fix to add charm. Most can be installed in 15-30 minutes and immediately transform a small powder room. Replacing a builders grade faucet with something you love can instantly elevate a space.

Brass Bathroom Faucets

Brass finishes are the perfect finishing touch in any space. Brass bathroom faucets add warmth and just a touch of elegant sparkle that you’ll love.  Read More

 

 

Add Moulding

Adding architectural interest to a room (especially in a historic way) is a great way to create charm and interest in a builder-grade home.

Picture Frame Moulding

This spectacular version of wainscoting goes by a multitude of different names. Sometimes known as shadow box trim, box paneling, picture frame molding, shadow box molding or shadow box wainscoting… the names are endless, but the style is truly timeless.  Read More

 

 

Board and Batten

While this style of moulding is a little less refined than the window box style we showcased above, it’s no less historic. It’s simpler to install, too – and we’re showing you how to take on this DIY project yourself!

Board and Batten

Learn how to DIY a board and batten wall in any room of your home, with ease. This is an affordable, easy project that anyone can take on – in fact, it’s beginner friendly!  Read More

 

 

Add Built Ins

Built-ins are for more than just your fireplace. Add a little window bench seat for an incredible amount of charm, too.

Built in Bookshelves

Make the most use of space in your living room by incorporating built in bookshelves in your design. They’re a great use of space and are the perfect way to showcase your favorite items. A built in book case adds such a customized look and feel to any room! Read More

 

 

Window Treatments

Add curtains and window treatments. I love plantation shutters, though they don’t fit with the style of our current home and block a significant amount of light. But oh, the charm!

Even the addition of curtains helps define a space and immediately adds a touch of elegance. You can learn how to hang curtains here!

Bamboo Blinds

Custom fit Bamboo Blinds elevate a space and add texture. They fit coastal traditional and transitional homes and make your space feel breezy. You can purchase and install them in just a weekend.  Read More

 

 

Update a Front Door

A new Dutch door adds so much charm – but updating your old door is a budget-friendly option too. Or, find a vintage one at your local architectural salvage. 

Dutch Door

Adding a Dutch Door to your home’s entry will add instant personality, historic charm, and can even help create better airflow. What’s not to love about a cute, classic Dutch Door?  Read More

 

 

Add Copper Gutters

While these are an investment item, they can last for decades with proper care. And the historic charm they’ll add to your home is an incredible upgrade!

Learn more about our copper lanterns here, too.

Copper Gutters

If you’re dreaming of copper gutters for your home, this is a great place to start. Learn the ins and outs of all things copper gutters: cost, downspouts, design decisions and so much more!  Read More

 

 

Update Garage Doors

Install new carriage style doors for historic charm. Or, use the magnetic hardware that can give any style of garage door a little upgrade for an affordable alternative.

Carriage Garage Doors

Your garage door is the entrance to your garage that’s meant to accommodate vehicles, no matter the style. Carriage garage doors simply have a little more detailing and charm, reminiscent of historic homes. Read More

 

 

Add Window Boxes

Never underestimate curb appeal. Window planter boxes are easy to make and are so charming!

How to Make Window Boxes

Learn how to make your own planters with this easy step-by-step tutorial to make window boxes that will add color and charm to your home. These DIY boxes are simple to make and even simpler to fill with beautiful blooms!  Read More

 

 

Add Shutters

Wood shutters are another easy way to add character. We even diy’d these several years ago!

DIY Shutters

Wood shutters are simple and inexpensive to make, and they make a huge impact on a home’s exterior. They add… Read More

 

 

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18 Comments

  1. What would you do with a dated stairway with old carpeting WITHOUT wooden stairs underneath? If we have to use carpet again, what would be an up-to-date look?

    1. If you send a picture (to show what you have above and below), that would help.
      I love patterned carpet.

  2. Great tips, Julie! We’ve been adding character to our plain 80’s ranch one room at a time.
    I love your porch floor too 🙂

    Looking forward to seeing you in less than a week!!

  3. All projects look wonderful. I have a question about how you painted the kitchen cabinets, how did you do the A?
    Love your blog.

    1. Thank you, Annie! The “A”? Above the bed in my daughter’s room? If so, that’s just from RH Baby and Child.
      Our kitchen cabinets in our new home were sprayed with furniture paint, but in our old home we painted over dark stained wood using liquid sandpaper first. Hope that helps! If you have any more questions or I misunderstood the “A”, let me know!