Many people mistakenly equate character with age. They immediately think of the quirks and oddities found in older homes when the word “character” is mentioned. However, there are many ways new homes can be infused with character, and here are a few of the more common and easy-to-implement options.
Owning the Style of the Home
One of the most common issues in modern homes is that there’s no defined style. Newer homes can be somewhat homogenous rather than specific to a style or period. If yours falls into this category, then it’s time to really embrace a style. Whether it’s ranch, Tudor, Victorian, Colonial or something else, once you know the direction you want to go in, you can really add details and unique and interesting features. It helps if your home is already leaning in a particular direction, but even if it’s not, there are changes you can make to add personality.
Trim and Millwork Matter
One of the things that set older, period homes apart in the charm department is the trim work. Whether it’s around door and windows, chair or picture rails, baseboards or other types of molding and millwork, these little details matter.
Even better: add molding and trim, and then highlight it by painting it a different color.
Choose Interesting Hardware
Something as small as the hardware on doors and cabinets can go a long way to adding character to a new home. Switching modern hardware for antique, cut glass brings an instant historical feel to a modern bathroom or bedroom, and interesting hardware on kitchen cabinets can give a whole new (older) feel to even the most modern space.
Opt for Grand Lighting
What could be more charming than a classic wrought iron chandelier? Or a gas lantern on the porch? Lighting plays a big role in the look and feel of your home, and switching out modern fittings and fixtures for older styles (even if they’re reproductions) can be a quick and easy way to bring the charm.
Shutters, Porch Swings or Planters
It’s not only the inside of your home that can benefit from an injection of charm. Shutters, lattice screens, porch swings or planters in the style of home you’re hoping to emulate can add instant period charm to even the most modern of structures – not to mention curb appeal.
Choose a Period Mantle
Switching out your contemporary mantle for a period piece is a great way to add character to a modern home. You might be able to find a vintage piece in a salvage yard or antique store. Or you could have someone skilled in paint effects create a woodgrain or stone effect on your existing mantle.
Paint the History
Paint and wallpaper can go a long way to creating period character and charm in a modern home. Lime washing or pickling effects on modern wooden furniture can create an aged look. A feature wall with old-fashioned flocked wallpaper is also a quick and easy way to use color and texture on walls and elsewhere to evoke old-world appeal The best part about adding features like this is that you can even do it if your home is brand new.
New construction homes offer many benefits, and they’re usually easier to live in than their aging counterparts. That doesn’t mean you can’t bring a little history into them. Get creative, use furniture and finishes to add charm and get the best of both worlds.