Even a serial modernist can’t help but acknowledge that older homes have charm and character. There’s something special about architecture from years gone by, not to mention the wood work and unique details that were more common in the everyday homes of the earlier 20th century and further back along the architectural timeline.
You don’t have to buy a historical home to enjoy living spaces that have charm and character. All you have to do is personalize your own a bit, and throw in a few extra details that make guests take notice and feel more like they’re in a Home.
Here are 9 examples of what I’m talking about:
- Re-vamp your foyer. When’s the last time you took a good hard look at your foyer or entryway? A welcome mat and a mirror are not enough to make guests feel welcome, nor will they tell us anything about who lives here. Eliminate clutter, clean things up and then re-vamp your entryway with a few extras that express a little bit about you, your tastes and your interests. Read, The Entryway, to learn more entryway design tips.
- Dress up those windows. Sheer curtains are lovely, but they can also be bland. See if your windows couldn’t be framed a little better with curtain panels, or a valance, that highlights your color scheme or adds a bit of texture with its subtle or bold print. You’d be amazed at how different a room’s energy will feel with the right window dressings.
- Show off those collections. Are your collections hidden away in boxes or a storage unit? Or are they cluttering up a few squashed shelves in your den? Get your collectibles out into the open using stylish display methods and your living space will be infused with personal charm.
- Finish off those unfinished or unused spaces. Do you have a window seat that’s dying to be transformed into a reading nook? Is there are blank corner that could be put to work housing a gorgeous potted plant or tree? Look at those unused or unfinished nooks and niches in your home and get them settled into official “somethings” once and for all. They’ll add character, color and interest to the room.
- Trim it up. Wood trim does wonders for living spaces. Take a peek at the trim that adorns your windows and doors, your baseboards or the top of your walls (if there is any). Then, begin perusing the array of moulding and trim out there. It might be time for some replacements or additions. Even the simple addition of a chair rail around your dining room wall, along with a new coat of paint (or a half-wall’s worth), will make it seem like you’ve had a total room remodel.
- Change out your light fixtures. Did you move into an already-built home? Unless you’ve done a total remodel, odds are you have a light fixture or two that was chosen for you. If they are the standard versions that came with the home, I’ll bet they are they’re totally boring – and/or not your cup of tea. Get online or out there at flea markets and look for fun, unique or stunning light fixtures that will enhance your interior design and are worth taking the time to look up at.
- Is that wood underneath that carpet? Many homeowners take their carpet for granted, and have no idea their older home may have stunning wooden floors underneath the carpet. If the wood underneath is a little beat up and you can’t afford to refinish or replace it, you might think about painting it. Let me begin to count the ways wood flooring trumps carpet: looks, character, resale value, less allergenic, more sanitary, etc. etc. If you are one of those older-home owners whose neglected to learn what lies beneath the carpet, do your homework and find out. You may be pleasantly surprised.
- Decorate your ceilings. The ceilings are a much-overlooked piece of the interior design puzzle. In most cases, it’s like a big, blank wall staring at your from above. When clients decide to paint their ceiling, install coffered ceilings, or trim their ceilings with wood or woven fabrics, it adds a tremendous amount personality.
- Look for that perfect vintage or antique piece. Find a piece in your home that is boring, out of place and/or made cheaply. Now, your mission is to scour flea markets, antique stores and craigslist for its vintage or antique counterpart. That one swap out will make a difference. Repaint or refinish your replacement if needed, but don’t forget that the right type of wear-and-tear can be quite charming on its own.
Stuck on how to incorporate a little more charm or character in your Bay Area home? Schedule an in-home consultation with what you have and then work from there.