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Easy Ways to Add Character to your Home

New England homes are known for their charm + character, especially the older ones. Charm + character can mean different things to different people, but for me, charm is the imperfections, the oddities and the uniqueness of a home and what contributes to the feeling of home that we are trying to capture.

If you don’t live in an old New England home but want to find simple ways to add character, look no further. Here are a few of my favorite ways to add charm + character to any home!


Style with vintage furniture + decor


One of the easiest ways to add character to your house without any sort of renovation would be to style with vintage or antique furniture pieces and decor. Vintage pieces are unique and one of a kind, very different from pieces that you would buy through a big box retailer. Antique items are typically made with quality - you know the saying "they don't make them like they used to" - well, it's true. With vintage pieces, you have to turn off your perfection OCD and embrace the imperfections, scratches, and dings because that my friend, is character.

Use "living finishes" and natural materials

Design : Sam Sacks Design | Photo: Alex Lukey

Natural materials are one of the key ways to add character in a home. Living finishes is a term that refers to materials that will wear and patina over time with use, which adds to their attractiveness. My favorite ways to add living finishes to an existing home is to change out plumbing fixtures and cabinet hardware for an unlacquered brass finish. By being unlacquered, the brass will patina with use and look imperfect - which adds character!

Paint your trim a contrasting color


An English inspired design element of painting lighter walls and darker trim can be so charming in the right space. I like to add this detail to smaller spaces like entries, bathrooms or sectioned off living rooms, dens, offices, or bedrooms. This is also a great way to add another paint color to your home without painting entire walls.

Don't be afraid to use wallpaper

Photo: Unknown

Wallpaper is a super easy way to add something unique to your space. Spend some time to find a paper that speaks to you. I would also suggest painting the trim of the room you are using the wallpaper in a color that matches or compliments the colors in the paper.

Hang cafe curtains


Cafe curtains are another English inspired design detail that add so much charm to a space. Some places to add a cafe curtain would be on a kitchen sink window, or an under sink cabinet instead of doors, or in a sweet powder room. This is a great + affordable way to add some charm.

Change out builder-grade trim and casing


Nothing kills charm faster than builder-grade materials. Changing out the interior trim in your house can change the entire look and feel. Choosing a trim profile with a little more detail and interest will give your home a custom feel. Also, changing out small baseboards for a taller board with an added base cap will elevate the look of your home and add unique detail.

Not one element in a home makes it charming, it's the combination of the unique, collected, and one-of-a-kind details that truly make your home stand out from the rest. A house can be still be beautiful without tons of character, but adding a few easy, charming elements is a sure way to elevate the look and feel of your home.

- Kati


I like your style.

Kati Finneran
Kati Finneran
Jul 13, 2022
Replying to

Thank you!

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