Is your home in dire need of some charm? Building a home from scratch can be an exhilarating experience, but unless you’re going custom you may end up with a house with little to no character. The truth of the matter is that home builders often have a limited amount of floor plans, finishes and features, which means that every time you visit your next door neighbor, you can’t help feeling like you’re experiencing dejavu.
Character or charm in a home is essentially defined as all of the things that set your house apart from another house. Because character tends to be structurally integrated into a home, potential homebuyers can easily pick up on which homes have it and which ones don’t. When a home lacks character, a tour of the premises may feel uneventful, unimpressive and boring. Let’s face it – when we are shopping for a home, the things that make us coo, ooh and ahh are features like tray ceilings, built-ins and French doors.
The good news is that even if your builder grade home is devoid of this type of character, there is nothing preventing you from getting it. Whether it’s ornate balusters on the stairs, wainscoting in an entryway or a window seat in a guest room, adding architectural features to your home will take it from sterile and bland to unique and homey.
While there is no easy way to magically take your house from cookie cutter to a house overflowing with charm, there are definitive ways to up the charm on your abode. Try one of these five ways to introduce more charm into your new home.
Tip #1: Millwork Is In Order
If you’re like me, then you love millwork. Millwork, such as wainscoting, bead board, picture frame molding, chandelier medallions, shiplap and crown molding, is not only beautiful but it can also make your home appear more luxurious and expensive. Some real estate agents ascertain that the value of a home increases if these features are in place.
Tip #2: Add Window Casing
Ok so you may not be able to add palladium windows to your home after the fact, but you can make your windows look as polished and finished as possible. New age builders will often skip window casing, but fortunately this is an easy fix. If you are handy, you can complete this DIY project over the course of a few weekends. If you have no idea what a miter cut is, leave this improvement to the professionals.
Tip #3: Redo Your Fireplace
If your fireplace leaves much to be desired, don’t be afraid to completely tile or stone it, change out the granite surround or add a mantel if it doesn’t have one. Your fireplace is a statement piece in your home and if it’s not making a statement, then this should be on the top of your list for home improvements.
Tip #4: Build Built-Ins
Strategically placed built-ins can truly add value to your home. If properly installed, built-ins beside fireplaces, bench seating in launch rooms, banquettes in breakfast areas and bookcases in the study serve to distinguish your home from other homes in your neighborhood. Not only will these features make your home more desirable, they will make your home function better for your lifestyle.
Tip #5: Place Beams In The Ceiling
If you have high ceilings, adding wood beams up there is an often-neglected way of making your home stand apart. If rustic is your go-to style, that is all the more reason to consider this option.
Once a home is built, it is nearly impossible to add things that are structural such as tray ceilings, coffered ceilings, vaulted ceilings, an additional or brand new fireplace, or wall niches. Still, these 5 tricks of the trade can make your house feel much more distinct.