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10 Ways to Add Character to Your Home

We're sharing a few ways to add 'old house' charm to your newer home. Maybe you're planning a remodel or a larger whole house renovation, the common theme around our office is seeking ways to infuse character - specifically with our clients in the suburbs. But don't get me wrong, many city homes have undergone remodels and have lost character, we find ourselves ripping out updates in the last few decades and adding character back in.


1. Use Hardwood Floor

A common debate, we know carpeting is cheaper - and I am the first to admit we have carpeting in our kids bedrooms. However, it's definitely worth a conversation on where this starts and stops. Main floor loving, landings, hallways, and owner's suite's are great places to consider solid or engineered flooring.


10 ways to add character to your home, add hardwood floors.

2. Custom Staircase Newel Posts and Treads

This is nothing new around here, we always bring in the experts to carefully handcraft our staircases. This includes treads to match the engineered flooring we're using in most of our renovations now. And the highly crafted newel posts - these can take on a variety of styles to infuse character and craftsmanship.


10 ways to add character to your home, add custom staircase and newel posts and treads.

3. Painted Passage Doors

Often we see a white painted door in newish homes - consider painting these a different color other than white. A hallway lined with painted doors and coordinating casing/base stands out and adds all sorts of character.


10 ways to add character to your home, paint passage doors a color other than white.

4. Upgrade Door Hardware

Don't get us started on door hardware - we're snobs. But we also understand a budget has to be considered. This is a great project to do all on its own, upgrade all the hardware to a solid brass, or even a new finish to stand out from the builder grade option you currently have.


10 ways to add character to your home, change our your door hardware to something other than builder grade.

5. Change Your Light Fixtures

You don't even have to tell me, I already know you have hallways lined with the infamous boob lights purchased from a big box store. We're here to tell you - it doesn't have to be this way. Changing out your entire home, or start with one floor at a time, will blow you away. We partner with clients often just to handle new light fixtures for an entire home. This is the easiest way, given you have the budget, to elevate your entire space.


10 ways to add character to your home, change our the light fixtures.

6. Add Texture

Wallpaper is all the rage right now. Get on board and spice up your powder bath, or an accent wall in the dining room. Bold prints and color add texture to any room. (I have wallpaper in 4 rooms in my home).


10 ways to add character to your home, add texture in small spaces such as wallpaper.

7. Custom Cabinetry

If replacing cabinetry is in your near future, make it custom. We own our own cabinet shop and can't say enough about the ability to customize your space and storage needs by choosing custom cabinetry - not to mention the ability to add a crown molding to achieve the added character you may be after.


10 ways to add character to your home, add all new custom cabinetry with crown molding.

8. Customize Your Pantry

If you have the space, think about your pantry being a work horse for the kitchen. Customize a built in coffee station, maybe an added wall appliance, countertop space, unique storage, or even add texture with playful wallpaper here too.


10 ways to add character to your home, customize your pantry. Make it the work horse of your kitchen.

9. Eliminate Storage

Our friends in the city are always seeking more storage, but once outside the city limits storage is never an issue. In our Whitegate Lane remodel we removed all of the dated oak cabinets left and right of the fireplace and made a feature walnut shiplap wall instead. Adding back in limited white painted benches and open shelving for limited decor.


10 ways to add character to your home, add custom features such as this walnut shiplap fireplace surround.

10. Mixed Metals

Last, but not least, consider mixing your metals. It's perfectly ok to have more than one in any given space. Changing out your cabinet hardware for a bold brass finish, while adding in aged iron light fixtures and swapping all your door hardware for a mate black rather than the oil rubbed bronze you may be all too familiar with. Have fun with it, and if you're hesitating - take a look at our remodeling portfolio for added inspiration on how we achieve mixed metals.


10 ways to add character to your home, use mixed metals in your home.

We're here to be a resource through every home project. Follow us on Pinterest and Instagram for design inspiration and tips.


A few recent projects we think you may like:

11th Avenue Remodel

Drew Avenue

Goodrich Modern Tudor


Thanks for following along,

Katie Kath + Jkath Team


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