Living in a newer home definitely has its advantages – fewer repairs, fresh finishes and 

current floor plans. But newer homes are sometimes lacking in those little details that 

add charm and character. 

Homeowners of a house built in the last few decades may not have the period details, 

original wood floors or the character that accompanies a historic house, but there are 

some relatively easy ways to give your newer home some patina and charm and 

differentiate it from the similar houses in the neighborhood. 

Here are some ways to make your newer home stand out with its own character:


Take that sea of drywall and add some architectural interest. There are plenty of online 

tutorials on how to do simple crown molding, or a professional can quickly turn those 

four walls into a room with plenty of character. And there’s no need to stop with crown 

molding! Homeowners interested in replicating a cottage or Craftsman style to their 

walls could add board and batten treatments or bead board treatments to their walls as 


The website Houzz explains it this way: “When it comes to architecture, details count. 

They also define," Houzz says. "The places where floors, doors, ceilings and windows 

meet the walls are usually accompanied by trim. The way that trim is executed has 

refined and defined our houses throughout history. Trim adds character and flavor to a 

home, the way pearl buttons finish off a shirt or cinnamon completes a coffee cake. And 

it helps distinguish one style of architecture from another.”

If you plan a gradual, whole-house transformation, take the time to peruse pictures on 

whether you like the look of Victorian, Georgian, Craftsman or Contemporary trim styles 

so that your rooms flow seamlessly.


Speaking of architectural interest, is there anything that says “charming” more than 

beautifully-designed built-ins? Think bookcases lining a wall, a mudroom with built-in 

cubbies, or a reading nook in an upstairs loft. And you don’t necessarily have to hire a 

craftsman. Centsational Girl, a design blogger, has a tutorial on her website,, on how she connected four Ikea bookcases, used trim to 

complete the edges and created a wall of built-ins for her family to enjoy.


A surefire way to add charm is to consider changing your lighting fixtures. Nothing says 

charm and character more than a period light fixture hanging above your kitchen table 

that is different than everyone else’s on your block. Homeowners can scour flea markets 

and antique stores for a truly unique pieces or search online for replicas of schoolhouse 

pendants or antique chandeliers. For the cost of the fixture and the time it takes to 

swamp out the fixture, a new home could almost instantly achieve that “old look.”


Sometimes the smallest details can make the biggest difference. Consider swapping out 

builder-grade door knobs for some lovely crystal ones. The hardware in kitchens or 

baths – think vanity or cabinet handles – can be replaced with some vintage-style bin 

pulls or other retro styles. 


Wallpaper has come a long way from the outdated styles of the last century. In a newer 

house, a powder room or other small room papered in a show-stopping current pattern 

can really give your house some unique character.

Adding a few of these elements can take a new home and give it the charm and character 

it was missing. If you’re looking for just the right home to make your own or thinking of 

selling your current one, we would be more than happy to help you!