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5 Ways to Add Character to Your Home

We all want the convenience of a new home and the perks of a modern floor plan (hello, closet space!) but sometimes a speculative build can be a little one-note. So, how can you add charm a personality to a home using more than just furnishings? Here are our tricks for upgrading a space that has good bones, but just needs a little more oomph.

Photo by Amy Bartlam

Install Wallpaper

Wallpaper is definitely having a moment, and there really isn't a faster way to add so much charm and interest to your space. We'll pretty much use it in any room, but I do love it in a powder bath (this is a sneak peek from a yet-to-be-revealed renovation) because it feels like a safe place to do something really fun with color and choose a paper that is a little more whimsical.

Photo by Amy Bartlam

Add Cabinetry + Millwork

Even the most subtle addition of woodwork -- like the the horizontal planks on this fireplace wall -- will feel special if your home is a sea of sheetrock. We like to add more substantial baseboards when we upgrade flooring and work in custom cabinetry, shelving, and wainscoting to add style and functionality whenever possible. Shelving is also helpful for bringing in personality through accessories, but I understand that filling them can feel overwhelming. I broke down my process in this post, and then again here for those ever-popular kitchen open shelves.

Photo by Amy Bartlam

Upgrade Your Fixtures

Lighting, plumbing fixtures, mirrors, cabinet and even door hardware: All of these small details add up to create a story in your home and should feel special, not boring. Lighting in particular can really set the tone for the style of a room. Is it traditional? Sleek? Earthy? All of these can be achieved through the right choices before the first piece of furniture is in place.

Photo by Amy Bartlam

Go All-In with Color

The built-in shelves and cabinets were already in place when we took on this renovation project, but they were a natural wood tone that didn't quite fit the chic aesthetic of our clients. We knew we would paint them, but imagine the difference if we'd only used the warm gray on the woodwork, and painted the walls white. It just would not have had the some cozy, sophisticated vibe. To add some interest to the monochromatic look, we lined the back of the bookshelves with a textured wallpaper in the same shade as the paint.

Photo by Amy Bartlam

Make Bold Choices

My biggest piece of advice for anyone wanting to think outside the decor box, is to do just that! Be brave! You don't have to do exactly what your neighbors (or the designers you follow on Instagram) are doing -- it's what will make your home special and unique to YOUR family. Certainly the dark green cabinets in our Dallas project kitchen were a courageous move, but they work so well to ground the large open-concept room. We added super-cool pendants and woven barstools which are each pretty striking, but hold their own against the dark cabinetry.

Want to add some style to your home but aren't sure where to start? Fill out our design inquiry.


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