7 Ways To Add Character to a Cookie Cutter Home

published Sep 15, 2016
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(Image credit: 47 Park Avenue)

We can’t all live in a gorgeous Haussmannien building on the left bank of the Seine. In fact, some of us have to live in effective but uninspiring homes with little to no architectural detail whatsoever. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do. In fact, there’s a lot you can do, even if you live in the most boring of houses, to add a little character to your space. Check out these 7 DIY projects.

Add a ceiling medallion.
Adding a ceiling medallion is a an excellent way to add a little architectural character to your home, with hardly an effort at all. Attaching the ceiling medallion itself just requires a little glue or adhesive caulk, although you will have to remove the light fixture. Bonus points if you decide to paint the medallion (and the ceiling) a rich, dark grey, as seen on 47 Park Avenue.

(Image credit: Love Grows Wild)

Trim your windows.
There’s nothing like a little bit of trim to set off a a window, and add a little extra class to a whole room. Many modern houses come with no trim (or very minimal trim) around the windows, but this tutorial from Love Grows Wild will show you how to dress up your windows, and get a great new look for very little money.

(Image credit: Manhattan Nest)

Add a fireplace.
A fireplace, even if you can’t actually burn things in it, can provide a gorgeous focal point for any room. This fireplace from Manhattan Nest may look like the real thing, but it’s actually a faux fireplace, created from a vintage mantel that attached to the wall.

Replace your knobs and pulls with vintage hardware.
Hardware (whether for doors or cabinets) is a little thing that can have a big impact. (Case in point: this project by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design.) You can buy new hardware that just looks vintage, or scour architectural salvage shops for inexpensive pieces to replace your boring, builder-grade stuff.

(Image credit: Centsational Girl)

Build a wainscot.
This is a project that’s a little more time-consuming than some of the ones mentioned above, but it can completely change the look of a room. If you’ve decided that a wainscot is just the thing you need to give one of your rooms a storied, old-world feel, check out this DIY from Centsational Girl.

(Image credit: White Nest)

Add character to a door.
We’re back to easy projects with this simple DIY from White Nest for adding decorative trim to a plain old hollow-core door. With minimal effort you can have something that adds a lot of charm to a room, and only looks expensive.

Dress up your walls.
Adding molding squares to a wall can really enhance a space’s architectural character. This can be a time-consuming (read: lots of measuring) project, but is fairly inexpensive. Find out everything you need to know here.