Monday, August 03, 2009

Simple Ways to Add Charm To Your Home

I must admit it. I love to stalk blogs that have a bent toward home and garden and during some free moments on Friday, I clicked so many clicks that took me to this blog: Rare and Beautiful Treasures and immediately I fell in love with Erin's heart for home.

Today, I'm delighted to welcome Erin as my Guest Blogger!

Over the past several years I have become somewhat of an expert at taking cookie-cutter houses and rooms and adding charm to make new rooms look older and charming. When Mr. Marvelous and I were first married we had a short-term lease on an apartment while we starting house hunting.

We found and fell in love with this darling little cape code style house in a historic district that was built about 1930. I can still remember how excited we were when we wrote our offer on that house!

Looking back, hindsight really is 20/20, because as charming as the house was, it was also rather . . . um . . . dilapidated. Probably explaining why the house was listed at less than $100,000 and why those charming hardwood floors were sort of sloped from room to room. Regardless, it was true love-I loved that house! Then came the dreaded house inspection and the inspector's repeated use of the terms "not to code," "fire hazard," and oh ya, "money pit." In fact, at one point, I think we heard, "run and don't look back."

Needless to say, we didn't close on the house and withdrew our offer. As a completely reactionary measure that I regretted in years to follow, we did a 180 and bought a brand new track home in a neighborhood that can best be described as a sea of beige with lots the size of shoe boxes. I worked as hard as I could to add some character to that plain jane house. The biggest transformation was in the kitchen. I painted the kitchen cabinets myself-it was a tremendous amount of work, but worth every bit of it in the end.
We also added DIY wainscoting and crown molding.

I won't even tell you that after we sold the house we stopped back by and the new owners had painted the wainscoting, wall, and crown molding ALL the same shade of brown. Moving Up, anyone?

When we built the new house, I tried to incorporate as much old charm as I could in our new build. In fact, I drove the builder crazy. I am still always looking for new ways to up the charm factor in our "new old" house. I came across this article on simple ways to add charm to any house and knew I had to share it here. The following are ways to add instant charm to any home!

1. Add a Picket Fence

2. Add a dutch-door (and enjoy breezes and natural light while you are at it)

3. Dress up your porch

4. Add Beaded Board

You can buy beaded board by the sheet at Lowes and Home Depot and have it cut to size in the store. It's very affordable!

5. Install a Farmhouse Sink

I love, love, love our farmhouse sink! When we were building the house I fell in love with Kohler's Dickinson farmhouse sink but it was way outside our price range. I searched Ebay for months and months until I found one for 10% of the original cost, new in the box! I joked with Mr. Marvelous that I was going to sleep with it at night when it arrived since we had it stored in our garage for several months while the house was built. You can get good deals on farmhouse sinks at Ikea.

6. Embrace Open Shelving

Take the doors off some of your cabinets and show off your pretty dishes or collections.

7. Plant Window Boxes

We did this at our old house and our new house. It really does add instant charm.

Thanks Erin for being today's Guest Blogger. You can read this post at Erin's here.

What simple ideas do you have to add charm to your home?

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Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

WOW, I am drooling over her kitchen! Being that I myself am an old house lover yet now by circumstance finding myself in a new house, I agree wholeheartedly with her ideas to charm things up!!!

If we end up buying this house when our old charming house sells, I'll do my best to add that old time charm to my new place with these very sorts of tips!


Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

oh...Hi to Erin! I've met you before on your blog...just put two and two together :-). Your home is lovely!

Lylah Ledner said...

Melissa....thanks for your comments...I love the charm and remember your Portland homes feel and warmth (via your blogged). It will be interesting to watch the transformation of your new place....


Sarah said...

These are fantastic ideas - and gorgeous photos!

Thank you!