Ways to add charm to your home

Kathryn Weber
Tribune Content Agency

When you visit an older home, one of the things you notice first is the workmanship. All the little touches like woodwork, moldings, beautiful door knobs and rich wood accents all add up to one thing: charm.

Today’s newer houses lack many of those details. If your home is missing those touches, it’s easy to add these little details to create the kind of home that has a charming appeal.


Paying attention to detail inside will create a warm welcome when you come home, and many of those details are very simple.

Stained or painted doors: If you have builder-grade doors painted to match your woodwork, repainting the doors black adds instant drama and Victorian charm. If you’re handy, try staining the doors using a wood graining tool to mimic the grain of wood. Or, try replacing your hollow core doors with real wood doors from a salvage yard.

Beams: When you’ve got a blah ceiling, beams can add instant charm. Try adding beams to your living room, bedroom, or kitchen. Look for faux beams that look like the real thing but are lighter, less expensive and easier to install (www.homedepot.com).

AirStone: No one can doubt the rustic charm of stone but adding it is laborious until now. AirStone is an inexpensive relative to stone, can be cut with a hacksaw and applied with adhesive to dress up a wall or an old fireplace (www.lowes.com).

Built-ins: If you think built-ins are over your budget, think again. Using bookcases and cabinets you can buy ready-made, you can add built-in cabinets trimmed out with stock molding for a fraction of custom-made cabinets, and add loads of charm to your home.


Homes with charming exteriors make you want to go inside; they exude curb appeal and make your landscape more inviting.

New door: Simply swapping your old standard door with an upgraded model can make all the difference in your home’s presentation. Try a mahogany 6-Lite Craftsman style for heaps of charm and warmth (www.amazon.com).

Garden paths: Few things add as much to your home’s landscape and garden experience as walkways. Whether you go for poured cement or stones set into grass, adding garden paths makes your garden more inviting.

Swing: A porch swing is quintessentially charming. Place a swing at your front porch, on a patio, or hang from a tree to create a quiet spot to talk.

Garden gate: A garden gate that’s crowned with an arbor covered in a flowering vine makes the invitation to explore the garden beyond and adds loads of appeal.

Shutters: Real wood shutters on a house add extra dimension and warmth. You can also try adding Bermuda shutters, frame your door with a pair of shutters or add shutters to side windows. Be sure to add good hardware to complete the look (www.vandykes.com).