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8 Easy Interior Design Updates to Add Character to Your Home


Tired of your home and ready to move on? Not so fast! Fight or flight takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to modernizing or refreshing the look of your home. Here are 8 easy interior design updates to add character to your home:

1. Trim

You don’t have to tear down the walls to have interior design work on your side. Editing the trim in a room or many rooms can change the entire aesthetic. Want a more classic feel? Consider adding a crown molding. Of course there are further options to consider for your molding, from the width to materials to where it is placed (ceiling flush or spaced), the color, etc.

Interior design can be transformed by adding – or removing – molding from a room. Take the time to examine your baseboards, chair rails, wainscoting, and moldings. And don’t think this only applies to a living room or dining room! You can add (or subtract) this finishing touch in virtually any room in the house to change the feel.

Missing the beach? Add wainscoting trim around the powder room and it can feel like a Cape Cod retreat. Love your older home, but want to modernize the interior? Remove the crown moldings and install sleek baseboards instead. Another option is to keep the trim you have, but refresh the look, changing the paint color or restoring/re-staining the wood.

2. Color Overhaul

While it may be the simplest interior design change you can make, it’s possibly one of the hardest decisions. How many shades of white are there? The debate goes on. But changing the color to a room is an easy interior design update that will add character as you can entirely reset the tone of the room.

How to choose? There are endless possibilities, but let’s take the dining room, for instance. Review the current color of your walls, your furniture, fixtures, the rug, and the dishes used in this room. Do you see it now? Whether you redo one wall or the entire room, pulling one color from the mix can change the whole tone. Perhaps it’s an accent color from your dishes or rug that now complements the whole room, or going from white walls to a soft grey. Add character with this easy interior design edit and love your room all over again.

3. Fix the Fixtures

A great interior design update that can be quick and economical is changing out fixtures. Amazing how simply changing the door handles and drawer pulls can brighten or modernize the kitchen. Or changing from metal knobs in a bathroom or bedroom can make the room more masculine or feminine. Take a look at your door handles from room to room. Are they the ones that came with the home? Could you make a few edits there to complement furnishings and set a new tone? Sure you can. Evaluate your lighting, faucets, doorknobs, drawer pulls, cabinet knobs, and railings. These interior design changes, some simple, some a little bit more involved, can add a lot of character to your home.


4. Resurface the Surfaces

Bring renewed character into your home by refinishing the floors, wood trim, and countertops; remove the carpet and add a hardwood to your formal dining room; or consider updating an entire floor to one surface throughout, creating a new flow. Even with walls and doorways separating the kitchen from the dining room from the living room to the den, a consistent floor can be the interior design touch you need to add a fresh feel without new construction. Accent rugs can help make each room maintain a unique feel, but the continuity and energy will flow anew from room to room.

5. Reset the Room

You just can’t bring yourself to sell grandma’s buffet and love the dining room table you purchased that weekend away. But do they have to sit in the room the exact same way? Too often we acquire things at different times and just put them where they fit in the house without regard to how they might fit even better if we moved the existing elements around.

Look at the shape of your room(s), how things are currently situated. Where is your focal point? It’s actually good for wood floors to have the room contents shifted periodically so that other areas are exposed to the light, but perhaps it’s also good for your own energy to see the room differently even while containing the same things you love.

Consult a Feng Shui book, maybe just moving things will also shift your chi. Creating new vignettes with your beloved items may be all it takes to be re-inspired in your favorite chair and really appreciate grandma’s buffet once more.

6. Accent More Than A Wall

Updating a room’s accent pieces is a great option as well. Look at the space top-down. Are your photos displayed the same way for the last 20 years? Consider refreshing the frames and mounting for a whole new look and feel. If you’re using miss-matched frames, try uniform (or vise versa). Are they mounted to look like a Tetris board? Try forming vignettes and change the perspective.

Turn your attention to your drapes, throw pillows, table runners, and rugs. When was the last time these were updated? Have you considered working with your interior designer for a custom fabric that can thread throughout the room? Or bring an eclectic finish to the room with alternating colors and textures. Pillow pileups can create character and add for comfort in a room. A large basket near the couch can serve both as a place to store additional pieces or a place to put them when people want a little bit less to their seating.

7. Light From Within

Look up and around! When was the last time you updated your lighting fixtures, lampshades, or lamp bases? Chances are you haven’t done anything to them since you set the room the first time around. This interior design update can be as simple as a new shade or adding a decorative trim to an existing shade.

Or, consider all-new overhead lighting to draw emphasis to a different area of the room, shift the tone of the lighting, or even the color. Much like color, countless articles have been published in medical journals outlining the relationship between lighting and mood. The more intense the lighting directed to one area, the more intense the response in that area. For instance direct lighting over a desk or dining room table might stir some more frank conversations. Even lighting across a room may help to keep the entire room in focus, while a softer lighting will, yes, soften a mood. From changing out bulbs to refreshing the fixtures, lighting may be an easy update to put on your list.

8. Finish the Finishing Touches

The devil is in the details! Complete adding character to a room through candles, frames, books and other accent pieces. Have your space tell a story.

Hopefully you’ve now looked around your room and feel inspired to make one – or eight – easy interior design updates to add character to your home.


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