Easy Ways to Add Character

With little time and little money, you can add lots of charm all around the house. Here are 19 do-it-yourself projects to consider.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Update Lighting

      Add comfort, convenience, and character with the right lighting. Update the chandelier over the dining room table. Add simple plug-in puck lights under kitchen cabinets and inside closets. Cozy up a dark corner with an accent light. Install mini accent lights above wall art or framed family photos.

    • Focus on the Foyer

      Make the foyer useful by clearing out clutter that accumulates around the front door. Include a storage unit to keep mail, car keys, and other essentials in order. If space permits, include a small bistro table and chairs for a cute conversation space.

    • Frame the Views

      Dress up your windows with colorful treatments. Hang the draperies higher than the windows to make the room seem taller.

    • How to Hang Curtains

      Try these handy tips for measuring and hanging window treatments.

    • Put Unused Space to Work

      Give an awkward area a purpose and appeal. Transform a basic bay or boxy window into a reading nook. Or furnish an empty corner of the living room with a game table and storage cabinet.

    • Be Savvy About Storage

      If you have a home that lacks closet space, place pegs and shelves in convenient nooks to provide places to hang, store, and display everyday necessities.

    • Make Way for Display

      Use open shelving throughout the house to store and display collectibles. In addition to adding storage, the airy shelves can also make a small room feel larger.

    • Accent with Architectural Details

      Bring your basic builder's kitchen to life. Frame windows with wide molding, install cornices on top of cabinets, or add bun feet or carved legs to cabinets for furniture-style accents.

    • Get a Custom Look for Less

      Embellish or paint plain, purchased brackets and attach them to shelves in any room for a custom look that won't drain your wallet.

    • 10 of 21

      Try Wood Underfoot

      A natural wood or bamboo floor will last longer than synthetic materials and will transform the character of your interior. Plus, it won't trap allergens. Use machine-washable area rugs to warm the space and protect heavy-traffic areas.

    • 11 of 21

      Add Old-Fashioned Appeal

      Visit a flea market for vintage signs, furniture, and collectibles that will fill your home with friendly charm.

    • 12 of 21

      Paint Kitchen Cabinets

      Can't afford to purchase brand-new kitchen cabinets? Fake it by using bright paint to take your cabinets from dull to darling.


      Learn how to paint kitchen cabinets.

    • 13 of 21

      Update Doorknobs

      Reinvent your entry or interior doors with antiqued brass, crystal, porcelain, or colored-glass doorknobs.


      How to Change a Doorknob

    • 14 of 21

      Install Beaded Board

      Add dimension and charm to bathroom walls with beaded board. Save money by tackling the project yourself in a weekend and using panels. Panels are virtually identical to authentic beaded board, and they are sold in lightweight 4x8-foot sheets for about $20 each.


      How to Install Beaded Board

    • 15 of 21

      Style the Mantel

      Give a boring and bare fireplace mantel warmth and charm by adding family photos, heirlooms, and seasonal decor. See how to create a magazine-worthy mantel with these tips.

    • 16 of 21

      Add Decorative Shutters

      Make your home look good inside and out with decorative indoor shutters. Traditional wood shutters and plantation shutters add rustic appeal. Some even help insulate your cozy spaces.

    • 17 of 21

      Claim a Plain Wall

      Transform a blank wall into a storage-and-display showcase by adding stacks of open shelves or cutting out drywall to create a recessed niche.

    • 18 of 21

      Enhance the Exterior

      The simple and affordable addition of shutters, window boxes, and planters near the front door makes a friendlier facade and provides cheerful color. Hang the window box at a height where you can care for the plants. Fill it with your favorite blooms, or add candles for a quaint touch.

    • 19 of 21

      Let Your Garden Glow

      Outdoor lights, including floodlights, globes, tier lights, and lanterns, are easy to install and are the perfect way to add warmth and color to your front yard. For a touch of romance, use candlelit lanterns to create soft pools of light along a garden path.

    • 20 of 21

      Dress Up Your Deck

      Make a boxy builder deck look like a custom addition with decorative metal or glass balusters and post caps that double as planters or light fixtures. Add delightful details with colorful plants, pillows, furniture, outdoor rugs, and accessories.

    • Next Slideshow 22 Mini-but-Mighty Remodels

      22 Mini-but-Mighty Remodels

      Don't have the cash saved for a full-scale remodel? Pick one of these small, budget-smart projects for a mini-but-mighty remodel.
      Begin Slideshow »

    Loading... Please wait...

    I Did It!
    Share on Facebook
    Uh oh! Please pick a jpg at least 600x600px.
    Share on Facebook
    Uh oh! Your photo failed to upload. Please try again or visit your profile.
    No one has shared their photo yet.

    Add My Photo close