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.

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    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.

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    Add Old-Fashioned Appeal

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

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    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.

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    Update Doorknobs

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

     

    How to Change a Doorknob

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    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

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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 20 Weekend Projects Under $20

    20 Weekend Projects Under $20

    These 20 improvements may not cost a lot, but they'll make a big difference in how your home functions. Try one or more of these projects this weekend to make your home look and feel its best.
    Begin Slideshow »
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