Is your house new? Is it of no particular style? Want to give it some character? When I wrote my book, “Aged To Perfection” it was all about giving a new house character. But now it seems that any house, not just a brand new one can benefit from these ideas.
New houses usually have more space and features than older homes. But new houses often lack the character of an older home. Rooms in newer homes might not have any particular architectural details to make them interesting.
Think of your home as a blank canvas. It’s waiting for you to infuse it with “older home appeal.”. It’s with paint and a few interesting finds. Handcrafts and art can do the trick too. In Key West the houses ooze charm. Old houses in Nantucket feel like they’ve been lived in for a long time.
I keep hearing this sentence, “No one wants ‘brown’ furniture anymore,” referring to antiques. A house filled with dark mahogany or heavy wooden furniture is so over. Stores like Crate N’ Barrel and Restoration Hardware (my fave) keep offering new and up to date, well designed things and who doesn’t want them?. They’re also affordable. But one good, old piece in the mix makes a room look better. By beter I mean more interesting, not so “out of the catalog” or cookie cutter.
Did you inherit a piece of furniture from a relative? Almost everyone has some piece of a castoff. Maybe you accepted a “gently worn” something to save money, or you bought something at an auction or yard sale. Old furniture has potential because it’s usually well made. It can keep a new house from seeming – well, new. And if you haven’t been the lucky recipient of a gppd heirloom piece (no matter how ugly)e, there are ways to get it without breaking the bank. The trick to giving a new house character is finding ways to personalize piecemeal collections of furniture. Paint and fabric are the tools of the trade. Decorators know that an eclectic mix of furnishing is the most interesting and any chair, table, sideboard, armoire or sofa that is inherited or found can work with modern pieces.. If a piece of furniture has basic good structure it can be made over. Where there’s a good design there’s a way to make it outstanding. Buying smart is another way.
Comfort comes from using old pieces. There is so much value in giving old pieces new life and, in fact, a modern home furnished with older pieces of furniture is far more interesting than a matching set of anything. The trick is to make the old look fresh with up-to-date paint colors or stain, wallpaper or fabric.
There are so many fabulous colors to make rooms exciting, elegant or “other worldly.” No interesting architectural details in your home? Not to worry. You can actually buy architectural details like molding or those Federal “bullets” to frame doorways.
Window treatments offer another opportunity to add interest. Give traditional furniture a youthful energy so your house doesn’t look tired and slapdash or decorated by accident with odds and ends of collected pieces. Use modern lamps and artwork to make old pieces seem fresh. Mix in new accessories. Got a four-poster bed? Forget about a country quilt on top. Use linens as fresh as tomorrow with colors that reflect today. Do sumptuous not retro. On the flip side, use mattlesse or a country quilt on a modern bed.