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LifestyleHome and Garden

Ten ways to add charm to the interior, exterior of your home

A porch swing offers a focal point, as

A porch swing offers a focal point, as well as a cozy spot to sit and talk. Photo Credit: Fotolia

When you visit an older home, one of the things you notice is the workmanship. All the little touches, like woodwork, moldings, door knobs and rich wood accents, 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 some to create the kind of home that has a charming appeal.


Paying attention to detail inside will create a warm welcome when you get 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 character. 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.

AirStone: Adding the rustic appeal of stone was laborious until now. AirStone is inexpensive relative to stone, can be cut with a hacksaw and applied with adhesive to dress up a wall or an old fireplace.

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 the cost of custom-made cabinets.


Homes with curb appeal look so inviting you want to go inside, and they make your landscape look great, too.

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 old-style warmth.

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 paths makes your garden a go-to spot.

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

Garden gate: A garden gate that’s crowned with an arbor covered in a flowering vine creates an 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.

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