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I knew I wanted to add character to our home when we built… and then I found out I have champaign taste on a beer budget. Haha! Usually the things that add interest and character are the extras you don’t need so they’re also the first thing on the budget chopping block. I’m going to share where we left adding character to the professionals and where we DIY’d. This post is going to have so. much. eye candy- so buckle up! I’ll try really hard not to overdo it.
One way we added character to our home was through brick and tile. You can definitely DIY this yourself, but since we were building we left the install to the pros and then I lime washed the brick in the kitchen and on the fireplace.
In our bathrooms we used tile to add character. We used budget friendly options in the girl’s bathroom, boy’s bathroom, and primary bathroom and then got creative with the way it was laid. In the powder bath we chose a fun cement tile to be the star of the show. Don’t be afraid to go bold in smaller spaces! It’s the perfect place to get outside your comfort zone and have some fun. We also DIYd board and batten here to give the walls some character too.
Adding a fireplace is a really great way to add character as well. There are so many materials to choose from, from natural stone, cast stone, brick, tile, shiplap. We used brick on the fireplace section and then did shiplap above the mantle to the ceiling to add some visual interest. I would have loved to have a cast stone fireplace but it was out of our budget. I still love how ours turned out and how the brick ties the kitchen and living spaces together.
We have DIYd several wall treatments including the peg wall in the locker room, the custom sized shiplap in our bedroom and the board and batten in Kate’s room. Kate’s room is maybe my favorite. It really took her room from builder grade to custom. I have so many more wall treatments I’m excited to tackle including box trim, more shiplap, bead-board and box beams.
Adding wallpaper is another easy DIY to add character. I have several projects in the works with wallpaper including the water closet in our primary bath, the laundry room, and Ben’s room, so keep an eye out!
Don’t forget the ceiling! It’s maybe one of my favorite way to bring character to a space. I recently saw a post on IG by Amber Interiors where they tiled a curved ceiling and let me tell you, here. for. it! Since obviously most of us don’t have that kind of budget, you can add shiplap, beams, or if you’re like us, box beams which a faux beam made to look solid, like the one in our kitchen & entry. Someday I would like to DIY some beams in our primary bedroom.
Another fun way to dress up a ceiling is with wallpaper. I installed wallpaper in Emma’s room, and while her room still has some work to do I love how it added some whimsy to the space.
A show stopper staircase is another way to add a ton of character to an otherwise boring space. Try adding windows, pretty lighting or even a stair runner.
Arches are also becoming increasingly popular although they’ve been around for centuries. Keep in mind an arched doorway does cost more than a squared off one, which is why we don’t have any. I absolutely love the look, though… next house maybe!
Using vintage doors is another way to add character to your home. Or, if that’s not an option, use an antique piece of furniture or art. I like to have at least one old piece in every room. It makes it feel more lived in and cozy.
Last but not least, and probably my favorite way to add character is with lighting. There are so many gorgeous options out there at every price point. The pendant on our stair landing really makes an otherwise boring space feel special and intentional. I love it so much!
Remember these are just a few of the ways you can add character to your home! Pinterest and Instagram are full of so much inspiration so be sure to browse around. If you’d like to see what I used as inspiration for our home, you can find my Pinterest board here.