Chances are, if you’re reading this article, you don’t live in a wonderful 100 year old home somewhere back east, where the landscape is dotted with properties so vast fences between neighbors are either non existent or can’t be seen. On the other hand, you probably aren’t going to be plowing snow when winter settles in again this year.
So if you are living here, your home is most likely 35-40 years old, or newer, and in one of our many great communities of Seal Beach, Los Alamitos, Rossmoor, or east Long Beach. And you could be a perfect candidate for adding character and charm without doing a major remodel.
Replace Carpeting with Wood Floors:
Older homes were built with raised foundations and wood floors, as are a lot of our homes here. Area rugs were later added to not only literally warm up a room, but to add color and texture. By replacing your living room, or dining room carpet with wood, you definitely add charm. Until recently, oak was the most common type of wood flooring used, however we’re seeing more and more species such as maple, cherry and pecan, along with more exotic woods such as brasilian cherry and bamboo replacing oak.
When you add wood flooring, this is a perfect time to also replace your base with more traditional taller detailed base either in wood to match your floor or better yet, paint your new base white to match your trim, which brings us to…..
Replacing Doors, Casings and Window Trim:
Because it added to construction costs, newer homes often didn’t have decorative trim or raised panel doors. Where original raised panel doors were solid wood, hollow core doors that have a wood grain are a more affordable way to have doors that have character. Also, adding decorative casings around your doors and windows will really add a lot of charm. One thing to beware of is that if your trim is too decorative, you’re going to have a harder time when it comes to adding window treatments. Think your project through and make a decision before you add trim, and visit a designer or window treatment expert to learn what your options are. It’s a shame to cover expensive mouldings, and yet you still may need privacy, so “look before you leap.”
Even if you’re on a strict budget and can only do one room at a time, it’s less expensive if you plan on doing all your wood working at the same time, eliminating paying more to have a contractor come out and do a small job, or a “minimum job.”
Add Crown Mouldings:
Mouldings, like trim, come in different sizes. Spend the time up front, and if you need to, have someone help you determine which size crown moulding will be the most effective for your room. Shorter ceilings should have smaller crown mouldings so the ceiling doesn’t appear lower; higher ceilings can support taller mouldings, and sometimes taller mouldings bring a ceiling down to a more comfortable level.
If you want exotic woods like cherry or mahogany for doors and trim, you’ll spend more. Sometimes, stained woods can actually detract from a room’s feeling. Stained woods definitely make a statement, yet most interior designers will recommend painting your doors and trim a shade of white, which allows more opportunity to use color on your walls.
Join us next week for Part 2 and find out the final four ways your newer home can be full of character! How have you added charm to your newer home? Comment below and tell us!