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How To Add Character to Your Home

A Dozen Tips to Give Your Home a Charm Boost


Dead ivy on the exterior walls of this house make it unappealing and covers the windows

Charming ivy will often need some trimming after a time

Photo by Picavet / Photographer's Choice RF / Getty Images

Does your house seem bland and uninteresting? Here are some ways to add charm and character. Be creative... and have fun!

Difficulty: N/A

Time Required: Go slow - Style cannot be rushed!

Here's How:

  1. For an inexpensive solution, give that blah house a fresh coat of paint using several accent colors.
  2. Remove outdated aluminum or vinyl siding. Wonderful features may be hidden beneath.
  3. Consider using a new exterior surface treatment such as stucco or stone relief.
  4. Place new windows in existing openings. Or, fill in some windows and enlarge others.
  5. Add window and door moldings, cornices and other details.
  6. Transform the landscaping. Plant new trees or hedges.
  7. Add interest with shutters, awnings and arches.
  8. Build a covered entry way.
  9. Build a deck, covered patio, porch or other outdoor living space.
  10. Open interior ceilings to create vaulting heights.
  11. Change the entire profile with a raised roof or gabled dormers.
  12. Build a new addition to the front or side of your existing home. Add a porch. Enclose a porch.
  13. Add character through elimination. Change the entire profile of your house by removing something already there -- a tree or shrubbery that hides a charming exterior; an addition that throws off the symmetry; a modern skylight or metal door that seemed like a good idea at the time.


  1. Keep it simple: Too many ornaments or an oversized addition will overwhelm your house.
  2. Preserve light and space: Make sure that new additions don't fill your entire lot.
  3. Consider resale value: Costly additions won't raise your home's price above neighborhood standards.
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