This is a collaborative post.
When we discuss home character, what do we talk about? Often, it can seem like something we happen upon, not something we self-willingly apply to our surroundings. For instance, exposed timber beams in an older house might contribute to its character, because we can see the history and architectural intent of the time on full display, something, perhaps, to even boast about.
But what if we wish to make our home feel like it has its own personality without going overboard, and without living in a house that has three-hundred years of history to it already? What if you live in a relatively modern build, or you’ve even constructed your home yourself, and you wish for it to look a bit more grounded than a stock IKEA showroom? Those are worthwhile questions because they can help you think a little more creatively, and they may help you decide on a design ideal you have been pondering for some time.
Furthermore, adding character to any property is a great amount of fun! That should be reason enough. So without further ado, let’s consider how you may wish to give your home more character going forward:
Flooring is a great way to give a home more character. Not enough people see flooring as the most impactful decorative change you could make in a room, but it truly is. You interact with it all the time, it shapes how the lighting and placement of your furniture will be most appropriately held, and it can totally inform the visitor just what design aesthetic you are going for.
Timber flooring, for instance, is a fantastic means of going for a rugged yet carefully applied aesthetic, something that shows a natural side to your property without seeming overly rural or old-fashioned. It can be a contemporary means of adding some class to your property and is quite hard-wearing, which is good for households that see plenty of activity. Consider your flooring, as it can truly make a real difference to your home.
The furniture of your property, though more of a temporary consideration compared to the larger and more permanent fixtures, is still an element that defines the character of your home. Of course, you don’t have to have oak tables reclaimed from church doors or items with centuries of history to bring character to your space. You just have to ensure each piece of furniture has a place, it works within the space, and that it’s functional and serves a worthwhile decorative purpose.
For instance, a historical bench lining your corridor can be nice, but what does it say about your home and your property? Is it used, or does it take up space? If you’re storing rucksacks on it during the day, it does little for you. However, a luxury wicker chair in your conservatory, a place quite often used and kept in excellent quality condition? That adds character, it shows function, it provides a sense of place and purpose. In this way, furniture can truly provide character. Thinking along these lines helps you become a little more open to a range of potential opportunities going forward.
Decorative themes are also important to consider when giving your home character. For instance, you might find that a nautical theme can be quite appropriate given your proximity to the coastline. Stencilled anchor decorations, waves, side-on rowboats that have been cut in half to provide shelving space, all of this can help add to the theme of your home and give you a sense of place, time, and history.
You don’t have to keep this kind of aesthetic throughout the entire home of course, but a room-by-room theming, even minimally, can often bring a home to life and help it seem dynamic, yet permanently comfortable. That’s a lovely place to begin, and we’d recommend playing around with these options to see just what elements could be most suitable for you.
Aging & Conditioning
Ageing and conditioning your furniture, exposed timber, flooring elements, or simple wooden fixtures (such as door frames and doors) can be a great manner in which to add texture and character to your home. Say you have a giant chest of drawers for instance. Reupholstering this piece of furniture, painting it, stencilling minimal design patterns, weathering the wood, matching that with the overall aesthetic of the room, all of this can have a massive impact on defining the characteristics of your environment. It also gives you the chance to have a great deal of worthwhile fun.
With this advice, we hope you can lovingly grant your home more character in the best possible light.
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