How to Give a Modern Home More ‘Character’

carved wood trimWhen building and selling brand new homes, there is a common complaint: lack of ‘character’, that special¬†je ne sais quois¬†that comes with sprawling Victorians or diminutive Craftsman homes. So what special touches can be included in modern homes to give buyers that ‘character’ they crave?

Crown Molding

It’s the little details, sometimes. Modern crown molding painted a clean white, or vintage molding with classic wood carving designs add a lot of warmth and character to a new home. It’s so popular that many home buyers look for molding pre-installed so they don’t have to do it themselves. In fact, about 62% of people rate crown moldings as the third most essential decorative feature in the home according to an NAHB survey. Those simple strips of wood, third most important!

Molding can fit any aesthetic, too. Going for a modern, painted look? Try inexpensive, durable resin crown molding instead of wood so you’re not as guilty painting over it. Not sure what aesthetic the home will end up with when fully furnished? Get egg and dart molding for your home, a versatile staple in modern and classic architecture.

Unique, but Inoffensive, Custom Features

Buyers looking for that elusive ‘character’ will notice the tiniest unique details you put into a home. A custom-cut window? Odd but beautiful banisters? Having custom features anywhere in the home is very appealing to choosy buyers. To keep the choosiest of buyers interested in the home, don’t add anything too outlandish. A snake motif included in carved wood trim or angels looking down from corbels will delight some, but completely turn off others.

Use Rich Woods When Possible

It’s rare that a home buyer or building will want a completely industrial or ultra-modern aesthetic free of any natural woods. As a general rule, hardwood floors, in particular, add much-needed warmth and appeal to any home. Choose flooring carefully if you’re planning on having wooden fixtures like carved wood trim or wooden fireplace corbels in the rest of the home’s architecture. If you choose a peculiar cut or color of flooring, it can be a pain to match other wooden fixtures in the house.

Perhaps there is a rule of thumb we can use here: be sneaky! Think of adding character like trying to hide special details in plain site. Especially if the home in question is not a custom-built home for a specific customer, you want ‘character’ pieces to be subtle.

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