When people are buying homes, they are looking for something that makes one stand out or one that seems to resonate with them. Unfortunately, many people are looking at so many homes in one day that they often forget than amenities of each house they tour. You can making you home have character and style even if you’re on a budget, it just takes a little creativity and care.

Why Character Matters In A Home

Good Craftmanship and location of the home are the primary things of importance, right? Yes, but in a world where some people are flipping houses more frequently than they flip pancakes for breakast, a little charm and personality in a house is hard to come by. Many people are viewing homes that are very unfiform in color, which is a basic beige hue. They see homes that have exactly the same appliances and same porches, so it’s important to make your house stand out in someone’s mind. Thankfully this isn’t hard to do!

What Gives a Home Character?

  • Small details
  • Color
  • Landscaping
  • Lighting
  • Wallpaper

Details need not be expensive to pack a punch of ambiance. Some easy things to change in your house right now are the knobs on your kitchen and bathroom cabinets and your doorknobs. You can mix it up – they all don’t have to be uniform. If you pick a white ceramic theme, just make sure they are related (they don’t have to, and shouldn’t be, exact!) Some can be found at auctions or antique stores for a lot of style but a small price tag. They don’t even need to come from the same era to be beautiful. It will give your home a subtle whimsy of times past.

Color is Important – but use it sparingly. For instance, not everyone is going to love a bright orange living room, so paint it a neutral and add splashes of orange – a throw pillow, a vase, a picture on the wall. A few splashes of color are fun and interesting, and if the buyer happens to hate that color – no problem! They can replace those items with something in the color family they love. It will give them the idea that color matters and tease their own imaginations, which will leave them thinking about your home long after they have left it.
Landscaping need not be complex, but it needs to be neat and well maintained. Get rid of all weeds, prune trees, get a fresh layer of mulch, and fill any bare spots in your yard. You can arranged terra cotta pots on a porch with some simple flowers or you can grow a few colorful and interesting varieties of flowers. It’s a plus if you plant annuals and can mention to the shopper that the flowers return or bloom each year! Some whimsical lawn ornaments like a small birdbath or windchime may add interest, but be careful not to overdo it, as it can be overwhelming.

Lighting is the ultimate ambiance, so be sure you’re using it to your advantage. Harsh lights, like fluorescent bulbs, detract from a home, while small, carefully placed lamps can give a room a rich and inviting feel. Be careful with ceiling lights – many are very bright and don’t allow for any control of lighting in the room, so add dimmer switches in order to be able to give the buyer some control over how bright they prefer their lights. In general, you can’t get enough natural sunlight. Make sure your blinds, draperies or curtains aren’t so dark that they are detracting from the free beautiful light that mother nature has to give!
Believe it or not, Wallpaper is making a comeback! Especially in certain style houses – Victorian, Tudor, Cottages, Beach houses – a few walls of tasteful wallpaper can be a charming and easy touch. Keep patterns more basic and non-busy (perhaps a small floral print on a wall in the bathroom, a richer texture of wallpaper in the foyer) in order to add instant charm. Many buyers would be overwhelmed by a house full of wallpaper, but a wall here or there may be just the charm you’re looking for.
Keeping things interesting in today’s housing market need not be a challenge with just a bit of creativity! When you find some interesting shutters, paint them and put them around a window inside your house. When you find a small but interesting light pull, buy it. If you find a painting that calls out to you, put it in a prominent location in your home. There’s so many options available, but remember the goal is to keep your house looking fresh, original, and something that stands out among cookie-cutter houses. These small details will definitely give you a selling advantage.

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