Learn from Experts: How To Add Character to a Small Home

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With many modern houses lacking personality as owners opt for a more sleek approach, or in contrast, with aging properties losing their charm over the years, it is understandable you may want to add some character. The good news is there are some simple ways to do this.

It could involve getting in professionals, maybe a little DIY project, or to arrange plants in the most effective way. So read How To Add Character to a Small Home and choose what excellent idea is best for you.


Adding a real fireplace is a bit of a task and would require professional skills to ensure it is built correctly, and all smoke fumes exit the house. However, the effort will be worth every cent when putting a log on the hot flames during a cold winter’s night, keeping the small home cozy.

Alternatively, you can add a faux fireplace that looks like the real thing and still adds plenty of character. A mantel is attached to the wall to give the vintage aesthetic and can be painted to suit the home décor.

Nothing adds more character to a home than a fireplace. 


Using plants to add character to a small home was an old trend that now is back with a bang. Indoor plants in your living room, entryway, bedroom, or wherever can transform a home’s overall appearance, especially when partnered with charming pots.

And houseplants are not just good to add character to a small home. They are also known to boost moods, reduce stress, increase creativity, remove pollutants and produce cleaner air. Sounds too good to be true, right?!

So add character, cleaner air, better vibes by adding some houseplants to your small home, and be sure to ask how to best care for them.


Putting trims around your windows and doors is a building practice that modern trends seem to have forgotten. The no or minimal trim approach makes houses look sleek and contemporary but loses all the character a timber trim brings to a small home.

Selecting trims for your small home can be a fun project, and they are not an overly expensive installation, considering the personality it brings to a room. And better still, if you have basic hand tools and are reasonably handy, there is no reason why you can’t turn it into a DIY job.


Ceiling medallions are strange as very few new houses use them, yet old homes with them consistently get complimented. They ooze architectural character, especially considering they are affordable and the ceiling is dull without one.

Installing a ceiling medallion itself is a straightforward job; however, the light fixture does need to be removed. Once the light fitting is removed, it is simply attaching the medallion to the ceiling using the correct adhesive caulk or glue, which you can pick up from your local hardware store. And if you are looking to be bold, don’t be shy to paint the medallion to announce the ceiling feature and its character.


You will be amazed how a small thing like a door handle or a cupboard door knob can change a home’s character, especially when done throughout the house. Many homes come with stock standard hardware that goes unnoticed yet does the job. However, doors or drawers are not overly eventful, meaning contrasting hardware stands out to give a big impression. 

You can buy new hardware with a vintage look from hardware stores, or alternatively, you can go on a hardware hunt through salvage yards and antique shops for a more authentic feel. Feel free to try and change hardware yourself, although sometimes patience is needed as the simple-looking task can get a little tricky. This is great to consider when handling something like a bathroom remodel.

It should be said that brass hardware has the most character, but that doesn’t mean you are limited to just brass.


It may sound like an obvious option, but paint can be the quickest and most economical way to add character to a small home. With the evolution of paint over the last decade, there are special paints for almost every surface. There are paints for walls, cabinets, furniture, flooring, and fittings that instantly change a small home’s aesthetic.

A home décor that features warmer painted walls adds plenty of character. At the same time, an upcycled cabinet can give an antique piece of furniture a new life within the home without losing its personality. While painting doors is an excellent way to add character without a complete home makeover.

The best bit is that nearly everyone can paint, maybe some better than others, but it is very much a DIY project if you are up for it.


The entryway often gets overlooked; however, all spaces are important when living in a small home. As entrances are usually small, they are quite practical to add character, and antique furniture is an excellent way to do so. 

A charming bench that can be used to put on footwear or an elegant coat rack to hang your garments is a simple yet effective way to add character. Alternatively, a large quality mirror offers a triple effect to the small space. It opens up the space, provides a place to check your appearance and adds plenty of character, all while taking up no valuable floor space.


Lighting throughout your home offers practical and style benefits and can easily add character to a small home. Many people have moved away from vintage style lighting in modern homes, opting for minimal profile options like downlight, losing all grace along the way.

However, there is nothing like a hanging lighting pendant to transform a space, and there are still plenty of great pendant options available to purchase. Some pendants are very traditional, while others offer a mix of modern and vintage appeal. Think about this when replacing elements of your kitchen especially.

Just remember, you will more than likely need an electrician for installation.

Add some character to a small home today

Hopefully, these excellent ideas can help you add character to a small home, from installing trims, pendants and hardware to splashing paint and indoor plants. So don’t wait; add some character to a small home today!

About The Author: Luke Carlino is a freelance writer & social media manager from Melbourne, Australia. He works with many clients across many sectors creation a range of content to suit varying needs. He is also a musician in the band We Move Like Giants, which you can check out here.
Photo by Collov Home Design on Unsplash

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