10 Ways to add Character to your Builder Grade House

Do you live in a cookie cutter home but are craving for a house that's filled with charm and unique character?

If you are yearning for ways to give your builder grade home some charm and uniqueness like I am, then you've come to the right place. Ever since moving into our home four years ago, I've been determined to give our little home distinct character to help set it apart.

You see, the floor model that we live in was SO popular in our neighborhood that the last FIVE houses on our street are all the same floor plan. Yikes! But other factors, like price, location, and school district helped us make our choice when house shopping. I figured, slowly but surely, I could add character to our home to help set it apart.

Since then, I've been scouring the internet researching for ways to bring some unique charm and life into our home.

10 Ways to add Character to your Builder Grade House:

Add a Ceiling Treatment

I’m dying to add a ceiling treatment to our master bedroom. I love the idea of having a coffered ceiling or even a wood herringbone pattern treatment but honestly, the possibilities are endless! Check out some of my favorite ideas:



Look for Opportunities to add Built-Ins

There's nothing that speaks custom more than a built-in. Not only can they provide ample storage but also center a room's focal point, allow for decor pieces to live, and give a room plenty of personality!

Remove Bathroom Builder Grade Mirrors or Add Trim

Removing the builder grade mirrors from the bathroom's was one of the first projects that we tackled when we bought our home. It's such an easy project that can make a BIG impact. I love how our bathrooms completely transformed once the mirrors where replaced. This can be a super cost effective way to add a little personality to your bathrooms.

Swap out/Paint Hardware

I recently gave my kitchen a mini makeover and one of the first things I did was to spray paint the cabinet hardware. And what a difference it made! Our dark kitchen got a little bit more life and style by this simple update. Get more details on our simple kitchen transformation here.

If you aren't a fan of DYing or your hardware has seen better days, search the internet for affordable upgrades. I recently updated the hardware in our master bedroom and it made our IKEA furniture look stunning!

Make Baseboards Taller

If you live in an older home with really small baseboards, a simple way to update your space is by adding height. You could either replace the baseboards completely or you could simply add a trim piece a little bit higher than your current baseboard. Paint everything the same color and done! Updated baseboards for the win!

Source:  Home Depot

Source: Home Depot

Add Crown Molding

Something as simple as crown molding instantly elevates a room and gives it so much character. Don't believe me? Check out these examples below:

Source: House by the Preserve

Source: House by the Preserve

Arquitectural Details

One of the most dramatic ways to add character to your home is by enhancing architectural details. Wood beams can draw your eye up to draw attention to high ceilings or board and board and batten or planked walls can add texture to your walls.  There are tons of styles and variations to suit all tastes, perfect for customizing your home. 

Dramatic Wall Accents

One of the easiest ways to add instant character to your walls is by incorporating an accent wall. Whether you use paint or wall paper, the choice is yours and the possibilities are limitless!  

Replace Lighting

The first few projects in our home as new homeowners was replacing the builder grade light fixtures. It's amazing how much lighting can improve the look and feel of a room. You don't have to spend thousands on pretty fixtures either, IKEA has great, affordable options. 

Also when looking for affordable fans for our home (a necessity in Florida), I scoured Amazon for weeks until I found the perfect ones for our great room and lanai area. They were super affordable and amazing quality.

Source: House by the Preserve

Source: House by the Preserve

Add a Fireplace

A fireplace not only adds style to your room but also provides a focal point to the space. A blank wall can suddenly become a piece of art drawing you in. It can make a cold space feel warm and inviting, allowing you to create a little retreat, right in your very own home.

Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body recently built a fireplace into her master bedroom and let me tell you, it's stunning and she made it look so easy! Check out all the details here on how she did it. Now where to add one in my house?! 

How do you add a little character to your space? Leave me a comment below, I'd love to hear from you!

Happy Decorating!

Maria+Lorena - House by the Preserve.png