As I write this, heavy snow is falling in Denver. I was going to write about something practical today, like window coverings, but I absolutely can’t do it on a single degree, snowy day in February. SO – this week I’m writing about one of my favorite topics – how to add charm and character to your home!
Art: Original art goes a long way. Prints are great if that’s all you can afford, but if you can mix in a few original pieces it will up you and your room’s IQ. Oil paintings are the easiest way to add instant age and character. Look for something that is pleasing to you, but also looks like it could have been handed down in the family or collected while you were leaf peeping in New England. Some people like to go with a theme, like mountains, lakes or portraits which can help you narrow down your selection. Look on Etsy and your local Antique/Junk shops. You can find original, framed paintings for under $200 and probably a lot less if you enjoy the hunt.
Vintage Rugs: A vintage rug elevates any room and sometimes you don’t need to do much else – vintage rugs add that much charm. Kind of like if Stephen King showed up at a lame party – suddenly it’s not lame and one person changed it. That’s what a vintage rug is. It’s Stephen King at your boring co-worker’s townhouse in the suburbs.
Here’s what you get with one rug: Color, texture, age and pattern. Local shops are great for these and there are online stores for this too – I think it’s easier to shop for a rug in person though.
Books: Nothing says educated and charming like bookshelves. Books add texture and color. They also offer personality, culture and instant conversation starters. Create a built-in look by lining a wall with some low bookshelves and then put your oil painting collection above. Instant interest and wow, you seem so much smarter now.
An antique or two or three: Add something old to every room. Furniture from different eras will add warmth and interest to your home. You don’t need to style it like your grandparents – keep it spare, simple and clean for a more contemporary look. Check Facebook’s marketplace and also your town’s antique and junk shops for something that works in your space, functions for what you need and fits your budget. I think antiques (in general, there are always exceptions) should be functional. An old bench in your mudroom, an antique sideboard in your living room or an old library table at your bedside.
Plants: Every designer, stylist and decorator will tell you that, besides the people and pets who live there, plants add a lot of life to a home.