Friday, July 24, 2009

Can a new home have character?

Planning on a building a new home, but concerned that it won't have the same character as an older home? Can you give your a new home some character? The answer is a resounding yes!

At the planning stage think about adding beautiful mouldings: cornices and skirting boards, and maybe even adding wainscotting or tongue and groove panelling (bead board) to your walls. Raising your ceilings to at least nine feet is also critical to give your home that old style feel. Recycled floorboards are another way to add a beautiful feeling of character and solidity to your home.


But let's face it, often the budget precludes people from doing some of the above things - they can be costly additions. But one thing that might just possibly be within reach of the average jo is architectural salvage.


I think it is really sad when lovely old homes get demolished, but the fact is, it does happen - often because the house is unsound or because it is cheaper to rebuild from scratch rather than renovate. But at least if they are going to be demolished, parts of the home can be salvaged for others to re-use.

With some patience, you might just be able to find a fabulous fireplace, a great bathtub or some wonderful old doors. And think outside the square - consider barn doors, doors from a pub, or shutters.

Not all architectural salvage is cheap - pieces from Europe can be costly. But if you look around, you might just get lucky. So patience could be required! I'm guessing you'd also need a builder who understands your vision and is willing to incorporate these treasures into your home.

So here's some images to give you some inspiration on how to add character using salvaged doors, windows and shutters. Some of them hide televisions and stereo equipment - clever!








































Images 1 Atlanta Bartlett 2 Sally Wheat via Cote de Texas 3 Country Living 4 & 5 Scanned from Australian Home Beautiful 6 Mimmi O'Connell via Desire to Inspire 7 unknown 8 Scanned from Elle 9 & 10 unknown


I've had a really busy week - working extra hours at work because I'm off to Bali next week. And the weekend is full, full, full! So I'm struggling to visit blogs right now, but when I come back and have found my feet again, I'll be back with bells on!


Best wishes,

45 comments:

Ry @ Sotto Il Monte Vineyards said...

Such a beautiful post. I've been collecting Architectural Salvage - windows - doors - etc. for a house that I'm renovating. And while, it sometimes takes a bit more effort - the end result is so very worth the trouble. Have a wonderful trip to Bali. I look forward to seeing the photos of your trip.
Cheers!
Ry

Alison Gibbs said...

So many fabulous doors you have posted pics. of. They certainly add character to the room.
Have a great weekend
Alison

Alison Gibbs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dedeetsyshop said...

All I can say is "WOW"! I love these pics- some of my favorites! They colors are so beautiful and soft- so pleasing to the eye! Thanks again for another great post!

Dagny @ Beautiful Living said...

I really love the Moroccan doors in Jessica Stam's apartment. Would have loved to have them in MY home! :) I agree that moldings are key to give your home character, ours would have looked completely different without them.

~ Lisa @ AbidingThere~ said...

Bali! How wonderful! Have a great trip and take lots of pictures to show us.

sealaura said...

I am really liking all the doors, the antiquey, barn looking ones in contrast to the white "simply natural" look. Some of these remind me of homes in Santa Barbara, Ca.

enjoy your holiday! and feel free to share pics! Bali sounds like my kind of place.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

In my experience, new homes can have character, but they don't usually come built-in as they are naturally in most older homes. One just has to work a bit harder to imbue them with a more interesting personality. This post gives wonderful ideas on how to do just that!!

Aura said...

These houses are beautiful! Our home was built in 2002 and I've had a hell of a time adding any sort of character to it to try and make it look older.

caroline @ patagonia gifts said...

old doors can really make miracles in a new home! Bali! how fun! have a great weekend! xo

A-M said...

.... or you can build with my dodgey builders and then you'll be guaranteed that your beautiful new home looks far from new. Such gorgeous images C. Have a wonderful time in Bali. You so deserve a rest! A-M xx

Blair said...

What a beautiful post! You are so right that they add charm to these spaces!

the7daggetts said...

Yes, I definitely believe that new homes can have the character of an old home. We are living in a house that was built just over two years ago, and it is "builder standard". So far, we have painted the stock cabinets white and installed glass hardware to all the cabinets, put in a beadboard backsplash, put in a pendant light over the sink instead of the recessed light, took out the cheap stainless steel sink and put in a white porcelain sink, and removed many of the builders brass doorknobs and replaced them with oiled bronze. This year we are planning on ripping out all of the carpeting and plan on installing unfinished pine, and someday I would like to replace all the countertops with butcher block. We are planning on getting our butcher blocks and pine flooring from Lumber Liquidators and we can do our whole house for 5000 dollars! Old character for a good price! I love it!!
Have a fun trip!!

White Flower Farmhouse said...

Great post! You're advice is spot on and those images are stunning!

I've also found that adding architectural salvage is a great way to add character to a home that you are renting. Propping doors and mantels against walls, hanging salvaged windows, and switching out light fixtures is a great way to temporarily change the feel of your space, and you can take it with you!

White Flower Farmhouse said...

Great post! You're advice is spot on and those images are stunning!

I've also found that adding architectural salvage is a great way to add character to a home that you are renting. Propping doors and mantels against walls, hanging salvaged windows, and switching out light fixtures is a great way to temporarily change the feel of your space, and you can take it with you!

alice said...

I can't imagine a new house feeling like home without some reclaimed details... actually it's so much more interesting when a new, even modern house does mix old and new isn't it? Gorgeous images!

I know as soon as you're in Bali all the busyness that is surrounding you now will have been worth it:)

Olde Tyme Marketplace said...

Love these inspiring photos. I have been in love with old doors, shutters, windows since forever. I love the fact that they can take up alot of wall space without spending alot of money. You get a great result that looks spectaculer without a lot of effort. Great post!
Smiles,
Beth

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Catherine,

Love your post and I do think you can have a new home with lots of character.
Beautiful pictures of some lovely examples.

Have a fabulous time in Bali.
Hugs
Carolyn

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Some gorgeous choices Catherine. Don't you just love that word 'Salvage'! Have an enjoyable and relaxing week.

My name is PJ. said...

The old doors are breathtaking! We don't have true architectural salvage here in small state, USA. I've looked and looked. It's probably a good thing. Salvage is yet another place where I'd start collecting. :)

julie said...

Hi Catherine! I just found your blog and its beautiful! I LOVE this post! Thanks for all the gorgeous pictures! I cant wait to see more! Have fun in Bali! I would love for you to come visit me at my new blog!

Chrissy said...

What a stunning collection of photos!! Enjoy your time away,we will all be here when you get back(oh,that sounds a bit scary)!! All the best,Chrissy

Velvet and Linen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Velvet and Linen said...

When we were building our home 7 years ago, I went to flea markets and antique shops to find all kinds of antique architectural elements to put into our new home. I think the addition of all of those unique finds is what adds to the character and unique-ness of our home. No one can believe that it's only 7 years old.
While we do renovations to our weekend home in Channel Islands Harbor in California we are adding old architectural elements, like antique French shutters, to the inside and outside. Those elements are adding the charm that our home was missing.

Great post Caroline.

xo
Brooke

Beach Vintage said...

I adore salvaged doors.

Rachel Follett said...

Such great advice! It can definitely be hard to give character to a new home but I think it could definitely be accomplished by following your tips. Thanks for sharing!

Charm Hill - Lena said...

I just found your blog and I love it! your photos are wonderful, i will be visiting alot:)

Brabourne Farm said...

Beautiful post. Enjoy Bali and have a lovely, relaxing time! Leigh

henzy said...

gorgeous doors

lily-g said...

I'm just loving all of those beautiful doors! have a great trip away you deserve it xxx

Tracey said...

Such lovely, lovely photos - thanks for sharing!

:) T

Jessica said...

Gorgeous pics!! Just discovered your blog.. love it! Very random question.. do you know what the name of the font is that you're using for all of the cursive text? It's so cute!

Yansy said...

I have a thing for doors as well and I will collect them all if I could. My dream is to design and build my own home. I wanted to invite you to participate in my giveaway. It started yesterday and it will go on until Monday. Have a wonderful weekend!

Zita - Mlle Magpie said...

Lovely inspirational photos, Catherine. Hope you have a wonderful trip!

Aimee said...

The pictures are ALL gorgeous!!!

Have a great trip, lucky you...

If you get a chance, come by my Blog for a visit and say hi!
Have a great weekend,
Aimee

Aimee said...

The pictures are ALL gorgeous!!!

Have a great trip, lucky you...

If you get a chance, come by my Blog for a visit and say hi!
Have a great weekend,
Aimee

Angela@acountryfeel said...

I love the old doors, Catherine. They indeed give a room something extra.

I hope I'm not too late by wishing you a lovely trip to Bali. You'll stay there for a week, right? I hope you'll have a lovely and relaxing time there! I look forward to your travel diary. :-)

J.Covington*Design said...

That was a fabulous post...just wonderful. Loved the doors and character of the images you choose. Also, I just found you on Black Rooster Decor blog. I'm looking forward to reading your posts often.
Alex

sealaura said...

how was Bali, dear CAtherine? miss ya in the blogosphere. hope to hear about your travels soon. :)

Angela Furlong said...

Hello - I loved your post. I spend a vast majority of my time designing and styling new homes (particularly display homes) so I well understand the challenges of infusing character where character is not! Loved your ideas - all very practical xx

Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

Where are u ?

junkgarden said...

Great post on how to add character to a new home. All of the doors are gorgeous. Great blog, by the way. I hope you'll visit my blog sometime too.

Life on an artistic shoestring said...

I love everything pictured! You have such a great eye for beauty and I love coming to visit your blog!

atayala said...

Wow!, this is really neat, I definitely will check it out. Love it, it makes you feel calm and when you feel boring just lay and sleep.

Deirdre G
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prashant said...

Have a wonderful trip to Bali. I look forward to seeing the photos of your trip.
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