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Add Warmth and Character to Your Home

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By : Carolyn Capalbo    99 or more times read
Front Entrance: Add grills to your sidelights and transoms. Either paint your front door the same color or get a wood or wood-look door and stain a warm cedar color. Ditch the old screen door and replace it with a Victorian screen door. Re-use centers or salvage yards are great places to find bargains on wood character doors

Floors: If your carpet has seen its day, consider replacing it with hardwood floors. They provide a warm, cozy atmosphere in a home, have a timeless style and are easy to maintain. There are so many varieties and colors beyond the traditional oak floors that you're certain to find something to fit your decorating scheme. For eco-friendly versions, look to bamboo or the non-toxic, oil stained finishes.

Fireplace: If you have a painted mantle, consider having it stripped and re-finished in a warm stain. Add a tile or stone border to make your living room feel like a mountain getaway.

Trim: Changing your style of baseboard or adding cornice can totally transform a room. Purchase wide, salvaged baseboard and cornice trim and simply repaint. A faux version can be achieved by using 1 x 8 baseboard on the walls and 1 x 4 strips on the ceiling. Add 5/8 inch thick brackets to the ceiling trim.

Interior Doors: If you have french doors, consider staining and adding grills and porcelain or brass hardware.

Paint: Warm up your walls by venturing away from the neutral beiges and whites. Popular colors for 2009 are bright yellows, navy, slate blue, and chestnut mixed with rose. If you aren't ready to add color to all your walls, consider punching up one accent wall and add decorative accessories in similar shades.

Wainscotting: Add a chair rail to convey a traditional look. For a board and batton style that gives the impression of a recessed panel on your walls, run 3 1/4 by 36 inch battens down the wall from the chair rail, meeting at the bottom with 1 x 8 baseboard. Beef up the chair rail by adding brackets and a small shelf.

Cupboards: Instead of replacing outdated cupboards, repaint them using a rich shade of ebony and add some cornice trim at the top. For a country feel, place painted brackets under the trim and chamfered feet under the cabinets.

Bathroom: Combine old with new by placing a granite counter on a wooden vanity. These combos are easy to find at local centers. Go to salvage yards to find old medicine cabinets, or add a painted wood frame around a new one.

With a little creativity you can create your own vintage wall mount sink. Check the granite outlets for a scrap 22 x 28 slab. You'll probably pick it up for the cost of polishing. Add a recessed sink and backsplash. Add a couple cast-iron shelf brackets under the sink, keeping the pipe exposed. Hang a mirror with some filigree trim and a decorative lighting fixture.
Carolyn Capalbo is an expert military relocation specialist and real estate agent serving Northern Virginia real estate. Visit to find updated market information about areas in Prince William, including Haymarket VA real estate.

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