Step Back in Time – How to Give Your New Home Some Old Character


New builds are great when it comes to repairs and maintenance, as the costs are usually relatively low. However, many people find that the buildings lack character and are just plain-looking boxes. Fortunately, there are things you can do to inject some personality into your young house. Here are 6 ways to give your new home some old character


Replace the Windows and Doors


Windows and doors can change the look of a building’s exterior massively. If you want to make your house look more vintage, install sash windows or Tudor-style ones with diamond-shaped panes and metal lattice glazing bars. Stained glass windows will give your home some beauty and interest.


To give your property an old-fashioned look without the costly maintenance of painting and varnishing, invest in windows and doors made from strong composite materials. Look at Roofline Design for beautiful composite doors in a range of colours and styles.


Wooden floors


Scratched and dented, rough wooden floors are found in old houses. Get the rustic look in your home by installing reclaimed floorboards from an old house or gym hall.  Alternatively, you can look for brand new flooring that is artificially distressed to give a date look.




If your property has high ceilings, consider constructing fake roof rafters to give the look of an old barn or farmhouse kitchen. Go for natural oak wood, or for a cheaper alternative, stain or paint some low-price wooden beams.




Ornate cornicing is a beautiful feature of period properties.  Plaster and even polystyrene mouldings are available to purchase at your local DIY store. They need to be glued onto the walls and ceilings of your home and then painted. These pieces are great value for money and can transform dull rooms into something special.




Artificial panelling will add character to a hallway or dining room. It can be bought in MDF strips with two or three large panel patterns per piece or lots of narrow panels, which look great in bathrooms.  The MDF should be sealed with a suitable primer and painted in your desired colour. In a hallway, panels are great for protecting the paintwork on the walls from dirt coming off people and animals entering the house.


Old furniture

If you don’t want to change the structure of your new home, you can create some old-fashioned character with furniture. Look in local antique stores, markets, and online sites such as Gumtree or eBay for vintage furniture. Don’t worry if the pieces you like are bashed and scratched – it adds to the character. If your furniture doesn’t look old enough or you wish to give some newer bits of furniture a vintage look, you can distress the furniture on purpose. To create a time-worn piece of furniture, remove any hinges and handles, clean and sand the item, cover with a layer of chalk paint and then rub random areas with a bit of steel wool or sandpaper to remove some of the paint so that the wood shows through.



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