How to Add “Old House” Character & Charm to Your Newer Home {Step 6}


Welcome to the final step in this series!


**Please be sure to take time to read the final thoughts at the end of this post.


how to add character and charm to your home


Here is a recap of all the posts in this series:

Step 1: Add wood ceilings.

Step 2: Replace your builder’s grade doors with paneled doors.

Step 3: Replace your builder’s grade light fixtures with ones that possess more

            character and charm.

Step 4: Add Character to Your Home with New “Old” Hardware.

Step 5:  Add Character and Charm to Your Home with Finish Trim Work.


Today’s step is a no-brainer. 


Step 6: 



Add Wood Flooring!

wood flooring


There is nothing more characteristic of older homes than wood flooring.

The charm and beauty is hard to match!

wood flooring



I could spend time in this post talking about all different types of wood flooring, but I’m not.

Everyone has different tastes when it comes to wood flooring.  Some like light wood.  Some dark.

Some like thin planks. Some like wider.

There is soft wood, hard wood, engineered wood, and laminate wood.

wood flooring


Whichever type of wood flooring you chose, I can guarantee one thing…

It will add instant warmth and beauty to your home!


My personal favorite is a dark stain on real wood planks.  And I prefer the planks to be 5 inches wide or wider.

We used pine wood for our kitchen floors which is a softer wood.  It does show wear and tear more than the harder woods.  If you do not like to see some wear on your floors, then you would definitely want to go with a harder wood.  But keep in mind that the harder the wood, the more expensive it will be.

farmhouse kitchen

I don’t mind a little wear on my floors because I think it gives my  home that old farmhouse feel that I love.

We are planning on adding the same hard wood flooring in our master bedroom and master bath in our addition.

Here are some beautiful pictures I found of wood flooring in a bathroom.

wood flooring


wood flooring


wood flooring


wood floorin




We also plan on putting wood on our stairs in our addition.


wood staircase


My friend, Sarah, from Thrifty Décor Chick removed the carpet from her stairs in her newer home to create beautiful wood steps!

imagestaircase makeover


If you have stair rails on your stairs, one thing that you might consider adding for some extra “old house” character is an antique newel post.

newel post


I love the look of the top of the newel post stained to match the steps and the bottom half painted white.

newel post


I am hoping to find a newel post at an architectural salvage place for our new staircase. It will give our stairs instant charm!

wood staircase



Painted wood floors are beautiful too.

Look how fabulous these red wood floors look!

painted wood floors


Here is an adorable nursery with painted floors…

painted wood floors



Though I love the look of stained wood flooring, if I owned an older home with wood floors that were in really bad shape, and they had stains that couldn’t be sanded out, I would definitely consider painting them. 

painted wood floors



Another flooring choice that creates that “old house” feel is hexagonal tile.

I absolutely love this type of tile!

hexagonal tile


I am considering hexagonal tile for when we redo the guest bath by our kitchen this year. 

hexagonal tile


Don’t ya love it?

hexagonal tile



Lastly, I also think brick flooring is a great choice for an mudroom or back hallway.

I think brick flooring is going to be showing up more and more in home interiors.


brick floors


brick floors




Here is a picture of brick flooring in the kitchen…

brick floors


Well, that’s it!

I hope you have enjoyed this series as much as I have!

I would love to hear your thoughts about this series in the comments!




Final Thoughts on this Series

I just had to end this series with a word of encouragement to you!

I have loved posting these steps about how to create a charming home full of “old house” character.

And I have loved sharing all of these amazing inspiration pictures to help get your creative juices flowing.

But one thing I want to make sure I haven’t done is create discontentment in your heart about what you have.

Maybe your home looks NOTHING like these inspiration pictures.

Maybe your renting.

Maybe you are in a starter home, and it isn’t really the type of home you want.

Wherever you may be living, I pray that you are content.

This series is meant to inspire you to think out of the box when it comes to decorating your home.

It is not meant for you to feel frustrated with all the things you wish you could do to your home.

Remember to be patient.  It takes time to get your home looking the way you want it to.  Enjoy the process!

Start on a small room in your home, like a bathroom, and following these steps a little at a time to create a space you love.

But in the meantime, while you may not have wood floors, or pretty light fixtures, fancy trim, or whatever else you may want, count your blessings.

Let’s thank God for the roof over our heads.

For warm beds to sleep in at night.

For bellies that are full.

For family and friends to love.

And then….smile.

You are loved by your heavenly Father more than you will ever know!


  1. I was so thrilled when we were looking at houses and finally found one in our price range that already had hardwood floors. Yes, they’re orange oak but they’re cheerful on a cloudy day. One thing I would love to do is change the stairway newel post in my house. What we have now is kind of blah and I would love to put something like this in it .

    Yes, I’ve saved some images for 20 years and finally scanned them!


  2. Great series. I have so enjoyed it all. I can’t wait until I can replace the carpet in the LR and FR with hardwood, but in the meantime, I am counting my blessings. Just a note about brick floors. I had them in hte kitchen, eating area and hall of a house once and they are soooooooooooooooooo hard to clean and care for. Something I would definitely not have again. Hugs, Marty

    1. My aunt and uncle had brick floors put into an addition on their last house for their home office. They hated it. My aunt said the brick would was hard to care for and the sand in the brick would actually wear off.

  3. Why am I salivating? Should kitchen flooring make me this excited? It’s freaking me out a little. Every picture was gorgeous – could not pick my favorite. Great ideas all around!

  4. I’ve loved your little series on how to bring old charm to a new house. :) We’re closing on a 1959 bungalow that looks like it was updated in the 70s. I’m excited to bring back that mid-century charm. :) It’s our first house and we plan on living in it for awhile and I’m so excited to make it our own.

  5. I love the hexagon tile! Would love to do that someday. Series like this just make me dream. Dreaming is fun and I think that is perfectly fine. Now I’m dreaming of hexagon tile and old doors! :)

  6. Awesome, awesome, AWESOME series! Such great ideas and inspiration to match! I love the dark wide planked flooring you featured here, and the brick flooring – fabulous! We looked at a house that had a brick floor in the mud room and I was so smitten! So ideal for a family with kids and the mud they bring in. Thanks again for putting this together. Great work!

  7. i love wood flooring, so much more than laminate. I’m always so nervous of laminate. It chips if you bang it (like when we moved our piano up the stairs when we moved in), it warps in the bathroom if you have kids and don’t mop up the swimming pool experience. But I love experienced and well loved hardwood. It makes me not so worried about living there. We have lived in one home that had original hardwood and I’d love to put it into the house we’re living in right now one day too.

  8. I’ve loved this series! I love your style and tips, but most of all I’m thankful for your reminder to be thankful! I can’t express how much I needed that! We have 4 little ones ages 6 and under, home school, and have a foreclosed house that needs lots of TLC. It’s so easy to be discontent and get priorities mixed up. Little by little, inch by inch. This afternoon I’m going to praise God for all these blessings, and thank you for the reminder!

  9. Greaeries, Traci. But, best of all were your last comments about being thankful and grateful. It’s so easy in blogland to see what we don’t have, rather than appreciating what we do have. Thanks….well said! Linda

  10. I LOVED this series! I have done some of the things you have mentioned to bring character back to my 1940’s craftsman home that had a 90’s remodel. One of the first things we did was change the hardware in the kitchen from brass to antiqued bronze and replaced glass pulls in the bathroom. We added hexagon tile to the master bath and added board and batton to the dining room (my favorite project so far)! Our next home project is the overal kitchen (ceiling, floors, countertops). It was hit hardest by the 90’s remodel and there are SO many options…we are having a hard time deciding what to do and where to start. One thing that helped reading your posts was to stay with the idea of building a built-in buffet/china cabinet. I also want to add wood to the ceiling! Your kitchen has also been some of my inspiration with the butcher block countertops, subway tile, faucet and sink! Thanks so much!!

  11. really liked your series. very interesting and well thought out.
    i especially liked the disclaimer at the end. in these tough
    times that speaks volumes. i adore your blog. blessings to
    you and yours.

  12. I absolutely loved this series! My fave so far! And a special thank you for the end notes! I have been feeling a lot of discontentment with the house we currently we live in. It was the first house we moved into when we first got married and have been living in here for 11 years now. My style has changed dramatically from when we first moved in and the layout of the house just doesn’t work for our family anymore. I am so in love and feel so at home when I see pics of old style homes. Trying to put that into this current home has been hard as we’ve been house hunting and possibly considering building, so we don’t want to put in a lot more work or expenses into this current home. So it has been frustrating to say the least, because there is so much I want to change and do in the house. I’ve been praying so hard for a feeling of contentment and for guidance as we look at homes. That the right one will come along. :) Sometimes, blogs can really bring out the “I hate my house” moments when I see everything so beautiful and uncluttered with toys ;). But I know it is not the reality of all of your homes. So it is especially nice to see pics of the homes that have “real living” in them from time to time. :) Thanks again for this series. I book marked a lot of the pics for future reference. Now, if you’ll excuse me as I have to go wipe the drool off of me after staring at those goreous pics of wood flooring. ;)

  13. What a great series, so many fun and simple additions for creating character! Thank you for such a great reminder in your Final Thoughts and for being so bold!!

  14. Oh we have such similar tastes. I have many of those photos already on my Pinterest. We had a flood in our bottom floor over Christmas. We just got our floords replaced and have beautiful hickory dark stained 5″ planks which replaced our 3′ lighter Oak Planks. I do wish we were able to afford to do the stairs but have to settle. I did have wood in our powder room but replaced it with a dark tile. Trying to get used to it.
    Thanks for your post.

  15. I enjoyed this series greatly. We are moving toward “becoming light on our feet”, as my husband and I say. We feel the Lord’s urging to be ready for the next season of our lives when we leave a ministry position and church house. I wonder where we will land? What kind of home will it be? One thing for sure is we can always tweak a house to make it our home and if we are in His will, we will be content.
    Thank you for all the ideas and the reminder of a gratitude attitude. Sarah

  16. This has been a wonderful series- thank you so much for all the inspiration. I especially love your reminder at the end about being content in what we have. God is so gracious and I am grateful for what He has done in my life.

  17. Great series Traci! You saved the best for last. I too love wood floors and like the planks to be nice and wide. I also like the way you chose to close this series. The inspriational pics are nice, but I agree, we should be content with what we have. I love the inspiration and all teh eye candy, but any time I add anything to our home whether it be accessories, furniture, or art, I want it to reflect our family and our family and how we live. It’s gotta be functional first and foremost.

  18. I love wood floors! I just bought a house with wood floors throughout most of it – someday I’ll get them refinished. Right now I’m prepping for a big bathroom remodel, and I’ve pinned many of the same images as inspiration! I was a bit worried about adding wood in a high-moisture area like the bathroom – do you know they make ceramic tiles that look and feel like wood? The tiles are shaped like planks, so you can stagger them just like hardwood. They are a little more expensive – about $4 per square foot, but for my small bathroom I think I might find other ways to cut back so I can still come within budget.

    Great series – and great thoughts at the end!

  19. I loved the series. Oh, face it…I love your whole blog. Anyway, thank you for the parting thoughts. They were just such a perfect reminder of all that we have to be grateful for. I remarked to my husband this morning that we have an embarrassment of riches. Thank you again.

  20. Oh, and the claw foot tub! I forgot to mention it when I listed all the things we have in our 100 year old house the other day. Love the tub. Haven’t had a tubby in two months since I had foot surgery and can’t walk yet. I really miss soaking in it and reading at night.

    Re: wood floors, we have them in two rooms on the first floor. They are stained light which wouldn’t have been my choice but anything…..On the second floor we have ripped up most of the rugs (pets, you know) and those floors were not sealed. Apparently in the olden days they didn’t make rugs large enough so they put a rug in the center and painted the edges.

    So we have painted the floors in the three bedrooms a dark brown (I think it’s actually exterior paint), but it’s not holding up as well as I’d like. All those dog and cat nails and the roller thing I’m using are really taking a toll.

    Do you have a suggestion for a really tough paint for floors?

    1. We painted the woodfloor in our sunroom that also doubles as a mudroom in our 1939 house. We tore up the existing vinyl floor, sanded it and painted it with floor/porch paint thinking it would be economical and look “old” in our “old house. The paint does not wear well. We had 2 small dogs (under 12 pounds each) and a cat along with the wear and tear from our shoes etc and it does not hold up. I have to keep repainting the floor. The scratches are awful. I have rugs down where it wears down the worst, but every 6 months or so I have to re-paint it.

      When we finally get the time and money to re-do our kitchen we are going to make sure we have enough money to tile that room also in matching tile. I recently re-painted our cabinets dark sage green with a $2 can of oops paint from Home Depot. We had painted them white before moving in to up-date the kitchen and I had grown so discontent with the white. I have had white painted kitchen cabinets in every house we have lived in because of budget restraints. My cabinets look so good painted a dark sage green. I don’t regret my decision to do something that is not permanent, just something to make me more content for now.

  21. Hey Traci! I think this is my first split comment :) I LOVE hardwood floors! Our entire downstairs is hardwood & with 4 boys you KNOW how grateful I am to be able to wipe up messes & not have to spray & soak!! Brick floors however, I personally am not a fan off. I’ve never had them, but have been to homes that do & the grout seemed to be hard to keep clean. It got dirty very easily as well as being a crumb catcher. I personally like travertine :)

  22. I’ve just discovered your blog and I love it. (where have I been?!!!) This is a great series, and one we can all use. I love the ideas and pics, and the encouragement to be content and thankful for what we have.We are also trying to personalize our 35 year old house, and for us that means cottagey-farmhouse-coastal fresh old house look!!!! thanks for the inspiration.

  23. Thank you, Tracy, for such a beautiful series. I have shared part one on our Front Porch Ideas facebook page and hope that you get lots of new readers. My tastes are similar to yours – I like a newer home with an old-house feel. Your posts have given me many specific ideas for our new home. Thanks so much. A million blessings to you, too.

  24. First I want to say I love your blog. I just discovered the world of blogs and I’m addicted. Love the series. I looked forward each day to seeing what would be next in the series. We built our house six years ago and we already completed several steps. I’m working on my husband to add wood to our ceilings. Love that idea. Your disclaimer was the best. Of course there is so much I would like to do or have but I’m so content with what we have. I look forward to seeing what else you can inspire me to do. I’m in the process of making a message board. Thank you.

  25. You’ve done such a great job with this series Traci! I’ve enjoyed each post as always. You are so very talented!

  26. Great series Traci!!! Wonderful thoughts at the end Traci! So thankful to God that he has blessed me with your friendship! You are such a joy!

    Marilyn C.

  27. Hi Traci,

    This is my first visit. I found you via Erin the Savvy Seeker. I wanted to say how much I enjoyed this post, but mainly your words of encouragement at the end is what touched my heart. I am a HUGE believer in having gratitude and contentment. I was just talking about this with my husband this morning. As he and I cruise the net for ideas, I told him how I enjoy doing this with him, and yet, I am so happy that we are content with what we have. There is absolutely nothing wrong with dreaming. In fact, God asks us to ask. But dreaming and coveting are two different things. You are such a great reminder that we all have things to be grateful for and there are wonderful created things out there that we may try, but it is in the Creator that we find true contentment.

    You are a true blessing.
    Big hug
    Elizabeth :-)

  28. Just want you to know I love your ideas and the thrifty way you present things! I also want you to know the last part was awesome. God does bless and we need to take care of and be grateful for what we have! And if we can add some beauty along the way all the better! Thank you for your wonderful insight on decorating. Blessings

  29. This has been very inspirational. I can see thing I can do in this house. And thank you for the prayers, being content with what we have today is very important. The situation your in today is not the situation you will have in 6 months. Smile and praise God for what HE has done, is doing and what HE will do in the future.

  30. I have only just discovered your blog…your final words on this page made me cry and were just what i needed to hear.. I have my little 105yr old cottage, timber walls, picket fence, fireplace in my kitchen, but I have moved across the country to be with my partner, so my little cottage is being rented out and we are renovating a 30 yr old very ordinary brick house. I miss my home everyday……..but I am here now and need to get on with the job, every little bit we do makes it a home and I know we will get there and have a beautiful old looking/not so old home….., you gave me many ideas and I need to embrace the challenge……I am grateful for what i have…..and i realise how blessed I am in so many ways….Thank you….

  31. I loved your series! I have an older home (80+ years) and it has many of the characteristics you describe. However, they have been painted and changed. I have hardwoods but the previous owner put tile on over them in the kitchen and carpet (glued down) in one room. They aren’t sealed correctly so it’s on our list to do at some point. The door hardware has been painted over and I’m currently going room by room to repaint the doors (they’re all sorts of crazy colors!) white and the hardware an oil rubbed bronze. We don’t have great lighting but I know where I want some at some point! We do have a really large antique chandelier but it’s definitely not our style.

    My aunt’s home, which is over 100 years old, has hexagon tile on their entire front porch and their bathrooms. They have gorgeous wood bannisters throughout their four story home. No one, even with many homeowners, have ever even painted one of them. That’s love! It looks great.

    One thing that you could add to your list is trim and moulding. We’re adding crown moulding as we redo rooms and it’s not a very expensive upgrade. We even cheated and bought corner pieces to add additional detail but kept the confusing corner cuts out. It was great! Plus, the moulding to doors and windows always is beefier and more detailed in older homes.

  32. What a lovely ending to your series. I, too, remember to thank God for the houses/roofs over my family’s heads, the jobs that help keep us in our homes, that our cars continue to hum along, the food on the table, etc, etc. Thanks for reminding us that with time and patience we can make small changes to enhance the warmth and comfort of our homes.

  33. Thank you so much for the words of insperation at the end of this series. We have just moved into a new home for us and it is what I consider a clonial (pun for a colonial) because all of the home in my area look identical. I love “character” in a home & this blog has helped me to see a few additional steps I can take w/ this home to make it feel more like a home and not a clone.

    The best to you and yours. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and idea’s. I again will thank God for my home, family & husband, because I am one of the lucky one’s to have all of those.


  34. Thank you so much for your blog. I just recently started following your blog. It is a blessing each time I read it. It reminds me to be even more thankful than I already am. I am married to the love of my life for 29yrs and we have 4 precious children, who are truly gifts from God. I am so blessed to be here to watch our children grow up!!! I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer 7 yrs ago and my life is truly a miracle. Our lives were literally turned upside down while I battled cancer and it’s aftermath. We had been blessed with a wonderful fulfilling life of travel and “new” home after “new” home thanks to my husbands naval career of 23 yrs. We loved the Navy life and moving from duty station to duty station. I always loved making our next house “our home”. We are very blessed now to be living in the home that my husband grew up in. We are very thankful to have inherited his childhood home. During my illness we lost our home and it seemed everything that was familiar, but we did not lose the most precious gift of all, JESUS!!! Had it not been for God’s Grace and our Savior, I don’t know where we would be. Our health is so important and most of the time until we come face to face with a monster like cancer we don’t truly realize how difficult life can become when an illness takes over. I know you understand what it means to fight something that can be so tragic and I am so very sorry for your loss of your Mother. I know you must miss her terribly, but what a wonderful gift of love that she left you with. The gift that she Loved Jesus and passed that Love on to you is the greatest gift of all! I know this because as I read more of your blog it is obvious how much you love the Lord. So thank you for sharing your special memories and keeping me on my toes with decorating. It’s so much fun living and loving a house into a HOME! PSALMS 92:1 It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord. GOD Bless YOU and YOUR FAMILY!!!

  35. I just came across your series on Pinterest. What you said about starting small is so true. We are renting a small 1950’s farm house, but I have the blessing of a landlord who allows me to paint and make small changes to the house. I made the decision to make my kitchen into a French country style and have been slowly making that happen over the last year. It has been such a pleasure to pick out just the right paint colors and accessories to make it perfect. It is ALMOST done, and I can’t wait to have it looking entirely like it originally did in my head!

  36. So enjoyed your series and other posts on your blog. The encouraging words at the end were a great reminder and honestly, kinda needed, after seeing so many great pictures of what our house could be and will be. We bought a 1940’s house a year ago and are taking the renovations slow but enjoying the process. A lot of the homes around us are 1800’s so we’re hoping for an “older” feel when we’re done. Best of luck.

  37. I loved this series, I love love the farmhouse style. I have always dream of living in a old farmhouse. When we built our home..I wanted to add farmhouse touches. Before I knew about pinterest..I try to add some touches. I am lost when it comes to decorating…Wish I had your talent. Thank you for the post.

  38. I absolutely love this post! Both my parents and my grandparents live in old houses (my parents’ house was built in 1920 and my grandparents’ was built in 1749 then expanded sometime in the 1870s-1880s) and I grew up in a town full of beautiful historic homes. Needless to say, having been surrounded by beautiful historical charm instilled me with a love of old homes. They just don’t make houses like they used to! I am currently in college but I hope to one day live in an old farmhouse or build a new home in the style of an old home. This post inspires me very much!

  39. I love post! Your inspiration photos made me so happy. I grew up in a town with a lot of beautiful, historic houses and both my parents and my grandparents lived in old homes. My parents house was built in the 1920s and my grandparents house was built in 1749 then later expanded in the 1880s. Growing up in these hold houses has instilled me with a love for their charm. The bead board and hardwood floors in your inspiration photos made my heart flutter. They don’t make houses like they used to. I am in college now but I hope to one day live in an old farmhouse or at least in a place that I can give that old farmhouse feel.

  40. I ran across a pic on Pintress and clicked on your page. I am adding an addition to an older home. I am trying to make it look updated but still have the character of the 1930’s when the original part was built. It’s a challenge with a limited buget. All of your comments are great but the best part was at the end. We all need to be thankful for what we have. I needed to read this today. Thank you.

    1. Traci, great series. I just moved from a character filled 90 year old home to a 3 year old home and am missing the soul of the “old girl”. Also my son just bought a 100+ year old condo where some cheap changes were made over the years. Your ideas have inspired me with some cool ideas for both! And the added surprise was your closing comments – my family is going through a struggle right now and your words were truly heaven sent. Thank you!

  41. I love the box pleat skirt on the dining room chairs. I am a designer and have been driving myself crazy trying to find these chairs. Can you please supply the vendor for the white linen dining chairs.



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