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How to Add Character

Do you have an outdated home?  Well if you do, no worries. I did too! Last summer, I wanted to update our 1980’s master bedroom and give it custom updates to add character to the space.  Below, I will outline the various ways we added character specifically in our master bedroom makeover so you can refreshen your outdated space as well.

Neutral master bedroom
Neutral master bedroom
Before Master bedroom
Before Bedroom Makeover-not bad but could be better!

Freshen up a Space with Paint! 

First, we painted the ceiling a fresh coat of white ceiling paint using a roller on an old broom handle.  Then, I painted the walls Silver Satin by Benjamin Moore in an eggshell finish using a roller and a paintbrush along the ceiling. It is amazing what fresh paint can do to update a space. Never underestimate the power of paint!   

Splurge on New Carpet

Next, we desperately needed to update our carpet. It was 30 years old and really gross. I ended up picking a neutral carpet from a local carpet store Carpet Bonanza. I priced out various stores, including Home Depot, but found that the local carpet store could get product in earlier and negotiate the price point to be lower. This was a WIN, WIN as I want to support local businesses as often as possible. The installer did a fantastic job and I highly recommend them!

Add in a Custom Accent Wall

Additionally, one of the most effective way to add character is to add an interesting architectural detail. An accent wall is an inexpensive option if you can DIY it. I wanted to draw the eye upwards so my husband built a modern vertical slat accent wall.  Lastly, I painted it Benjamin Moore White Dove in a satin finish and I absolutely love it!   

Master bedroom accent wall

Add in Character with Custom Woodwork

Additionally, we added in custom woodwork. This included thicker baseboards, shaker style door trim and a custom master closet that we designed and built from the ground up (more to come on that in a future blogpost).  

Add in Character with Texture and Textiles

Great design is all in the small details. So, I chose ruffled curtains from Decoberry with new gold curtain rods from Amazon. For the bedding, I layered in neutral colors with different textures. A lumbar pillow makes a dramatic statement and fills up the space. Play around with different quilts and throws which can easily be changed up for different seasons and add in great texture. You can see in the variety of photos that I change up comforters, pillows and throws throughout the year. Shop here for links to the bedding and furniture in our master bedroom.  

Master bedroom

Add in Character with Unique One of a Kind Items

Finally, add in vintage or “found items” from thrift or antique stores. I refinished an antique farmhouse bench that is a family heirloom and put that at the end of my bed. Additionally, I found this amazing piece of artwork in a large gold frame at a local thrift store for $15. I don’t want my home to feel like Target but a place where people feel cozy and can relax in a “home”. Curating unique pieces gives a space personality.

Master bedroom with thrifted artwork


Adding character to a master bedroom involves many layers but don’t feel overwhelmed.  You can add one aspect at a time.  Start with adding a piece of artwork or a found item from a thrift store.  It doesn’t have to be a big purchase like new carpet (although we desperately needed new carpet!).  Take it one step at a time and let it evolve over time.  

Master Bedroom Makeover on a BUDGET

Home renovation

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