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You adore your new-construction home for its clean lines, updated appliances and lack of ghosts. But let’s call a spade a spade: It’s lacking in character. If DIYing faux crown molding isn’t your style (we feel you, girl), consider these nine clever decorating ideas instead. All the old-world charm, none of the old-world plumbing problems.

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Paint Walls In A Rich Matte Hue

There’s a milky, lustrous quality to bold matte paint that both looks super high-end and draws out the texture of the wall beneath. (Helpful even if said texture is fresh drywall.)

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Give Windows the Royal Treatment

First things first: Spring for proper drapes, rods and finials. And be sure to buy curtains a tad longer than you’d expect, and hang rods four to six inches above windows to make the room appear grander.  

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Pick Patterns With History

Time-honored textiles are the absolute easiest way to lend an air of history to your home. Consider options like French toile bedding, Chinese chinoiserie drapes and storied Portuguese azulejo tiles for the bathroom. Pattern shy? Start small with throw pillows and table linens.

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Diversify Your Art

When framing your collection, look to mix and match materials (wood, gilt and white metal cohabitate surprisingly well) and try to mix actual art mediums, too (oil, watercolor, photographs, etc.) for a luxe, layered look.

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Use Ceiling Fixtures Generously

Want to give a room instant class and dimension? Hang some stylish lighting from the ceiling. A chandelier over a dining table or in the hallway defines a space and adds timeless grandeur, no matter the template.

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Up Your Antique-to-New-Furniture Ratio

A general rule of thumb: Have at least one antique piece in every room to anchor it. And if you’re working with an otherwise characterless space, consider amping up that number (think a vintage rug and old farmhouse table paired with modern chairs).

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(Finally) Try Some Wallpaper

Admit it: You’ve always wanted to paper a room—and those crisp, blanks walls are the perfect canvas. Today’s huge breadth of wallpaper options includes ultra-budget-friendly and even removable choices (for all you commitment-phobes).

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Give Your Hardware Old-School Updates

Break up those monotonous new chrome fixtures by adding things like antique glass knobs on interior doors and brushed-nickel cabinet pulls in the kitchen. Varying textures are your friend here, folks.

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Showcase Your Books

Is your book collection lingering in cupboards, closets and boxes? Pull 'em out and put them on display in a grand bookshelf, artfully arranged on a console table or even neatly stacked on the floor. A library look instantly adds warmth and alludes to the fine character of a home and its residents.

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