Q: We have recently bought our first home. It wasn't our ultimate choice, but it was what we could afford in today's market: a 1950s-style tract house with little character. Our personal taste is towards something with greater architectural interest.
What would you suggest we do to add a more timeless quality in which a mixture of traditional and contemporary furniture would be appropriate? Our budget is limited.
A: You will be surprised how much of a change you can create by changing to larger and more detailed baseboards, door and window casings and the addition of crown moldings.
In some areas, a chair rail might help, and if your budget allows, new doors with a raised panel design and installing more traditional windows. A new treatment around the fireplace creates a large change also. Don't be afraid to make a statement there. You won't know it's the same house.
FRED HUTCHIRS, ISID