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Putting the Finishing Touches on Your Dream Home

New Home? Here Are Cool Ways to “Stamp” Your Personality on It 



How many times have you walked into someone’s house and imagined all the things you would change if it were your home? Put a swing on the porch or patio umbrellas in the backyard, plant a vegetable garden, and so on.


Now that you have bought your very own house or built it from scratch using house plans, it is time to make your dream home a reality. From color schemes to design details, furniture, and interior and exterior fixtures, you can use these cool and stylish tools to reflect your personality in the living space, inside and out.   



Southern farmhouse with wide porch and rocking chairs.

The huge front porch of this two-story, four-bedroom country house plan has plenty of room for three rocking chairs. If this were your porch, would you add a swing and a table? (Plan # 109-1093)



A colleague of mine recently decided it was time for a makeover of the exterior facade of her house. She has always wanted a mixture of wood, stone, and/or brick—and after several conversations with a contractor, she and her husband decided on a combination reddish brick and wood beams. The charming Craftsman-inspired home below, with exterior walls of burnt orange stone and wood siding, made me think of what she wants to do to customize her home according to her family’s style.    



3 bedroom Craftsman L-shaped home with colorful flower gardens

From the colorful garden blooms and exterior facade to the covered porch, this one-story, three-bedroom Craftsman-style home is truly a delight. (Plan # 109-1013)



What can you do to make your home really yours? And how soon can you customize your home plan?


Some people wait to settle into their homes before they start making it over into their dream home. Depending on your hobbies and your personality in general, some changes may come sooner and easier than others.


1.   If you’re an outdoors/nature person who loves gardening and planting flowers, you don’t need a landscape artist to transform that backyard or front courtyard into a garden filled with shrubs, tulips, roses, hibiscus, and lots of gorgeous blooms. Take out your garden gloves, pots, soil, spades, and pruning shears and get set to work on your little slice of nature. 



Texas-style, 3-bedroom home with rear porch and patio

While relaxing in the rear patio of this one-and-a-half-story, three-bedroom Texas-style house, you can feast your eyes on the colorful flowers and plants around it (Plan # 117-1094).


Rear patio with flower beds and planters - plus an outdoor fireplace.

The rear patio of this two-story, four-bedroom Craftsman-style home is made more attractive by the flowers around it (Plan # 153-1781).



For some homeowners who have a green thumb but hardly any space to indulge their hobby, window box planters can be a signature of the person’s home.



Country home plan with flower planters at each window

Simple window box planters with colorful flowers give the exterior of this home a pleasant and welcoming look. (Plan #141-1077)



Moving from the home’s exterior to the interior, let’s look at how different members of the family can “own” and customize their space.


2.   Study/Home Office/Inner SanctumWith much of the day-to-day business being conducted outside the formal office environment these days, working from home is common. Having flex space or bonus rooms in the home available for an office/private space is convenient and practical. Just because it is called a “home office” should not make the space stodgy and sterile. It can be fun, casual, and relaxed. 



Bonus room turned into office / inner sanctum of this 1-story home.

The office/inner sanctum in this one-story Craftsman-style home is stylish and elaborately furnished (Plan # 153-1781).



3.   Give in to your arts and crafts passion. You may not always need a craft room for the novelty items needed for scrapbooking and other artsy projects. You can use basement space to set up a worktable, shelves, and file cabinets for your hobby. And your “personality” does not have to stay in the basement. It can be reflected in designs, fixtures, and furnishings in the home. Two girls’ rooms show the touch of a person very much into arts and crafts.



A young girl's dream bedroom with bright colors and decor

This little girl’s dream of a room is designed with a lot of thought, care, and artistry. You have to love the pastel shades of the light green/pink color scheme and the sweet canopy over the bed, flowers embroidered on the carpet, and green-and-pink cloth borders on the wicker baskets (Plan # 134-1355).



Attractively decorated little girl's bedroom in this Tudor style home

Part of a two-story European-style home with Tudor and Victorian influences, this delightful little girl’s room features a pink/white/green color scheme. Check out the carved mirror and white vanity, the white ironwork bed, and the white table with pink and green chairs (Plan # 153-1750).



4.   For the late-blooming Georgia O’Keeffe in the house, how about an art room/studio?  A garage loft that gets a lot of sunlight—and is a bit detached from the family’s activities—will work perfectly as a studio. A small covered or screened-in shed adjacent to a backyard garden will also do nicely. 



This small shed would make a great backyard office, studio or kids' play space.

A design for an urban garden in London includes this little shed/work room. Wouldn’t you love to have something as simple as this shed for your art studio? (Plan #141-1021)



5.   How about the kitchen of your dreams? I grew up watching my mom cook and bake delicious dishes, cakes, desserts, and pastries—all from a functional, no frills kitchen. When we moved to a bigger place with an open floor plan (long before it was trendy), the kitchen was the highlight of our home. Of course, my mom’s cooking was still as delicious as ever, but she finally put her personality on that room.    



Impressive kitchen with European flair perfect for any chef or aspiring chef.

Any serious—or amateur—cook would love this kitchen in a three-bedroom Swiss-mountain-style house plan. Aside from being spacious and equipped with modern appliances, the kitchen displays decorative touches that make the homeowner’s personality evident (Plan # 161-1040).



6.   My special wish is for a reading room/home libraryand not just an ordinary one at that. When I have my own home, the first thing I’ll do is convert one room into a library where I can recline on a sofa and read to my heart’s content. This room will have comfortable furniture, including a rocking chair, and lots of windows to allow cool breezes and natural light to flood the space.


In addition to my Jane Austen books, Harry Potter collection, Mrs. Jeffries mystery series, and others, I’ll surround myself with all of the classics. And, oh, I’ll also install an entertainment unit where I can watch old movies, tennis matches, and the World Series.


Something like the home library below would be perfect for my purposes.   



A charming home library designed to display plenty of books.

A charmingly designed home library is what the doctor ordered for any book-loving person. Relax and read on the sofa, and enjoy gentle breezes. (TPC #161-1101)



Just remember that your home makeovers do not have to be major to reflect your personality. Even little upgrades around your home make an impression.



Footnote: The lead image (upper) in this article is from a two-story, three-bedroom traditional house plan with Arts and Crafts touches. For more on the home, view: (Plan # 132-1535)


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