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You’ve bought your home, moved in all your furniture, hung the pictures and even painted those plain white walls. But even with your furniture and the paint still fresh on the wall, a home that just has basic builder-grade designs can still feel nondescript, like exiting a plane and walking through another airport terminal— it’s not the same one you left from but it might as well be.  

Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to add true character to a space and make it reflect your style. And adding custom wood and iron elements is one of the best and easiest ways to do this.

WOODEN DETAILS  
 “In many of the new homes, builders are more focused on profits and leave out the very important details that give the home distinction and style,” Josso Thomas Jr., owner of Josso Carpentry, says. “Adding ideas such as crown moldings, wainscoting and  chair rails can make an amazing difference when stepping into a room.”

Unlike many other upgrades that are costly and don’t add any value to a home, the addition of these sort of moldings can actually increase your home’s worth.  

 “Inexpensive moldings that are properly installed by a fine finish carpenter, like myself, can increase the value of a home by 10 to 20 percent,” Thomas says.  

Built-in shelving is another way to incorporate wood features into a home in a way that will give a space more warmth and interest. Easy to install, they can be made to fit your exact room specifications.

Many homeowners opt for built-in shelving because it allows them to show off all their favorite trinkets and tchotchkes, which may otherwise have been thoughtlessly placed upon an end table or relegated to a drawer because of a lack of surface space for display.  

And for the less precious items in your home that you don’t want to show off? Well, an experienced carpenter can add cabinets to go along with your built-in shelving, giving you a place to store any unsightly clutter that you don’t want to exhibit.  

 “I flip many homes in my area,” Thomas says, “and with those additions and a fine paint job, the homes do not stay on the market very long.”  

IRON DETAILS  
Introducing texture to a space can be one of the simplest ways to add intrigue to the more basic areas of a home. One of the best elements to do that with is wrought iron.

 “Iron work gives the house a very warm, homey feeling,” John Lomonaco, owner of Lomonaco’s Iron Concepts and Home Décor LLC, says.  

Perfect for static entryways or staircases, decorative iron features can be customized to your tastes. Lomonaco says the most popular service he does is switching out the standard balusters on stairways for custom iron balusters.

 “You can upgrade your stairway for a minimal cost compared to the added values you will receive,” he says.  

Also popular are iron designs on front entry doors, inside and out. This is another place where your own creativity can shine because companies such as Lomonaco’s will let you dictate the design you want and then they will create it for you. 

Best of all, there is no special maintenance.  

 “Iron inside the home doesn’t really need any maintenance or upkeep,” Lomonaco says.  

This is also true for iron pieces that are on the exterior of the home, like a portico rail above your front door, because they are treated with a primer that allows them to withstand the elements.

 “All of our iron products for the exterior of the home all have a zinc-rich powder coated primer along with the powder coated finish color, with satin black being our most popular color for both interior and exterior iron products,” Lomonaco says.  

When looking to add iron elements to your home, Lomonaco advises people do their homework first and make sure the company they’re hiring is reputable.  

 “Do your research and make sure the company you hire has at least an A rating on the Better Business Bureau,” he says.

BEYOND COOKIE CUTTER
Customizing a home to your taste can be overwhelming when you’re just starting out. But you don’t need to overhaul everything to get beyond the cookie-cutter feel of a builder-grade design.  

Smart upgrades such as switching out simple bannisters for wrought iron ones or having a beautiful custom wood wainscot installed may be all you need to create a home that breaks out of the mold. Smart upgrades such as switching out simple bannisters for wrought iron ones or having a beautiful custom wood wainscot  installed may be all you need to create a home that breaks out of the mold. 

RESOURCES
Josso Carpentry, LLC
(973) 296-6258|
JossoCarpentry.com

Lomonaco’s Iron Concepts & Home Décor, LLC
Sewell, N.J.
(856) 740-1071
LICIron.com

Published (and copyrighted) in House & Home, Volume 19, Issue 8 (February 2019). 
For more info on House & Home magazine, click here
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To advertise in House & Home magazine, call 610-272-3120.  

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