a living area that emphasizes the coffered ceiling
Photo: Stephen Karlisch
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What's New is Old Again

Original details. Some houses have 'em, some don't.

If yours is among the latter—meaning that it wasn't born with architectural elements like carved wood balustrades or embossed metal window latches, or if some of those enhancements were lost over the years to misguided remodeling—take heart. With a little sweat equity, you can add your own. Read on for a dozen homeowner-friendly projects, from crafting an ornate pier mirror to swapping out hardware-store-variety metal doorknobs for vintage glass sparklers, that are sure to add classic character, whether you live in a 1970s ranch or a turn-of-the-century Colonial Revival.
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