The idea of fixing up an old house can feel like a romantic notion of infusing your personality into its existing charm, all while increasing your home’s profit potential. Although the time and financial commitment can be great, an update can still pay off for people who love renovating. But can you really update your fixer-upper home without losing its charm?

Renovations that don’t disrupt your home’s original detailing can be done but require strategy and focus. From refinishing your hardwood floors to infusing vintage decor into the details, here’s a look at how to actually update your home without losing its original character:

Refinish Your Hardwood Floors

If you scored a home with hardwood floors, you can refinish them without breaking the bank. Refinishing hardwood floors costs between $2 to more than $5 per foot, according to Dusty’s Hardwood Floors Service in Kansas, with most estimates falling somewhere in the middle. That means that whether you rent the right equipment or hire a pro, refinishing your floors is more affordable than you might have thought.

You can potentially refinish hardwood floors yourself, but it requires skill and a knowledge of how to preserve the wood and make your boards shine again without damaging them. Start with a consultation to get an idea of the costs and ask to see samples of a local company’s workmanship before making a decision.

Give Your Kitchen a Refresh

If you’re thinking of going big with your kitchen remodel, you might want to consider a small update instead. According to reporting from US News, a minor kitchen remodel may recoup up to 80 percent of its investment.

You can still get a glorious-looking kitchen by emphasizing the charming details that are already there. For example, giving cabinet doors a shabby chic coat of paint or adding a fantastic vintage stove could give your old farmhouse a breath of fresh air. Look at the assets your kitchen already has and use them to your advantage before tearing the whole thing down to the studs.

Repurpose Empty Space

Some older homes feature oddly-shaped foyers, mud rooms and open lofts that were once seen as modern but are now seen as awkward empty spaces. But don’t let the space go to waste! Repurpose it to maximize your square footage and give your home an update at the same time.

For example, an old sunroom can be turned into an all-seasons room for reading, indoor gardening or as a place to gather for drinks after dinner. Meanwhile, an open loft at the top of the stairs can be turned into a TV area so your living room is free for entertaining without the digital distractions.

Mix Vintage Decor

If your home’s charm can’t be salvaged to get in some much-needed updates, focus on mixing in vintage decor. Pair classic furniture with bold, modern colors like the trend-setting matte black. You can also source vintage door knobs and bathroom fixtures to infuse some of the charm back into your renovated home.

When it comes to updating your fixer-upper, cost and functionality should generally come first, but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise completely on the charm. Focus on keeping detailing from crown molding to ceiling beams when possible while giving your home a refresh. The idea is to marry the best of both worlds so your fixer-upper feels fresh and new with the original charm you love.

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