I love traditional homes. There is just something magical about them. I can spend hours walking the different rooms, thinking about the people who lived there before, who they were and how their lives unfolded.
Then there are the individual houses, which are fascinating on their own. Traditional or period homes often have quirky features that make them stand out. These could be distinctive features, such as glazed windows or decorative moulding on the walls, or even oddly shaped windows and hidden nooks. These unique features often lend character to the home.
However, as traditional homes grow old, they gradually start to look tired and dated. Although they might still retain their charm, sometimes a bit of renovation is required to restore them to their original splendour.
Modernising a traditional home
If you are lucky enough to own a traditional home, you should put in every effort to have it looking its best. In some instances, this might call for a few repairs here and there. Other times a full remodelling of the property might be required.
I understand how apprehensive you feel about doing large-scale modernisations on your period home. However, there is no need to worry, as there are simple ways to bring your traditional home into the modern era without it losing its character.
Here are some helpful tips on how to go about it:
• Select the right paint type and colour.
Traditional homes have usually gone through a lot of wear and tear and this normally leaves its mark on the trim, walls or moulding. Using gloss paint on such walls would be a mistake, as it would highlight all these little flaws. It’s better to use a quality, matt finish primer instead. Choose muted, neutral hues on the walls, with darker tones on the trim and moulding to create a striking contrast that allows your furniture and accessories to shine.
• Give your kitchen a facelift
You can easily give your traditional home a modern facelift by upgrading your kitchen. If you’re brave enough to dip your toes into the smart kitchen market, you now have a choice of getting devices that tell you when you need to order groceries and others that cook your food to perfection. For a more traditional approach to modernisation, a fresh coat of paint and stocking your cupboards with elegant drinkware, utensils and cookware will go a long way.
S• Open up the spaces.
Most of us nowadays want to live in open-plan homes where the living room blends in with the kitchen and dining area. Unfortunately, many older homes have walls separating these different rooms and this can make the home feel cramped. One way to open up more space is to knock down dividing walls. Alternatively, visual tricks such as hanging mirrors opposite windows to give an illusion of space work just as well and are relatively cheaper.
• Update the shelving units.
Sometimes, period homes come with shelving and display units that make them look dated. Upgrading the shelves in your home to a more contemporary style will quickly change the way your home looks. Remember to go for minimalist styles that allow you to showcase your collectibles, special china, cut crystal glassware and other keepsakes.
• Highlight character features.
One reason I love older homes is because of the characteristic features I mentioned earlier. Left unattended, the distinctive moulding, glazed glass or other features that make your home special can start to look shabby. To restore their lost glory, have them professionally cleaned and restored and see how different your house looks as a result.
• Install new lighting.
The lighting in your house plays a big role in the overall look of the different rooms. In order to give your home a contemporary feel, swap old lampshades for modern overhead lighting. Install recessed lighting to lend some ambiance to your interiors, and add a touch of personality to some rooms by using quirky lighting fixtures.
• Restore the flooring.
The flooring in traditional homes is likely to have withstood quite a bit of use over the years and can start to show some wear and tear. Depending on the type, you can have the flooring professionally restored or completely redone. For instance, old wooden floors can be sanded and re-stained to restore them, while broken tiles are better off removed. If your house has a wall-to-wall carpet, replacing it with more contemporary flooring, such as ceramic tiles, can change the look and feel of your whole house.
As you can see, there are numerous ways you can choose to modernise your traditional home. It is always better to start with a plan and budget to guide you as you do your renovations. Remember to make the changes gradually to avoid getting overwhelmed by the process. Other than that, have fun and don’t be afraid to inject some personality into your home.