5 Tips for Modernising an Old Traditional Home

For those who own period homes that have a distinct, traditional look, it can be hard to think of ways to modernise a traditional home. These types of older homes can hold many classic features which date back to centuries ago, making it seem a shame to remove any original features.

However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Just because the house has some lovely original features, it doesn’t mean these can’t be worked around if you feel it is due a renovation. Plus, depending on the extent of renovating, modernising the home can be a simple task if you choose to stick to cosmetic or aesthetic touches.

Below is a list of ways to make your traditional house feel like home, incorporating touches that bring it into the modern day, without losing its old school charm.

Look at the external fittings and fixtures

Many Victorian homes were typically fitted with sash windows – those large windows with unified framed parts which hold the sheets of glass in place. They can often add a lot of age to the look of the house, as you don’t see these on homes or buildings as often anymore.

If you have original sash windows, you might want to think about either repairing and waterproofing them or even upgrading them to be double glazed in their existing frames.

Windows and doors give your house that all important ‘curb appeal’ from the outside. Although a traditional home may look the part with its old characteristics, windows and doors can start to look weary and tired as the years go on. Look for advice from a company which specialises in home improvements, such as Tru Plas. They will be able to give you advice on styles for if you have high or difficult to reach windows, which is common across older homes.

Remove everything in the rooms first

If you stand back at look at any of the rooms in your period home, it’s hard to visualise where on Earth to start with modernising. This is mainly because the furniture, artwork and accessories you have filled it with will tend to follow the traditional theme of the house.

The easiest way to modernise your traditional home is to remove everything from one room at a time, and then bring one item back.

As you bring each item back into the room, analyse whether it is a great addition to the home which adds charm and character, or if it just clutters the room and makes it look dated. Remember that when trying to add a modern feel, less is more. You do not need to go over the top with accessories on every horizontal surface, nor do you need extravagant prints and patterns across the fabrics.

Getting Ready

Before undertaking this task, it’s always important to create a plan and a budget. The cost of home improvement projects can quickly snowball if you’re not paying attention to your purchases. Whether you’re going DIY or hiring a contractor, you should set expectations in terms of the scale and cost of your project.

For DIY home renovations, the cost of protective equipment, such as utility-grade gloves, coveralls, and construction helmets, should be included in your budget. To stay on track of your budget, record every expense no matter how small. Do the same even if you’re hiring a contractor to modernise a traditional home.

Change the colour scheme around

One of the most dramatic ways to modernise a traditional space is to change the colour of the room and the items in the room. Older homes tend to lean towards darker colour schemes, due
to lots of wood and steel being used back in the day.

To instantly refresh and modernise thee feel, remove any dark earthy tones which can blend into the wood and steel, and select beiges, creams and grey tone paint instead. If you wanted to, you can even paint everything white for a clean aesthetic. However, sometimes this can look too harsh in period homes, so do asses the feel your current home has, and work accordingly.

Invest in new lighting

If you get the lighting right in a room, it can completely transform the ambience and vibe. Plus, lighting fixtures can be so subtle but provide drastic changes. If your traditional light fixtures have seen better days, change them out for more modern lighting.

Large, high ceiling rooms can look slightly outdated when decorated with chandeliers or fabric/glass lampshades. Look at installing spotlights, or lighting units which are slim and sleek, adorned with silver metal or chrome finishings.

Try to keep a theme running across your home, with modern lighting running throughout. Spotlights work brilliantly in kitchens and dining rooms, where they can provide sleek beams of light in certain areas.

Preserve original floorboards

Sure, you might have that original carpet that reflects the fifties era, which you state is as a ‘classic’. However, old carpets are the first thing that will make your home look dated and old-fashioned when someone steps inside your home. The best thing to do is to rip out your old carpets and restore your stunning original floorboards. This way, you’ll get that rustic, historic feel, without having to invest in new carpets throughout.

Even if they’re not in the best state underneath, they can easily be repaired and patched up so that you have a beautiful Victorian original feature in your home. Not only do wooden floorboards look great, but it’s also a home interior choice that’ll never go
out of style.

Of course, they do make the home slightly colder, but you can always make it feel cosier with rugs and stair runners.

Embrace any old exposed brick walls

One sought after feature in period properties is an exposed brick wall. So much so that people flock to buy rolls of imitation wallpaper to create this effect in their newer homes. So, if you can
have the real thing in your older home, then you should definitely embrace it!

An exposed brickwork wall is a classic design feature that looks doesn’t look out of place in a period property, yet is seen as modern in the interior design world. If you want to play safe and utilise just one wall, look at exposing a chimney breast, or strip one entire wall in your front living room back to its natural state. It can be hard work, but the results will be stunning.

If you’ve got a traditional, period property, remember that you don’t need to completely renovate it from top to bottom to help modernise it. You want to aim to keep the home looking charming and rustic, but with a modern aesthetic.

In today’s interiors and design world, there are so many modern products and home features which look perfect styled on traditional décor. This way, you can have the best of both worlds when you modernise a traditional home.

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