Design Tips For Older Homes
A lot of people out there would love the opportunity to live in an old home. They are always unique, gorgeous to look at, and there’s something romantic about them, too. But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, of course. While old homes look fantastic, there are a lot of issues you will encounter when it comes to living in an old house – and decorating it. However, with some smart thinking, it’s possible to create an incredible living area in an old home, whether it’s a rustic country house or 200-year old city terrace. Let’s take a look at some of your options.
Before you do anything with your floors in an old home, be wary of one particular thing: they will creak. You can solve much of this issue by finding the offending floorboards and nail them down properly – or even use screws to attach them to the support struts. You won’t get rid of every creak, but it can make a huge difference. Also, consider using thick underlay beneath your carpets. Not only will it help insulate your home but they will also help you flatten the sound of creaking boards by a significant amount.
Highlight the trims
One of the reasons why so many people love old homes is because many of them have been created with fantastically extravagant designs. Features such as trim, moulding and door frame details should be highlighted, wherever possible, even if slightly damaged. To hide any damage or imperfections, try sticking to single colour schemes for your walls and ceilings, and use a slightly higher gloss on the trims and features to help them stand out. If your trims are in great shape, you can afford to be a little more extravagant with your colours – a neutral, contrasting shade can help them pop out even more.
Lots of old homes have beautiful window trims or little alcoves that can really make an impressive feature. Don’t cover them up – get in-window shades, for example, instead of hanging heavy curtains and hiding the window trim. Keep the heavy drapes for those window areas that are a little awkward instead – many old homes have quirky little windows in bizarre places.
Awkward room design
While we are on the subject of awkwardness, many old homes have unusual room designs – long, thin rooms are pretty common, for example. There are several ways to approach this conundrum, but one of the best is to break these long rooms into smaller areas. You could use free-standing bookcases, fancy room dividers with antique prints, or even open-sided furniture such as benches to help you create a flow between the different areas.
Embrace the modern
Don’t be afraid of using ultra modern furniture or design touches to your old home. As long as you don’t overdo it, the mix of ancient and new can be quite beautiful. That said, wooden TV stands might be a better option than a glass or stainless steel alternative. But as long as your accessories and furniture go with the overall feel of the room, you should be OK. It’s also important to keep things as simple as possible. There are plenty of contemporary pieces that are incredibly intricate, but by keeping things simple, you will maintain the focus on the real star of the show – the house itself.
The weathered look
If you live in an old home, weathered furniture and pieces will often be a perfect fit. You don’t have to spend a fortune, either. A quick walk down to the beach and you might find an awesome piece of driftwood that could impress as a piece to keep in your bathroom. Second hand and vintage stores are great for picking up bargains, too, such as woven baskets.
Let in the light
Old homes are often darker than their modern descendants. When they were built, things like central heating didn’t exist, and windows would allow heat to escape, hence why many of them don’t have as much natural light coming through. These days, however, we don’t have the same problems, so it’s worth investigating if you can increase your window size at all. Some old houses will be protected – with Grade II status, for example – so please contact your local council before you do any major renovation work.
Hope these tips have helped – and feel free to leave some of your own! Living in an old home can certainly involve a varied range of problems, but if you can get it right, they can be spectacular.
This is a collaborative post