Interior design is more than just making a house look new and trendy. It can also be about maintaining the past and appreciating an older home’s character. Consider these recommendations for resolving the issues that need to be addressed while bringing out the best of your Guides4homeowners home’s past, present, and future whether you’re lucky enough to have a house with some time-earned character or an apartment with a certain eccentric charm.
How to Integrate Old House Additions
1. To disguise flaws, paint the walls, ceiling, and trim a single color. Beautiful molding, trim, and door details developed during a previous age, when finishing touches carried a certain polish and individuality, are often some of the first elements that make you fall in love with an older home. The first step in maintaining and enhancing these characteristics is to apply a simple layer of paint. I usually paint the walls, trim, and ceiling all the same color, with the trim having a little higher shine to draw attention to it. A dramatic tone like dark gray on the doors makes them architectural standouts with this palette in place.
2. Paint your trimwork a neutral contrasting tone if it’s in excellent repair. If the current trim is in good shape and you want to highlight it, a neutral or near-neutral contrasting colour (such a blue-green gray) will make it pop while also providing a feeling of uniformity across the house. Applying the same color to the ceiling unifies the look and gives it a majestic, architectural feel.
3. Take time to appreciate stained glass. Simple white walls will allow your stained glass windows to act as art and color if you’re lucky enough to have them.
4. Keep historic trim visible by using in-window coverings. In-window shades, rather than hanging drapes, are a great way to show off vintage window trim. They also add a little modern touch that keeps the look current without detracting from the original space’s integrity.
5. Use drapes to hide unsightly windows. A whole wall of draperies can be the perfect method to gradually tidy up the look of the space without entirely erasing the windows and blocking all light, which is common in older homes. Even though the windows are a little high and thin, notice how the room’s edge feels soft and polished.
6. Make use of open shelving units. Open and airy étagères (shelving units) are a chic way to provide extra storage and exhibition space for treasures, books, and baskets of miscellaneous items without disrupting or disguising the original architecture with built-ins or large bookcases. Plus, while feeling like a modern touch, they have a gallery-like elegance that matches older homes.
7. Opt for minimalist contemporary furniture. In general, clean and simple contemporary or modern furnishings are a good tool for infusing a sense of modern life into a traditional home without making the two styles clash. Look for rich textures, clear lines, and gentle hues that aren’t overly trendy or constrained by stuffy old trappings.
8. Combine traditional and contemporary eras. Including some items that feel like they belong in the home’s period (even if a design historian might disagree) as well as some modern pieces helps to bring the home’s vintage vibe to life. If some of the other items are likewise more modern, it helps to make modern basics like a TV, computer, and soft sofa feel more at home.
The Art of Combining Old and New
9. Include items that appear to have been weathered outside. Another option is to utilize garden-inspired objects and decorations, such as patinated wood, woven baskets, linen, and even historic house numbers. The gentle, rustic vibe is perfect for a well-loved home.
10. Create zones in unique room layouts. Old houses built on strange lots frequently have odd room layouts and long, narrow areas that appear difficult to work with. To improve utility, divide a rectangle into many square zones, utilizing area rugs to visually delineate zones and open-sided furniture like benches to connect multiple neighbouring seating spaces.