The big mistake most people make when it comes to interior design decisions is deciding that they need to latch onto current trends and use looks that are going to make their homes look nice and fresh and new and current. This simply isn’t the only road to go down, especially if you have a period property. That’s when you really want to go down the route of preserving the past, letting the little quirks of character explode like loose fireworks and embrace the fact that no one makes homes like yours anymore.
You are so lucky to have a home that has earned its charm. It doesn’t matter whether it is a house or an apartment, you are blessed and so we urge to do all you can to make this charm sing instead of covering it up and keeping it quiet. This is the time to brag about the best part of your home and that is its history, and here is how:
Paint Over The Imperfections
When you walk into an old period property, one of the first things that your heart falls for is that gorgeous molding that frames every room, the trim and even the detailing around the doors and windows. New homes don’t come with craftsmanship like this, which is why our hearts start doing somersaults. It is a reminder of a different era; an era that as packed full of personality. However, to hide the timeworn imperfections and preserve this charm, you should paint all the moldings, trim and even the ceiling in one color - a nice light or dark gray would be best. This way you will be drawing attention to these gorgeous highlights in the most subtle way possible. You will be showing off these assets without boasting about them. Oh, and use gloss on the trim and you will set them apart from the crowd.
Highlight The Perfections
Not all trim and molding is born equal, which means your period property may well be in great knick. Lucky you. The big question is, how can you show off your perfectly kept period property? Well, your best bet is to grab a pot of near-neutral color and use this to contrast from the color of the walls. In terms of what shade will work best, we love a nice bit of duck egg blue, pale green or even gray, all of which will make your trim and molding stand out no end. What’s more, your rooms will be given an added edge of sophisticated consistency that stretches right the way through your home. If you really want to give your home that stately feel of yesteryear, then try using your chosen color on the ceiling too.
Watch Your Windows
The windows in your old property are likely to be stunning. They probably ooze vintage cool like nothing else on this planet, and that is something that is worth preserving. Let’s start with the stained glass windows you may well be lucky enough to have. Whatever room they are in needs to be painted white and white only because this colored light deserves a blank canvas to play off. This dancing light can be your art. If your windows have that glorious vintage trim, then your best bet is to use in-built shades. We know that lovely long drapes that puddle on the floor are stunning to look at, but they will hide some of your home’s best features. That isn’t the only thing inbuilt window shades offer, though. They will also give your home a little bit of a modern update, that little touch of new that will give you that new feel without completely covering the splendor of your original detailing. It’s a win-win.
Add A Splash Of Modern Contrast
Just because your period home is rich with history and tradition, does not mean you need to be a Luddite when it comes to decorating. Yeah, there are some traditional items that will make your period property feel that much more grand and delightful and interesting, such as a grand piano, gilded frames, and whatnot, but a trickle of modern bits will only serve to highlight everything wonderful about your home's history. We’re talking about adding some modern Italian furniture to your rooms, a big old television - even if it is hidden in a rustic-looking cabinet - or some modern light fixtures. Yes, your home deserves to celebrate the vintage air it has, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it stand out like the Northern Lights by adding a bit of contrast to it. Modern touches are needed. Of course, to stop the two different worlds from fighting each other, you need to be clever with your contemporary furnishings. This means choosing rich textures, clean lines, and softer colors. This will let your more stuffy furnishings feel a little more light and airy, which will only add to the sense of space.
Embrace The Quirky Layouts
A lot of period properties find themselves situated on some pretty unusual plots, which means they don’t exactly stick to convention on the layout front. In fact, most period properties are positively bizarre. But instead of fighting this, you should embrace it. Sure, this may seem impossible when you have long corridors, narrow spaces and walls that just seem to jut out of nowhere, but it is possible; you just need to have your creative thinking cap pulled firmly on your head. If your room is really long and rectangular, then make multiple focal points and break it up into more than one room using your furniture - this will allow you to use your room’s far better. Another great trick to employ is the use of rugs; these can really help you define a space - where it starts and where it finishes and even what it is used for.
People would walk across six miles of broken glass to have the chance of living in a period property like yours. We’re not trying to put pressure on you and say you have a responsibility to preserve your home. But celebrating what you have for what it is will be far more rewarding than trying to modernize it too much.