Trying to modernise a period property can be a delicate balancing act. While you are attempting to achieve a contemporary look, it is unadvisable to remove features, as this could make your home less desirable when it comes time to sell.
As such, to help you find the perfect middle ground, here are some ways to update a traditional home while also preserving period features.
Efficiency and Insulation
Before thinking about styling, it is important to consider energy efficiency. This is because period properties are often lacking in insulation, which can lead to extensive heat loss and higher running costs. Furthermore, it can also contribute to the formation of condensation and mould, which can ruin paintwork and carefully selected furnishings.
Without a cavity wall, period properties have two options: external or internal. The first involves insulating outside the brick work and can be expensive, while the second insulate the interior of each room and can reduce floor space.
While period features do not have to take centre stage, it is important to preserve them. As such, consider styling them in your own way. For example, add a twist to a traditional ceiling rose with a modern chandelier, use paint to upcycle an old fireplace, frame sash windows with up-to-date curtains (like these from Direct Blinds), or sand and restore original floorboards for a sleek look.
Consider Open Plan
Open plan is a common feature of many modern homes. It provides large, multifunctional spaces that are perfect for creating cohesive family environments, or for entertaining. While this modernisation option is more expensive and time consuming, consider open plan. By knocking down a wall or two, you could create an airy, open-feel, which instantly breathes life into a dated home.
New build homes are typically neutral, with clean lines. Emulating this look in a period property is the easiest and most cost-effective way to bring it into the 21st century. Choose shades of white and cream, or go for pale muted tones, such as greys and taupes, or introduce colour with pastels, to preserve traditional features without making them the focal point. For the best finish, think clean lines and minimalist style.
Embrace Modern Furniture
A period property can feel like it is stuck in the past, but modern furniture can change this. While large antiques can look incredible, contemporary furnishings can be equally stylish. Create a cool, modern interior with modern materials. Opt for furniture made from glass, metal, or paint and upcycle wood for a contemporary twist.
Just because it is a period property does not mean it requires a traditional kitchen. As one of the most important rooms in the home, the kitchen must be styled right. To modernise, prepare to be bold. Choose high gloss units, add an industrial edge with lots of chrome, go modern yet rustic with by upcycling pallets, or choose a glass dining table for a modern edge.
Styling a modern interior in a traditional property can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are many ways it can be done, from choosing a neutral pallet and adding modern statement furniture, to updating the kitchen and creating an open plan living space.