Living in a historic home can offer many charms. There is a lot of character, attractive lines, and artistic moldings found in most historic homes from popular eras.
However, historic homes can also have their drawbacks. Smaller rooms, a lack of storage space, and outdated floorplans are factors that must be accounted for–and sometimes altered, in order to bring a historic home up to today’s standards.
For everyone who loves the style of historic homes, but still wants to protect their investment, here are some contemporary considerations when remodeling an older home.
Give Rooms A Modern Twist With Contemporary Art
Many art museum buildings have classical architecture, but the art inside may be abstract and modern. Don’t be afraid of the juxtaposition of hanging nuevo canvases in a classic-looking room.
This four-story Victorian house in San Francisco livens things up a bit with a frenetic black and yellow abstract canvas over the mantle and a modern sculpture on the dining table. The waves in the contemporary rug also complement the grains of the old planks, while giving the floor a fresh update.
The right modern touches will actually make handsome period details like crown molding and intricate baseboards stand out more. The home doesn’t feel old despite being built-in 1830. The high ceilings and wood-burning fireplace are touches of the past anyone would welcome today.
Use Trendy Hues To Accent Older Walls In Historic Homes
One of the easiest ways to update the inside of a historic home is to use contemporary paint colors on interior walls. Just because a home’s build is traditional, doesn’t mean that white and gray are the only acceptable paint choices.
One of this year’s hottest colors, “nightwatch” (a warmer take on Hunter green) looks magnificent on this traditionally paneled wall. Accenting moldings in slightly lighter or darker shades than the wall is another way of showing off fine craftmanship.
For other fun color ideas, try moody mustards to give rooms a pop of color, or pastel blues and purples to hide wall imperfections and to make older rooms ready for a more minimalist chic aesthetic.
Natural Light Is Timeless
It doesn’t matter what time period a house was built. Flooding common rooms with natural light never goes out of style.
Convert exterior walls containing small windows into folding or sliding doors to invite the outside in. The large doors in this historic Houston home’s stunning room make for a smooth transition into the well-manicured courtyard garden.
Painting doors and trim with a favorite accent color is another great way to give older wood a facelift. Windows and doors often need updating in a historic home–not only for safety but to be more energy efficient as well.
The Kitchen Is The One Room To Not Leave As Is
Homes built over a hundred years ago are often filled with craftsman touches worth keeping, but hundred-year-old kitchens are not one of them.
Update old kitchens with modern appliances and countertops, like this beautiful kitchen inside a historic Coral Rock, Miami home. This newly remodeled kitchen offers all of the functionality and storage required for today’s lifestyles, while not clashing with the well-earned warmth of this classic home’s style.
Leave The Exterior Intact, But Add Some New Amenities
This historic Greek Revival home in Madison is just an hour from Atlanta and looks very stately with its twin chimneys and tall white columns. Yet, tradition never has to take a backseat to luxury as witnessed by this massive pool.
The old garage to the left was smartly renovated to become a contemporary guest cottage.
Swimming in this backyard will make anyone feel like they are staying at a brand-new resort, but the view of the estate is still mid-1800’s.
With a good color palette and some modern touches, any historic home can remain full of character while being fully livable.