If you own an older home, you know that it comes with a lot of character and charm, but it can also come with some unique decorating challenges. You want to maintain the historical integrity of the house while also making it functional and stylish for modern living. In this article, we’ll explore some tips and tricks for decorating an older home, from highlighting its unique features to updating its infrastructure for modern living.
1. Embrace the Original Architecture
One of the benefits of an older home is the unique architectural features that are often absent in modern homes. Crown moldings, built-in bookshelves, and detailed woodwork are all examples of features that should be highlighted, not hidden. By embracing the original architecture, you can create a cohesive design that feels authentic and intentional.
2. Mix Old and New
Just because you have an older home doesn’t mean you have to decorate with strictly traditional or vintage pieces. Mixing old and new can create a unique and eclectic look that highlights the charm of your home while also keeping it fresh and modern. Consider incorporating contemporary artwork or furniture into a room with vintage architectural features.
3. Pay Attention to Lighting
Lighting is key when it comes to decorating any space, but it’s especially important in an older home. Make sure to take advantage of natural light by keeping curtains and blinds open during the day. Additionally, consider adding updated lighting fixtures to brighten up darker rooms and highlight architectural features.
4. Update the Infrastructure
While you want to maintain the historical integrity of your home, you also want to make sure it’s functional for modern living. Consider updating the infrastructure, such as plumbing and electrical systems, to make your home more efficient and safe. This can also help with the resale value of your home.
5. Choose a Cohesive Color Scheme
When it comes to decorating an older home, a cohesive color scheme can help tie everything together. Consider choosing a color scheme that complements the original architecture and features of your home. For example, if you have a lot of woodwork, consider a color scheme with warm, earthy tones.
6. Incorporate Textures
Incorporating textures can add depth and interest to a room, especially in an older home. Consider incorporating textured fabrics, such as a chunky knit throw or a woven rug, or adding texture with wallpaper or textured paint.
7. Don’t Skimp on the Details
The details can make all the difference in an older home. Consider adding details, such as decorative hardware or unique light fixtures, to enhance the overall design. Additionally, adding personal touches, such as family photos or vintage collections, can make your home feel unique and special.
8. Consider Functionality
While you want your home to look beautiful, you also want it to be functional. Consider the needs of your family and how you use each space when decorating. For example, if you have kids or pets, you may want to choose furniture and fabrics that are durable and easy to clean.
9. Use Mirrors to Create the Illusion of Space
Mirrors can be a great tool for creating the illusion of space in an older home. Consider adding a large mirror to a small room or using mirrors to reflect natural light and make a space feel brighter and more open.
10. Add Plants and Greenery
Adding plants and greenery to a room can add life and vibrancy to an older home. Consider incorporating plants in unexpected places, such as hanging baskets or on a windowsill. Additionally, adding a large potted plant to a room can make a statement and add height and dimension.
11. Consider the Flooring
Flooring can make a big impact on the overall look and feel of an older home. Consider refinishing hardwood floors or adding vintage-inspired tiles to a bathroom or kitchen. Additionally, adding a stylish rug to a room can tie everything together and add warmth.
12. Be Mindful of Scale
When decorating an older home, it’s important to be mindful of scale. Consider the size of each room and choose furniture and accessories that are proportional. For example, if you have high ceilings, choose tall furniture to balance out the space.
13. Create Focal Points
Creating focal points in a room can help draw the eye and create visual interest. Consider creating a gallery wall with artwork or displaying a collection of vintage books. Additionally, adding a statement piece of furniture, such as an antique armoire or a modern accent chair, can make a room feel more intentional.
14. Don’t Be Afraid to DIY
DIY projects can be a great way to add character and personality to an older home. Consider repurposing vintage finds, such as turning an old ladder into a bookshelf or transforming an antique door into a headboard. Additionally, adding a DIY touch, such as hand-painted wall art or a homemade macramé plant hanger, can make a space feel more unique.
15. Keep It Simple
When in doubt, keep it simple. Sometimes less is more when it comes to decorating an older home. Consider paring down your décor to the essentials and letting the unique features of your home shine through.
In conclusion, decorating an older home can be a unique and rewarding experience. By embracing the original architecture, mixing old and new, and incorporating personal touches, you can create a space that feels authentic and intentional. Remember to be mindful of scale, use lighting to your advantage, and keep it simple. With these tips and tricks, you can bring new life to your living space and make your older home feel fresh and modern.
Should I only use traditional furniture in my older home?
No, you can mix old and new furniture to create a unique and eclectic look.
How can I highlight the unique features of my older home?
Embrace the original architecture and add personal touches, such as vintage collections or family photos.
What are some DIY projects I can do in my older home?
Repurpose vintage finds or add a DIY touch, such as hand-painted wall art or a homemade macramé plant hanger.
How can I make my older home more functional for modern living?
Consider updating the infrastructure, such as plumbing and electrical systems, to make your home more efficient and safe.
Should I keep my décor simple when decorating an older home?
When in doubt, less is more. Paring down your décor to the essentials can help highlight the unique features of your home.