If you have ever bought, lived in or visited an old-fashioned property, then you will know that these dwellings offer a mixed bag of pros and cons. Although they can have amazing character features and real period charm, they can also be a little bit drab and may even have issues with plumbing, pipes and woodwork.
Luckily, for those who fancy buying an old-fashioned propertyfor a low price and turning it into an attractive re-sale proposition (or living in it themselves as the home of their dreams), there are plenty of ways to modernise these buildings. Here are some of the most common methods of turning an old home into a sleek, contemporary beauty.
Windows and doors
Two key parts of any home are the windows and doors. Not only are these fittings decorative, but they are also vital parts of a building’s architecture. On the design front, brightening up old-fashioned windows is an easy process. By taking down heavy curtains or dull grey blinds and replacing them with slatted wooden covers, you can quickly transform an old home into a cutting-edge one. When it comes to doors, consider opting for a modern colour such as crisp grey or create a “shabby chic” look by installing a newly manufactured but old-fashioned brass knocker.
When re-doing windows and doors, it is wise for you to think about the opportunity that this presents to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Old homes can get draughty quite easily, and this can lead to higher energy bills due to the low heat retention rate. Consider investing in double-glazed windows to keep the heat in and choose a door manufactured from a sustainable, recycled source.
Kitchens and bathrooms
If you are planning to modernise a home, then two areas that are likely to play a strong role in the process are the kitchenand bathroom. When you have a large kitchen or a knocked-through kitchen-diner, you should seriously consider installing a feature such as a kitchen island to add additional food preparation space. You may have to remove some of the more old-fashioned features, such as large wooden dining tables popular in years gone by, but this is a savvy decision in terms of your home’s eventual appeal.
When it comes to the bathroom, you will want to tear out any Edwardian-style features such as long brass toilet chains, chinaware sinks and chipped claw-footed baths. In their place, you should think about installing a variety of modern items, including vanity sinks and baths in colours such as pale grey. This provides a more up-to-date aesthetic that is also easier to clean and maintain.
Older properties are often full of unnecessary soft furnishings and other smaller decor items that play no role in a modern property’s appeal. The contemporary way of furnishing a home is to take a partly minimalist approach. You should remove old-fashioned decor choices such as antimacassars on the backs of seats, large and ornate stools or pouffes and all other items from yesteryear straightaway.
Rather than replace everything, you should take steps to widen the interior space by only replacing some of the items. Choose the areas in a room that you would like to provide more space, such as the areas near doors and cupboards, and leave them unfurnished. This will help you obliterate the overcrowded feeling that burdens many old-fashioned properties. Keep in mind, however, that taking a partly minimalistic approach does not have to mean that you cannot have furnishings in your modernised home. Bookshelves full of books, for example, are timeless in their appeal. Just ensure that you opt for a bookshelf made from a lighter wood if you want to maintain a modern edge. Avoid classic options such as traditional heavy mahogany.
Turning an old-fashioned property into an avant-garde modernised one is a wonderful way to either strike a bargain for a family home or create an asset that you can sell for a handsome profit. Whichever path you choose to take, however, you may quickly find yourself with a huge to-do list that shows no signs of reducing. Remember that by prioritising key spaces such as the bathroom and kitchen and focusing on easily achievable goals such as updating the soft furnishings, you might surprise yourself with how far you can get in a short span of time. Before you know it, you will be living in a sumptuous, modern palace.