In the modern world, beauty is hard to come by. Most new housing developments look pretty much the same. And architects don’t put a tremendous amount of effort into making them aesthetically attractive. Yes – in recent years we’ve seen some attempts to improve the quality of housing – but most modern builds can’t compete with their traditional counterparts.
For that reason, period features have become increasingly relevant and important in the housing market, especially to millennial buyers. People want to feel as though their homes have some history and provenance. That they shouldn’t look like they were built just as part of some massive housing development on the edge of town. There’s no beauty in that.
So what period features does everyone want in their homes? Let’s take a look.
While some modern luxury homes come with crown moulding, it’s rare. What’s more, it’s usually modern in design which isn’t what buyers looking for period features want.
Old-school crown moulding tends to be much more elaborate and detailed. In some properties, this decorative trim hangs down from the ceiling in great stalactites, instantly creating a three-dimensional feel for the room. It can be a feature on doors, walls, ceilings and furniture.
Starting around fifty years ago, interior designers began building bathtubs into rooms. The cost was the main reason. Hiding ugly pipes and shower electronics was just cheaper if you could install a simple plastic panel to cover everything.
Unfortunately, this movement led to a loss of style in the bathroom. No longer did you have the drama of walking into a room where the bath is waiting for you seductively in the centre.
Free-standing bathtubs are, therefore, all the rage right now. Often, they’re period features. And they look stunning.
The hallmark of a home with real history is oak beams running up and down the walls and across the ceiling.
There’s something special about this particular feature. You immediately feel as though you’ve stepped back in time and are living in a property with tremendous history. The combination of traditional wood with white plaster is enough to make anyone say wow.
When it came to flooring in the past, people really knew what they were doing. Tiles were the go-to material, especially in places like the kitchen and hallway with maximum footfall.
Tiles, however, went out of favour as cheaper alternatives entered the market, like vinyl. Eventually, they became a luxury, associated with the wealth of ancient aristocrats.
Now, though, millennial buyers want properties that offer tiled flooring. They want something that looks attractive, is easy to clean and is more robust than carpets.
Finally, buyers are increasingly looking for large, traditional fireplaces with massive hearths. While electric fires are the most popular choice right now, a lot of people want to return to the romance of open fires that use wood or coal as fuel.
Many traditional fires make ample use of embellishments. You’ll often find detailed moulding and carving as well as marble elements. Some of the most elaborate period fireplaces even protrude from the wall some distance, creating a kind of alcove.