Try Sophie’s idea… highlight period features
Embrace the original detailing in your home to inject character and celebrate its history
Choose a hero hue from your tiles to pick out elsewhere in the scheme
Every house has its own particular charm and this often stems from the original features that link the building to the era in which it was built. In the 1980s and ’90s there was a fad for ripping out these ‘dated’ design elements. Nowadays, we appreciate that these special interior elements make our homes unique, and are keen to preserve them without being a slave to period style. Read on for our best house-history tips.
Floor to ceiling
One of the first places to turn your attention to should be the flooring. Most old houses have beautiful wooden floors, either in regular parallel boards or in a parquet style. You often will find them hidden beneath drab carpet and, once sanded and varnished, they can bring beautiful warmth and character into the room. On bare staircases, add a traditional carpet runner with brass stair rods for a classic and practical design solution.
If your home is blessed with sash, bay or arched windows, don’t drown them with heavy curtains. Instead, install clean-lined Roman blinds to let these architectural features shine. Other design details worth highlighting are ornate ceiling roses, coving and picture rails – and paint placement is key to making the most of these features. Use a pale colour on your ceiling but leave decorative plasterwork and coving bright white. Only paint walls up to the picture rail, and use this feature for its original purpose by hanging artworks and mirrors from it – you find everything you need to do this at UK Picture Framing Supplies.
Colour and pattern
If you’re lucky enough to have been left with a period fireplace and its original tiled surround, then allow it to inspire your scheme, like in Sophie’s dining area. Pick a wallpaper design that contains the main tile colour as a highlight and use it to fill the alcoves either side of the chimney breast.
Consider choosing patterns from the era of your home, but don’t feel limited to this idea. Toile de Jouy was popular during the Georgian period but would look equally at home in properties built up until the early 20th century. To help with paint colours,
many companies such as little Greene now have ranges based on different periods and are a great place to find inspiration.
Old and new
If you aren’t too strict about keeping to an exact era, accessorising your home in period style can be fun – and thrifty. Delve through junk shops and scour ebay for bargains. Keep an eye out for old bevellededge mirrors and wooden tables and chairs with decorative turned legs.
Hide modern panel radiators with ornate covers to echo the style of your scheme, or install new Victorian-style column radiators in a late 19th-century property (companies such as the Cast Iron Radiator Centre supply these in a range of sizes).
visit a national trust property that dates from a similar era to your home for some historical inspiration