How to Modernize an Old House Without Giving Up Its Charm
Need to bring your older house up to today’s standards? Deciding what to change and what to leave untouched can prove an ambitious task for homeowners. Read on to learn how to modernize an old house while preserving its personality.
If you have an old house, you and/or previous homeowners have likely had to make several updates over the years in order to make it functional. These one-time projects, often consisting of removing noticeably outdated design elements and replacing old systems, are only part of the work. They often leave the home feeling disjointed, or stuck between two time periods.
That’s where the real work comes in. To create a home that remains unique but works in the now, you’ll need to figure out which types of styles and time periods resonate with you (and which don’t). You’ll have to decide which older features can be preserved and which need to go. And you’ll need to work with a professional contractor and experienced team that can help you avoid a cookie-cutter renovation.
Renovating a home that perfectly blends old with new doesn’t have to be a difficult process. Here are a few tips for choosing what to restore, identifying what to replace, and deciding how to modernize your old house.
What to Restore
There are certain elements of your home that should be a no-brainer to restore, depending of course on their style and condition. One of the best restoration projects for old homes is refinishing hardwood flooring. Often, original hardwood is not only beautiful but also long-lasting and simply requires a little TLC to return to its former luster.
Along the same lines, other wooden elements in your home may be able to be restored rather than replaced as well. If these details have been hastily updated throughout the years to reflect current trends at the time, their beauty may be hiding underneath layers of paint and stain. Sanding them down and properly restoring them can make these old design elements a timeless addition to your newly renovated home.
Sometimes, a little time spent deep cleaning may be all that certain elements need. Have original fireplaces? Extensive cleaning can give them a brand new life. Are there outdoor elements that you love like a porch or pergola? Try sprucing them up with landscaping that compliments these gathering spaces, new furniture and outdoor decor, and a quick cleaning session that will leave them pristine.
Paying a bit of extra attention to the areas and unique elements that you love about your home can really help to highlight them and make them stand out for guests. Before changing anything drastically, try giving your favorite elements and spaces a deep clean and refreshed decor to make them shine in your newly updated home.
What to Replace
There are some things that can’t be (or that you won’t want to) restore, and additional changes you may want to make to your home in order to make it work for you. Once you’ve decided what original elements you’re keeping, it’s time to get rid of the broken down appliances, throw out the distracting wallpaper, and replace the bright 70s carpets.
First on your list should be any functional updates that need to be made. Does your house feature a strange floorplan that interrupts the flow of the home? Talk to a contractor about the possibility of creating a more modern open floor plan. Are there any appliances that have fallen into disrepair? Get those replaced with newer versions immediately. Think of any other elements that may be interfering with your daily life at home, and prioritize those over other renovations.
Small changes can also make all the difference. Painting over the color on the wall you’ve always disliked, swapping out knobs and handles with new finishes, and changing light fixtures are all easy fixes that will help make your home feel new without jeopardizing its character.
While making replacements, you’ll want to keep in mind your end aesthetic goal. Balancing all of the time periods that your older home has lived through can be a challenge, but choosing your restoration elements first should help.
The elements you choose to restore are likely some of your favorites of the home, and should serve as highlighted features in their respective rooms. Let the unique pieces that you’re saving guide you in deciding the general tone of furniture and decor. A professional interior designer can also help immensely when it comes to achieving the ultimate look and feel you want.
Tying it All Together
Cohesion is key when it comes to updating an outdated home. Your choice of colors, materials, furniture, and decor can all help to bring the old and new pieces together.
When it comes to painting the walls, consider how color can affect the room you’re painting. If a room has traditionally felt cramped and dim, consider a lighter neutral color to reflect light and open it up. If a room feels old and needs a bold refresh, consider a brighter color or accent wall to bring it back to life.
Have fun with your furniture choices by mixing and matching modern pieces with vintage ones. By sticking within certain themes of color or pattern, you should be able to blend the two styles seamlessly to create a truly timeless, unique feel in your spaces.
New accents that highlight your favorite rooms and interplay with your favorite original design elements can really help to bring out the personality created within your home over the years. Use decor to enhance your home’s design, ultimately pulling together original pieces and new features into one updated but distinctive design style.
Malek Construction Can Help You Modernize Your Old House
At Malek Construction, improving homes throughout Northeast Ohio is our passion. We’re known for truly listening to our clients’ wants and needs, and coming up with creative solutions that help them achieve those within their budget and time constraints. Our team’s professionalism will keep your project moving forward while keeping the inconvenience of a major renovation to a minimum.
Our promise to you is that we will respect your home, work with excellent and detail-oriented craftsmanship, and help guide you in the right direction on all of your home renovation decisions. With an in-house interior designer and ample experience working in older homes, Malek Construction can help you preserve the integrity of your home’s style during any renovation.