Give New Life to Old Bones
The architectural charm, space and history of older homes have drawn many homeowners in. The trend of buying older homes for renovation has grown in recent years with buyers opting to move to older suburbs lured by the charm and character of these neighbourhoods. As beautiful as old homes are, regular maintenance and a little extra attention is required to bring new life to their old bones.
The first thing to check when renovating an old home is to make sure you are legally allowed to. According to the National Heritage Resources Act of 1999, homes that are over 60 years old are classified as heritage properties. To protect architectural history and heritage, if your home was built prior to 1960, you will need a permit for any alterations according to national, provincial or local law. Entire suburbs are also protected under this act, meaning that even if your home is younger than 60 years, a permit is still required in these areas.
Should your home be young enough to not need a permit but still in need of some new life here are a few tweaks you can do to enhance the charm of your home:
Keeping up to date with maintenance is more important than ever in an old home. Aged plumbing and existing water damage can not only cause serious structural damage but can become an ideal cosy spot for bugs to make their own home. Do regular checks so you can catch any issues before they become a serious problem.
Do your research on the history of your home. This will help you make better choices around what will complement and add value to your home. If you intend to restore or rehabilitate special features of your home, knowing more about the era it comes from will help maintain its original charm.
Make a note of key features and fixtures that show your home’s history such as pressed ceilings, original wallpaper, wooden flooring, stained glass windows and copper piping. Emphasising these areas will give your home added character.
Use Colour and Patterns
Using colour and patterns will immediately change the look and feel of your home. If you have features such as coloured pressed ceilings or exposed trusses, play with dark and light wall and ceiling colours to draw attention to them.
Wallpaper can also be used to update rooms with modern patterns and textures. Monochrome patterned floors, either tiled or stencilled, are also very trendy for an art-deco feel.
Update your home by adding modern home products. Improve your home’s energy efficiency with new insulation and lighting that will make a world of difference to your everyday comfort and your pocket.
Contemporary lighting fixtures at different levels will instantly change the look of your home and can be used to cleverly highlight feature spaces and darker areas.
Adding or updating an existing fireplace will ensure your home is warmed efficiently and will add a classic, cosy ambience.
An old home doesn’t have to lack technology. Fibre internet is becoming a standard for homes that are becoming smarter. You can have the best of both worlds thanks to the ever-evolving convenience of wireless connectivity.
Upcycling and refurbishing antique furniture has been popular for a few years already. Think of ways you can repurpose old furniture by chalk painting or re-staining them or using them in unconventional ways to give them new life.
Bathrooms and kitchens immediately give your home’s age away and are the best places to start when updating your home. Retiling and painting will go a long way if you aren’t ready to do a complete renovation. Once again, classic styles such as clawfoot baths and rustic french country are back in style to help you combine new and old.
Open up your home and bring the outside in to make it feel more airy and modern. If appropriate, replace old sliding doors and windows with aluminium or frameless glass stacking doors that let light in and give you a clear view to the outdoors, making your space seem larger. Alternatively, adapt your open patio or entertainment area to be used all year round by adding a roof or enclosing it with stacking doors.
When it comes to giving new life to your home, it is important to get professional advice and help to ensure you do not cause damage to the old bones of your home. Maintain and restore the parts of your home that tell its story and respect its history and use modern elements to enhance its comfort and charm.