…a house is not a home until you love where you live…

How to Incorporate a House’s History into Your Modern Renovation Plans

The goal: modern home with vintage charm. But how do you get there? The trick is choosing which elements to keep, which to enhance, and which to let go. We talk a lot about the memory of an element: a score line in stucco, windows, any architectural memory of where something was when your home was first built. 

What to Keep – What to Let Go

You don’t have to keep every original element in order to maintain the vintage spirit of your home. The most important part of deciding what to keep is to look around and pick out the things you really love. 

If your home is full of wood elements don’t feel like you have to keep them all natural wood. Choose the ones that feel the most authentic, or just the most special to you. Restore those to their former glory and then don’t feel guilty for painting over the others. Painted wood details retain their style while a fresh coat of paint gives them an updated look.

Find elements to not only keep, but to focus on. Make a stained glass window the inspiration for the whole room by using its colors prominently. Use lighting to draw focus to restored, exposed beams. Many historic homes have built-in cabinetry that can be simply updated by adding glass shelving.

Some Spaces Need Full Updates

No one wants to cook in a 60’s kitchen. If you order out exclusively and want that mod vibe it can work, but if you use your kitchen it’ll likely need a full renovation. We use appliances that didn’t exist when your home was first built. Modern appliances are also much bigger than their vintage predecessors. Of course, if having a smaller than average refrigerator, or no dishwasher at all fits into your day-to-day life that’s okay! Though keep in mind that forgoing those updates will have an impact on your resale value. 

This doesn’t mean that you can’t maintain the spirit of the original home. You can renovate all the practical things without losing the charming details that drew you to a historic home in the first place. Restoring hinges, knobs and other hardware is one great way to maintain consistent vintage detail throughout. In most cases well made reproductions exist if you need to replace a few pieces of hardware that are damaged or if you need to add some in places where it was replaced in the past.

Working with a designer experienced in historic home restoration is the best way to find the right balance between old and new. We would love to work with you to find the best elements of your home to highlight. Let’s talk!