If you own a historic home, or even just a home that has some distinct charm from the era in which it was designed, deciding to remodel can be complex. You likely want to upgrade some features without sacrificing the feel of the home and the charm you love so much.
Honoring the historic charm of your home while remodeling is a delicate balance between preserving its unique character and incorporating modern amenities. By taking a thoughtful and considerate approach, you can maintain the essence of your historic home while ensuring it meets your contemporary needs, and we can help.
Our designers can carefully help you design a home that is the best of both worlds, using advanced 3D technology that will allow you to fully visualize the design before we get started on any demolition or renovation. Contact us any time to learn more, and keep reading for tips to help you design a remodel the doesn’t sacrifice the charm of your historic home.
Remodeling Your Historic Home
Research Your Home’s History
Begin your remodeling journey by researching the history of your home. Understand its architectural style, original features, and any significant historical events associated with it. If you are not the original owner, you may be surprised to find that some of the features you consider to be original are actually previous renovations. This information will guide your renovation decisions as you determine how you want to reflect the original character of the home.
Preserve Architectural Details
While simple, clean lines and a modern architectural style are popular, you may want to stray from this trend to honor the original charm of the house.
One of the key aspects of honoring the historic charm of your home is preserving its architectural details. Retain features like crown molding, wainscoting, original windows, doors, and hardware whenever possible. Repair or restore these elements rather than replacing them, or consider looking for antiques that are true to the time period if something does need to be replaced.
Salvage and Reuse Materials
Salvaging materials from your home or from other historic properties can be an eco-friendly and authentic way to maintain the charm of your home. Reclaimed wood, vintage fixtures, and antique hardware can be incorporated into your remodel.
You can take this even further by looking for furniture, decor, and even appliances that have the vintage look you are seeking to preserve.
Match Historical Paint Colors
Research historical paint colors and color palettes that were popular during the era when your historic home was built. Use these colors to paint the interior and exterior of your home to maintain a period-appropriate aesthetic.
Maintain Original Floor Plans
An open concept floor plan is all the rage, but you may want to pause and consider before deciding to tear down walls and modify your home’s layout. When you avoid making significant structural changes that alter the layout, it helps to preserve the flow and character of the house.
We can help you design subtle changes that are true to the period of the home but still help you meet the goals you have for functionality and your own lifestyle.
Upgrade Mechanical Systems
While it’s important to preserve the historic exterior and interior features, upgrading the home’s mechanical systems is often necessary for safety and efficiency. Upgrade electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems to modern standards while concealing them to maintain the historic appearance. It is essential to bring all of the mechanical systems in the home up to code for your current safety and for future resale.
Decide When to Replace, Repair, or Replicate
In a historic home, when you see something that is broken or in need of updating, consider whether it is best to replace, repair, or replicate it. Historic windows and doors are often worth preserving. Repair and restore them, adding weather-stripping and storm windows for energy efficiency. If replacement is necessary, choose period-appropriate designs that match the original style.
In cases where original features are too damaged to repair or missing, consider replicating them. We can help you find the skilled craftsmen that can recreate architectural details, moldings, and fixtures to match the historic style.
A successful historic remodel finds a balance between old and new elements. Consider incorporating modern appliances, lighting, and technology discreetly into your home while maintaining the historic ambiance.
Ready to learn more about remodeling your home or get started? Contact us any time.