How to Preserve the Authentic Design of Your Home

June 27, 2019 | by sofia lockhart

If you are renovating your house with the aim of preserving its authentic design, then you are in for a journey. The house of your dreams is right there, waiting on the other side, and we have some valuable tips that will help you reach it. The renovation process of any dwelling must follow some clear steps, but when you need to take into consideration historical relevance and preservation, there are a few details that can make the difference between chic and kitsch. Here is what you should keep in mind:

Plan for Everything

Before you buy anything or start moving furniture into the house, you need to have a well thought out plan for the entire renovation process. With the end goal in mind, you definitely have a lot of ideas about what you want to do, but before you start implementing any of them, you have to determine if they are compatible. It would be such a pity to realize mid-way during the renovation that the classic wood flooring that you've spent a small fortune restoring, does not work with the furniture you've just ordered. So, start writing down all of your ideas, do your research about each item, including costs, ordering, and the professional help you would need for it. Take photographs of the available space and then put everything in one place and see if you like the final version of the plan before you start the actual work.

Classic House, Classic Rules

If you want to preserve the classic look of your house, then the location, history, and local architecture are going to be your main guidelines during the project. Countries all over the world have different rules and regulations when it comes to the renovation and preservation of classic homes. From the thatched-roof beauties in the English countryside to the classic terrace houses in Australia’s biggest cities, maintaining originality and architectural uniformity is high on the agenda.

You will need to consult with local authorities as to the do’s and don’ts that need to be adhered to during your renovation. For such projects, it would be wise to enlist the services of a qualified professional who can offer you valuable insights into the processes involved. Be open to suggestions and be prepared to make compromises. Working in tandem with a good architect or builder, you should be able to plan and foresee any possible issues and be properly informed at the outset as to what will be achievable and what won't be.

Budgeting, Planning and the Unforeseen

Renovating a house can get pretty expensive and when you aim to restore its classic elements, you may actually be looking at a far bigger outlay than expected. With this in mind, start working on your financial plan as a fundamental part of the renovation process. It would be extremely unpleasant to have to stop working on the house mid-way because your funds have run out. Moreover, expect to have some unpredictable expenses along the way, as well as damages. Set up a safety budget from the very start!

The Old vs New Balance

A classic home can be a thing to behold, a wonder for this generation and the next, but it does not mean that the quality of life inside it has to be vintage as well. Equipping your kitchen with all the latest devices can make for a fine contrast to the rustic look that the space commands. Striking the right balance between old and new will ultimately dictate whether your classic home is a sight for sore eyes or an eyesore.

Upsetting the Balance

Be aware that your blending of old and new doesn’t push your house into the realms of kitsch. Modern features in a house, from smart TVs to high-tech ovens, have to be laid out in a way that makes them connect with the vintage elements around them. For instance, in a living room with a retro look, you can't put your TV up on the wall on a modern metal mount because it would simply look out of place. Instead, you could source a vintage wooden frame with which you can surround the flat screen TV. Having the frame covered in gold leaf would add an extra level of sophistication whilst preserving the vintage “painting” look in the room.

You Can't Preserve Everything

An important thing to keep in mind when renovating a classic home is that you may not be able to preserve it down to the last detail. Some of those wood carvings on the walls may be absolutely stunning, but if the wood itself is in bad shape, replacing it may be a better way to go than patching up something that will not last.

As you can see, renovating a classic home entails a significant commitment, emotionally and financially. You need to have a clear plan from the outset, be willing (and prepared) to make compromises and to listen to advice from people that are experts in their field. The more careful and well thought out your plans are, the closer you will be to your ultimate goal of having the classic house of your dreams.

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