14Aug 2015

Is it possible to modernise a period property?

Posted in: period homes  –  By Patchett Joinery

One of the problems people often have with traditional, period homes is that they’re just not ‘modern’ enough. There’s a strong perception of period homes as being a little bit stuck in the past, and people who want all the conveniences of modern living are sometimes put off by their antiquated charm. That said, old architectural traits such as wood casement windows and box sash windows are making a come back in a very surprising way; they’re coming back into fashion and increasing the value of properties throughout the UK. That doesn’t mean that homes are going backwards. It means that there are an increasing number of ways to incorporate older designs and features into newer, more modern builds without compromising on functionality or convenience. In fact, once you get started you’ll be surprised at the stunning results that can come from combining traditional features with a modern setting. Here are just a few ideas:

Don’t go overboard with window dressings

A good example of this would be the good old fashioned wood sash window; a feature that’s making a really big comeback in modern homes. Traditionally wood sash windows would be weighed down with heavy drapes and intricate materials; one of the things that adds to its sense of antiquated charm. Instead of opting for this out of habit due to the style of window or because of something you see in a style magazine, why not try something a little different? Opt for sleek blinds or minimal or sheer voiles for modern elegance and something totally unique. They’re bound to become a talking point if you have guests and they’ll certainly compliment an array of modern styles within your home.

Simply the fireplace along with your windows

We’ve talked about the importance of simplifying the window dressing to make it minimal and sleek, now try doing the same with your fireplace. This is especially useful in smaller properties and can help give the very real illusion of space. If you move into an older property you’ll probably think of the fireplace as being one of the most antiquated features that simply has to go. This is a shame as old fireplaces can be so full of charm and can actually add a lot to the value of the property; older fireplaces are often grand and the centrepiece of a room for  many, which is why they’re in such high demand. So before you rip out your fireplace, perhaps try decorating it more minimally – choose something abstract and contemporary, perhaps even popping candles around it or only using it in special circumstances. Work with what you have before you throw it out.

Throw away the brass

This is a simply and easy trick that applies to wood sliding doorscasement windowsbay windows and more. See those old brass finishes – the handles, hinges and the like? Throw them away and replace them with something more contemporary like chrome or something with a metallic finish. You’ll be amazed at the transformation it can make. Your windows and doors will go from looking old and dusty to almost brand new (perhaps with a little lick of paint too…!)