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Interior design for a period home

Alissa Ugolini—homify UK Alissa Ugolini—homify UK
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There is an undeniable charm about living inside a period or historic property. Little traces of the past seem to ooze from every crack, filling the house with an intangible sense of time gone by. For many of these lucky homeowners, once the big renovation is complete (if the dwelling was in a state of repair), is what to do with the interior decorating scheme? Do you retain the past, or go head first into the 21st century? Although we have been privy to stunning projects that merge old and new together, there is something ever so wonderful about seeing history reinvented both inside and out.

In this ideabook, we're going to look at 5 interior features that should be retained, and never forgotten, inside a historic home. That is, of course, if you would like to go in the direction of maintaining the historical accuracy and integrity of the building! Take a look…

Warm & inviting

One of the hardest features to maintain inside a period home is the heating; oftentimes if we've just renovated the interior of a house, we're faced with the decision to bring the ultimate creature comfort indoors—ducted heating. While neither provides more benefit than the other, seeing vents on the ceilings or walls can detract from the no doubt, rustic ambience you are trying to achieve. Sometimes even, the structure of an historic building does not allow for duct work, so you aren't really left with much say in the matter. Luckily, UK Architectural Antiques have a wonderful solution, allowing those living in beautiful old buildings to heat their homes up in a timeless and elegant way. After all, nothing screams country charm more than a wood burning stove, now does it?

It's in the details

The Wymeswold Shaker Kitchen by deVOL:  Kitchen by deVOL Kitchens
deVOL Kitchens

The Wymeswold Shaker Kitchen by deVOL

deVOL Kitchens

Smaller details that have either been salvaged from the renovation, handed down from family or perhaps even picked up in a flea market can add that special finishing touch to your period style home. In this example from Devol Kitchens, we see an old scale and vintage spice jars carefully positioned upon a wonderful wooden benchtop. Whilst an ultra modern Kitchenaid or blender wouldn't look out of place in this setting, the atmosphere of times gone by, in this case, has been well and truly retained. 

Totally floored

The Hampton Court Kitchen:  Kitchen by Floors of Stone Ltd
Floors of Stone Ltd

The Hampton Court Kitchen

Floors of Stone Ltd

Paying attention to the smaller details is important, but as is what is on the floor. An area that is often overlooked, the floor is of utmost importance as it helps to maintain the historic integrity of a home, especially if you are trying to retain the period look and feel of your interiors. In this kitchen, Floors Of Stone have placed Umbrian limestone flagstones on the ground, which creates a unique and charming look in this space, complementing the classic cabinetry wonderfully. 

Windows to the soul

Old School House, Glen Dye, Banchory, Aberdeenshire:  Windows  by Roundhouse Architecture Ltd
Roundhouse Architecture Ltd

Old School House, Glen Dye, Banchory, Aberdeenshire

Roundhouse Architecture Ltd

Window work can be a really difficult feature to maintain a period property, sometimes the wood or glass is so badly worn that it cannot be salvaged. If that's the case, we recommend you trawl through estate sales or even check old building sites—you might be lucky to find a house that has been demolished with some of the pretty period features set aside or put on sale. The other issue can come from windows that haven't been properly sealed due to age, or that contain glass so thin that heat is readily lost. Try to keep the windows to the front façade as historically accurate as possible, making allowances in other areas that do not affect the streetscape or integrity of the build. 

A nod at history

​Ansty Manor, Bedroom:  Bedroom by BLA Architects
BLA Architects

​Ansty Manor, Bedroom

BLA Architects

Decorative elements can be found new, yet made to replicate what would have been seen in the room centuries prior. Inside this old manor, BLA Architects have kept the homely, rustic feel of the property by simply keeping the interior decorating scheme as close to the original idea as possible. While it may not be entirely historically accurate, it will far better suit the effect you are going for, over a set of geometric white bedding furniture that would just look out of place.

Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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