Treasures to keep during a home renovation

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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When you take on a renovation project it can be really difficult to put your sensible hat on and take an objective look a the space you have to work with. If you have already adopted the mindset that a total redesign and gutting of the property is necessary, you may unwittingly overlook some amazing features that would have been best kept.

With DIY programmes all showing keen enthusiasts ripping up floors and knocking down walls, we wanted to show you an alternative approach that may help to keep some of the original charm of your property intact. We we have compiled our list of original features to look out for and keep when you take on a home renovation project, so grab a cup of tea and make a note.

Keep some original walls

Open plan living has taken off in a huge way in recent years, but we don't think you should forget about maintaining the heritage and original style of your property while ripping out structural walls, in fact, we think you should aim to keep at least one during your home renovation!

As you can see here, an original brick wall has been retained, but freshened up and made more design-sympathetic thanks to a coat of white paint. Helping to draw attention to the wall, especially with the vintage styling throughout the rest of the room, thanks to Prestigious Textiles, it has become not only a nod to the past, but a standalone chic feature.

Reinvigorate flooring

Oakhill Court, Putney:  Corridor & hallway by Ardesia Design
Ardesia Design

Oakhill Court, Putney

Ardesia Design

Underneath the musty old carpets in your new home, there could be undiscovered and long forgotten about treasure, such as original wooden parquet flooring that can easily be restored to its former glory.

Not just a job for the experts, as with a sander, some patience and a diamond-finish floor varnish, you could revive aged wooden flooring to look absolutely incredible. In fact, thanks to it being a hugely popular finish, wooden flooring will never age or date your home, it will simply and quietly allude to the age of the building while looking elegant and understated. It's the perfect home renovation find!

Hang onto the ceramics

Geometric (Victorian) Tiles:  Walls & flooring by Original Features
Original Features

Geometric (Victorian) Tiles

Original Features

Period houses can be fantastic for unearthing old fashioned and traditional elements and we don't just mean original fireplaces! Ceramics, in particular, tiles, will often be covered and forgotten about as they go out of fashion, but nothing can bring your home renovation to life quite like carefully and lovingly restored tiles!

Take a look at these Victorian tiles, used to make a hallway with a difference. Of course, carpet would have also looked nice, but can you really picture anything else looking so perfectly at home and stunning? Neither can we, because they were made to work in this home. Old doesn't have to mean replaceable!

Keep the height

It can be tempting to put false ceilings into older properties, especially if you are keen to reduce heating bills and energy consumption, but we think there are other ways, that are less drastic, to accomplish the same thing, such as double-thick roof insulation.

Strangely, high ceilings are also often replaced when residents want to install recessed lighting, but if you are lucky enough to enjoy some good height in your living room, we think you should look into some dramatic hanging lights! Not everybody has the luxury of being able to work with pendulums, so if you do, don't waste it!

Restore original roof beams

In listed properties, you have no option but to complete your home renovation in a sympathetic manner to the age of the house, with as little modern material included as possible. This means that rotten roof beams need sections of rot cut out and gently replaced with splices of the same material that has not been compromised. We think this is a fabulous practice and hope that you will be keen to take this approach too!

Even if your house isn't listed, we can't help but think that replacing the bones of the home you love seems a little wasteful and even disrespectful, so why not take the time to lovingly restore your roof beams so they can keep you safe for years to come and be a beautiful feature?

Keep the windows and doors

Traditional Stone Mullions with Advanced Bronze Casements:  Windows & doors  by Architectural Bronze Ltd
Architectural Bronze Ltd

Traditional Stone Mullions with Advanced Bronze Casements

Architectural Bronze Ltd

Original windows and doors are just two elements of an older property that really seem to allude to the period it originates from. Façades are built with the window and door furniture in mind and even in place, so to swap them out for something starkly modern seems like such a shame. By all means, look into ways of making them more energy efficient, but we really think that original shapes, frames and materials should be kept, where possible.

For more restoration inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: A Charming Stone Cottage Restored.

What feature would you keep during a renovation? Let us know!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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