Giving older homes some modern flair

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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Interior design trends change as often as fashion but it can be a little more difficult to update your house as frequently as you do your wardrobe! This becomes even more pertinent if you have an older property, which might have some style nuances of its own to take into account. 

We think that old and new styles can be combined to produce something very special and unique to your home, without either overshadowing the other. Don't believe us? Take a look at our tips and see if any can be applied to your house!

Blend modernity and tradition together

Green Retrofit, Lambourn Road: modern Living room by Granit Architects
Granit Architects

Green Retrofit, Lambourn Road

Granit Architects

When you're trying to give an older property a little modern refresh, it can be easy to totally overshadow the original styling and age of the house and we think that is such a shame. Instead, why not seek to blend the old and new together to create a beautiful and cohesive space?

We love this example from Granit Chartered Architects as it really shows a perfect compromise in action. The original floorboards and chunky fireplace give a little clue as to the age of the house, while fresh colours and modern styling make it feel current and up to date. Perfect old home modernisation!

Revamp the kitchen

When looking to create the perfect combination of old and new styles, you can't afford to overlook any room, especially those that are in constant use, such as the kitchen! We love how the old home modernisation has been approached in this example, with a fresh and clean take on a traditional farmhouse style being gently offset by original and exposed brickwork. 

Though a shabby chic vibe is clearly identifiable in the room, there is a definite sense of crisp modernity that is working wonderfully well with the traditional and vintage feel.

Make the bathroom classic

Bathrooms may not be at the top of your list when considering old home modernisation, but we think they should be and not only because updating your suite and plumbing has a practical purpose! Aesthetically, a gorgeous modern bathroom will not detract from an older property, it will simply look classic, perfunctory and hygienic; all elements we like in our bathroom

Take a look at this lovely example, complete with sculpted bath and sink. The room itself feels and looks modern, but still has a classically understated vibe, which would perfectly suit an older house.

Update the bedrooms

industrial Bedroom by The Goort
The Goort

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The Goort

As one of the rooms that you are likely to spend the bulk of your time in, bedrooms should be given plenty of consideration during any old home modernisation process, but there is a way to gently approach the task that will allow the original character of the house to still shine through your design scheme.

We love the use of exposed brickwork here, as well as neutral colours and industrial materials. Combined, all of these elements have created a space that feels undeniably contemporary, fun and relaxing, while at the same time not overshadowing the house in it's own right. What a perfect compromise!

Add a new room

If you are planning an old home modernisation project, perhaps you could use it as an opportunity to re-arrange the house itself and change up the functionality of the rooms to better suit your individual needs. Naturally there will be certain spaces that you can't do without, but if you have a small spare room that is simply going to waste, why not think about transforming it into something more handy, such as a walk-in wardrobe or a home study? 

Remember that this is your dream home, so every nuance of space should work for you and your needs!

Make your doors and trims shine

For a small change that will have a big impact on your interior, don't overlook what doors, door furniture and trims you have in place! Old home modernisation can be as simple as changing out old fashioned doors or installing modern hardware. Similarly, overly decorative skirting and coving can be swapped out for something a little simpler that will have a contemporary yet classic feel. Easy!

For more tips and inspiration for modernising your home, take a look at this Ideabook: How to: Modernise A Bungalow. Even if you have a two-storey home, we think you will find some great ideas to try!

How would you approach updating your home? What room would you tackle first? Let us know your thoughts!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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