Teaching old homes new tricks

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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You might not think that combining older elements, that hark of tradition, with ultra contemporary nuances ever really works, but the contrast between the two can be so dramatic that it simply makes for a fantastic juxtaposition. In fact, the newness of one element can really highlight the beauty and character of something a little older, so we love combining the two!

Just in case you are raising a suspicious eyebrow at this, we have brought together some amazing examples of old and new coming together in perfect interior design harmony and we think you'll see that too much of one thing can ruin an aesthetic, whereas a heady contrast can amplify the impact. 

Exposed bricks with modern furniture

We don't think there is any way that you can possibly look at this room and still think that old and new styles don't belong together! While the old fashioned roof beams and exposed stone wall bring a certain heritage to this home, we love that a modernist kitchen has been installed, with chic contemporary furniture.

Xavier Lemoine Decoration has put together something of the perfect hybrid room here, as although the furniture is new, it has a retro design vibe that happily combines with the ultra traditional elements at play. Nothing stands out and everything looks cohesive. Gorgeous!

Traditional structure with modern shapes

  by Draw&dO
Draw&dO

Après—rez-de-chaussée

Draw&dO

If you like to keep all of your materials traditional, there is still an easy way to combine old and new; with shapes. Take a look at this lovely example and you'll soon see what we mean! 

While the structure of the house is super traditional, so too is the use of timber, polished concrete and leather. What adds a little modernity is the shape of the kitchen counter, rather than its construction. We love the contrast between the sharp, precise lines of the aged oak frame and the sweeping grace and delicacy of the round worktop. What a combination!

Old world flooring in a modern kitchen

Nothing quite says traditional flooring like some expertly laid wooden parquet, regardless of what laying pattern is chosen. We think this fabulous herringbone design is an all-time favourite and makes the perfect partner to a super modern kitchen island, as seen here.

This whole room is really geared towards leaving a lasting impression and we can't help but love the daring design that combines polished metal, natural wood and a background of pure, brilliant white. You can't overlook the modern elements, nor can you dismiss the original features of the room. This is old and new coming together fantastically!

Heritage fireplaces finished with modernity

  by Parisdinterieur
Parisdinterieur

Chambre gris/bleu—appartement parisien

Parisdinterieur

In period houses there are a number of original features that potential buyers always look our for, such as sash windows, bespoke ironwork, ornate cornice and coving designs and of course, traditional fireplaces. While many will feature elaborate tiled insets, it is more often than not the cast iron grill and mantle that are the most sought after pieces, leaving some fantastic scope for modernising.

We think this fireplace is superb, as it has kept that shape and stature of the original fireplace, while enjoying a far more sleek finish. The monochrome colour scheme really brings the old and new together too!

Modern ceramics with traditional materials

  by Draw&dO
Draw&dO

Après—deuxième

Draw&dO

We really can't tell you enough how important it is to not overlook your bathroom when it comes to integrated interior design. Yes, it might be tempting to opt for a quick resolution, with an off-the-peg suite and simple layout, but if you have a home that has a little history, why not try to combine old and new together to create something a little more unique? 

We think that some of the amazing ceramic sinks on offer at the moment would make perfect partners for more traditional bathroom additions, such as wooden racking and shelving. Some of the shapes that are now being offered are incredible and can really modernise even a period room!

Retaining a layout but adding practicality

Now you know that old and new can come together to make something beautiful, it's worth considering truly traditional homes.

When there is no getting away from the fact that you have a period property, but you still want to inject some modernity into it, you can do so by keeping the interior layout basically the same, but while increasing functionality. Accounting for your more modern technology will help to integrate it into an older home, without it looking out of place or jarring.

For a little bit more old meets new inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: A Traditional Barn Goes Modern. This is one home that certainly makes the task seem easy!

Could you be tempted to create a little old and new harmony in your home? Tell us which idea inspired you the most!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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