It isn’t about moving into an old place and having to live in a way that is limiting thanks to the property; it is about finding ways to update your new home whilst keeping it on theme with the natural period nature of the house. To help guide you in the right direction, here are some top tips for renovating and converting older or unique properties in London.
Hire an Architect
There are millions of people across the country who choose to renovate and update their properties by themselves, but when it comes to a period piece, it really makes a difference if you hire an architect. When a property is truly period, there can be lots of red tape and regulations for the changes that you can make without permission and an architect will always be aware of these rules so that you don’t get in trouble or have your plans scuppered at the last minute. They have the experience and training to be able to provide the insights that you need to get the most out of your period property renovation.
Look to The Property for Inspiration
The worst thing that you could do is not pay attention to the property itself and just try to impose your modem taste on an old building. Bringing in too many clearly modern elements to a period setting can make the entire project look a little bit tacky and garish, so the best course of action is always to look to the house itself for the inspiration that you need. Work on accentuating and celebrating the original features, whilst at the same time bringing everything up to a contemporary standard of living. Any renovations made to a period property should be in harmony with the original vibe of the house, otherwise you lose all of the historical magic.
Something that you can do to update a period property without making any structural changes that could harm its charm is to add a lot of contemporary patterns to the decor of each room. Asymmetrical designs for things like cushions, bedspreads, and throws are a great way to add modern flare to a more traditional feeling setting, and of course, the beauty with this is that the choices you make don’t have to be permanent. You can change your designs as new trends come in, meaning that your decor will always be on point.
Don’t Be Afraid
At the same time, though, it is important that you aren’t afraid to remove and change elements within the house that just aren’t fitting with your modern lifestyle. Many period properties are not in keeping with the more open plan way that we like to live these days,. There will probably be occasions when you want to knock through a certain wall to create a larger, more airy living space. This is especially noticeable if you choose to modernise the kitchen. As long as your plans are overseen by an architect and aren’t going to be detrimental to the foundations of the house, then you should feel free to embark on ambitious projects.
Another way to lose the fear is to make the most of the fabric of the building. Period properties lend themselves wonderfully to exposed brick walls and other original features. Renovation is also the opportunity to reuse and reclaim materials to recreate the period feel.
If you're unsure about any decisions that need to be made, or are in need of inspiration, then it is recommended that you visit a showroom. There, an interior designer will talk you though the process and help find the best for your property.
Emphasize the Height
It is a fact that properties built in the modern era don’t utilise as much height as period properties. High ceilings are one of the best and most celebrated elements of period housing, so make sure that you make the most of them. In some cases, it might require building work to expose original features and take out false ceilings, but when the project is finished you will see that the time and effort it truly worth it.
One thing that a lot of period properties don’t necessarily benefit from is a good use of light. Things like floor to ceiling windows simply weren’t a thing hundreds of years ago, so if you want to make your old property as feel as light and airy as a modern one, then you might have to partake in a few window installations across the building.
There are plenty of options when it comes to the interior design of a period/character property. It is a case of deciding whether you want to celebrate the period treasures or hide them for a modern feel.