As many homeowners know, new isn't always better. And while not everyone wants an ultra-contemporary home—especially in Ridgewood which is known for its classics—almost everyone appreciates the advent of modern home technology. Functionality, efficiency, environmental responsibility, and safety have all improved with modern home features and no one can deny the importance of those things. However, in our rush to embrace the amazing developments both superficial and imperative in the home building world, we've abandoned many fantastic ideas and approaches and classed them as outmoded when they actually serve a fantastic function. Here are 5 wonderful older home-inspired ideas that you shouldn't be afraid of incorporating for the fear of being passé!
Saving The Best Garden For The Back
In an effort to enhance curb appeal, whether for selling or simply showing off your dedicated work, many home owners have been putting all the effort into their front gardens and leaving the back as a blasé yard, perhaps with a porch. But, back in the day, your back garden was the real deal, a place to unwind with a cup of tea and a book or simply take a relaxing stroll. Your guests would see it, but who cares if drivers and the public could? It was your private garden — a serene haven just for you. Many Ridgewood home owners have beautiful and elaborate back gardens, so following in their footsteps could re-emphasize this local tradition. Stop viewing your garden as a way to add value to your home, and start looking at it as a place that adds to your living experience.
Naming Your House
Naming your house these days might seem a little tacky or pompous to some naysayers. But don't let that stop you! Whether your house has layers and years of heritage or was just constructed in the last year, go ahead and give it a title that fits. You can choose whether this is simply something you use to refer to the home with your family members or whether you want to engrave it on a massive plaque and mount it on your front gate. Whichever you choose, you'll be satisfied knowing you've joined leagues of noteworthy characters who have named their beloved homes.
Showing Your Personality
Modern design and decor is all about looking sleek and streamlined. Minimalism is king; trinkets and knick-knacks are practically considered abominations. Even if you don't own a modern home, you'll likely have picked up on this change in decor, whether by clearing the photos off your fridge and mantelpiece or tucking your souvenirs away. But we think it's best to show a little personality, like the beautiful estates of old. In fact, personality is what made those stately homes look so rich; their stacks of books, globes, and mementos from around the world. Pieces that show what you value and are interested in only enhance a home's appeal. Of course, don't go overboard — clutter is never cool and you don't want to have to dust more than you need. The sleek look serves a purpose, but you don't need your home to feel like a cold, personality-free hotel in order to accomplish style. Opt for a clean, polished space that's supplemented by pieces that display who you are and the themes you love.
Using Rich Paint Colors
On the same note as above, we tend to run from non-neutral paint tones, motivated by horrifying memories of '70s greens and oranges or '90s powder pink. Recovering from those cringe-inducing decades, homeowners now stick firmly to neutral hues: greys, ivories, creams, and cool ashy beiges. Now and then an "accent" piece or wall will be accepted, but only in austere, strict portions. Classic homes, however, used color throughout the home without ever being gaudy. Tasteful use of rich tones such as navy, burgundy, and green can look absolutely stunning.
Having A Dedicated Study Or Office
These days, with our portable laptops and phones, we can work anywhere: the couch, the bed, or a corner of the kitchen table. As a result, many choose to forego a formal office—after all, why take up the space for something you can do anywhere? But having a designated office or study can provide an organized way for you to focus on work, stress free. It'll be much easier to concentrate and it provides a beautiful place for you to fill with things that inspire you, motivate you, or help you relax. A study dedicated to reading, working, and the pursuit of knowledge is a fixture of grand older homes and something we should definitely consider keeping.
Ridgewood is home to many gorgeous houses that include the features above — houses both old and new. Explore the Ridgewood real estate listings to get a taste of the stunning architecture and design you can find throughout the village.