How To Modernize An Old Home Without It Losing Its Character

Posted by Tarvin Realtors on Friday, June 3rd, 2016 at 11:51am.

Combine & Contrast

You'll need to be tactical with this one, as going too far can result in clashing aesthetics. However, done right, combining heritage textures with modern ones can create a stunning effect. Blend classic finishes such as rich wood, soft leather, and brick with modern granite, chrome, and glass. Juxtapose seemingly contradictory elements; place sleek technology in a stately historic grand room, or a contemporary glass shower next to a stand-alone bathtub. That way, your home will never feel too dated or too trendy, and you'll end up with a sustainable look that will be stylish for generations.

Subtly Re-finish

When you look at your spectacular heritage home, you may not even want to touch its trimmings, baseboards, moldings, or mantles. That ornate banister, original gumwood paneling, and beautiful chandelier ooze character and even replacing them with modern imitations would be a shame. So, focus on upgrading your windows and lacquer, oil, and varnish your original wood floors. Try window inserts and keep your window frames. When painting, choose timeless, neutral colors that reflect current preferences but will be considered elegant for years to come. For a modern twist, alter finishes — instead of a chalky, matte gray trim, select a silky, luminous hue. Replace cobblestone or flagstone touches with sleek slate — this will add a contemporary flair without compromising the enduring appeal of natural stone. Don't be afraid to bring original materials to their best ever — doing so often creates a more authentic result, as it will look closer to how it did when it was originally crafted. You can be sure that the original owners did not tolerate disrepair.

Go Energy-Efficient

If you're not up for creating highly visible, modern changes to your home, opt for modernizing in technology instead. It's easy to find efficient lighting that maintains a distinguished historic visual — from grand chandeliers to banker's lamps and iron post floor lamps. Choose Energy Star appliances and finish them in matte black or hide them behind gorgeous wood cabinetry. You'll save on energy costs while preserving the character of your home.

For more expert advice on home ownership, stay tuned to our blog and contact Tarvin Realtors regarding your Ridgewood home buying plans! Do you have any tips on modernizing a heritage home? Share them with us in the comments below!

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