When To Modernize A Historic Home’s Interior

Older homes represent our past and have beautiful architectural features. However, outdated systems can waste energy and make the home uncomfortable to spend time in. So, when should you consider adding modern updates? Here are a few signs to pay attention to.

1. The Fixtures Are Outdated

Keeping the character and integrity of high-traffic areas intact – such as living rooms – is essential. This can mean keeping the original layout and furniture. Holding onto vintage tables and chairs gives your room a unique focal point.

However, you can spruce it up with modern fixtures, like new lighting and artwork. When upgrading lighting, consider layering. This design technique layers ambient, task, and accent lighting to create the perfect mood for different functions.

2. The Layout Isn’t Functional

The open-floor concept has become popular in many modern homes. Of course, this trend may not be as prevalent in historic homes. Builders back in the day often enclosed spaces to allow for more privacy and segmentation between rooms. Additionally, the extra interior doors made it easier to trap warmth within the room.

Today, an open floorplan allows families to maneuver around more easily. It’s also useful for parents to monitor their kids while cooking meals or entertainers to host fun social events. If you enjoy spending a lot of time at home, you might be interested in knocking down some dividers and creating a more open space.

Changing a home’s layout is a more complex renovation and requires more expert involvement. Just check with local historic preservation committees before making any changes, and make sure the contractors you work with carefully review your home’s structure to find the best places to safely open up a space.

3. It Doesn’t Have Enough Storage

Storage space is critical for the modern homeowner. You need room for all your clothes, kids’ toys, blankets, and electronics. Historic homes may have limited storage and smaller-sized cabinets, so adding shelves to unused wall space can help.

Also, use decorative baskets in bathrooms to hold toiletries. You can also place clear baskets or bins underneath your bed to keep off-season clothing in. Get drawer inserts and turntables to organize your cooking supplies for the kitchen.

4. There’s Not Enough Natural Light Coming Through

Some historic homes have smaller or fewer windows. This can make the space feel darker and dreary. However, increasing natural light can make you feel happier and is good for your body.

One way to do this is by enlarging the windows. Or, if you have enough money in the budget, install skylights. These allow plenty of light and provide a nice view on starry nights. Other strategies include hanging mirrors, using lighter colors, and decorating with reflective materials. You can also upgrade to doors with larger casements or sliding glass panels.

5. The Flooring Needs Upgrades

Original flooring like hardwood can look nice. However, sometimes it can start to warp or crack, in which case you’ll want to replace the flooring as soon as you can.

Suppose it just needs a little work done cosmetically, but not structurally? If that’s the case, you may be able to save the original material and just give it a new finish. For example, you could bleach or stain it to create a modern appearance. You can add other contemporary elements like colorful rugs for extra comfort.

6. The Plumbing or Electrical Is Outdated

Plumbing and electrical systems are often not current in historic homes. This can lead to wasting energy and may create an unsafe environment. Faulty wiring is a fire risk and can increase the harmful effects of power surges. In fact, home electrical fires account for an estimated 51,000 fires every year.

Updating these systems is an essential beginning step. If you don’t, you may have trouble passing building inspections down the line. This will make it harder to sell your home.

7. There Isn’t Enough Insulation

Many older homes don’t have the proper type or amount of insulation. This causes drafts in the winter, leading homeowners to overuse their heaters. This draw on the power grid contributes unnecessarily to climate change. Plus, it also raises the cost of utility bills.

Proper insulation keeps heat inside during the winter and releases it in the summer, thereby creating a more consistent temperature. You want to insulate the basement, crawl spaces, and walls. Remember to get under the floorboards, which tend to have larger gaps.

8. The Window Treatments Are Worn Down

Wooden sash windows are a staple in older homes. However, some can become rotten or dirty over time. This can decrease their visual appeal and even lead to mold growth. So, replace these with double-paned hardwood versions. They can emulate the look but increase energy efficiency and durability.

Also, add some lighter sheer curtains during summer to provide more natural light. Replace darker-colored drapes with whites to make the room feel airy and larger. Linen, blackout, and velvet curtains are also popular options. You can even spruce it up and find ones with patterns, like florals.

How to Upgrade a Historic Home

Historical homes have rich characters and distinctive elements. Features like staircases, fireplaces, and crown molding can make your home more unique. However, modern upgrades can increase your space’s functionality and aesthetic appeal. Consider these ideas for modernizing your house without compromising what makes it unique.

Author

 Evelyn Long is a Baltimore-based writer and the editor-in-chief of Renovated. She publishes home decor advice and product roundups for readers in spaces both big and small.

Ultimate Checklist For Renovating Your Home

Photo by Max Vakhtbovych from Pexels

The New Year has just started and this may be the best time to change things in your life. If you weren’t happy with your figure, you could try changing your diet and start a new exercise regime. If you weren’t happy with your home, give it a makeover! Remodelling your home can seem overwhelming, but the truth is that a good plan can simplify this process significantly. A renovating checklist could be exactly what you need to create your dream house. This way, you can be certain that you’ll remember everything and that you’ll get it done in the right order!

Make a plan 

Firstly, you should create an idea of what you want to achieve. Before you start gathering the materials, you should know which direction you’re headed in. You should start by examining your home – both the exterior and interior. 

Make sure that the floors, the roof, the plumbing, and the electricity are all properly inspected. Then, try to figure out what you want to do with the space and determine the possible duration of the renovation. You should also set the budget at this point. 

Start from the outside

You could do the home renovation in any way you’d like. However, starting from the outside and working your way in could be the most efficient and neat. You could start from your roof. Make sure to repair everything broken or get a new roof if necessary. 

Another thing that could need repairing or replacing is the material. Check out the paint and the materials on your house. If your doors and windows have an air leak, invest in them as well. Don’t neglect your garden either and increase your curb appeal with a simple makeover. 

Kitchen and bathroom 

The two rooms that usually need a complete transformation are the kitchen and bathroom. When it comes to these two, you should pay attention to both functionality and aestheticism. For the kitchen, you should take care of the lighting and storing options first. 

You could invest in a kitchen island if you have the time, space, and money! As far as the bathroom is concerned, you should upgrade the shower and the faucet. Good ventilation and storage space are the key parts of a functional bathroom. 

Floor plan 

If you don’t want to upgrade the existing room, but you want to add new ones, you should take this even more seriously. Nothing can increase the value of your home as professional home extensions. You can add a room or knock some walls down efficiently and inexpensively!

If you’re unhappy with the current layout of your home, you don’t have to put up with it. You can add a whole floor if you wish. Installing a built-in storage space or converting an unused space such as a basement into something else are also your options. 

Electrical items 

Electricity is more than an important part of a modern home. To keep everything functional in your home, you may want to upgrade your electrical appliances. For instance, integrated kitchen appliances are always great additions.

Next to integrated fridges and cookers, you should also install some electrical sockets and a new lighting system. With some home assistant, you can create a smart home. This will allow you to enjoy the benefits of smart home security, for example. 

Flooring 

You should be aware of the importance of flooring in interior design. Flooring won’t just affect your home design, but it will also make your house more functional and affect your health. If you have allergies, you should carefully pick your flooring options. 

When it comes to the flooring remodelling, you could update your current options or you could enhance their beauty with some carpets and rugs. You could also lay some tiles in the kitchen or bathroom and you could consider underfloor heating. 

Waterworks

When it comes to the plumbing system, it’s important to update it in older properties. If your property is of a recent date, you could simply have a maintenance check. Look for worn and old pipes and replace them. 

You could install new taps and other fixtures. If the bathroom is old, you could invest in a new bath, toilet, and shower to modernise the space. Make sure to have your sewer system checked and cleaned if necessary. 

Décor 

Finally, you can focus on making your home more personal and unique. When buying furniture, look for timeless classics. Make sure to hang some art and a lot of mirrors on the walls. Think of colour schemes for different rooms and start painting!

Get some blinds and curtains for your windows and try to match the vibe with each addition. Buy some lamps and put some flowers throughout the house. Use throw pillows and blankets to create comfort and give texture to the rooms!

Conclusion 

Home renovation is a challenging task. If you plan it carefully, though, you could make it a fun and interesting project. Make sure to create your checklist and work your way to your dream house!

Tiered Lamp Shade Project

89e78f3230d1fe82b2c0137ced743e26What a great inexpensive way to build an awesome chandelier.

You will need:

Popsicle, craft sticks (a lot)

Hot glue gun

Hot glue gun sticks

3 round loops (large, medium, small)  (think embroidery circles)

Light kit

Light bulb

String

What to do:

With your largest loop you will need to tie three strings equally spaced apart. Join those three strings together above the top loop. This will tie to the electrical cord for the light fixture. The medium loop will need to be attached similarly to the largest and the smallest to the medium. Hot glue Popsicle sticks that have been died or painted a color of your choosing. We choose a nice blue dye that the sticks were soaked in for about ten minutes. The alternative is painting each stick (and each row could be a complimentary color or after you are completely done you can spray paint the whole thing in several very light coatings. You will need to assemble the light fixture as per its instructions. Do not use more than a 40 watt bulb. If the light fixture comes with a chain it makes this process easier to attach the light shade to the light fixture. if it doesn’t have a chain your tying skills be what makes the shade stay where you want it. Hang from ceiling.

Alternative: This could be made to fit a standing lamp that you could get from a thrift store/yard sale. The top of your new creation will start with the part of your lampshade that attaches to your lamp. The whole lamp could be spray painted to match, or use a complimentary color.