In recent years, there has been a significant emphasis on minimalist, modern and plain decor, with the odd vintage ‘quirky,’ Cath Kidston style look creeping in. However, if you have an older home, such as a Victorian terrace, minimalism and modernist is just not going to work. If you do have a home like this, you should embrace the more classic and timeless look. Here are our top tips for more classic interiors:
Cover Awkward Windows with Drapery
Many older homes have magnificent windows, many with timber windows. However, a lot of them also have some windows with a distinct, quirky style installed in awkward places. You can clean up the look subtly with some full-wall drapery, without completely blocking them out and erasing all the natural light from your rooms. If you’ve got any high, thin windows that look like they were installed as a clumsy afterthought, then some light drapes can be perfect for making the wall look softer and more polished.
Mix the Past with the Present
One design mistake many people make is owning a home with a unique, rustic beauty on the exterior, and filling it with modern, minimalist design conventions which only serve to make everything appear somehow flat and cold. If you’re living in an older home, we recommend mixing modern pieces with other items that feel like they fit the period of the house. If you have a Victorian or Edwardian home, for example, you could get a leather chesterfield sofa, and offset it with an ultra-modern end table lamp. This will help to tie the vintage aspects of your home to day-to-day life and draw attention to the focal points.
Use Open, Airy Shelves
When you’re trying to work with the character of a vintage home, one of the biggest challenges is filling it with the practical furnishings and items that you need without suffocating the old-fashioned charm. Open, airy shelving units are often the perfect way to get around this issue. By keeping the solid structure of your shelving unit to a minimum, you’ll give yourself somewhere to display ornaments, books, and so on, all the while giving the rustic charm of the architecture some room to breathe. The gallery-like appeal of many of these units will mesh well with a vintage tone, while still appearing somewhat modern.
Light it up
Period properties can often be darker – indeed, the Victorian terraces can be quite dark and at times, dingy spaces. Lighting is of utmost importance. Bright overhead ceiling lights are just not going to work in a classic style house – what you are looking is for is atmospheric and soft lighting to create a feeling of ambiance. Chandelier type light fittings create a softer swathe of light in a house, casting interesting shadows, but our favourite way of lighting any home, especially an older style one, is through candles and lamps. Big candlesticks in fireplaces, on side tables and dining tables give the house a sense of romance and grandeur while lamps dotted about are great for when you do need that extra brightness. We are particularly a fan of uplights – where the light is diffused onto the ceilings, rather than a direct hit of brightness.
*This is a collaborative post.