Decorating Tips For The Modern Lifestyle
When first contemplating moving into a historic home in Savannah, the idea of decorating such a unique place can seem a little overwhelming. However, balancing your personal design preferences with the unique historical details of an older house do not have to be intimidating.
Here are a few tips that can help you to craft a beautiful interior for your historic home.
Select a Unified Color Scheme
In most older rooms, there will be beautiful carvings, stained glass windows, or original fireplaces. The attention to detail in Savannah’s historic time is part of what makes older homes so remarkable, but it can end up looking a little too busy to the modern eye.
To make things appear more restrained without removing historic details, use unified color schemes for the woodwork and metalwork. This takes a little additional planning during renovations, but it helps to create a room that is truly impressive.
Think About Your Everyday Habits
It is easy to get caught up in all the glamour and fun of decorating a historic home, but the end result may be a house that is not suitable for your lifestyle at all. One of the earliest steps in your design process should be considering your average day and picture yourself as you move through the house.
For example, those who love reading might want to designate an area as a reading nook while people who regularly entertain may want a room suitable for dinner parties. Instead of focusing on creating an antique home that looks like a magazine entry, try to make a home that fit your needs perfectly.
Try Out a Playful Approach
Your first instinct may be to create decor that matches the grandeur of the house. This can be a good approach if you want an elegant home, but keep in mind that there is no “one size fits all” approach to historic home decor. If you like quirky and whimsical pieces, go ahead and add them to your house. Things like modern artwork, bright color palettes, reclaimed materials, and offbeat sculptures can help to make a home look fun and youthful.
Pick New Purposes for Old Rooms
Older houses tend to have all sorts of spaces that are not as useful in modern times. Things like formal dining rooms, servants quarters, or sculleries may not be something you need, so trying to use each room as originally intended can make you miss out on valuable space.
For example, the small storage spaces tucked away upstairs could be a charming children’s playroom, or a silver closet set off the kitchen could be turned into a marvelous pantry. Take the time to plan a layout that actually works for your needs instead of just mindlessly sticking to historic labels for each room.
Use Visual Tricks to Open Up Spaces
One of the most common things historic homeowners need is a way to make spaces look larger. Of course, many homes have gorgeously large ballrooms and dining rooms, but almost every older house also has one or two rooms that seem awkwardly tiny.
Little tricks like hanging mirrors to reflect light or adding more lamps make a room brighter, and options like vertical striped wallpaper or cleverly hung curtains can make a room look more spacious. Lighter colors, glass tabletops, and smaller furniture can also help to keep areas from looking too crowded.
Avoid Sticking to Strictly Historic Pieces
It is definitely tempting to try to fill your home with pieces from the same time period as the house’s original construction, but most people find that this does not work for their needs. The end result can be a little too stiff and museum-like, and there is also the issue of comfort.
Older furniture items like rococo chairs and colonial benches tend to be showy pieces that are not actually enjoyable to relax in. Instead of picking nothing but strict reproductions, consider mixing in modern furniture that is just lightly inspired by traditional shapes and styles.
How To Add Modern Style To A Historical Home
Follow the Rules
Some, but not all historic homes may have additional rules regarding any changes that could be made to the property. While you may be free to decorate the interior in any fashion that suits you, be sure to be aware of any governance that restricts or limits your ability to make modifications before your buy a historic home.
In some cases, your improvements may simply need to get approval by a committee or board. In other cases, depending on the scale of renovations, architectural reviews and plans may be required. In any case, if you’re in the market for a historic home, consult a local Realtor with specific experience in this area.