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Bring Contemporary Feel to an Older Home

Decorating an older home doesn't mean you have to stick to boring interiors when a modern aesthetic is what you want.


Not everyone wants a cookie-cutter home or one that is built to spec.Some homeowners enjoy taking on the beauty of any older home with its fine architectural detailing and period details. But just because you bought or renovated an older home it doesn't mean you can put your personal stamp on the interior.

Decorating an older home with a modern aesthetic is all about using the period detailing and combining this with contemporary or modern touches for a home that is unique and perfectly matches your personality.





Add Contemporary Touches


Fixtures and Fittings

Simply adding modern fixtures and fittings to an older home is one way to update and bring a modern aesthetic to the interior. The Juxtaposition of period and modern adds interest and individuality.

Think modern lighting with elegant chandeliers, hanging pendant lights and light fittings that introduce a focal point. Wall sconces were an important detail in older homes and you can still replace older fittings with more modern lighting options to stay within the period but bring it into the 21st century.

In a double-volume space such as an entrance hall, hanging pendants or chandeliers are a wonderful way to enhance the space without losing the charm of the original design.







Keep Original Details

Built-in or open shelves were a feature in many older homes, especially to fill alcoves around a fireplace or in a library. If at all possible, try to keep to the original layout but replace or restore existing shelves with more spacious shelving designs that can be stained or painted to complement the look and feel you are wanting to achieve.

If the original built-ins are still in good condition and the framework intact, there's no need to rip this out and replace. Sometimes all that is needed is a bit of TLC to restore old, existing fittings to good condition, or you can sand them back and paint them in a colour that introduces a bold accent, focal point or interesting feature.

GOOD TO KNOW: In the event you want or need to change anything on the original detailing, keep in mind that it is going to be difficult to reproduce the original.






When installing new shelving or cabinetry, keep in mind that clean lines work well with busy detailing and won't compete for attention. Keep it simple and let the architectural detailing speak for itself.


Work with a Specific Colour Palette

Choosing a colour palette is especially important when bringing together older detailing and modern or contemporary touches. It is far better to stick to specific colours that complement each other unless you are looking to be bold with a contrasting colour palette. A dark palette for certain fixture, fittings and detailing will let those pieces stand out as a feature or focal point.

GOOD TO KNOW: Many older homes are filled with detailed trim around windows and doors. In order not to overwhelm the space with too much detail, paint certain fittings in the same colour as the walls so that only those features painted in complementary or contrasting colours become the focal point.






Too much dark detailing can overwhelm a space and work against a more modern aesthetic. If this is the case, consider painting dark trim, detail or panelling in a glossy white finish to preserve the original features.

Sometimes a few unexpected - but modern elements - can bring new life to a room. For example; painting detail in a bold colour and complementing this with wallpaper in the same hue, as can be seen in the bedroom below.

Accents and Accessories

In certain instances, the accessories that you bring into the space can serve as a bridge between the older, more historical detail and modern or contemporary decor. Any collectables or vintage pieces that you want to put on display can be used to provide colour cues for decorating a room.

Contemporary furniture or modern lines, when integrated with older detailing, is sometimes all this is needed to modernise. Simple silhouettes and clean lines with lighten and brighten up a room and still allow any historic details to shine through.



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