There are so many modern benefits to the standard home now. We have an abundance of fresh and clean air thanks to HVAC systems and proper ventilation, but sometimes our heart yearns for a more classic or antique sensibility. While “houses of yore” weren’t particularly well ventilated, they were incredibly stylish. And when we have a modern home that has a very now sense of style we can struggle to turn it into something that embodies a real classic feel. But with this in mind, how can we make our new house look old?
Define Your Era
What time period leaps out at you? Do you prefer the mid-century period, or are you looking for something more Victorian? Once you drill down into the era you want, you can look at the materials they used back then. While 100 years ago, stainless steel or marble materials weren’t common, they used a material that was available. Soapstone countertops, wood floors, or butcher block being a few that were common back then. Look at the materials that were used in the era you want to capture and this will give a very authentic feel. Likewise, finding antique pieces is a very simple way to add that character. This can be difficult to get right for the very simple reason that, depending on the area you choose, the pieces involved may have actually predated the time period you are looking to convey.
Baseboards or moldings that have distinct details according to the era you want to capture will serve two purposes: it will make the home embody that natural plastic feels, but it also warrants a second look. When guests come by, and they admire your ceiling tiles, the eye will naturally go towards the skirting around the ceiling. Likewise, baseboards look great around the flooring area and if you install wooden flooring or rip up the carpets to reveal old floorboards, by adding baseboards around the living areas, this automatically conveys wonderful attention to detail. In addition to this, baseboards and crown moldings are very difficult to find these days. Think about the designs as well, because if you are after a specific time, there will be particular pattern swirls you can add into the molding or baseboards. In addition to this, molding serves as a useful picture railing. Which leads nicely onto the next point…
Adding prints a very common way to add a sense of style to a property, but the big problem with canvas prints is that they can look a little on the tacky side, or that you’re trying too hard to be different. If you’re incorporating art from a specific time period, you’ve got to go for real pieces of work. We can’t all afford a Picasso, but what we can do to bypass this is to hire someone to do a painting for us incorporating the styles of the time you want to convey. The great thing about a piece of art is that it promotes discussion, and when we have guests by, we can always benefit from these talking pieces. Paintings are a great way to breathe some life into space. The brushstrokes convey a texture you can’t get with prints. By having real art in the home, not only are you getting closer towards the era you want to capture, but the fact of the matter is that prints didn’t exist back in the day. It was real art or nothing! If painting isn’t your thing, sculptures are also wonderful talking points. A sculpture in the middle of the living room, arguably, adds even more texture to space. Regardless of your taste in art, modern or abstract, if you find something that you love, but don’t necessarily know why it adds that little je ne se qua to space.
Trawl The Thrift Stores
The great thing about thrift stores is that you have access to the abundance of old world items for very cheap. When you are adding these layers to the home, but it’s still missing a little warmth, the accessories you can purchase in a thrift store automatically adds that sensation. The great thing about thrift stores is that the items are all used. And when it comes to something like rugs, something that’s been used will contain all of that character. This is why it’s better for you to look at something in person, rather than online. With something like distressing, it’s certainly a good idea when you see it online, but it may look completely different in person, and potentially drain your home of any character. And that’s the reason you have to go to thrift stores; you can see the character up close and personal. This gives you the detail that online shopping cannot buy. And another added benefit: you can find items from multiple eras, giving you that opportunity to think about renovating your home again in the future. You don’t have to stick to one time period!
As expensive as it is to replace your furniture when you have an abundance of synthetic blends, this will immediately clash with your antique stylings. Of course, it’s cheaper to buy all these low quality plastics and materials, but if we’re trying to capture the era, we’ve got to go for natural materials that have an organic finish, or walls and linens of high quality. And as you will naturally feel overwhelmed by the number of items you have to purchase, it’s better to build up your possessions one item at a time. This will stop you over buying what’s out there so you can stick to one era, and contribute to a more timeless aesthetic.
While modern homes are all the rage, we can still take the opportunity to create a more timeless feel. It doesn’t just add a sense of character, but it can make our home feel cozy, or warmer. The modern home has its place, but now the trend is most definitely going away from the present and into the past. And even if we have a modern home, this doesn’t stop us turning it into a canvas for something more classic!