Tips for Decorating a Historical Home

Your tastes and style may change during your life, but if you live in a historical home, the era it was designed may influence your choice of design. You can always work with an interior designer specializing in the era.

However, if you are trying to do it yourself, you may not know where to begin. Luckily, considering a few key aspects can put you on track.

Create a Budget

It’s easy to go overboard with decorating, especially if you are fixing up a historical house. That’s why it’s important to create a budget and prioritize what needs to be done. You can continue to add décor over time.

Another option is to take out a personal loan to make it more affordable by financing over time so you can pay for everything up front without the stress of emptying out your savings account.

Do Your Research

Before you can buy anything, you need to spend some time learning about the house. Look up the time period your house was built by doing an internet search on the address. You might get some information on who built the home.

They may no longer be living, but you might learn about the types of houses they built, and you can learn what was going on when the house was built.

You can also walk around and throughout the house to learn about specific details. Look for original cabinets or doors and moldings. There may be details around the windows, and ceilings or floors might have unique features, such as original tile.

You can then look up similar houses built during that time period to see how they were decorated. While you don’t have to copy them, you can certainly take some inspiration from them.

Consider the Surfaces

After learning about the details of your house, you can come up with a more thoughtful design. It can combine your style with the home’s roots, without everything looking like a museum.

You’ll also want to consider the permanent parts of the area. Perhaps you want to add architecture reminiscent of original details, like a carved fireplace or special molding. On the other hand, you may want to add cleaner lines to make it more modern.

This is where you will decide about lighting, tile, and flooring. Try to stay consistent throughout so the décor flows seamlessly.

Think About Mirrors and Artwork

Mirrors are a great accessory for any historical structure, and they can also make small, dark spaces look and feel brighter.

They can bounce light around your room. However, if you put a mirror directly across from a window, the light may be reflected back out, defeating the purpose of having one.

It’s a good idea to place them perpendicular to your windows instead. Consider artwork carefully as well. You may want to get a few oil paintings if they were popular during the time the house was built. But make sure you find the right size and proper art lights to make it stand out.

You don’t want to get something too small or hang it too high. It’s best for the midpoint of the picture to hang at eye level. Think about scale as well. If you have a big wall, you don’t want them to be too far apart. It’s usually best to have around two to four inches between each item.

Play With Lighting and Trim

If you love the original trim as is, you might not need to do much with it. But you can also paint it the same color as the walls. If it is the original wood, think carefully before painting, as it is usually difficult or impossible to go back and remove the paint.

Look at the lighting as well. In the original era, there likely would not have been much overhead lighting except for chandeliers, so choosing the perfect lighting is important. Something like adding can lights can make it look too modern.

Consider adding more lamps instead. You can wire outlets to speak to light switches so you can still fill a room with light with the flip of a switch.

Consider Color Choices and Other Details

Tips for Decorating a Historical Home

Look at period designs from the era your home was built to get an idea of what you would like to do as far as details. You don’t have to pick flooring or wall details from the era if you don’t like them, but there might be ways to put a more modern twist on older styles.

Wallpaper is becoming more popular, and there are now many designs to choose from, so you might be able to find a modern design you like for your Victorian-era home.

Pick Out Furnishings

Soft goods, such as couches or chairs, should be chosen based on both your personal tastes and the home’s structure. There is no right or wrong way to go about the process. Some people may mix new with old, while others may stick strictly to period furnishings.

You may mix original items with newer items or choose completely modern items. Working with an interior designer can help you decide on the right way to go.

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