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How to Modernize an Old House Without Losing Character (Homeowners Guide)

Are you searching for ways to modernize your old house without sacrificing its character? If you've been living in your home for a while or recently purchased an older house in need of updates, this...

Are you searching for ways to modernize your old house without sacrificing its character? If you've been living in your home for a while or recently purchased an older house in need of updates, this article is for you. We understand the struggle of blending different styles together or deciding whether to restore or replace elements of your home. That's why we've compiled a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the process of modernizing your older home while preserving its charm and uniqueness.

Restore Older Features Instead Of Replacing Them

Start by focusing on the areas of your home that you love the most. Whether it's the built-in bookshelves, the gorgeous hardwood floors, or the clawfoot tub, these features deserve some extra care. Consider the following tips to bring them back to their original glory:

1. Refinish your flooring to bring back its original charm

If you have hardwood floors or retro flooring like checkered vinyl or retro tile, restoring them can be a cost-effective option. Refinishing the floors will help maintain the character of your home without breaking the bank. You can even turn a well-maintained area of carpet into a rug for added nostalgia.

2. Restore any original woodwork by restaining or refinishing it

Over time, paint or stain can build up on woodwork, making it look outdated and worn. Take the time to properly restore the woodwork in your home, giving it a fresh and updated look. Remember, the details matter in preserving the character of your house.

3. Clean up any special features that you want to highlight

Special features like fireplaces, staircases, or wrap-around porches are what make your home unique. Focus on bringing these areas up to par by giving them the attention they deserve. Restoring these features will enhance the overall charm of your home.

Update Elements That Are Outdated & You Can't Restore

While some elements of your older home may be beyond restoration, you can still update them with modern replacements. The key is to blend the old with the new to create a timeless aesthetic that stands the test of time. Consider the following tips:

1. Consider opening your home's floor plan

If your home feels cramped or choppy due to its older layout, consider opening up the floor plan. Knocking down non-load-bearing walls or widening doorways can breathe new life into your space and create a more open and modern feel.

2. Balance the various designs in your home

If your home has gone through multiple renovations over the years, there may be a patchwork of styles throughout. Take this opportunity to bring all of your rooms up to a common threshold. If you make changes in one room, apply them to every room to create a cohesive and streamlined design.

3. Replace minor fixtures to bring back a modern feel

Fixtures such as light switches, cabinet handles, and door handles can date your home. Update these common fixtures throughout your home to give it a more contemporary look. These small changes can make a big difference in modernizing your space.

Decorate To Complement Your Restored Home

Now that you've done the hard work of restoring and updating your home, it's time for the fun part – decorating. How you decorate your older home can greatly impact its overall feel. Consider the following tips:

1. Paint with colors that tie your home together

A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for updating your home's appearance. Choose colors that complement your restored features and create a cohesive look throughout the house. Neutral beiges can brighten up dim spaces, while accent walls can add a touch of personality.

2. Add furniture that fits with your home's restored style

Furnish your old home with a mix of modern and era-specific furniture to achieve a harmonious design. Repurposing vintage furniture in unique ways can add an unexpected element to your rooms. The key is to blend styles in a compatible way that showcases the unique character of your home.

3. Strategically incorporate accent pieces to draw attention

Fun accent pieces can breathe new life into your home's appearance. Choose accents that enhance the overall design and complement your existing features. Be careful not to overwhelm the space with conflicting styles, but rather aim for a cohesive and balanced look.

Call a Remodeler If You Get Stuck

Remodeling an older home can be challenging. If you encounter any roadblocks or need professional guidance, don't hesitate to reach out to a local remodeler. In the greater Boston area, consider contacting Thomas Buckborough & Associates. Their team of experts specializes in home remodeling and can help make your project a success.

Remember, modernizing an old house doesn't mean losing its character. With the right approach, you can blend the best of old and new, creating a home that showcases both tradition and modernity. Good luck with your home remodeling project!