Decorating Choices For the Older Home


So you are the proud owner of a grand house. Your love of the traditional style, and the architectural detail stole your heart. Perhaps you bought it in a state of disrepair and plan to nurture it back to health. Or, you found it after it had just been renovated and your role is to furnish it and love it for decades to come. Either way, the time will come for you to select the appropriate colour scheme, furnishings, and art work for the beautiful home.

This is the junction where the owners of older homes (we’re talking centuries old here) often find themselves at a loss. The repairs to the structure itself, though tedious, were obvious. All that was necessary was to follow what was either already there and in need of upkeep, or to refer to other structures from the same period as a reference to follow what was in keeping for that style. The point being, there were guidelines for which to follow in restoring your old home so there was no real need to access your own creativity, or expertise in decorating as of yet.

The only decisions to be made that were not already defined by the original builders and architects were whether or not modern additions were to be introduced. That too you found could be deferred to experts in the field. They could direct you as to what made the most sense, and what would add to or detract from the structure. Also, they were there to advise you on what would or would not be smart to change regarding insulation, and long term costs.

But, eventually the time to decorate does arrive and the question becomes how to go about it. Do you have collections of art that are the feature of your dwelling, or is the house itself meant to be the focal point. We, like many other’s faced with this choice decided upon making the house the centre of attention.  This meant that great care was taken not to bring in articles or materials that would overshadow the gorgeous wooden and slate floors. In our case, it also meant that the wonderful stained glass window in the drawing room should not have any competition from wall art, much less anything that was not from the time period as that of the homes completion.

Granted it is a choice, to follow in what the original intent was for design, or to go your own way based upon personal preference. We recognise not everyone who comes into ownership of an old, or even historical building will feel the same way. There will be people who purchase the property more as an investment, than as an act of love. Others might inherit the abode, and simply see themselves as stewards. Meanwhile they do not care to live amongst antiques, or things from the past. To each his own, but recognise the moment will arise when the choice will have to be made.