Restoring Period Features In Old Townhouses: Where Does Functional Modern Design Sit?


Restoring Period Features In Old Townhouses - Where Does Functional Modern Design Sit


Period properties are always a desirable investment, especially when they are refurbished to a high standard. Older properties often hide many unique details, and bringing these to the foreground can restore some of the original character and feel of a building, as a counterpoint to modern style and comforts. Here are the four main period features to look out for, and how to incorporate them into a practical and comfortable modern home design.

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1) Floors

There is something evocative about an original floor. Oak and stone are the most familiar materials, although some properties will be hiding Victorian tilework beneath lino or carpet. For much of the twentieth century, the trend was simply to cover these over, so restoring floors to their original state requires carefully removing the top layer and then applying specialist treatment to whatever is underneath. Floor restoration often demands creative thinking to ensure that damaged areas are protected and incorporated into the new design. Replacement materials also need to be sourced with sensitivity.

To ensure a functional design, pay close attention to the insulation, as uninsulated floors are a major area of heat loss.


2) Windows

Windows are a style statement in any property, and in period properties features such as sash windows are common. This means that PVC replacements will always look slightly awkward, and substandard replacements will be noticeable. Ideally, windows should include original glass and timber. However, if these are not available, skilled craftspeople will be able to recreate the desired finish.

Considerations include thorough insulation, as well as security features such as window locks.


3) Fireplaces

The warming crackle and soothing glow of a fire have been a central part of the home since ancient times. Reconnecting with the hearths of older properties has been at the top of the home-renovator’s ‘to do’ list since electric heaters started to fall out of fashion. Typically, old fireplaces were simply boarded up or bricked over. This means that Georgian, Victorian, and Edwardian treasures may be nestled beneath the cladding in many properties.

Restoring an old fireplace introduces challenges such as draughts, and may create stability problems if masonry fill is an issue. Therefore, it is recommended to work with a professional in order to maximise the potential whilst preventing a mishap.


4) Brasswork

Once regarded as unsightly, brass has seen itself revolve back into the fashion spotlight as an on-trend feature. This is partly because heritage styles are in full swing, and partly because brass is practical, reliable, and easy to maintain. With time and effort, even the most tarnished fixture can be polished back to its natural gleam, and this helps period properties retain their character in a more modern world.

The adaptability of brass is particularly useful for kitchens and bathrooms. Both are spaces that demand modern comfort and cleanliness, and original fixtures can balance this with an authentic look.


What Next?

Every period home will have a wealth of opportunities for restoration. This can enhance the value of your home, and can also create a more interesting and unique space for you and your family to enjoy. For more information about how you can unlock the hidden secrets in your property, give us call today.

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