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How to make a house look older than it is

(37 Posts)
Octavia74 Sun 16-Jul-17 21:50:54

Any tips on how to add 'period' features or give a house more charm/character?

I think our house post-war, mid-century - not hideous at all but could do with more character.

I've installed coving. I've also bought furniture from The Dormy House. The quality is fab and designs are classic, as well as accommodating.

RoganJosh Sun 16-Jul-17 22:04:38

Our last house had been renovated to magnolia box level. We changed light fittings to Jim Lawrence ones, painted it interesting colours and changed door handles to old brass ones.

We were also going to change the flooring but never got round to it.

But with some old furniture and shelves etc, the changes we made did help an awful lot.

PigletJohn Sun 16-Jul-17 23:27:30

panelled doors

PigletJohn Sun 16-Jul-17 23:28:23

no downlighters

no spotlights

spindled banisters

wobblywonderwoman Sun 16-Jul-17 23:30:02

We put in reclaimed radiators and a fireplace on the bedroom

rollonthesummer Sun 16-Jul-17 23:33:57

Dado rails?!

gunting Sun 16-Jul-17 23:42:23

I live in a Victorian house and I think the three things that make it look old are:

High ceilings (perhaps not)
Huge windows
Original fireplaces

Not forgetting the constant stuff breaking

Perhaps you could find some old fireplaces?

KarmaNoMore Sun 16-Jul-17 23:44:33

Decorate it in retro Scandinavian style. You are true to the time, adds character without feeling like a pastiche.

JT05 Mon 17-Jul-17 08:55:20

I'd go with what Karma said. Several years ago we moved to a mid century house needing internal repair. We already had a lot of Victorian furniture and it all looked wrong.
We updated the house with new internal doors, plain white bathrooms, new modernist windows and a plain wooden kitchen. Fortunately it already had original parquet floors. We gradually obtained more sympathetic mid 20 century furniture.
Have a look on Pinterest at modernist/ mid 20th century interiors.

EssentialHummus Mon 17-Jul-17 08:57:54

Thirding what karma said.

HerculesMulligan Mon 17-Jul-17 09:01:21

I agree. We moved from early-Victorian to mid-century and over 5 years have moved to furniture with cleaner lines and geometric prints which suit the architecture.

GrubbyWindows Mon 17-Jul-17 09:14:06

Totally agree with karma - dado rails and Victorian fireplaces will just look fake and weird. One step away from mock Tudor...
I've just moved into a house about the same age, it has gorgeous curved edges on all the corners of the walls, lovely wooden floors and a few original cupboard doors (unpanelled). We've painted it all white, with the plan of repainting with colours once we are settled, but I think it really suits white walls and stripped floors so might leave it!

EssentialHummus Mon 17-Jul-17 09:19:11

Also, as someone moving into a Victorian place and paying squillions for cast iron radiators, encaustic tiles and ceiling roses, I don't see why anyone would do that to themselves unless they had to! grin

HipsterHunter Mon 17-Jul-17 09:48:31

Oh goodness please don't do 'fake old'.

It will look fab done sympathetically in MCM.

I've got a 60's build and it had fake dado rails, and Victorian style wall lights and stuff. Ripped it all out. clean lines. White. Some more sympathetic furniture. Some plants. Looks fab now!

Mislou Mon 17-Jul-17 10:24:24

Agree with others. Fake period features in houses of a different period looks wrong.
I think reinstating period features in a Victorian house is worth doing. But if your home is mid century I would embrace it. There's lots of modern furniture based on mid century lines around right now too.

BubblesBuddy Mon 17-Jul-17 12:09:16

Coving??? Oh no! Embrace the age of it with wall paper of the period and mid century modern furniture. Dormy House is a bit twee country cottage in my view.

KarmaNoMore Mon 17-Jul-17 20:39:22

Search for mid century California/los Angeles homes, you may find some good sources of inspiration for the period as well.

Octavia74 Mon 17-Jul-17 21:13:11

Yes coving bubbles. It's my friggin house and I like it. It frames a room wonderfully.

silkybear Mon 17-Jul-17 21:29:30

I don't understand why people buy something from one era then try and add character from another. Reminds me of those home renovation shows where they say they hate their house and its totally unsuitable for their needs so they spend thousands demolishing half of it and rip all the soul out. Why not just buy something that does suit your needs in the first place? Karmas advice is spot on, step away from the dado rails wink

JamesBlonde1 Mon 17-Jul-17 21:40:18

Deep skirting boards. Wood floors. Detailed door frame. Decent fireplace. Chimney breast (you can build one in).

Silkybear - I suspect people don't want the maintenance and draughts that come with an older period home.

WeyHay Mon 17-Jul-17 21:49:43

Really? Who are you trying to fool? What makes a house look old is it's bones, it's spaces and shapes, not fake bad taste stuff.

I've owned and lived in Victorian, Edwardian and Georgian houses. Each has different proportions and spaces. You can't just stick on coving and think it makes your house look like a "period" house.

And why cheap modern fake antique furniture? Why not buy actual antiques - fairly ordinary Victorian stuff is usually around the same price as modern new furniture. And far far better made - give me a good mahogany chest of drawers over modern stuff any day.

If you gave a mid-20th century house, that's what you have. Good taste is about dealing with what you have and bringing out its best features, not chintzing it up.

Crumbs1 Mon 17-Jul-17 21:51:21

Definitely refurbiin a style sympathetic to the age of the building. Faux ageing features just look awful and don't fool anyone.
A 1950s house is never going to look Georgian.

AlpacaLypse Mon 17-Jul-17 21:53:07

I can lend you some dogs and cats and teenagers. That'll make your house look old in nano seconds.

PocketNiffler Mon 17-Jul-17 22:02:43

My house is 1945 with very few period features. It has the original pine subfloor sanded and waxed downstairs though and this adds character and helps all my old furniture look at home here.

NotMeNoNo Mon 17-Jul-17 23:40:44

I think plain coving is ok, my parents laboriously applied it to every room in the 70s anyway.
Mid century look is very current, I notice home magazines are full of it where 5 years ago it was Victorian cottages everywhere.

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