How To Balance Period Features With Modern Decor

26 June 2017

How To Balance Period Features With Modern Decor

It’s no mean feat. Complimenting your home’s original features with your modern furniture, statement walls and fittings require a careful and deliberate touch. However, when you get it right, the results can be amazing.

Here are some of our favourite examples of rooms which harmonise the old and the new plus some tips on how to recreate this look in your own period property.


1. Use a fresh, modern wall colour to bring out your fireplace

The Victorians were renowned for their use of intricate patterns, heavy fabrics and dark, foreboding colours. If you’ve ever stepped into a National Trust property, you’ll know that the overall aesthetic of Victorian homes is often too imposing to ever be considered completely liveable for most.

However, there’s nothing that a lick of paint won’t solve. A light, bright wall colour will bring out the lines and contours of your period features. You can even buy light-reflecting paint which contains reflective particles to catch the light and enhance the natural luminescence of your room.


2. Update classic furniture with vibrant print fabrics for a modern twist

Scour online auction websites or antiques fairs for period furniture and reupholster using modern print fabrics, such as those from Harlequin, Orla Kiely or Anthology, to create a bold and fashionable focal point for your room.

This patchwork chaise longue is the perfect example of what you can do with a limited budget and a lot of imagination.


3. Restore your period features to their former glory

Just because something is old, it doesn’t have to look it. By tastefully restoring your original features, you’ll breathe new life into your home.

Even something small, like buffing up brass door knobs (soaking in cola overnight will do most of the hard graft for you) is a great start. For a complete period feature overhaul, hire a sander and spruce up your floorboards, which brings us to…


4. White-wash your original floorboards

A bit controversial perhaps but believe us, this is a quick win for instantly brightening the aesthetic of your period feature-heavy room.

White-washed floorboards will create the sense of space in any room or hallway, transforming even the smallest of crannies into a far larger area. The colour is blank canvas for the rest of the room, allowing you to be as creative as you’d like with the other colours in your palate.


5. If you can't compliment, juxtapose!

Not everything requires you to roll up your sleeves. Even by doing something simple, like hanging a modern painting above a period fireplace, you’ll immediately synergise the old with the new, creating a remarkable focal point for your room.

Think carefully about what you hang here – the eye is immediately drawn to your chimney breast – but don’t be afraid to go bold. This will set up the theme for your entire room.

For more expert advice about making the most of your period features, get in touch with one of our designers at Micasa.

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