Where Everything Old Is New AgainRenovations, Tips and Advice
Renovating can be a tricky game at the best of times, but even more so if you are renovating period homes in Australia. You will no doubt want modern comforts, but do you really want to lose all of that old world charm in the process?
Some older style homes can be lacking in the charm stakes. These homes can often be renovated to your style and taste with little adverse impact on resale value. But how about those older style homes that have real character, how do you keep that character and yet still modernise them to the point that they practical for everyday use?
Keeping the Value
I have all too often seen renovations where gorgeous period homes have been ruined by a renovation where the home was simply gutted and redesigned as a completely new home.
The things that gave the home old world charm (the type of charm that adds value), have been thrown away, creating a now soulless living environment that is no different to any other in the street.
What the owners have failed to realise is the value they had in the original home. Sure the appliances may not have been practical in this day and age, but well renovated period homes that retain much of their original charm are worth considerably more than those that are just stripped and modernised.
But there is another way; a way where you can retain the charm (and value), yet still have all the comforts of modern day living.
Walls, Doors & Windows
Depending on the age and condition of your older style home, many of the original features may simply need a bit of TLC to bring them back to their original condition. Window frames, doors and wall furnishings, such as architraves and skirting boards, may simply need a bit of sanding and a coat of paint to look like new again.
However, if any of these items are beyond repair, that does not mean that you should simply throw them away. There are any number of companies that specialise in creating new furnishing based on the original designs.
For example, there are companies that will take a mould of your existing architraves and then create new ones that look identical. This is an excellent option where some of the architraves are damaged beyond repair, yet other sections are still in solid condition. Often these companies won’t even need to take a mould, as they already stock a range of popular older style designs that already perfectly match the sections that need to be replaced.
There are also companies that specialise in the renovation or recreation of Caps, Corbells, Cornices and Roses, allowing you to bring your decorative plasterwork back to life. And whilst these options might be more expensive than simply pulling down the walls and throwing up some plasterboard, the value that they add to the home can far outweigh the additional expense.
There are any number of companies that can create new doors that will identically match the original doors, just as there are numerous companies that can create windows and window frames to match those of the existing home. This is ideal where one or two fixtures need to be replaced, whilst others simply need to be rejuvenated.
In the case of windows, you may decide that you want double glazed windows to help with temperature control. But this does not mean that you need to throw away your homes gorgeous timber windows and replace them with aluminium windows that look completely out of place. There are a number of companies that specialise in manufacturing custom-made, double glazed timber windows that give you the benefits of modern technology, without destroying the appearance of the house.
Furniture and Appliances
There are some older homes that feature kitchens that would have been stunning in their day. Yet in this modern day and age their appliances simply aren’t practical and in some cases, they might even be dangerous. But that doesn’t mean that you should simply throw in modern appliances without at least looking at the alternatives.
A host of companies are now manufacturing vintage looking appliances that offer all of the latest modern conveniences. These appliances look identical to appliances from years gone by but lack nothing in the technology stakes.
For example, you can buy a stove that looks like something from yesteryear, yet it features things like a convection self-cleaning oven and electronic controls, with a radiant under glass electric cooktop, or sealed gas burners.
Or maybe you would like a refrigerator that looks like a 1950’s style fridge on the outside, yet is completely modern on the inside. You can even get them with a built-in ice maker that blends seamlessly into the design.
Depending on how far you want to take it you can even purchase retro style toasters, coffee makers and blenders. The sky is the limit in terms of retro looking modern appliances.
But whilst buying new is one option, it’s often not the only option. There are also companies around that will simply modernise your existing appliances, by ripping out the original mechanics, electrical components and seals and replacing them with all new ones.
Furniture is another important consideration. Retro furniture has also grown in popularity, to the point where pretty much anything you can think of you can buy. You can even buy modern televisions in old style tv boxes.
But it’s important to keep a balance and not go too over the top. Modern furniture and appliances can be blended in with the old to keep enough of the charm and yet still offer all of the comforts of a modern home. It’s all about getting the balance right.