Sunday, April 1, 2012

Historic Home Design - something old, something new...

What is your approach to design in your historic home?  You may feel drawn to recreate an interior that reflects the time period that the house was built.  Whenever I visit a place like Old Sturbridge Village, I leave with a camera full of photos, pages of notes, and grand plans to do a museum restoration.

But, then I go to Ikea and dream of a clean modern space.  It's a dilemma that faces many owners of older homes.  Perhaps what is called for is a mixture of both - a space that honors the style of the home but reinvents it with a clean fresh look.  Historic homes, in addition to being green (the greenest house is the one already built), are a perfect backdrop for an eclectic mix of furniture and accessories.  In other words, older homes don't have to look "granny".  I believe that the trick is to "do no harm".  Leave the architectural features unmolested, but have fun with color, furniture and accessories.

Photo from The Design Files
From House Beautiful Magazine
This eclectic mix of old and new can be seen at every turn.  From magazines like House Beautiful and Country Living to the pages of catalogs like Pottery Barn or School House Electric Lighting.  Here are a few examples:

Living room from House Beautiful Magazine

In this living room, the original features of the room are a perfect foil for the eclectic mix of modern and antique furniture and accessories.

The exposed brick and painted wood floors warm up the space while the large scaled prints add a fresh approach to a traditional image.

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