Modernising a Period Property – Without Losing Its Character

For many homeowners living in Victorian, pre-war, or post-war homes, it’s the historic features that provide their character and charm. Unfortunately, mid-20th century attempts at modernisation tended to brutalise many of these features, but there’s a contemporary desire to revive original features to sit alongside contemporary décor. We celebrate this trend by considering 5 ways to modernise your home.

What was once considered ugly and old-fashioned – we’re thinking ceiling roses, picture rails, period window frames or cast-iron fireplaces – are now being restored, or re-instated alongside contemporary colour schemes, and open-plan living. This marriage of period and contemporary styles allows you to retain the best of the old, whilst enjoying all that is convenient and fresh about the new.

5 Ways to Modernise Your Home

At My Build My Way we encounter a number of period property modernisations. The ones that stay with us are those that reflect the homeowners’ personal passions. Many of them have purchased their home because of period features that have survived, and these tend to be the starting point. Whether it’s a curved staircase, a stained-glass window, or an original pantry – allow your initial delight to guide your inspiration.

1. Update Your Period Window Frames

Your home’s original window frame design will have contributed a good deal to the character of the property’s frontage. Many period frames have, over the years, been ripped out in order to install double glazing. Now there’s no longer a need to choose between insulation and style. It’s possible to have double glazing fitted into period frames. Alternatively, bespoke period frames, fitted with double glazing, are available.

2. Open Up Your Floor Plan

Period properties were designed with small rooms that were easier to heat. Now that we have a choice of heating sources, including under floor heating, think about how you might open up the floor plan to improve the flow of the house for your family. This may be as simple as widening doorways or knocking out non-load-bearing walls to increase shared living space.

3. Restore the Original Flooring

If you’re living in a Victorian house, your original flooring will most probably be wooden floorboards. These can be restored beautifully to create a contrast for your contemporary colour palette. Post-war properties are more likely to have concrete floors, and these too can be restored. Polished concrete flooring offers a stunning minimalist style for open-plan living spaces.

4. Add a Contemporary Extension

The bold contrast of a contemporary extension, set against period architecture can produce the very best in post-modern style. Decide what you need as a family – perhaps it’s a spacious combined kitchen diner – and work with an architect to create the environment to achieve it. Houses shouldn’t be museum pieces; they too can adapt to modern life.

5. Reflect the Past Whilst Celebrating the New

If the origins of your home intrigue you, maybe you could expose some of the original brickwork as a witness to its heritage. This works well in properties that were built as cottages for labourers, or industrial terrace houses. Exposing a wall, or even a patch of the fabric which makes up your home, attests to the past lives that have shared this space.

My Build My Way Helps With Modernising Period Properties

My Build My Way helps homeowners to enjoy the creative contrast of past and present in their property. How do we do it? We introduce them to builders and architects offering top-quality services at competitive prices.

If you already have your plans in place to modernise your home, we can put you in touch with local builders who have been verified by us. We only work with Trustmark approved building companies, so we can guarantee their reliability and trustworthiness.

We request quotes for the work you want doing and pass the 3 that offer the best value. Our job is to make sure you get the right builder at the right price without compromising top-quality workmanship. Once you have the right contractor for your project, using our 8-stage process, we will appoint a 3rd party building inspector to quality check the work at each stage.

If you’re planning to try out any of our 5 ways to modernise your home, we can introduce you to an architect or builder to take your project to the next stage. Give us a call on 0800 2465453 or message us online.