In our line of work, we are lucky enough to work in a lot of beautiful period properties where the design and interiors are second to none. While the natural, timeless exterior of a period home tends to speak for itself, it can often be tricky marry the look inside whilst creating a functional and personal living space suitable for modern living.
Use lighting to enhance features and space
Lighting older homes can be tricky, for example, if your property is pre-1700, you may have lots of awkward alcoves, low ceilings with beams and small windows to contend with. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t achieve practical lighting that matches the individual character of your home, it just means you will have to find a good balance between allowing as much natural lighting to flow through the property as possible to open up space and incorporating well-chosen lighting solutions to highlight particular features and points of interest or create a warmer, atmospheric light.
Where it is difficult to install overhead lighting, wall lights are a great alternative. Table and floor lamps with dimmers are ideal for altering the atmosphere according to the setting. Statement pendants can add another layer of light when necessary to these spaces too and often add a main point of interest to the décor of the room.
Invest time in the design
Do not overlook the importance of spending time mapping out the layout and design of your interior. It is important to get it right before you start your renovation as unplanned changes further down the line could prove costly and add further time onto the project.
Incorporate day-to-day practicalities
Sometimes it is easy to be so immersed in creating a dream living space that you may consider compromising on storage or talk yourself into being able to ‘put up’ with something because it looks great. The practicalities of modern-day living can often turn an impulsive decision into a daily annoyance. Spend time considering how the space will be used and that the property flows from room to room. Storage should also be factored in at this point too. As with any sized property, creative storage solutions allow for more space whilst allowing you to keep the clutter to a minimum so use your space wisely.
Prioritise what is important to you
If you have ever undertaken a renovation project (or just an avid Grand Designs viewer!) you will know that it is rare that everything always goes exactly to plan. You may be up against time constraints on the build (often due to space or budget tweaks) therefore, prioritising what is important to you whilst factoring in the future impact of the renovation, will help you to really focus your efforts. There is little point over-spending on areas that will not add value later down the line. Choose what is most important to you that complements how you are going to use the space on a daily basis. Investing in a sash window renovation for example, will not just preserve the look and character of your period home, it will also improve energy efficiency (saving money on your long- term heating bills) and will maintain (or add to) the value of the property. Alternatively, a top of the range granite worktop for a homeowner that hardly ever uses the kitchen would probably not make it to the top of their priority list.
Hire a Project Manager
Renovating your home can be incredibly rewarding but, it can often be quite a stressful and overwhelming task if it is not managed well. Hiring professionals to manage the process for you can save time and money in the long term particularly if you are new to the renovation game.
Here at Parsons Joinery, we have many years’ experience working with period properties. So, if you are considering a grand renovation project, we would be delighted to ease the burden with the services we can offer!