Period homes: how to restore traditional features

But what if the traditional features have been covered up or, even worse, ripped out in your property? These elements are increasingly popular, and many of us don’t want to miss out on having them.

So, what can you do? Beth Dadswell at Imperfect Interiors tells us how to restore traditional features and make these design elements shine…

How to restore traditional features in period homes

“A great way to add some character back to your home and create focal points is with fireplaces, cornicing, and tall skirting, as well as adding wooden trims to existing joinery.

“Period houses can feel quite cold without these details, so they will make your home feel cosier and also add an elegant element. Panelling on joinery and walls also adds depth and interest. It doesn’t have to feel too traditional – for example, you can paint it in a contemporary colour. My team and I often add tongue-and-groove panelling to bathrooms to make them feel cosier.

“It’s also a nice addition to build in banquette seating, as this traditional feature helps break up large areas that could otherwise look flat,” says Beth.

Adding traditional features such as tiles creates warmth in your home
This property’s new rear extension allows lots of light into the previously dark hallway. The floor tiles help give it some character, while a traditional runner highlights the period feel.

What other options are there for restoring traditional features?

“You can get the feel of a traditional entrance hallway by adding modern tiles, a pretty runner, and a painted handrail. I also like to add cast iron radiators to period properties, as modern flat panel designs never look quite right. 

“In a recent project I completed, a modern side-return extension had no traditional features, so my team and I added warmth by building in banquette seating with a tongue-and-groove-panelled back rest and lots of cushions. This created a heritage feel that ties in with the original Victorian house, while the wall lights and vintage-style bird prints made it feel cosy too.

“In another project, a newly inserted extension on the rear of the property allowed lots of natural light into the previously dark entrance hallway. Traditional features in the shape of new vintage-inspired tiles helped to give it some character.

“And although the original staircase was replaced at the bottom to allow for the new designs, we added a traditional style of runner and highlighted the period feel by staining some elements very dark,” she explains.

A dining room with traditional panelling and furniture
Built-in banquette seating with a tongue-and-groove back rest and lots of cushions brings warmth into this modern side-return extension.

Enjoyed this post? Click here for our wall panelling guide

Featured image: Beth added cornicing in the right size and style to this guest bedroom. A matt black cast iron radiator makes a real focal point.

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