From beautiful art galleries to crumbling churches, there’s something extremely captivating about old buildings. Steeped in history, their architecture and decoration juxtapose brilliantly against skyrise buildings and city traffic, giving us a glimpse into what towns and villages may have looked like years before we were born.
With plenty of charm and character, period properties are no different. Period properties are usually those which were constructed before the First World War, during either the Victorian, Edwardian or Georgian era. Period homes play a huge part in helping historians decipher what domestic life used to be like, and are therefore fascinating to many people.
For this reason, living in a period home is often a dream for people in the UK. After all, who wouldn’t want to live in a property that’s been home to so many stories and memories? However, this isn’t always possible. Period homes can be expensive to buy and maintain, and if you already love the house you’re living in, you may not want to up sticks and move.
With this in mind, we’ve put together our top tips for transforming your current home to look like a period property. From subtle changes to full structural renovations, we’ve got everything you need to bring a sense of luxury to your home.
Update your colour scheme
One of the most recognisable features of any period property is its colour scheme. Deep reds, royal blues and splashes of gold are all popular choices for period homes as they can all bring a touch of warmth and depth to a room. As these are all fairly bold colours, you may not be keen on painting your entire room with them – however, there are many ways to incorporate these beautiful shades into your home.
One great way to do so is to update each room with splashes of gold or statement furniture. Red velvet sofas, purple throws, gold bookshelves and blue rugs are all great examples of statement furnishings and can be used to bring warmth and richness to any room. If you don’t want your room to clash, pick a colour pairing (such as red and gold) and pick accessories to match.
Opt for patterns
Today, many modern homes opt for muted colours and simple patterns. However, intricate patterns can bring a touch of luxury to a room, and are therefore a popular choice for homeowners inspired by period decor. If you want to make a statement, consider designing each room with neutral colours and one standout feature wall. There are many gorgeous patterned wallpaper designs on the market, so you can be as bold or as subtle as you like.
If you’d like to introduce patterns in a more muted way, consider finding patterned curtains or a rug to cover your floorboards with. These small details will make a big impact without overcrowding your room and also give you the opportunity to experiment with different textiles. Consider thick velvet drapes or a rug with floral designs to incorporate patterns into each room, and make a statement by lining each hallway with a bold runner carpet.
Illuminate your home with chandeliers
No matter what design you’ve chosen for your home, choosing the right lighting is key. This is a great opportunity to get creative as there are many different types of lighting and lampshades to choose from, with crystal chandeliers being among the most popular choice for period properties. Chandeliers are a symbol of luxury and elegance, making them a must-have for any homeowner inspired by the grandeur of Georgian, Edwardian and Victorian homes.
Chandeliers are the epitome of opulence, so you may not want to put one in every room of the house. They’re best placed in the areas of your home that you entertain guests or spend the most time in yourself, as this is where they’ll be appreciated the most. For this reason, your living room or dining room is perhaps the most obvious choice, but they also look great positioned in the hallway to be noticed as soon as you step into the house.
Hang paintings in gold frames
Even if your home has a very contemporary design, a few simple touches can still bring the past into the present. One effective way to give your property a period feel is to adorn your walls with beautiful paintings, just as homes traditionally would have done throughout the Edwardian, Georgian and Victorian eras. There are many places to find gorgeous paintings, but if you’re on a budget it may even be worth scouring local charity shops and restoration centres.
While paintings often look impressive enough by themselves, consider finding a gold frame to truly bring your decor to life. In addition to hanging paintings on the wall, you could also juxtapose the old with the modern by lining your shelves with different sized stand-alone frames. This quirky idea can bring personality and charm to even the most uninspiring of rooms, so is a great and budget-friendly place to start when redecorating your home.
Invest in a stone fireplace
A majestic fireplace makes a grand focal point for any living room and can instantly make any living area feel much more inviting. During the winter months, a roaring fire will light up the room and warm up your house, making your living room the perfect place to spend quality time with your family, host guests, or simply curl up with a good book. Even throughout the summer months, when additional warmth likely isn’t needed, you’ll still love having a bespoke limestone fireplace.
After all, fireplaces are the heart of the home; fireplace surrounds can be decorated with framed family photographs or simply left to make a statement by themselves. Limestone fireplaces, in particular, are exceptionally beautiful, so it’s no surprise that these are the top choice of buildings like Buckingham Palace and St Paul’s Cathedral. If you want to transform your home and make it feel more like a period property, investing in a bespoke limestone fireplace is certainly one of the most effective ways to do so.
Have a stone staircase built-in
If you truly want to transform your home into a period-style property, then how about having a traditional stone staircase built in? Stone staircases are timeless and can give even the most contemporary of houses a traditional feel, so are ideal if you’re hoping to give your home a unique edge. From art galleries to museums, cathedrals to council buildings, stone staircases are the feature of choice for the UK’s most magnificent properties – and it’s not difficult to see why.
Whether you dream of Cotswold limestone or Portland limestone, having a beautiful winding staircase built into your home can take your decor from modern to traditional immediately. But, if you’d like to juxtapose the new with the old, add a contemporary twist with a sleek black handrail.
Don’t forget your garden
Whenever you renovate your home, it can be easy to forget about your garden. However, there are many simple yet effective ways to design a traditional English garden, just as authentic period homes would have had. When designing a traditional garden, there are a few factors to consider:
When designing your period-style garden, opt for a manicured lawn with neat flower beds. For a subtle pop of colour, consider adding rose bushes and lavender, and line your garden with apple trees if you have space for a mini orchard.
In every period drama you watch on television, you’re bound to be blown away by the stunning water features on display in the garden. Stone fountains and birdbaths can help you create your very own focal point while encouraging wildlife into your garden.
Whether you enjoy hosting garden parties or your outdoor space is a place to gather a bit of peace and quiet, it’s important to make sure you decorate with the perfect garden furniture. Stone benches and ornate tables can make any garden feel a little more traditional, so invest in a few key pieces to make a statement.
Wrights of Campden: Gloucestershire-based stone masons specialising in bespoke stone fireplace surrounds, limestone staircases, garden furniture and much more
Whether you’re hoping to transform your home into a period-style property or you simply want to add a few traditional twists to your contemporary building, look no further than Wrights of Campden. Based in Gloucestershire, we’re professional stonemasons who specialise in designing and building bespoke limestone features for homes in the Cotswolds and beyond. Whether you dream of a limestone fireplace or a reclaimed stonework wall for your garden, our team of dedicated stonemasons have the solution for you.
For more information about our range of stoneworks services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of professionals today. We’re proud to serve customers in the Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, London and Oxfordshire.