How to make your new house look old

How to make your new house look old

by Katie Anderton

Even lovers of modern interiors will find it extremely hard to argue against the exquisite interior design inside a beautiful, traditional building. There’s an indescribable feeling when you step into a historic house, maybe it lies with the craftsmanship, the history or the beauty but it undoubtedly invokes a beautiful, serene feeling of nostalgia. Then, what are you to do if you desire the beauty and warmth that comes with a traditional building, but you have an extremely modern house? Don’t worry; these tips will guide you through transforming your contemporary house into one that oozes out a refined, conversational past.


One of the easiest and most transformative steps you can take is with artwork. It doesn’t take an experienced art critique to know when a painting is made by a machine, and this can really divert any authenticity because nothing is quite as breath-taking as a piece of art, complete with brushstroke flaws and individuality.

Now it all completely depends on your personal style which type of art you go for, and what period of interior you’re trying to achieve. To be completely honest, no matter what room or style you’re going for, a textured, man-made piece of art will always go down well.

Mix the time eras

It kind of goes without saying that if you’re trying to achieve a traditional interior…buy traditional-looking furniture. However, many make the mistake of buying furniture from (or that looks like) it is from one specific period. Just remember, the most beautiful of traditional homes have pieces of furniture dating from every single date imaginable; some pieces would have been passed down from generation to generation and others would have been bought at the time.

If you stick to one type of style, whether this is Victorian or Edwardian, you risk making your house look like a museum exhibition or vintage store. Even mixing ultra-modern furniture with super traditional would look amazing – just play around a little.

Small details go a long way

Antique homes have meticulous detail scattered around, that you’d never find in a modern house. The good news is that you can add these details effortlessly, all by yourself. Antique skirting boards, door and window frames, shelves and fireplaces are easy to find and they all add a touch of detail. It’s the small things like this that can make the biggest difference to the overall vibe.

Natural materials

Now, it’s pretty obvious that synthetic furniture didn’t exist back the 1800s, and so you should avoid plastic looking furniture. However, these new natural looking bits of furniture can be anything from tiny little side tables, shelves or even little bits of accessories. Don’t think that you replace all your big pieces to achieve a great look. As mentioned before, mixing eras is what really creates that timeless aesthetic.

Another little tip would be to rejuvenate certain bits of furniture or objects in your house. For example, replacing door knobs, light switches or window handles can make a profound difference.


Get the lived-in feel

Not everything has to be perfect in fact the more imperfections the better – the more stories, memories and authenticity it has, which are probably the most sought-after qualities in a traditional home. Get a rug that shows a little bit of wear and tear, a blanket throw that has a few odd stitches or placemats that seem to have faded a little bit. These all create an absolutely gorgeous, individual feel.

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