Buying an older home can be equal parts exciting and frightening. You buy it partly for the charm that its age offers, but you also have to deal with the problems that it can bring. An older home is almost definitely going to come with a few problems, especially if it hasn't been updated in a while. You need to modernize it at least a little, but you don't want to strip it of the charm that drew you to it in the first place. So how can you fix up your new property without fixing the life right out of it?
Pick Out the Features You Want to Keep
Before you do anything to your new property, you should think about the features that you absolutely want to keep. What made you fall in love with the building? Maybe there are some beautiful wooden beams in the ceilings or walls. Perhaps there's a stunning spiral staircase that you couldn't bear to get rid of. These are the features that you need to assess to see if they need any work. If you're desperate to keep them, find out whether you need to do anything to preserve them so that they can last for longer.
Get Sympathetic Replacements
Sometimes, you love the way that a feature in your property looks, but keeping it as it is might not be realistic. It could be falling apart or it might not be efficient enough for a modern home. If you have this problem with anything in your home, consider replacing it but trying to replicate it as closely as possible. See if you can find a replacement window company who can manufacture windows to your liking. Look for new wooden beams that will give you the look you love. You might be able to make use of reclaimed or recycled materials.
If you want to make sure that your old property keeps its natural charm, try not to rush any renovations or decoration. The slower you go, the more confident you can be about what you want to keep and what can go. If you try and do things too quickly and make grand plans, you could find that what you choose to do doesn't work out. Let's say that you create a plan to decorate a room and then get it all done in a day or two without stopping. It could end up looking wrong, whereas if you had gone more slowly, there might have been a point where you decided it looked right and it was time to stop.
Choose Your Tech Carefully
Modernizing your home with some of the modern conveniences is likely to be a priority on your list of things to do. However, if you don't want to make things too modern, you need to be careful with your technology choices and how you're going to display (or not display) them. Some modern technology is easy to hide. For example, if you decide to get underfloor heating, it's not visible but you can enjoy its benefits. There are other items that might make you think carefully about choosing the right style or hiding them away when they're not in use. You might not want to have your TV or sound system on display all the time.
Make Decor Choices to Complement the Building
When you're deciding how to decorate, think of how to allow the property to shine through. You don't want to cover it up; you want your decor to work with the original features. You can make choices that help to complement the building so that you can balance the old and the new. For example, you might want to choose a neutral color scheme if you want to let the old beams of a country cottage keep their character. Bold and bright colors could end up being too distracting.
Focus on Furniture and Artwork
If you want to update your older home but keep its period charm, try to change its original structure as little as possible. You can keep everything mostly as you find it, perhaps with a few fixes or a new coat of paint. Then if you want to add your own character, do it through your furniture choices, your artwork and other non-permanent additions to the property. They can help to modernize the home while preserving what you love about it.
You can update your older home without stripping out what you love about it. Work on it with sympathy to its original structure to avoid losing its charm.