Living in an older home can sometimes feel like a catch-22. How do you infuse the comforts of modern-day living without compromising its character and old-world charm? Period homes, like these Albany homes for sale, offer a captivating glimpse into bygone days and come with charming architectural details that imbue them with a timeless appeal. That said, you still want your kitchen to be functional and energy-efficient.
Let's see how you can modernize your period kitchen while retaining those beautiful features that made you fall in love with it in the first place.
Keep Original Fixtures
Fixtures are any items attached to the property, such as doors, brackets, window trims, and knobs. The fixtures in vintage homes often have beautiful details that are hard to replicate. Modern fixtures tend to stand out like a sore thumb in a Victorian home.
That's not to say you can't do away with rackety fixtures that are no longer in good condition. Work with a contractor who can customize them to your liking or repurpose them. For instance, you can replace the single glazing with double-glazed units and keep the original sash window. The wood used in the Victorian and Georgian eras was made from mature, more dense timber, so it's worth saving in most cases.
- Marry the New With the Old
Think about contrasting period features against modern functionality. Who's to say you can't use LED bulbs in your gas-era lighting fixtures. All you have to do is update the wiring. Take inspiration from century-old catalogs and magazines to determine a kitchen layout that works with modern appliances.
You can also disguise your fridge by integrating it behind cabinet doors. You'll have to work with an experienced contractor as the appliance will need enhanced ventilation and insulation if it's to be housed inside cabinetry.
- Have Fun with Your Appliances
Take a cue from decades past and move away from the traditional white or stainless-steel fridge. Let's face it, the prevailing stainless-steel era has left many homes looking somewhat stale. So, it's a good thing some brands are bringing back the flashy, bright appliances of the 1950s. You can shop for retro-inspired fridges, microwaves, and cookstoves that will integrate beautifully into your period kitchen.
- Go Antiquing
Find out what era your house was built in and go hunting for materials and fixtures from that time. You don't want to replace the hardwood floors with modern tiles as your house will look incongruous. Instead, try to replace worn-out items with materials from the same period.
If you can't find what you're looking for, consider modern imitations. Flooring is a key feature of period homes, but unfortunately, not all flooring can stand the test of time. Be selective with the wood stains if you opt for an imitation—same case with porcelain sinks and lighting fixtures.
It's important to pay homage to your home's roots either by finding antique replacements or re-introducing the look and feel of a period kitchen with imitations.
- Maintain the Bones of Your Kitchen
An open-plan kitchen doesn't necessarily work in a period home. Sometimes you'll have to compromise on certain features if you're to retain the history of your home. If you want to brighten a dark kitchen, consider painting it a soft pale white. Bright colors can make a room feel brighter, bigger, and airier. This way, you get to keep the fully paned windows and ornamental trim work.
That said, do update the plumbing, wiring, and appliances as your kitchen will run more effectively.
Looking to Buy a Period Home?
Period properties come with history and a charm you simply can't find in contemporary homes. Our real estate agent can find you the perfect period home that you'll enjoy restoring and living in. Contact us today to get started.