Get the Look: The Vintage Home
There’s something to be said about the timeless look of a 100-year-old home. Hardwood floors, intricate trim, and distinctive windows can make a home feel lived-in and loved. Unfortunately, older homes tend to come with more problems whereas a new home has little maintenance. Additionally, those beautiful windows are far from energy efficient, and cold winter drafts can drive your heating bill up.
If you tend to prefer this style, you may think the constant repairs are just something you must accept to avoid the modern design found in brand-new homes. You might be surprised to learn that making a few simple design choices in a new home can allow you to get a new home with an old look.
Creating the right look in your home depends on finding your style. Start by creating a scrapbook of pictures from design magazines or creating boards on Pinterest. When you have a large collection of photos, try to figure out the elements you really enjoy. For instance, you might find yourself drawn to certain types of materials, patterns on the floors or walls, or colours typically used in your favourite rooms. Good builders often offer design centres where you choose new materials that can mimic the looks you want while being environmentally-friendly.
One consistent theme in older homes is the use of natural flooring. They didn’t have anything else to use. Fortunately, you can choose natural flooring like wood and tile in a brand-new home. You may also be able to get the same look using modern materials. The key is to really identify what about it calls to you. For instance, if you like the dark look of older wood floors, check out the wide array of laminate colour choices available. Those opting for hardwood floors may want to take care when selecting the wood. Many modern homes use thin strips for the wood, which doesn’t always give you the vintage look you want. You may have to request wider planks as an upgrade.
Focus on Light Fixtures
Sometimes, it’s the little details in a home that make it look more vintage. This is particularly true when it comes to lighting. Modern homes tend to have things like recessed lighting, track lighting, or under-cabinet lighting that are out-of-place in a vintage-style home. These styles may be convenient, but they won’t give you the look you want. Use pendant lights instead of track lighting. Hang beautiful chandeliers in each room. You may even want to search antique stores for lighting fixtures that better match your aesthetics.
Pick the Right Cabinets
Flat-panel cabinets are popular these days, but they have a modern look. That might work well if you’re going for the vintage mid-century modern look, but if you prefer Victorian styles, you might want other options. Shaker style cabinets tend to have a classic vintage look, depending on the stain or colour. Many older homes also have cabinets with glass panels. Sometimes, you can even capture the right look by simply switching the cabinet pulls.
Choose the Right Colors
In a vintage-style home, you may prefer to stick with a neutral colour on the walls so the colours in your antiques will stand out. However, it’s important to note many eras have colours associated with them. Perhaps the most obvious example is the use of olive green in the 70s, but homes in the 30s tended to use browns and goldish yellows, and Victorian homes may have had more colourful elements like pinks and purples. Sherwin Williams has a guide to popular colours from different times.
Part of the allure of an older home is the idea that most of the furnishings have some history behind them. They’ve been collected over time from family or from shopping trips over the years. You rarely see matching furniture sets in vintage homes, so avoid the temptation to get all-inclusive set from the local discount furniture store. Instead, scour the antique stores and thrift markets for unique pieces. This little touch is sure to make your home stand out.
Your home should reflect your personality. If you want a vintage-style home without any of the headaches that typically come with older homes, consider purchasing a brand-new home that has the design elements you want. Talk to an Area Manager about the ways you can make your dreams a reality.