This Old House: Decorating an Older Home
Older homes have an alluring charm and have become increasingly more popular to buy, rent, and flip thanks to shows such as Fixer Upper. Who doesn’t love scrolling through pretty images on Pinterest of old farmhouses, showcasing rustic elements with modern touches? There’s something quite beautiful about a home with a story and older homes have many stories to tell. I appreciate nicks, scratches, and imperfections. I love a home that has survived many seasons and is continuing to create new memories. I just moved from an apartment that my husband and I designed ourselves. It was a space with new flooring, new appliances, fresh coats of paint, and newly completed projects. We just moved into a 121 year old Victorian home with flooring that’s about 35/40 years old, many original details from 121 years ago (such as stained glass windows in the front formal living room and a wide, grand staircase with the original wood). Victorian homes were dark, with dark wood and dark color patterns for the furniture, curtains, and decor. We fell in love with this old house, but decorating an older home differs greatly from decorating a newer/new home. Luckily, our style is farmhouse chic, which pairs perfectly with an older home. Farmhouse chic embraces imperfections and adds a level of coziness and lightness to a rustic lifestyle.
When I was decorating and shopping for our home, I chose a lot of whites, earth tones, and lighter woods to fill the rooms. Older homes always benefit from white (and other light colors) to create an airy feel. For our formal living room, pictured above I chose a mixture of white, black, and a light barn wood color for the rug and furniture. I adore this room and the entryway, which features a small console table (black and barn wood in color), decor pieces, a full-length gold antique mirror, and a faux olive tree (bought from Target). Our entryway and front formal living room are what you first see when you come downstairs in the morning, and when someone enters the house, which makes this space the opening statement. I love that an older home can be filled with newer pieces and older pieces that work in harmony. I love antique shopping and have filled my home with antique decor, such as the carousel horse that’s displayed on our entryway console table. When you’re decorating an older home, you don’t want to neglect the fact that it’s old. You need to embrace the old and bring in older pieces (antiques, thrift store finds, and retro items). If you cannot afford antique furniture (some of it is pricey), aim for smaller, antique pieces such as picture frames, old books, tabletop decor, and vases. You can also frame antique letters, photos, and vintage records to add a level of personality to the space. Of course, you can also purchase new decor and furniture that has an antique, or rustic look to them, such as all of my new farmhouse furniture and decor. I bought our furniture at Ashley Furniture, Raymour & Flanigan, and on Amazon. My decor is from all over the place, but my favorite decor shopping spots are Hobby Lobby, Marshalls, Amazon, and Michaels.
It’s important to remember that when you’re styling an older home that it’s old. I know that sounds silly, but you don’t want to pretend that it’s a brand new home, because it’s not. You want to embrace the home’s years, the scratches, the creaks, and the fading. We constantly see photos on Pinterest, Instagram, and moments on HGTV with brand new floors, all white cabinets and vast marble countertops, and gold hardware everywhere, and we feel as if our home isn’t beautiful if it doesn’t look exactly like that. Well, that’s simply untrue. There are many different types of homes and types of styles. Any home can be beautiful, as long as it’s styled with care and attention (and it’s clean and organized). It’s time to celebrate normal homes, homes that are lived-in and cozy, and homes with character. Our home has so much character. If walls could talk these walls would tell of a space that was once home to a doctor’s office (and then a beauty salon) in the 1940s/1950s, a few families with many kids that ran through the halls, and a man who bought the house in the 1970s for his daughter. Our space is a chic lived-in house, which means that it’s a comfortable, natural space, with pretty touches. Its homey and has a personality. When people enter my home they always compliment the decorating and the decor I’ve chosen, but beyond that they can see me and my family everywhere they look. You want your home (old or new) to represent who you are as a person (and a family). Your home should tell your story, just as you tell the home’s story through decorating. Old homes provide you with endless inspiration and I am happy to share a bit of our old home with all of you.
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Congrats on your new adventure. That staircase is beautiful!
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