Blending the Old with the New: The Best Renovation Tips for Old Colonial Homes

Blending the Old with the New: The Best Renovation Tips for Old Colonial Homes
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    Taking on a renovation project in any home can be a challenge, especially when the home is old.

    Not only do you have to worry about aging wires, plumbing, and fixtures that need an update, but it can be hard to maintain a cohesive look throughout the home when you “modernize” the space.


Many old colonial homes need a lot of TLC when it comes to making functional updates, however, you can still maintain the classic colonial look. Keep reading for a few tips to help you blend the old with the new, and update your colonial home without losing the signature architecture and classic look.

Update or Add Wainscoting in Dining or Kitchen Areas

The use of wainscoting throughout colonial design is prevalent. Fortunately, wainscoting is relatively easy to add to existing walls and there are many ready-made styles that match an older look-and-feel. You can achieve the look of wainscoting in kitchen areas with cabinets, which gives the added benefit of extra storage, something that is often missing in older homes. This is also a good addition for any long hallways throughout the home. If there is existing wainscoting that could use a little help, give it a quick update to help it look nice without losing any of the charm.

Incorporate Wood Flooring throughout the Home

One of the hallmarks of the colonial style is wood flooring used throughout much of the home. If you prefer the feel of carpets but want to integrate a traditional look, you can refinish the wood floors in certain spots throughout the home. A custom home builder in Newmarket suggests that you consider refinishing wood floors in high traffic areas such as entryways, living rooms and staircases.

Tackle the Exterior with Contrasting Paint

There are a variety of modern exterior paints that are created using a colonial-style color palette. You can even incorporate siding if you live in an area where weather conditions are an issue. To stick with a traditionally colonial look, be sure to add contrast between your main house color and any trim, shutters or porch railings. Those are special details that are often unique to older homes.

Blend Modern Lighting with Classic Styles

In old homes, electrical outlets and fixtures often have to be updated to meet current standards. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve the look of antique colonial lighting. Use a blend of modern, recessed lighting coupled with lantern chandeliers to keep the spirit of colonial decor. A large chandelier will even work in the bathroom, especially over a statement piece like a large clawfoot bathtub.

Add or Reconstruct Beamed Ceilings

Beamed ceilings are a classic component of colonial homes. If you’ve had to re-work or even completely reconstruct roof and ceiling structures, you can still achieve this look. Add beams to finished ceilings being sure to retain a traditional look by staining the beams a deep natural to dark tone. You may need to re-work ceilings and beams anyway if there is extensive electrical or plumbing work to be done.

Blending conventional and modern styles in your colonial home can be achieved using simple home decor pieces, or renovating the most unique aspects of your house. While some areas of the home may need to be updated in order to bring the house up to code, that doesn’t mean you have to implement a modernized look. Plenty of current styles reflect the classic looks of colonial times. Take care of the functional aspects that must be modernized, and disguise these updates in colonial styles in order to achieve continuity throughout the home.



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