‘Character renovation’ is an emerging home improvement trend that requires highly specialized craftsmanship: for it involves carefully instilling old-style home features into new builds, matching the character of quaint and cozy building work.
Ironically, building a house in traditional styles of old costs much more than constructing modern homes. Old buildings have bags of character because they use heavier, more durable materials like stone and hard woods that have become rare and expensive over the years. These have been cast aside in favor of more economic building options that are cheaper and less labor-intensive.
This is why instead of building homes in this way, contractors like those at https://www.addstyle.net/, who carry out renovations in Perth, Australia, have started to develop a style which emulates this in new-builds without the hefty costs involved with constructing a true old-style replica building from the ground up.
We’ve investigated the ways you can instill charm and elegance in your home with character renovation, for a fraction of the cost of building your own stone cottage.
Preserving the heritage of buildings has long been a priority of local governments and organizations like Britain’s English Heritage, who protect, restore and safeguard properties with historical value. A ‘listed building’ or structure is protected in a similar way if it is around 250 years old or more, as a matter of preserving culture, tradition and history.
Infusing ‘character’ into new buildings in this sense is equated with reflecting heritage. The essence of character renovation is to add more wood; expose brickwork; install arches, columns, fireplaces, porches, stained glass windows, even thatched roofs. Exactly what you’d expect to find in a heritage building is what character renovations emulate in modern builds.
Salvage & Reclaim
It goes without saying that making your new home look like it was built decades ago needs the help of statement pieces actually created during that period. Focus on the interior before you think about renovating the outside of your house to match.
This list of places to find vintage pieces for your home will get you started on your salvage hunt. Don’t be put off by things that look a little worn – that is what ‘character’ means!
- Antique fairs
Commonly held vintage and antique fairs pop up in every region. Some quick internet research should reveal when the next one will be held near you.
- Reclamation yards
Yards where people take unwanted furnishings and fixtures are a gold mine for anyone looking to character renovate their home. One man’s trash is another’s treasure.
Locate your nearest auction house and pay a visit one day to see what goes on. Learn the tricks of the trade from regulars who will be more than willing to help you out with your renovation project – you’ll meet plenty of interesting people who have years of experience in the field. Pick up bargains from auctioneers looking to make quick sales.
Easy DIY Ways to Character Renovate Your Home
Put heritage features into action in your home with these ideas that will sit comfortably with modern building aspects. It’s important to merge rather than clash – old wooden furniture will look odd situated in very contemporary, minimalist and polished rooms.
If your home currently features a lot of plastic windowsills and window frames, cover these with salvaged cladding to instantly bring your home back in time.
- Reclaimed timber
The same kind of cladding effect can be used for creating feature hardwood walls, floors, benches, mantelpieces, etc. Any kind of dark wood timber or furniture you can pick up cheaply is a win in this business.
- Exposed brick
Tear off the plasterboard to create brick feature walls rather than wood, without needing to buy or salvage anything.
Dig out your hammer and nails and fashion yourself a quaint wooden porch to frame your front door.
- Doors & windows
In the same vein, antique or salvaged doors and windows instantly backdate your property. Gorgeous old doors with frosted glass panels and stain glass windows perfectly define the heritage trend.