A trendy, open floorplan can be tempting when you own a historic home. The space you have may feel too close or dark to be liveable. Before knocking down walls and installing track lighting in your Victorian, take a look at these five simple tips for historic home preservation and design:

Tip #1: Keep the floor plan clean and simple.

There is a certain hierarchy of public and private spaces that houses generally follow. Public spaces (like a front entry) often lead to other public spaces (like a living room or dining room), then to more private spaces (like a bathroom or bedroom).

Don’t remove walls in an attempt to “open up your floor plan” and end up with one giant room. Instead, half walls or columns can be utilized to keep the room open, yet allow a little separation and flow to your floor plan.

Tip #2: Keep the history in your home consistent.

Modernizing your home doesn’t mean you should give an ultra-modern interior to an Arts and Crafts home. You can upgrade your home, change the way the space flows, but keep touches of the original period.  A transition from an older home on the outside to a modern interior is jarring and can reduce the home’s value.

Tip #3: Save and reinstall original pieces.

Keeping or reinstalling an original mantel, period-appropriate molding, or intricate knobs can keep the home’s character while allowing you to remodel it in order to match your 21st century needs.

Tip #4: Match the roofline and roof pitch

If you are looking to add on to your historical home, be sure to match the roofline and roof pitch.  Changing the pitch or type of roofing makes it very obvious addition was installed.  The addition of a dormer can also change your roofline, but when done properly, can look as if it was always there.

Tip #5: Add in your own family history

Don’t just buy pieces that fit with your home’s vintage, find family photos, furniture or quilts that you can use for your home.  It’s your house, so bring in your own family history while you make more memories for generations to come.

We specialize in remodeling historic homes right here in Portland.  Our services will take your project from design to build. Visit www.craftsmandesign.com today for examples of our award-winning designs.