Vintage Colonial houses are historical treasures in addition to architecturally significant dwellings. Adapting an antique to contemporary lifestyles while respecting its heritage could be a challenge. Although vintage homes can require a great deal of money in repairs and upgrades, they also supply the charm and personality not found in many new houses. Recently built Colonial reproductions lack patina but can save homeowners on maintenance expenses. Potential customers can find real estate brokers who specialize in historical homes in specific areas.
Colonists needed protection when they arrived in the New World, and they used what they had available locally to build houses. Home builders in New England took advantage of the dense forests, and consequently, most colonial houses in the Northeast are timber-framed and feature wood throughout the house. Exposed timbers are typical in rustic 17th century-era houses. In the 20th century, Colonial-style homes enjoyed a revival, and architects like Royal Barry Wills garnered praise for his updated, tasteful designs.
Function Versus Tradition
Now, owners of historical Colonial residences often want to respect the heritage of the house but make it appealing and practical for a contemporary family. Originally, homes provided Colonial settlers with practical living spaces. Built before indoor plumbing, houses got when funding allowed baths added. Locating an antique home with more than one toilet can be difficult. Building techniques did not permit wide-open spaces, and the lack of heat made it impractical.
Classic or reproduction Colonial home designs emphasize simplicity and restraint. Early houses, dating to the 17th century, are more rustic than those constructed in the 18th century. To match the house, Colonial-style decoration needs to be unpretentious and direct–a guest walking right into a house will automatically feel at home. Although certain kinds of Colonial furniture can feel somewhat formal, choosing simple natural-fiber fabrics for upholstered pieces helps soften the appearance.
Classic or reproduction Colonial homes sometimes contain large hearths. Initially, the primary if not only source of heat in Colonial houses, fireplaces today could be decorative or functional. Dealing with smaller space dimensions may indicate choosing smaller proportioned designing and furniture built-in storage. Simple panel curtains adorned with stencils framework windows without blocking views or incorporating frills. Those not lucky enough to have inherited 18th century portraits can select simple landscapes or framed embroidery work to decorate walls.
Melding tradition with a contemporary lifestyle takes thought and planning. Vintage Colonial houses might come with hefty repair and renovation debts, so budgeting could be a challenge. Reproduction Colonial-style furniture could be pricey –furniture manufacturers often construct the bits from wood.