Creating authentic looking period features during your period home renovations

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How to add period features to your home

When undertaking period home renovations, there is a danger that any new products that are incorporated will look brand spanking new and at odds with the other interior elements. This is a common concern with our customers which is why we’ve put together a guide to creating and sourcing authentic looking period property features. Some of the products that we sell will help to recreate that 120 year old look that many good renovators covet.

Brass and copper items with a natural patina effect

A patina develops over time on solid brass and gives the metal an aged, rather than shiny, look. Thus, anyone who has embarked upon a period home renovation will be aware that shiny metal is a big problem in the quest for authenticity. We sell a variety of items which can be supplied unlaquered, allowing this effect to develop, including all of our solid brass curtain poles and accessories, a selection of our radiator valves and some of our lighting. Please see the relevant links below:

Chelsea outdoor lights

We offer a full range of complementary products including outdoor ceiling pendants, wall lights, pedestal lanterns and lantern lamp posts in a choice of sizes.

These Chelsea Copper lanterns are fabricated by hand using traditional methods used in the past and will develop a rich patina over time giving them the impression of original fittings on your house - https://www.thevictorianemporium.com/search/search&keywords=chelsea.

Unlaquered brass radiator valves

These beautiful period style valves will develop a rich patina on the brass over time, giving them that original Victorian look. To maintain the traditional shine of the brass surface, the valves can be polished if required. The valves feature a wheel-head handle in black made from real wood.

These are some of our favourites - https://www.thevictorianemporium.com/store/product/farringdon-thermostatic-radiator-valve-in-unlaquered-brass.

Curtain poles

You can select any of our solid brass curtain pole products in a polished but unlaquered finish so that the curtain pole and accessories will naturally age over time.

Copper heated towel rails

We sell a great selection of copper towel rails which will naturally develop a rich aged patina over time, but can be repolished if required.

Wooden and plaster mouldings

Wooden and plaster mouldings are an excellent feature to introduce or re-introduce into your home. We sell a wide choice of wooden mouldings such as coving, ceiling roses, skirting boards, architraves, picture and dado rails in Victorian profiles. Perfect for period home renovations, these could easily pass for the original mouldings in your period home once installed and painted. Be guided by the dimensions and styles already present in your house when choosing these. It should be noted which wooden mouldings appear where in your house – you may need to look at other similar housing (try your neighbours) if these have been removed. For example, many houses did not have ceiling roses or dado in the bedrooms and it would not be true to the period of your house if you were to introduce them where they would never have been present.

wooden mouldings

Also see our plaster mouldings - https://www.thevictorianemporium.com/store/category/plaster_mouldings

Cast Iron fireplaces

Many period fireplaces are re-blackened, so the uniform black appearance of our reproduction fireplaces does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that they are brand new. However, the more these are used, the more they will mimic an original cast iron fireplace that had been ripped out by a previous house owner. We sell a variety of styles that could easily pass for originals from the Victorian era. 

Restoration glass

Modern glass is perfectly flat, totally transparent/colourless and free of imperfections. Restoration glass is far more beautiful and interesting and may feature small bubbles and variations in its colour. For reproduction period windows, restoration glass makes these look genuine and fitting to an old house.

Items that can be chosen to match originals

Other authentic looking features that you should consider during your period home renovations as as follows:

Brick matching

There are many companies offering a great selection of hand made bricks in both imperial and metric sizes that will match your originals on all periods and styles of house (be it Tudor or Victorian). Ibstock and Bovingdon brick are a couple of our favourites. If you use these it will help any extension or repair works merge seamlessly into the original parts of your house, doubtlessly adding more value than a contrasting extension. It will also make your conservation officer and building inspector happy.

Reclaimed beams

Ensure that any new woodwork looks as aged as the rest of the wood elements in your home. Reclaimed beams can be used to replace beams in tudor houses or for lintels to be used over fireplaces. They can also look really beautiful in newer houses and add a unique feature.

Lime 

Bog standard grey cement will stand out like a sore thumb on any repointing work or new brickwork. However, if you use a lime mortar which dries in a shade of off white, your repointed or indeed new brickwork will look as good as new but will match the older brickwork on the rest of your house, which was also most probably done using a lime mortar. Lime mortar comes in a variety of shades, so pick the one closest to that used in your original brickwork. The colour differences are derived from the sand used to mix with the lime as this was usually sourced locally. The colour of the mortar used on your house most probably is due to the colour of your local sand used to mix it with.

Reclaimed doors

Reclaimed doors can be purchased from many reclamation yards relatively cheaply and you will most likely be able to find a style that matches the rest of the doors in your home in terms of the number of panels and the size. Once this is sanded, planed to size and painted, this will be able to pass as original to your period property. The reclaimed door may even cost you less than the equivalent from a DIY store.

We all know that period home renovations can be tricky. In order to be succesful, you need to be willing to spend some time sourcing authentic looking period property features and replacements. For more information on any of the above, please fill in your details via our contact form or call us on 01525 750333.


Categories: Décor, Preservation  

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