People love historical homes for many reasons: their history and quirky charm, the appeal of owning something so unique. Older homes come with some serious challenges but overcoming them can pay off beautifully. One of the first decisions to make when dealing with an older home is, should you restore it to its original state or renovate it to include modern conveniences?


Obviously safety must be the first consideration. Check the structural integrity of the foundation, the roof and every wall in between. A great deal of work may be necessary to bring the structure up to local codes. Depending on when the house was built, dangers such as lead paint or asbestos may be hiding inside. Be sure to research the era the house was built so you know what to check for. For houses more than a few decades old, electrical and plumbing systems will most likely need upgrading to accommodate modern workloads.


Older flooring can be a disaster due to water damage, insect destruction and stains. Some floors can be restored but many can’t or are not worth the effort. Replace unusable floors with a premium hardwood like provenza heirloom. Choose a color and finish that coordinates with the woodwork you will be keeping such as baseboards, wainscoting and furniture.

Appliances and lighting fixtures may need replacing but if they are solid and rust free they may be salvageable; a local restoration service can work wonders. Don’t worry if the appliance doesn’t look perfect because a few nicks and dings tell the story of a piece and can only enhance its beauty.


The little nooks and alcoves of an older home seem charming, but if they cannot be adapted for use in your daily life they will become decorating challenges and cleaning nightmares. If you will never use the laundry chute, close it off before it has a chance to become home to a rodent or spider infestation. However, an old phone niche is easily transformed into a quaint plant shelf or display space.