Styling Your Period Home

This area of Bricks & Brass addresses the more decorative side of caring for your period property, your period home. In most of the DIY section, we cover the structural and architectural parts of the building, including fireplaces and ranges. Here we are building a guide to paint and wallpaper, fabrics and furniture, lighting, clocks and other decorative objects.

Here we help you to recreate a period look to your house that is sympathetic to your chosen period and to the 21st century owner's desire for central heating and space for a TV.

Set Your Styling Objective

The first step is to set your objective. What look do you want for your home? What mix of period feel and modern practicality do you need? Your home should have its 21st century comforts, but many of us like to have at least some rooms decorated and furnished in a period style.

Set Your Styling Period

Your home has lived through several periods in history when fashions and aesthetics have changed the architecture and decoration of houses. There is no rule that you have to choose the period when your house was new. The house may have been extended in different centuries. The first occupants will have brought in older furniture and perhaps preferred less fashionable styles.

Pick the Style

At each period in history houses were built and decorated in different styles; rural and urban, expensive and cheap, contemporary and retro. There were sometimes competing aesthetics at the same time; for example Arts and Crafts versus Art Nouveau. In this step, choose the style appropriate to the period and to your home.

Research the Design History

For your chosen period and style, read up about it at Bricks & Brass, look for a book or two, and visit a museum or period home open to the public.

Prepare Your Design

As you think about how to decorate your home, prepare sample sheets; stick photos, fabric and wallpaper samples, drawings etc on a large sheet of paper or card. These will create a 'mood' for your design.

From this step you can go on to create the final design, and then a shopping list.