Adding a special touch to period homes

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When looking to spruce up a period property, making small changes and adding decorative touches could make just as big a difference as carrying out larger, structural modifications. However, it’s important that these updates are in keeping with the property’s original style. With this in mind, David Saxby, category manager at IronmongeryDirect, discusses how best to bring a period property back to its former glory.

As with all period properties, original features should be maintained or restored where possible. Details such as door furniture, hinges and latches can help to really enhance the characteristics of the rest of the building, and their style and design will depend on the property’s era. However, in period homes, it is easy for these elements to be overlooked, with more focus usually given to architectural changes.

Making larger renovations, perhaps by replacing windows or doors, can in fact take away integral parts of the property’s heritage, and in some cases possibly even decrease the building’s value. Alternatively, making small alterations, such as updating furniture or the accessories on a traditional period door, can often be a simple and inexpensive way to update a property without making any dramatic changes.

Homeowners should first research the era of the home to avoid using products that will detract from its authentic style. For instance, within pre-Georgian buildings traditional ironmongery was forged out of wrought iron so when choosing decorative door hardware for this type of property, it’s important to select items that are sympathetic to this style. Replacing products with modern alternatives, such as a chrome door handle, would take away some of the building’s charm and wouldn’t fit in with the traditional appearance of the property.

The Colonial Tudor Door Handle, which has been finished with an antique metallised black iron coating, is a prime example of a product that will suit a historical property. The dated look of antique black can give an authentic feel to both interior and exterior doors, enabling products such as this to fit with homes from the Tudor period. As the handle is handmade from solid cast iron, it is extremely durable and resistant to weather damage, meaning it won’t become brittle or damaged over time. However, it is important to maintain and care for cast iron products to prevent rust. This can be achieved by regularly applying household wax to ensure the product maintains its look and functionality for many years.

There are other minor details that can be refurbished to give the property a refreshed, refined look in addition to updating door furniture. This could include preserving traditional wooden floor boards or the original open fireplace. Windows are also a good area to focus on when looking to restore some of the original characteristics, especially with sash windows that are popular in period properties. It could be that they simply need a new coat of paint or the sash cord needs replacing. Updating the hardware, such as handles and finger lifts, is also a particularly effective yet inexpensive way of refreshing the overall look. For example, the Quality Sash Finger Lift is an ideal choice, offering both elegance and style. Used to help with opening and closing heavy period windows, the finger lift is made from solid brass and comes with a long-lasting lacquered finish, making it extremely strong and hardwearing.

When looking to bring a period property back to life and restore its original beauty, there are plenty of products on the market to help achieve this, which usually suit a range of budgets. However, it’s vital to undertake some research before installing or replacing features to ensure any new products are in keeping with the home’s period and will stand the test of time. This will prevent any changes or fittings from potentially damaging the property’s heritage or value, and instead will ensure the building’s character is enhanced and protected for many years to come.

For more information, visit http://www.IronmongeryDirect.co.uk

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