Older homes have a style all of their own. They possess their own character that comes from the many years of generations and memories they hold within their walls. The old saying, “if walls could talk” holds a special meaning in these fine stately matriarchs of an era gone by. Older homes have provided security and warmth to those who have lived within their walls. They deserve special care when we attempt to “dress” them.
Consider your older home the same way you would your grandmother. Grandma came from a different era of fashion and style. She was stylish and fashionable in the styles of her day. Grandma certainly doesn’t dress, nor wish to dress in the modern styles of present times.
Today’s sleek modern style for the younger generation doesn’t fit your grandma, and neither should it fit your older stately home. Instead of remodeling and forcing the home into a more modern style that will take away both its charm and character, consider accenting its own value with furnishings appropriate for its age.
Just as you would carefully select the perfect color and age appropriate blazer to top your favorite slacks, select the perfect furnishings for your home, giving consideration to the homes age and style. Homes from years gone by were adorned with large wooden ornate furnishings. Don’t be afraid to capture that look again.
Many stores offer reproduction furniture that will look like the real thing, but it’s still new. It will offer none of the old world charm, nor the delight of treasure hunting for just the right authentic pieces to outfit your home with.
Start with your dining room and search for the perfect buffet. It should be large and decorative, taking up the center spot on an entire wall. Buffets know their importance as they house all of the fine dinner linen, and special dinnerware. They will proudly declare, “Look at me, I am so grand!”
Follow the buffet up by placing a large wooden dining table in the room. Match the two pieces as close as possible to the same color and style. If you’re lucky and hit just the right flea market, or thrift store, you may find a matched set. Check all of the second hand stores in your area for these wonderful antique finds. Yard sale, auctions and estate sales is also another great source for old world furniture.
Always dress your antique table and buffet with scarves, flowers and candles. Hang a picture from a country era over the buffet and, of course, place candle sconces on either side of the picture. Also look for an old pitcher and wash bowl during your shopping trips. It should set prominently on the buffet. Consider looking for a large braided rug to add to your dining room’s charm.
Don’t be concerned if your shopping trip turns up pieces that are slightly worn or scratched. This only adds to their charm, and if you are really concerned about the wood’s appearance, you can quite easily strip it and stain the wood to look like its original self. You can find “how to” articles on line to help you.
Most of the time, you will be pleasantly surprised with the piece of wood, by simply washing it down with Murphy’s Oil Soap and warm water, then applying a coat of Scott’s Liquid Gold Wood Preserver. Keep your antique pieces heavily oiled for several days as the wood will continue to absorb the oil, if it hasn’t been cared for in a while.
Remember that while you are adding character and style to your home, you are also “going green” and repurposing furnishing that might have ended up in a landfill, if you hadn’t rescued them. Not only are you creating a wonderful home environment, you’re being responsible doing it.