Engel & Völkers Paris > Blog > HOW TO DECORATE AN OLDER PROPERTY ?


Have you recently purchased an older property and want to update its interiors whilst maintaining the authenticity of your rooms? Here are some principles to respect if you want to emphasise the historical aspect of your home whilst introducing a touch of elegance and modernity.

Modern design in an old building

By decorating your property with vintage furniture, you take the risk of making your home look like a museum frozen in time. So don't hesitate to include some modern pieces, or some decorative elements created after the time of your walls. The harmony of your interior design is much more important than the risk of anachronism.

Don't be afraid to play with the subjects and tones; by learning about and experimenting with the modes and colours of the different architectural epochs (Victorian, Art Nouveau, Modern ...), you will easily find an overall framework to be respected which will give to your interior a unique charm. The trick is to preserve the feeling of well-being generated from a coherent and audacious decoration.

Striking a balance between modernity and sobriety

This is the real lesson to remember if you want to furnish your old walls with modern elements. Ceiling mouldings or vintage flooring will lose their historic character if they are covered with furniture, carpets and paintings that are too colourful and overwhelming. You must integrate these traces of the past into a sober context if you want them to stand out. No extravagance, therefore, when thinking about the design of your new apartment. The main idea is to highlight your heritage without giving too much importance to it.

On the other hand, a modern decoration that is too dull, too neutral or too subtle would give too much importance to your stained glass or old chandelier, and you will quickly have a feeling of imbalance in your home. To preserve this harmony between modern furniture and highlighting historical elements, everything is a question of measurement and complementarity. In terms of brightness, for example, you could get away with dark furniture an old house bathed in the light of tall windows. In the same way, an old baroque or complex architecture will be perfect for minimalist and refined accessories, such as opaque glass.

- Décoration moderne dans un bien ancien

Renovate your apartment without alterating it

Often, owners of period real estate are scared to begin renovations at home, they fear to jeopardize the authenticity of their heritage. But, equally, many careless owners renovate their properties without paying attention to the historical elements they contain. Here too, everything is a question of balance: a poorly maintained property could give a feeling of dilapidation.

Meanwhile, an entirely renovated property could easily lose its authentic character. It is, therefore, necessary to update your home without over-refurbishing, to shine without erasing everything that undeniably gives all its charm to your property. By caring for and highlighting the relics and traces of the past, modern furniture can make it much easier to enhance them. Your new apartment will be ready to welcome you under the best auspices!

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