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How to style a period home and make the most of the space available photo

How to style a period home and make the most of the space available

Published - 26 Apr 2016
Owning an older property, with charm, character and instant personality, is what so many of us aspire to. However, deciding how to decorate your period property can be a tough decision. You don’t want to feel like you are living in a museum, but the sleek Scandinavian minimalism preferred by many in modern homes may not be the best look in a cosy cottage! 
Finding the balance between period features and contemporary styling can be tricky, particularly as you will want to stamp your own personality on the property.
Clutter and storage can be real issues in older houses, particularly in cottages. Whereas modern homes can often be smaller in terms of room size, storage is generally something that is built in along the way.
With a bit of careful thought, you can make the most of your period home's irregular room shapes and quirky nooks and crannies! If you don’t have a wood burner in a fireplace they can make an excellent space for a bookshelf – shelves built bespoke to fit your space look lovely, and bring a really warm touch to a living room. Similarly, either side of a chimney works really well for shelving too, or a TV storage unit. This is particularly effective if the recesses are quite shallow, as this will leave your walls flush with one another, giving a more streamlined appearance to your room.
Odd little spaces can be turned into cupboards or wardrobes very easily, and there are a wide variety of door options if space is a consideration, such as folding doors or sliding doors.
Once you have sorted out your storage issues, you can consider how you want to decorate. If you want to keep with a traditional feel there are many companies who offer a ‘vintage’ paint colour range. If you are lucky enough to have high ceilings, keep to light, bright colours to show them off, with simple and uncluttered lighting. Shabby chic is all the rage for furniture, with a slightly distressed chalk paint finish. This adds to a vintage look but will also sit well with sleek and contemporary styles.