Decorating your period home requires some research into the particular style, colours and decorative elements from that period. Whether you are looking to remain faithful to your period homes style, or create a modern twist on the original, it is imperative to do the background research in order to establish and remain sympathetic to, the period you are wishing to examine.
Colour is perhaps the first element you may wish to explore. For example, Victorian colours were dark and rich, with a palette of dark greens, blues and ruby reds, whilst the colours used in Californian bungalows were much more neutral and monochromatic. You may wish to paint your entire period home in the colours of the time, and typically in period homes, it isn’t just walls that are painted. Decorative elements such as picture rails, dado rails, and panels can also be painted. These always look best when painted in a colour to complement the walls. Wallpaper friezes were used extensively for ornate and opulent decoration, creating a really dramatic effect.
Soft furnishings are also a wonderful way to pay homage to the period of your home. Whether using colour alone, or using a pattern typical of that found from the era your home was built in, soft furnishings are a lovely subtle touch. A federation home may be enhanced with cushions adorned with flora and fauna motifs, while in an Edwardian home you may wish to use rich and luxurious brocade and silk curtains.
Furniture is also a very important feature in a period home. You may again, wish to maintain the visual integrity of the style, by using beautifully crafted pieces from the era, or you may wish to use contemporary furniture that is sympathetic to the architecture of your home. If you yourself do not have the “eye” for co-coordinating these special pieces in your home, then I suggest you employ the services of a decorator or designer to help you with this.
Hard finishes used well, will also serve to dictate how much of the style of the period your home was built in, that you wish to use. For example if your home is Art Deco , the use of decorative veneers, timber rich in pattern, glass and also bronze could be used, whilst in an Edwardian home ,the use of marble and gilt fretwork may be used.
Ultimately, take the time to assess exactly what you would like your period home to look like, and how much of the style you would like to carry through inside from the exterior. As always, my strong recommendation is to adopt the ever judicious mantra of “less is more”.