Do Old Homes Need to Stay Old?

My design sensibilities definitely lean towards modern. I love clean lines and a smooth, sleek look. Both my husband and myself seem to prefer this look. Maybe it’s because we’re artists and are looking at stuff all day and don’t want to come home to an over-decorated space.

So although I’m a modernist, I really do appreciate older homes. They were well-built and possess a craftsmanship that you no longer see in home building (unless you’re part of the 1%). I can understand the desire to preserve these works of art and pay homage to them, but that is where my sentiment ends.

There is almost a religious devotion to preserving older homes. I see it more on the east coast than I do here (mostly because nothing is much older than the 1940’s). If you dare change the door knob in your 1910 colonial revival, someone is going to come for you. Maybe you want to put in bamboo floors. Maybe wainscoting is not for you. Maybe plaster walls are a pain in the ass. Where do you draw the line towards respecting the past and making a home liveable?

Here’s what The L.A. Lady thinks: first and foremost, your home is your property. With the exception of purchasing a historical landmark, it is yours to demolish or rebuild. If you style is modern, I wouldn’t go out of my way to purchase something that completely conflicts with my taste, but the housing market here is rough and you take what you can get. In this writer’s opinion, a balanced philosophy applies to most things and it certainly does in this scenario.

old home with modern details

You can have it both ways! Keep those beautiful details but use new materials. Don’t freak out if your cabinet hardware is a few decades off. Mixing styles in interior design is a difficult task but when done right, it’s harmonious in the best way.

Do you feel old homes must be preserved in a historically accurate way, no matter who owns them? Let’s hear your thoughts!

Got something to say? Go for it!

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