Whilst everyone is trying to treat the ticking of the clock into 2021 with the same sort of New Year buoyancy we usually do, the reality is that the immediate outlook is as confusing and uncertain as nearly all of 2020 was. But at least we have some positivity on the horizon, and many people are still taking the opportunity to make the most of lockdown and make some changes to lifestyles and their homes at the same time.
The ongoing uncertainty over COVID, coupled with the unknown implications of Brexit on the economy and property market, means many people have put off plans to move home and instead are investing their time and money on achievable and affordable home improvement projects. If nothing else, the last few months have taught us that our home is our castle, and the rise in home improvement in 2020 saw many of us dusting off our DIY handbooks and honing our skills in practical ways that brought tangible everyday benefits.
Some of this was simply decorating to brighten up the home, whilst more ambitious DIY-ers adapted a spare bedroom or an outgrown kids’ playroom into a home office now that we were looking at the prospect of working from home for the foreseeable future. Multi-purpose rooms and using space more efficiently makes complete sense at any time, and other renovation projects such as decking in the garden also make sure that we are getting maximum benefit from our time at home.
How to renovate a period property
Taking the word renovation literally, people fortunate enough to have a period property have something of a blank canvass in terms of what they can achieve, and many people have found lockdown to be the best opportunity to unleash the potential of their unique home.
Options for renovating a traditional property include revealing the splendour of parquet-tiled or wooden flooring, and varnishing or painting an ornate staircase and handrail. Or you could clean and re-tile an authentic fireplace to unleash the dramatic detail which made Georgian, Edwardian and Victorian architecture so popular and enduring.
Time is often the limiting factor for this kind of intricate and delicate project, so it is no surprise that lockdown has seen an upturn in people taking the plunge. It is important to remember that your renovation project needs to fit in with the style of your home, and any thoughts you have about colour schemes have to be realistic when working with older materials which might not necessarily be receptive to certain paints, varnishes or stain.
Affordable ideas for renovating a period property
In terms of continuity, replacing skirting, architrave, ceiling moulding and period doors is another affordable home improvement project which is relatively easy to do, but requires an eye for detail in ensuring your renovations match the rest of the home stylistically. There are many different styles of skirting and edging for floors, doors and windows, and it is important to ensure they are consistent with the other styles in a room. And also that one room matches what is in an adjacent corridor outside. This includes what colour and finish you can apply.
Another consideration when renovating period mouldings is matching them with accompanying fittings and furnishings. You can design your new mouldings to suit additional furniture such as sofas, a chaise longue or tables and chairs, and your new skirting and architrave might be designed to match accessories such as a table lamp, wall mirrors or floor rugs.
All these simple ideas can help to bring new life to a home in an affordable and practical manner and can mean that our extended time at home is so much more relaxing and enjoyable. Now is the time to take on these jobs and we may never get such an opportunity again, so make sure 2021 is the year of your property renovation.