Seduced by its charm and its appearance, you have just acquired an old residence. While renovation work is essential to bring your property up to date and make it functional again, certain materials and architectural details must be preserved in order to keep the historic character of the place intact.
If it may have suffered the ravages of time, the floor of old buildings must at all costs be restored rather than replaced. Not only will old floor coverings give an extra soul to your interior, but some, again trendy and now very expensive, will allow you to save money. We are particularly fond of the magnificent solid wood floors, and especially those in Hungarian point which, once sanded and glazed for easier maintenance, will regain their original beauty.
Characteristic of French heritage, the terracotta tiles, these honeycomb-shaped terracotta tiles, evoke the rustic charm of Provencal farmhouses. If we like their shades ranging from ocher to brick red through brown and their inimitable character, their resistance to impact and wear finally convinces us. The same goes for cement tiles, much sought after in recent years to dress the floors of kitchens, entryways and bathrooms.
A real decorative asset, the old wooden beams, whether they are the joists of the upper floor or the frame at the attic level, are absolutely to be kept. We like their warm and authentic appearance which gives a cozy atmosphere to the home. Once stripped and treated against insects and fungi, you can leave them raw for a rustic chic look that will bring charm to your living rooms, or paint them in white to better integrate them into a contemporary interior.
The beams located in the partitions can act as a screen, in order to delimit the space without obscuring the light. If you are renovating an old workshop, the metal beams should also be highlighted to reinforce the industrial aura of the place.
The beautiful period apartment you just bought has an elegant marble fireplace that you don’t need? Never mind ! Instead of using it to heat your home, make it a central decorative element of your room and show it off.
You can also use the coat as a shelf, putting books and knick-knacks on it or hanging a large mirror or picture above it. Do not hesitate to play on styles by bringing together pop and modern art objects with this old element.
Formerly undesirable, terracotta brick walls have been fashionable for the past fifteen years. A must-have for industrial-style decorating atmospheres, this ancient building material has obvious aesthetic and technical qualities: strength, durability, good thermal and sound insulation.
Many homes in the north and south-west of France are also equipped. If you have the good surprise to discover old bricks in good condition by removing an old wall covering, clean them and show them off. Guaranteed New York loft atmosphere.
Emblematic of Haussmannian apartments, period moldings nobility dress the high ceilings, walls and door frames. These artistic elements of Greek, classic or Art Deco inspiration, will bring a discreet charm to all your rooms.
A simple wipe of a cloth and a coat of paint can be enough to restore them to their full splendor. To highlight them, you can also play with color contrasts.
The stained-glass windows and stained-glass windows
For obvious insulation reasons, windows are one of the first items to be replaced during the renovation of an old home. However, their decorative potential can be immense. Thus, the large workshop windows and Art Nouveau stained glass windows, if they do not cause too much heat loss, should be preserved after having been refurbished, for example by replacing the old windows with double glazing, at least for those which give on the outside. These relics of the architectural past will bring a unique touch to your accommodation.