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How to modernise a Victorian home

By Maurice Shasha  //  Mon 13th August 2018
Do you have plans to modernise a Victorian property in London? This article offers some tips and ideas on how to modernise a Victorian house.
Some insight on how to modernise a Victorian property
Houses which date from the Victorian period are generally characterised as sitting in rows of terraces. However, given the longevity of Queen Victoria's reign, the properties we now refer to as 'Victorian' adopt a wide range of different architectural styles.

But the way people lived in the past differs from the way people want to live in the 21st Century. Most houses constructed during the Victorian period contained many small rooms which to us today would feel dark and cramped.

The houses built for the more affluent members of Victorian society had rooms set aside for domestic servants, and these tended to be especially small and claustrophobic. So, the first thing modern house owners choose to do is knock down walls and let light into their period properties.

However, there is more to modernising a Victorian house than just knocking down walls to produce larger, better-lit rooms, while knocking down internal walls is something to be approached with caution.

Wiring and plumbing

Older houses often come with electrical wiring and plumbing that is old and outdated and often needs replacing. Seek expert advice on how best to go about such a major job.

But let us assume all expert advice has been taken and the new occupants are ready to modernise their Victorian house. Modernising a Victorian house or villa can be expensive if the house needs rewiring, new plumbing installed, and the occupants choose to have some rooms knocked through. And the cost could rise dramatically if you decide to replace the cornices, dado rails, wainscoting, crown moulding and wall panels which Victorian artisans put in.

This article will concentrate on how to modernise the home on a reasonable budget once any structural work has been carried out.

Although many people choose to knock down walls to embrace open-plan living, some will decide to keep the house separated into the small rooms laid out in the original plans. The Victorians painted each room a different colour. The colour of the room denoted its importance. Rich, bold colours were typically used in the dining rooms and library, while more neutral colours were used in the kitchen.

The contemporary touch - accessories

The Victorians loved filling their homes with furniture and lush carpets, rugs and curtains. Homes were typically busy with objet d'art and possessions. Fireplaces were a prominent feature in Victorian homes, and they remain a well-loved feature in modern homes.

But Victorian homes, like Georgian properties, generally respond sympathetically to modern influences and the introduction of contemporary accessories. As well as opening up the property and incorporating more modern features, contemporary furnishings and accessories can give period properties a new lease of life.

If you are looking for a Victorian property in Knightsbridge, Marble Arch, Paddington or Bayswater, contact us.

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