6 Ways to Make a Modern Home Look Historic


What’s old is new again! More and more homebuyers are seeking out homes with a history, but not everyone has the fortune to live in a historic home. Here are ways to make your pre-fab colonial look pre-colonial: 

Choose a period, and learn about it

from betterdecoratingbible.com
from betterdecoratingbible.com

Learn about your home’s style and how it may fit in with a specific period. This article is a great jumping off point. Once you identify what period is the best fit, you can begin learning about the style and pieces of that time.

Use vintage elements

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The easiest and most obvious way to give your home character is to hunt down period elements and incorporate them into your home’s existing style. Using vintage doors, windows, mirrors, and lighting can make a huge difference. Try to avoid mixing vastly different periods, a colonial style door mixed with a victorian style mirror will look messy.

Focus on flooring

Brick flooring in a kitchen
Brick flooring in a kitchen

The kind of flooring in a home can be indicative of its age. Fool your guests by using wide plank, aged wood, vintage tile, or even brick as your flooring material. Consider the room when deciding on flooring, wood works best in halls or living rooms, tile can be great in bathrooms, kitchens, or foyers, and brick is a unique element in mudrooms or kitchens.

Change colors

from slodive.com
from slodive.com

Something to consider when styling a home to look vintage is that paint colors weren’t available in the rainbow of hues we have at our disposal today. Instead of painting a room Pantone’s color of the year, opt for more muted colors and whites. Benjamin Moore has a color collection based off of the style of Colonial Williamsburg which can serve as a great source of inspiration for homeowners. Looking at photos or paintings from the time can also be useful for planning colors.

Keep it low-key


It’s important to remember that certain historic elements were only used by the extremely wealthy. If you have a saltbox style home from the 1700’s, it’s pretty unlikely that the original owners had full-length portraits and fine china on their mantle. Keep this in mind as you look for vintage items!

Focus on details

from historichouseparts.com
from historichouseparts.com

Smaller details like molding, drawer pulls, even materials used makes a big difference. Pay attention to these when making updates to your home. Look for authentic pieces from antique shops or buy high-quality reproductions. This can also be applied to the outside of the home as well, with antique shutters or a door.


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