Architectural details can have a big impact on the appearance and feel of your historical house. But you don’t want to choose details that are out of place or otherwise inappropriate for your home.  While it may be tempting to try and find affordable, modern fixtures to decorate your historical home, it’s important to consider your options carefully before choosing the architectural details that will make your house feel cohesive and like home. 

Consider the Architectural Style of Your House

Some millwork and architectural details are a perfect fit for some houses while feeling out of place on others. Choosing the right architectural detail is not just about aesthetics: it is also about finding something that fits within the cultural context of your home. Whether a particular feature works for your house will depend on its style, time period, and regional location. Materials for the porch of a Craftsman-style home will typically feature clean lines and a more simple design, whereas a Victorian home will have more elaborate and intricate shapes.  If you have no idea what your house’s architectural style is, the book A Field Guide to American Houses can prove helpful in identifying its general style and features. There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to making design decisions for historical homes, but understanding the style and context of your home is a good place to start.  

Do Research On Historical Architecture

Once you have determined the style of your house, make a list of what historical architectural features are commonly found on that style of house. For example, if you have a Victorian-style home, check out Victorian architectural details like wallpaper, turned wood newels on staircases, and stained glass windows. Victorian-style moldings are typically more elaborate combinations of shapes and profiles, they are often very detailed. On the other hand, if you have a Colonial-style home, in your research you may notice some common themes such as crown molding, shutters, and double doors. 

Analyze Your Style Preferences & How You Use the Space

Each homeowner has a unique style that is reflected in the decorating and use of space. Before choosing architectural details, you should analyze your style preferences, how you use the space, and how that works with architecture. You might find that aspects of your house’s current architecture don’t suit your style or you might find that you need to make changes to replace broken custom pieces.  It is usually ill-advised to try to change the architectural features from one style to a completely different and far-removed one. The key to blending old and new, though, is to acknowledge and embrace the existing style for what it is and then allow yourself to insert some fresh elements to create a space that reflects you and works for your lifestyle.  

Work With a Professional to Replicate Your Historical Architecture

If you’re not sure where to start, work with a professional for the millwork on your historical home.  At Aaron and Co Millwork, we are able to make custom millwork to suit any home’s style.  If you have a type of molding that was older and unique to your home, we can help you reproduce it.  Contact us today to get started.  


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