There’s something about old homes – 75, 100, 200 years old that can’t be duplicated in new construction. The settling of the foundation and decades of being lived in leave their indelible beauty marks on the old property. There’s a certain warmth and charm that comes with the established permanence and history of old buildings.
Sometimes homeowners will sacrifice modern conveniences and comforts to avoid upsetting the pristine state of their favorite antique features. But they really don’t have to with so many exquisitely engineered solutions in power, heating, lighting and plumbing technology today.
Adding technological new comforts into old, traditional living styles is one of the most interesting aspects of home remodeling, and sometimes the most challenging. What’s wonderful is that today you really can have it all.
Chicago based interior designer & antique dealer, Julia Buckingham Edelmann describes “Modernique” style. In her blog she explains that “…as designers, you don’t have to choose between new and old. There are no rules anymore. Instead you need to find a way to integrate both modern elements and antiques into a space, which she coined as being Modernique.”
The simplest of examples include connecting plumbing to an antique hand pump built into your sink or installing electric wiring and lights into original gas or oil lamps. If you love the art, beauty and elegance of irreplaceable objects but want the comfort and convenience of their modern replacements, there are creative ways to modify or even change their original purpose.
Old houses have charming design features that are gone forever from new construction, either because of building codes or energy efficiency standards. The only way to have them is to own a remaining original.
If new construction turns you off and you still want the built-in technology it offers, then think about a “modernique” approach for creating your dream home. Don’t hesitate to buy that old house you love just because it isn’t wired or designed for today’s high tech mechanical systems.
New technology can be engineered to fit almost any existing structure but some of those structures can’t be replaced. A thorough understanding of home construction processes enables a designer to work with homeowners to meld the best of modern comforts with the irreplaceable beauty of older original architecture.
Experienced remodelers have the unique ability to foresee what can be done with those old unique features that once served a purpose but are now obsolete. Whether it’s refurbishing or repurposing, think positively. If you love it, you can keep it and maybe even preserve it for generations.