Pause Before Removing
Have you seen some of the glorious plantation era cottages on the island that have been beautifully restored? Regardless of the renovation you are planning, you would be smart to examine what features are worth preserving. While the feature may look like a blight on the surface, with a little effort, some period details might add integrity or charm to your home.
Read more about the six common features that homeowners should consider leaving untouched, or even restore to their former glory.
- Mantels or exposed beams
Reconsider design choices if it means sending reclaimed wood from mantels or exposed beams to the dump heap. Under the years of grim or paint, you might find hewn wood that many present homeowners covet.
With some sanding and a fresh coat of stain, you might find these are beautiful pieces of timber to enhance your living space. They may even add architectural interest or be the perfect rustic look for your modern farmhouse design with a little elbow grease. A mantel restoration may even save you money if it fits in with your updated fireplace.
- Original hardwood flooring
Check out what is lying buried under layers of vinyl, tile or linoleum – it could be beautiful hardwood flooring in near perfect condition.
Refinishing the original flooring can save a homeowner a lot of money in replacement costs and can be re-stained to your color preference.
Ask your contractor to lift the layers on top of the subflooring to make sure someone hasn’t covered up attractive hardwood.
- Millwork like rosettes, crown molding, and ceiling medallions
Before taking a pry bar to window and door trim, baseboards or crown molding, look at it carefully. Rosettes, ceiling medallions and pediments above doors are worth preserving. These period details can add an artisan touch that is costly to replace.
Consider repurposing to another room if they’re not the style you want where they are. These details add an element of interest to show off to your friends.
- Banquettes and butler pantries
Butler pantries and banquettes may be from a different period in time, but the small room where food was stored and meals were prepared can make a great office space, kids’ craft area or pantry. The built-in bench seating is making a come-back in many kitchen designs in present day. With an up-dated look, homeowners are asking to incorporate these formerly outdated features into new designs and remodels.
- Pocket doors, doorway arches, and rounded stairs
A wealthy home of yesterday included doorway arches and rounded stairs. Pocket doors (which slide into the wall rather than swing open) were seen far and wide as early as the 1850s. Changing tastes all but eliminated these architectural features. However, they, too, are coming back into new home design.
If your fixer-upper has any of these, be happy and ask your contractor about preserving these treasures. You can keep them as is if they are in good condition or reinvent them to fit your taste.
- Crown glass and stained glass
Preserving crown glass or stained glass is worth your effort. Crown glass was hand-blown in the 19th century into small diamond or square panes and is a bonafide treasure.
Colored glass was used to diffuse light and retain privacy. However, unless you are just cleaning, it takes a professional to preserve it. The investment will pay off in the end. Even relocating the glass will give a nostalgic pop of color to a bathroom or entryway.
The bottom line is every period detail or element you find warrants a “Wait a minute!” moment that will add interest and perhaps value to your home.