Beautifully designed with high ceilings, bay windows, open fireplaces and oozing history and character, it’s no wonder that purchasing a London townhouse is a dream for many.
According to Rodic Davidson “protecting and caring for the heritage of aspects of buildings is essential”. Homes can be altered “alongside carefully considered contemporary interventions” that can give you those essential alterations or homely additions to help you get the most from your period home for modern-day living.
It’s important that you keep your home’s unique character especially if your home is a listed building or must adhere to certain building regulations. So here are some optional extras you can add to your London townhouse to preserve its heritage and retain its character whilst adding a touch of your own personal style.
If the windows in your London townhouse are original, they’re likely to be single glazed. Even if they remain in an acceptable condition, they can often be cold, and draughty and offer nothing in terms of protection from exterior noises. These can be replaced by classic-style sliding sash windows or box sash windows that elegantly fit the space without destroying the original style.
However, if you’d prefer to retain the original period windows and they’re in excellent condition without a hint of potential problems, they can often be repaired and air sealed to breathe fresh new life into them. Another option is keeping the most visible windows and replacing the others to give your home the best of both worlds.
Always consult an experienced professional when renovating your windows to ensure any changes adhere to local building regulations.
Many London period homes had solid wood doors with a glass feature when first built. This may have been replaced in the meantime with something more modern, warm and secure.
If you want to restore your home to its former glory, you could consider painting or refurbishing the existing solid wood door or even investing in a new period-style door. By doing so you could add modern features such as designer locking mechanisms to give it an extra special touch. Ideally, find out the likely design and colour of the original door (you may need to look at similar properties from the same era) then make your selection!
A conservatory can be a beautiful, light and airy space that adds a touch of the outdoors to your home and can add value to your home.
Popular throughout the 19th century and throughout Victorian, Georgian and Edwardian times to the present day, updating or installing a new conservatory can be that addition to your home that boosts enjoyment and helps keep its character.
Start by choosing a design and position it carefully. It’s usually best to place them towards the rear or side of your property, even if this isn’t the ideal location for sunlight. Also consider the scale, character, and the area around your home to ensure you’re not spoiling any other external period features of your home.
Again, checking other similar properties in the area may help you. If you want to extend your home, you should seek professional advice before carrying out any changes.
Original wood floors are beautiful and can add style and can complement the existing features of your beautiful home.
If you’re lucky enough to have them in your London townhouse, consider having them refurbished by a specialist who can sand and restrain them to bring them back to their former glory. A great additional extra is underfloor heating if your home allows it.
Alternatively, consider replacing traditional wooden floors with a modern parquet or solid wood covering, or choosing period-style tiles instead. It may be better to avoid carpets and instead add warmth and comfort with stylish rugs that coordinate with your interior design scheme that complements your home’s original character.
An open fireplace makes a beautiful, traditional centrepiece of a room and adds a sense of cosiness and comfort. Before central heating was invented, fireplaces used to be the only source of heat in rooms! They were and still are a place where family and friends gather and relax after a hard day.
Excellent fireplace options include inserting a gas fire or wood-burning stove into the original fireplace mouldings if your townhouse has one. Alternatively, you could even display a selection of candles to bring warmth into the space and make a central room piece – a great idea for Spring and Summer when your fireplaces are not in use!
When renovating or making changes to your period home in London, you should bear the original character in mind whilst adding your personal touch.
Consider adding high-quality windows, front doors, floors, conservatories or restoring original features such as your fireplace and you’ll breathe new life into your traditional build whilst protecting its heritage and character. Again, ensure you check building regulations before you make any changes or contact Thames Valley Windows to discover our range and seek advice.
Guest Post: Lily Meyers
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