If you have a house that you are considering a remodel for and your house has some original details, think twice before tearing them all out. These “time capsule” elements, as I call them, can add such cool design elements to a more modern space. There are several original elements to consider saving when doing a renovation that helps capture the moment in time that your home was built.
Just recently I had such a cool listing of what I like to call an atomic ranch. The atomic ranch is an iconic style. This ranch has a ceiling that follows the pitch of the roof and has triangular windows that follow the line of the roof. What I was so impressed by, when I walked into this cool little cat, is the owners have kept details that they could’ve so easily gotten rid of in the buzz of renovating and shiny new things.
Remember the Jetsons? Well, the Jetsons speak to the beginnings of smart home technology that we now take for granted. In the ’50s a built-in radio and intercom system was very revolutionary. This house still has it’s built-in radio and speakers throughout the house.
Roman brick is a style of brick that is longer and flatter than traditional bricks. A lot of MCM fireplaces donned dominant roman brick surrounds. This house has a Roman Brick wall that is just fantastic.
My seller updated her bathroom and other aspects of the house but very carefully and lovingly kept the original charm. I of course have just the staging for a perfect MCM atomic ranch.
Here are three original elements to consider saving when doing a renovation.
Staircases. They don’t make ‘em like they used to as the older folks say. Quality craftsmanship comes at a premium these days. Wood is at record high prices. Modern staircases tend to be lacking in character. You can restore balusters, rails, posts, and spindles while keeping the heart of the original staircase.
Hardware. There are modern day companies making big bucks off of creating hardware with a vintage look. The appeal is real. It just takes some elbow grease making old hinges or door knockers shine again. You don’t have to use the cabinet pulls in the kitchen if they don’t work with your contemporary style but hold onto them for later use. They might make a beautiful addition to a refinished dresser.
Wood Baseboards, beams and casings. Wide wood around windows, doors or on the floors adds a custom effect to your home. New construction is typically smaller widths and without any dramatic moldings. Blending the old with the new results in a great effect.
Now, you don’t have to keep the 1950’s mint bathroom tile (although I completely love a good retro bathroom) but there are so many details you may take for granted in your retro home that can easily be discarded if you don’t protect it.