Designer Tips For Making A Historic Home Feel More Modern

Photo credit: Courtesy of Katie Storey of Storey Design

We love historic homes for their character, craftsman qualities and charm. Gorgeous windows, beautiful wood floors and detailed moldings. However, today many of us want a more modern lifestyle and furnishings to fit with our personal style. Mid-century modern furniture mixed with vintage rugs and antique pieces, original moldings and stain glass windows juxtaposed against contemporary art and clean lines.

With an eye towards accessibility we asked one of our own talented Elite designers Katie Storey who had recently designed a charming San Francisco home to share 5 tips that will help create that modern flair within a historic home.


Neutral Color Palette 

Use a neutral color palette as your base. In this room, I used a neutral wall paint and simple bedding and fixtures to allow the bedroom to feel serene and light. With such beautiful windows I didn’t want to cover any of the detailed molding. The room seamlessly transitions from day to night.

Design with Architecture

Find an architectural detail that grabs you and design into it rather than remove it. Whether it’s stained glass windows, detailed trim, wood beam ceilings or herringbone floors, focus on the existing design elements and play them up. Pair with clean lines and don’t over do it.

Vignettes of Bold Color

Choose your color palette for the space, and stick to it. I like to use neutral, muted, earthy tones and bring in color through vignettes and accessories.

Balance Traditional with Contemporary 

When designing multiple rooms, make sure to maintain a balance of traditional and contemporary throughout. I like to mix up furniture and rug styles to give it an eclectic feel. Too many of either style can end up feeling stale and/or scripted – like you just purchased an entire showroom. Diversifying patterns and textures allows for a more original feeling space. It’s your home after all, it should feel authentic.

Less is More

Don’t over design! Don’t be afraid to let a space breathe. Minimal can be just as effective and will allow the finer details of your furnishings to really shine through.

So if you’re feeling inspired and want to refresh and update your own home, then pop over to Katie Storey’s page to start your own room design project today. With Decorist you have fast, professional and affordable design at your finger tips.  Happy Decorating!

Posted by Decorist Editorial Team

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