It’s not very hard to contemplate a couple disagreeing over the architectural style their dream house should take, for example, he, might be more inclined to keep a classical approach to decor, while, she, might be leaning to a more modern/shic approach. The modern style will bring more of the the clean, sleek and understated lines, towering staircases and windows. Following with the modern approach of ‘less is more’ this style of decor will appear to have minimalist effort, but a breathtaking finish.
The more classical, or antique look, will for sure require more work, more of woodwork and grandiose furniture with detailed finishing, nevertheless an impressive accomplishment.
As the couple engage in long winded debate and discuss the architectural direction of their new home, it’s difficult to imagine why not combine the old with the new and create a unique yet dramatic home. Below we provide a few perspectives on how to best combine the ‘old’ with the ‘new’ or the antique with the modern to achieve extraordinary architectural finish to any home.
Successfully Blending the Old with the New
Contradictory architectural motifs can certainly be complementary, as this old Australian workers cottage and contemporary old Queenslanders demonstrate. Each style is spectacular in their own and respective manner. However, it’s important to remember that and unfortunately, differing architectural styles can also be a horrible mismatch. Instead of having a blend of the old and new, you might end up with a ‘split personality’ look, rather than a unique and unified style.
It is strongly advised to get an architect’s or experienced builder assistance if considering the combined approach. However if this is a little out of your budget and you still like the combined approach here are a few things to keep in mind that will assist in you in achieving the look:
- Inform yourself the specific aspects of each of the architectural styles, you might need to go overboard with either of the styles, it might be enough to just keep a few of the key aspects to achieve the perfect look (eg fireplace, wide plank oak wood flooring).
- Be wise with your material selection! Think of not only the actual materials (cold metals/warm woods), but also the texture and surface finishes. Think about how the materials compliment and work with each other. Do metals need to be a matte finish to go with the oak flooring? Should the kitchen take a rustic matte finish to go with the wide metal windows?
- Think about where the old meets the new, where the one finishes and the other starts. This is the most aspect of all! Although you are trying to strive for a combined look, there needs to be some distinction of where one ends and the other starts. For example, in a renovation job, you might keep the front/old part of the house in the more contemporary approach, however the new extension may take more of the stylish aspect.
- If working with the same space, and are just giving your kitchen/lounge and dining room a new boost of energy, have a clear distinction direction of the style. For example, it might be more effective to have your kitchen and dining room in a rustic style with big windows and matte finished flooring, with the living room being decorated in a simplistic manner; simple, white furniture, tremendous window, and shaggy rugs, with an addition of contrasting black/brown leather arm chair dim lamp in the corner. The addition of simple details can ensure that you keep within both styles.
Tips for Working with an Architect on Your Vision
Architects are the best people to assist you in creating just the perfect look, their expertise and creative approach can assist you to create your desired finale. However it is important to be able to verbalise and explain what it is that you are looking for, this will best enable to architect to get to know you, your desires and have a clear picture of what you are hoping to create. Below is a list of the things you need to discuss and inform your architect about:
- Be clear about your likes and dislikes in particular with each architectural style
- Gather pictures of entire homes or specific design elements that capture what you’re looking for
- If you’re artistic, create your own sketches of the home you’ve envisioned
- Accept the architect’s advice for what can be done in terms of blending styles and what likely isn’t going to work
- Ask the architect to put together some preliminary drawings that pull together the ideas that have been put forth
- Engage in healthy negotiations as you finalise ideas and start on rationalising your plans
Take Advantage of Technology
Lets think about the Victorian architectural style/decor; as much as you might like how 10 000 burning candles bring warmth, dim lighting and sparkle to your entertaining area, more than likely, you will not light 10 000 candles to achieve this look. This is where technology comes into play. The same look can be achieved with dimmed and remote controlled down lights. In this instance, can create not only the genteel lighting you desire, but you can exaggerate specific areas you want to bring to attention, for example the piano and the piano player.
The best thing about today’s technology is that it blends seamlessly into any style, old or new. Think about following possibilities when considering blending the old with the new:
- Your home’s appliances (from home theatre to lighting) can be automated for 21st Century convenience; even chandeliers can adapt with modern day technology
- The Mitsubishi Electric Wi-Fi Air Conditioning Control program allows you to set just the right temperature for those summer get togethers and winter movie nights
- A garage door can be fitted with the newest safety features whether it’s look is contemporary or classic
- Your household can be protected by a top-quality home security system with wireless functionality and equipment that won’t get in the way of your style
- Green building materials are available that have less impact on the environment because they are made from recycled material and are recyclable themselves
The new rule of architectural style is that there are far fewer rules. But that doesn’t mean that all eclectic blends work equally well. Engage an experienced architect to assist you in mixing and matching styles, finalise a blend of elements that captures the image you desire and build the home you want to live in. Then, outfit it with modern conveniences that save time, hassle and money.
Author: Matt J Milstead is an experienced home improvement blogger. He is involved in promoting the ideas of sustainable building and living. Matt likes to write about home remodeling and renovation and share his tips based on personal experience in home improvement.