New Home With An Old Home Feel

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antique furniture in modern stylish space

If you want the modern functionality of a new home but the charm of an older home, try these five home decor tips to give your new home an old-home feel.


New homes have their advantages. They are designed specifically around modern living, which includes the right number of plugs in any given room (not to be underestimated!). But, older homes have a certain lived-in charm that many newer homes don’t have. So, how do you get the best of both worlds — a supportive space for modern life, and the comfort of more simpler times gone by?

Vintage doorknobs

One of the easiest ways to give your home a hint of the old world is to replace existing doorknobs, cabinet handles, and drawer pulls with older ones. This is a project that can start small, with a few salvaged knobs on your kitchen cabinets, and then encompass your whole home with a bold glass doorknob on your front door and vintage drawer pulls on all of your built-in cabinets.

Keep in mind that with salvaged knobs, the mismatched quality is part of the appeal. If you can’t find a full set of knobs, simply mix and match to create your own vintage look.

Salvaged doors

Give your home a lived-in look from the outside by replacing your contemporary door with a used one. Salvage yards typically have doors in numerous sizes and from different time periods, so you’ll find one that matches just about any look.

Keep in mind that salvaged doors can require a little extra work, like sanding, stripping paint, replacing glass panels, or refinishing. The classic look and hint of history you’ll gain from a vintage door will make the extra work well worth it.

Retro color schemes

To lend your home an all-over vintage look, be sure to incorporate wall color into your design. Choose from classic blues, soft pinks, or earthy tones to make retro color schemes come alive in your home.

Whether you want to recreate a look from a particular era or just want to complement the color of your vintage furniture, you’ll find a number of retro paint hues to match nearly any historical period. If you’d rather go with a pattern, try stenciling a classic design or adhering vinyl decals with a classic decoration.

neo-classic living room design

Architectural molding

Older homes boast intricately beautiful ceiling designs completely unlike the smooth or popcorn ceilings found in most newer homes. With a few power tools and some woodworking experience, however, you can create beams and architectural molding that will give your ceiling a vintage look.

From adding beams in a grid pattern across your living room ceiling to incorporating decorative molding in your dining room, this DIY design project can easily transport your home to a previous era.

Antique lighting

Sleek track lighting and contemporary lamps provide great illumination, but they can seriously compromise a retro look. Fortunately, it’s easy to replace ceiling lights and chandeliers with antique versions. If you can’t find authentic antiques to fit your home, consider purchasing newer lighting fixtures in a vintage style.

Whether you choose new or antique lights, be sure to use contemporary, energy-efficient light bulbs to illuminate your home.

Don’t limit yourself

Living in a new house doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to contemporary décor. With these projects, you can add old-home charm to any living space.




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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.