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Traditional vs Modern: The Home Features You Shouldn't be Getting Rid of

There is a growing trend among online influencers to modernise period homes and make them more “Instagrammable”, stripping back period features in favour of modern décor. 

Polly Shearer, interiors expert at Tap Warehouse adds “Period homes and their elements are often timeless that never go out of style, however the same cannot be said for online trends.” So, could following these Instagram trends cause your home to decrease in value? 

To find out, we surveyed 1,000 Brits about the period features they would remove or change. We then consulted with property experts to reveal the impact of altering the top period elements Brits admitted to changing. 

Read on to discover the top 6 period features Brits would remove and how much it could devalue their home. 

Traditional vs Modern Features

More than 9 in 10 Brits Risk Removing Up to £27k Off the Property’s Value  

We asked Brits which period features they would remove or change in a period home. Just 1 in 20 (5%) of homeowners stated they wouldn’t remove anything, meaning a whopping more than 9 in 10 (95%) of Brits would. 

However, according to property expert Jonathan Rolande at HouseBuyFast, these Brits could be unwillingly devaluing their home, and it could be by as much as 10%

The average house price in the UK stands at £269,945. So, removing as much as 10% off the value could be deducting up to £26,995 from Brits’ pockets. 


A Quarter of Homeowners Would Change the Timber Windows, Potentially Devaluing the Home by £12,000

When it comes to windows, ‘replacing timber with UPVC in a Victorian home would be highly discouraged,’ says CompareMyMove

However, a whopping 1 in 4 Brits would change the timber or sash windows in their period property, which could devalue the property by 1% - taking £2,699 off the property’s value, according to HouseBuyFast.

And, if Brits were to use the wrong type of material such as UPVC this could devalue the home by £12,000 as buyers of period homes want wooden windows. 

That’s why installing wooden double-glazed windows in a period property will add 10% to the house value. Amounting to an extra £27k for the average UK home. 


More than 1 in 10 Brits Would Remove the Original Fireplace, Which Could See Brits Lose Out on £2K

Surprisingly, our survey uncovered more than 1 in 10 (11%) Brits would remove or change the original fireplace in a period home, likely lowering the property value.

But, did you know that an original fireplace can actually add 5% to the value of your home? 

With this in mind, covering or altering an original fireplace could potentially decrease the value of the property as much as £2,000 (0.75%) for the average UK home. 


4 Tips to Styling Period Features and Retaining Value 

Like for like restorations that are in keeping with the home are more likely to add value to the property than stripping it of its unique features, according to CompareMyMove. Additionally, restoring and bringing a new lease of life to old features is an emerging trend for 2022, dubbed ‘modern nostalgia’, states interior expert, Tiffany Ratcliffe. 

So, with that in mind, we spoke to an interior expert to uncover how to restore and style these beautiful period elements in your home to retain or even increase your home’s value. 

1. Keep Traditional Radiators to Add Character 

A property’s value can be impacted by a low EPC score (energy efficiency), so having old, inefficient radiators that do not heat the home effectively could devalue a home. With that being said, if you change the radiators to a modern design this could lower the period home’s value too as the style doesn’t fit with the home’s character. 

If you were to update the radiators, like 26% of Brits, property experts and interior designers recommend opting for traditional style radiators to keep character and value. 

2. Paint Period Wooden Beams a Darker Shade to Add Warmth

Almost 1 in 6 Brits said they would remove or change the wooden beams in their period property. However, wooden beams are the ideal accompaniment for ‘biophilic design,’ states Tiffany Ratcliffe, Head of Design at art art art. This is a current trend ‘of bringing the feeling of the outdoors into a property and wooden beams are perfect to create the countryside feel,’ says Tiffany Ratcliffe. 

To style the beams, Tiffany Ratcliffe advises, ‘painting beams a slightly darker shade of the paint colour in the room will bring warmth to a space but also make sure they're not overpowering.’ 

3. Use Ornate Ceiling and Wall Treatments to Make Walls Look Taller 

22% of Brits would remove ceiling and wall treatments, such as coving, ceiling rose, dado rail and architrave. However, these items are perhaps the easiest to include in your room design. Especially if the home has high ceilings, these types of ornate features help divide the wall and add elements of interest. 

Tiffany Ratcliffe, says these elements are a ‘huge trend appearing in both period properties (where it’s already existing) but in new builds too where homeowners are adding these features.’ 

‘Sanding is the first thing to do when restoring as you want a nice, smooth finish to then paint over. Ceiling roses can be painted in neutral colours with a pop of a dark colour to make certain features stand out,’ she adds. 

Dado rails are a great way to split a wall in half. Simply, ‘paint the top half of the room lighter than the bottom half. The wall looks taller, and it adds character to a room,’ says Tiffany Ratcliffe. 

4. Preserve an Original Fireplace to Create a Focal Point 

Fireplaces are a focal point of any room, so removing these can make the room feel bare. Many period homes have stunning ornate ironwork on the fireplace, or beautiful tiles surrounding it, so it’s a shame to hear more than 1 in 10 Brits would remove or change an original fireplace. 

Architects and interior designers recommend researching the style of your home’s era, so you can restore or add the antique fireplace suited to the period. Adding a fireplace back in can be just as simple as getting the chimney swept, and adding a burner and grate. However, if the fireplace has been painted, you will need to use a paint stripper or get it professionally sandblasted. 

Want more advice on adding value to your property? Why not check out our guide on the top kitchen and bathroom investments to add the most value?  

Traditional vs Modern Homes

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