The Joys of Buying an Older HomeThe Joys of Buying an Older Home


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The Joys of Buying an Older Home

My dream home was not new construction in a planned community. It was a rambling old structure in a neighborhood that was beginning to recover after years of decline. I got the place for a song and started in on all the tasks associated with restoring it to new glory. I soon found there was a lot to do. While the house was sound, it needed to be fumigated after several years of standing vacant. All the tile needed replacing, and the floors cried out for refinishing. Little by little, I got the place ready for me to move in. Today, I like to think it is the nicest home on the block. If you are thinking of buying a fixer-upper, try my tips. From redoing the wallpaper to choosing the right pest control service, what I learned will save you a lot of time and trouble.

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How to Add Victorian-Gothic Beauty To Your Home

Victorian and Gothic are two styles that blend well together. They both feature weighty wooden furniture with ornate detailing.  Rich colors are characteristic of both, with Gothic leaning toward darker colors and Victorian toward jewel tones. A mixture of these styles works well in any kind of historic home, but especially Victorian houses. Add touches of these rich styles to give your rooms dramatic elegance.

Color Palette

Whether you're mixing the two styles or just wanting to add touches of them to your classic décor, the way to keep your look cohesive is with a planned color palette. Deep green, ruby red and gold are characteristic of both. Gothic colors also include black, purple and ochre, while Victorian colors lean toward shades of blues and even deep pinks. Start with a warm neutral color for the walls, such as yellow-based beige. Choose two or three of the deeper colors, and use them throughout the décor.

Ceiling Trim

Both décor styles feature over-the-top trim in the rooms. For a more Gothic flair, consider having box beams added to your ceiling in a coffered style. This gives your ceiling the formal look of a church, which is typical of the Gothic style. Victorian style is more eclectic, and the feeling back then was "more is more." For more Victorian influence, Home and Garden TV suggests adding a ceiling medallion to showcase your light fixture.

Ornate Lighting

Speaking of lighting, adding ornate fixtures goes a long way to furthering the dramatic elegance typical of the styles. Consider adding a chandelier to main rooms. Gothic chandeliers tend to be heavier looking with beautiful curves and even colored glass – again, the church influence coming into play. Victorian chandeliers tend to be lighter. They often feature gilt finishes and crystal adornment. In addition to the chandelier, add beautiful Gothic or Victorian lamps to light up the corners.

Dramatic Accessories

Gothic or Victorian lamps are a good place to start for your accent pieces, but consider adding a few other statement pieces as well. Wrought iron is characteristic for Gothic style, and this can come through in wall sconces, accent tables or wall hangings. Victorians preferred gilt, which can be a dramatic accent to the solid black of wrought iron.

Wooden Furniture

Substantial wooden furniture is an essential element of your Victorian-Gothic décor. Because of the church influence, oak is typical for Gothic style, while Victorians favored mahogany. Either way, look for furniture with ornate carving and darker stains. Likewise, consider fabrics that look like tapestries for your cushions. Fabrics from both styles typically feature natural scenes such as flowers and foliage.