How to Decorate a Century Home

Centuries old homes have a unique charm and allure that many homeowners find irresistible. From the rich history and architectural details to the cozy atmosphere, decorating a century home can be a truly fulfilling experience. In this article, we will explore the history and characteristics of century homes, as well as provide valuable tips and ideas on how to embrace, decorate, and enhance these historical gems.

Century homes are steeped in history, boasting distinctive architectural features that reflect the design trends of their era. From ornate crown moldings to grand staircases, these homes exude an old-world charm that cannot be replicated in modern constructions. When it comes to decorating a century home, it’s essential to understand how to highlight and preserve these original architectural elements while incorporating modern design elements for a balanced aesthetic.

Understanding the color schemes that complement century home architecture is crucial for creating a cohesive and timeless look. Choosing the right color palette involves careful consideration of the home’s historical significance and architectural style. Whether it’s through paint or wallpaper, selecting the perfect color scheme can make a significant impact on the overall ambiance of a century home.

Embracing the Architecture

When decorating a century home, one of the most important aspects to consider is how to highlight and enhance the original architectural features. These homes often boast unique characteristics such as intricate woodwork, stained glass windows, and ornate crown molding that add to their charm and historical significance. Embracing the architecture of a century home involves finding ways to showcase these details while incorporating modern design elements in a way that preserves the home’s historical integrity.

To successfully embrace the architecture of a century home, consider the following tips:



  • Highlight original details: Showcase unique architectural features such as original woodwork, stained glass, or decorative trim by using lighting techniques or strategic placement of furniture.
  • Incorporate modern touches: Balance the historical character of a century home with contemporary design elements such as sleek furniture, minimalist decor, or modern lighting fixtures to create a harmonious blend of old and new.
  • Restore rather than replace: When dealing with original architectural elements that may have seen wear and tear over the years, explore restoration options before considering replacements. Preserving these historical details adds to the overall authenticity of the space.

By embracing the architecture of a century home in this way, you can create a living space that pays homage to its history while providing a comfortable and stylish environment for modern living.

Choosing the Right Color Palette

When it comes to decorating a century home, choosing the right color palette is crucial in creating a cohesive and timeless look. Understanding the color schemes that complement century home architecture is essential in preserving the historical integrity while adding a fresh, modern touch. Whether you’re considering paint or wallpaper, selecting the perfect hues can make a significant impact on the overall aesthetic of your space.

Understanding Historical Color Schemes

Before diving into painting your century home, it’s important to research historical color palettes that were popular during the time period when your home was built. Many century homes have distinct architectural styles that were often paired with specific color schemes.

For example, Victorian-era homes were known for their bold and rich color combinations, while Craftsman-style homes typically featured earthy tones and natural hues. By understanding these historical color schemes, you can choose colors that not only enhance the original architecture but also reflect the unique character of your century home.

Cohesive and Timeless Look

When selecting colors for your century home, aim for a cohesive and timeless look that complements both the historical elements and modern design updates. Consider choosing neutral tones for larger surfaces such as walls and ceilings, then incorporate pops of color through accents like furniture, artwork, and textiles. This approach allows you to maintain a harmonious balance between old and new, creating an inviting atmosphere with a touch of nostalgia.

Using Paint and Wallpaper

In addition to choosing the right colors for your century home, consider utilizing paint and wallpaper to add depth and texture to your space. When approaching painting projects, be mindful of preserving any historical details such as trim work or moldings by using complementary colors that highlight these features.

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Likewise, wallpaper can be used to bring pattern and visual interest to various areas in your century home while staying true to its timeless appeal. Whether you opt for traditional floral prints or geometric patterns, skillfully chosen wallpapers can elevate the charm of your century home while adding a contemporary twist.

By carefully selecting the right color palette for your century home – informed by historical context and suited to modern sensibilities – you can effectively enhance its unique beauty while reflecting your personal style.

Selecting Vintage and Antique Furniture

When it comes to decorating a century home, selecting vintage and antique furniture is a key element in creating an authentic and charming aesthetic. One of the best ways to honor the historical integrity of a century home is by incorporating period-appropriate furniture pieces that complement the architecture and style of the era.

Whether you are restoring a Victorian, Craftsman, or Colonial Revival home, there are specific tips for finding and integrating vintage furniture that will enhance the overall design.

First and foremost, it’s important to do thorough research on the specific time period in which your century home was built. This will help you narrow down the styles and types of furniture that were popular during that era. Look for furniture pieces that reflect the craftsmanship and design elements of the time, such as ornate carvings, intricate details, and quality materials.

In addition to sourcing authentic antique pieces, it’s also possible to find high-quality reproductions or modern interpretations of vintage furniture styles. Mixing antique and modern furniture can create a balanced aesthetic within a century home, allowing for both historical authenticity and contemporary comfort. For example, pairing a vintage wooden dining table with sleek modern chairs can add an interesting contrast to a dining room while still maintaining the overall historic feel.

Finally, consider how different antique or vintage pieces can be integrated into various rooms throughout the home. From statement-making pieces like armoires or dressers in bedrooms to functional items like side tables or secretary desks in living spaces, each piece contributes to the overall ambiance of a century home.

Century Home FurnitureDescription
Period-Appropriate PiecesFurniture reflecting craftsmanship & design elements
Modern InterpretationsMixing antique & modern furniture for balance
Integration Throughout RoomsUsing different antique/vintage pieces strategically

Enhancing With Historical Details



When decorating a century home, it’s important to embrace and enhance the historical details that make these properties so unique and charming. From stained glass windows to intricate woodwork, century homes are filled with historical elements that can be highlighted to create a timeless and elegant interior. When considering how to decorate a century home, it’s essential to pay attention to these historical details and find ways to incorporate them into the overall design.

One of the key aspects of enhancing a century home with historical details is to ensure that these elements are properly maintained and restored. This may involve repairing original features such as crown molding or restoring vintage fixtures to their former glory. By preserving and showcasing these historical details, homeowners can honor the heritage of their century home while also adding character and charm to the living space.

In addition to maintaining and restoring historical details, homeowners can also consider adding new elements that complement the existing architecture. For example, installing period-appropriate lighting fixtures or incorporating vintage-inspired textiles can further enhance the historical aesthetic of a century home. By carefully selecting and curating these details, homeowners can create an interior that feels cohesive and authentic while still reflecting their personal style.

Incorporating Vintage Decor

Ideas for Vintage Decor

When it comes to decorating a century home, incorporating vintage decor is a key element in creating a cohesive and timeless look. Vintage decor items such as art, lighting fixtures, and textiles can add character and charm to any space. Consider incorporating vintage posters, mid-century lighting fixtures, or antique textiles to add a unique touch to your century home.

Creating a Curated Look

To create a curated and cohesive vintage look throughout the home, it’s important to carefully select and arrange vintage decor pieces. Consider creating themed vignettes with your vintage items, such as displaying a collection of antique books or arranging a gallery wall with vintage art and photographs. By curating your vintage decor in this way, you can highlight the historical elements of your century home while adding personal touches that reflect your own style.

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Blending Vintage With Modern

Finding the balance between vintage and modern decor is essential when decorating a century home. While incorporating vintage decor is important for preserving the historical integrity of the space, it’s also crucial to blend in modern elements for a balanced aesthetic.

Consider pairing a mid-century sideboard with contemporary artwork or mixing antique textiles with modern furniture to create an eclectic and harmonious look throughout your century home. Whether you’re drawn to mid-century modern design or prefer classic Victorian pieces, blending vintage and modern decor allows you to create a unique and personalized interior that celebrates the heritage of your century home.

Adding Modern Convenience

When it comes to decorating a century home, one of the challenges is finding the balance between preserving historical authenticity and integrating modern conveniences. Fortunately, there are strategies that can help homeowners achieve this balance seamlessly. Here are some ideas on how to incorporate modern amenities into a century home while maintaining its historical integrity:

  • Consider concealed technology: Concealing modern technology such as speakers, TVs, and smart home devices can help maintain the period-appropriate aesthetic of a century home. Built-in shelving or cabinets can provide discreet storage for these devices, allowing them to be easily accessible when needed but out of sight when not in use.
  • Blend traditional and modern lighting: While historical homes often feature traditional lighting fixtures such as chandeliers and sconces, integrating modern lighting elements can add functionality and efficiency. Mixing vintage-style light fixtures with energy-efficient LED bulbs or smart lighting controls can provide the best of both worlds.
  • Integrate smart home technology: Smart thermostats, security systems, and voice-activated assistants like Amazon Echo or Google Home can be seamlessly integrated into a century home. When choosing smart devices, opt for models that mimic the look of traditional fixtures or can be discreetly installed to maintain the home’s historical charm.

By carefully selecting and incorporating modern conveniences, homeowners can enjoy the benefits of technology while honoring the historical authenticity of their century home. These strategies demonstrate that it is possible to have the best of both worlds when decorating a century home.

Outdoor Spaces and Landscaping

In conclusion, decorating a century home is a unique and rewarding opportunity to blend historical charm with modern design elements. By embracing the architecture, choosing the right color palette, selecting vintage and antique furniture, enhancing with historical details, incorporating vintage decor, adding modern conveniences, and paying attention to outdoor spaces and landscaping, homeowners can create a beautiful and cohesive living space that celebrates the rich history of their home.

When it comes to outdoor spaces and landscaping for century homes, it’s important to approach these areas with the same level of care and consideration as the interior. By incorporating period-appropriate landscaping elements and creating an inviting outdoor living area that respects the historical significance of the home’s architecture, homeowners can truly complete the overall aesthetic of their century home.

Ultimately, decorating a century home is about preserving its unique character while allowing it to evolve with modern life. With attention to detail and a thoughtful approach, homeowners can create a space that honors the past while embracing the present.

In learning how to decorate a century home, homeowners have an opportunity to not only create a beautiful environment for themselves but also preserve an important piece of history for future generations to enjoy. With time-honored design principles and a commitment to honoring the integrity of their home’s architectural heritage, homeowners can turn their century home into a timeless masterpiece.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Style a 100 Year Old Home?

Styling a 100-year-old home requires a balance of honoring its historical charm while incorporating modern touches. Consider preserving original features like moldings and woodwork while updating the interiors with contemporary furnishings and decor.

How to Decorate a Vintage House?

Decorating a vintage house involves embracing the unique character and charm of the era it represents. Incorporate antique or vintage furniture, decor pieces, and color schemes that were popular during the time period the house was built.

How Do You Style a Historic House?

Styling a historic house involves meticulous research into the architectural style and time period it represents. It’s important to preserve original features, use historically accurate colors and materials, and incorporate period-appropriate furnishings and decor to maintain the integrity of the home’s heritage.



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