Wild Wallcoverings, Barley Paper And Groovy Paint Mixes
To find out what the original paint or wallpaper may have been, try gently prying off the wood moulding forming the crown or cove moulding or under window sills. If there are small pieces of wallpaper or paint chips, either leave them or put them into a non-acidic scrapbook which can also include remodelling pictures and other records from the house’s evolution. Photographs showing where the remnants were found can be used to show how different designs originally meshed together, especially in homes with Victorian or similarly complicated styles with several different patterns.
If the room has layers of wallpaper, gentle lifting up or scratching away some of the paper and paint can determine the original paper or base coat. Spraying Downy with water and a good scoring pad can remove thick layers of wallpaper when the old glue stubbornly clings to the wall.
Finding The Floor Under Linoleum And Shag Carpet
For flooring, years of glued, tacked, stapled and nailed linoleum, carpeting, and sub-flooring can make detection efforts a little more labor-intensive. Carefully prying up the layers in a closet, under the refrigerator or under baseboards to gives a better idea of the room’s good, bad and, sometimes, the ugly.
What to Do When You’ve Uncovered Just What You Wanted
Thanks to a resurgence of interest in Victorian, Arts and Crafts (also known as Mission or Craftsman), and mid-century Modern, it’s easier than ever to recreate a room similar to its original look.
Fans of Queen Anne, Italianate, and some Four-squares will want to check out the lush, energetic patters and deep colours found in the period’s papers and paint accents. Bungalows and other Four-Squares sport rich wood accents when accompanied by angular Arts and Crafts (Mission) or voluptuous Art Nouveau paper and mid-tone paint.
Victorian And Arts & Crafts Resources
To find similar patterns to the ageing fragments, there are several great resources. Bradbury & Bradbury offers hand-printed Victorian, Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau, and Atomic Age wallpaper and textiles. Mason & Wolf has plenty of late Victorian and Arts and Crafts designs while Charles Rupert Designs includes intricate Victorian, William Morris and Arts and Crafts selections. Less-expensive Seabrook offer Georgian, Asian-inspired, Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau wallpapers and there are many other sources for Victorian and mid-century styles at many different price points.
1950s And 1960s Make Nostalgic Return
Although the 1950s and 1960s may seem like just yesterday, ranch house owners can evoke a fun palette for their period or contemporary furniture by using wallpaper designs by Shand Kydd and Sanitas with shades of golds, greens, blues and oranges.
For flooring, there are many companies offering turn of the 19th century tile patterns and even linoleum. Wood reclamation and architectural salvage businesses have great supplies of antique barn and house wooden floorings for those eager to enjoy a lovely, warm-toned wooden floor.
Discounts And Inexpensive Resources
Many paint and hardware stores have paint collections based on different periods and the stores often give discounts to members of state and national historic preservation groups. For an initial membership fee between £15 to £50, savings on wallpaper and paint can be immense with a 10% or 15% discount.
Historic preservation groups can also provide great recommendations (not requirements) and other resources such as Old House Journal, which documents restorations and details the context of the house styles mentioned here. These resources can also give ideas as to whether the woodwork was always painted or instead varnished, how a room was used by the first occupants, and how to fit period details into modern amenities in rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms when desired.
Great Renovation Stories
In some cases, uncovered lovely murals or unique period wallpaper may offer exciting possibilities to a happy homeowner. Even if the original design scheme doesn’t work for the current homeowner, it’s okay to add another layer of personality to create a wonderfully personal home with great stories throughout the decades.