Anna Hart Property ConsultancyAnna Hart Property Consultancy

This is how to present a period house

5 November 2012

This is my kind of house!

It’s Best Presented House Awards time…

I was scanning Rightmove today (one of my favourite things to do, how convenient that I can also call it ‘work’!) and I found a fantastic house that just had to be shouted about. It’s not that it’s got loads more than other similar houses, but it’s the way that it has been presented that caught my eye. The house is a double-fronted Victorian (it had me at hello) and while there are period features galore, it doesn’t scream about being from a different era and this makes it really approachable for many buyers.

Here’s the link to the house on Rightmove, but remember it’ll only work while it’s still for sale, sorry!

Some period properties are presented so as to look totally authentic, decorated and furnished in the style of the time they were built, and while I’m all for this, it can make some people feel intimidated. We’re not all interior designers and sometimes the responsibility that comes along with buying a period property is a bit off-putting. “What if I don’t use the right paint colours? What if I get something wrong? I’ll have to buy antique furniture…”

You’ve still got the swag pelmets and some of the dark wood of the Victorian style, but the light tonal colour scheme balances out the drama.

It is so nice to see a period property that seems to open its arms to everyone and invite them to enjoy its charms. There’s no snootiness, no intimidation, just beautiful rooms with interesting features from a time before, now ready to form the backdrop for more modern times. I don’t care if it’s not all authentically Victorian – it that’s what you want, then creating it will be all the more satisfying for you. This is simply a light, bright, welcoming house with GREAT potential for home.

So what can we learn from this house? Well, if you’re trying to sell a house with period features, make the most of them but also keep things light and bright. Victorian decor tended to be quite dark with lots of deep colours which can look great, but do have the effect of making spaces appear smaller and more closed-in, which doesn’t help when you’re trying to sell.

The wooden doors, swing handles and hanging pans all speak of the Victorian style, but again the neutral colour scheme stops the room feeling too cluttered and ‘noisy’.

Try using muted versions of Victorian colour schemes to lighten things up a bit, and instead of going all out just take small elements of Victorian design to suggest the style. Case in point: the Victorian use of dozens of paintings and pictures covering a wall or the stairwell – this will just crowd the space and distract the viewer, so instead, cluster 6 or 7 small pictures in one area but leave enough blank wall space so the pictures are a subtle feature but the room itself is the main event.

My only criticism (because I’m such a perfectionist) is of the listing itself: where are the other 5 bedrooms?!! Honestly, a 6-bedroom house and the only photo you show is one of the rooms in the attic? Where’s the master?! You’ll have people worrying that there’s something wrong with the other 5…

Posted in Best presented house awards, Presentation, Selling, tagged with , ,

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