Antiques & The Arts
How to Make a New House Look Old

How to Make a New House Look Old

– This question, how do I
make a new house look old? There is something about old houses that just feels intangibly
different and why is that? Building a house is a series of choices. The builders decided
to put something there, or put something there, or
put something over here. So theoretically if we
could make the same choices that those builders made,
we could have new houses that look old. And yet most of the time we don’t. (trumpet music) Architecture, like
everything else in history, is a very fluid process. It’s not like everybody woke
up one day in 1902 and said, we are done making this kind of house and now we’re gonna
make this kind of house. Things shift and change
and evolve over time and they’re human structures so there’s going to be mistakes,
there’s gonna be quirks, there’s gonna be errors, but overall, I think there are some general trends that could be applied to new houses to maybe make them feel a
little bit more historic. So in today’s video I wanna
talk about some of the things that I see of what could be done to make new houses feel old. Here is your disclaimer, I am not an architect, I am
not an architectural designer. I’m not an architectural engineer. I’m not a historian, I’m
not a building person. I am not any of these things. I am a person who has
spent entirely too long browsing archive.org and I’ve
looked at a lot of houses and I’ve noticed some things, so I’m just gonna talk about
what I think, just me, okay? To get started on this, we need
to go on a little field trip so put on your coat, get your hat, grab your keys, I’ll wait, and let’s go look at some stuff. (suspenseful music) Walking around, looking at
beautiful, old houses (laughing). I want them all. (suspenseful music) We’re just gonna do a little bit of an observation exercise, okay? What I want you to do is pause the video and get a piece of paper and a pencil, or something to write with. Go ahead. I’m serious, this will be a
good exercise, fun exercise. Plus it also means that you
get to look at old houses, so just… Come on, for me, come on, come on. There you go. Now let’s ask the DJ to switch over to some nice, calming music. (upbeat instrumental music) Hmm, no. (upbeat trumpet music) Try again. (mellow instrumental music) Yeah, that’s perfect. We are just going to look at old houses and as we look at them, I want you to just kind of write down what you see that’s different. What do you see in these houses that isn’t available or isn’t
typical in modern day houses? All right, so sit back,
relax, and enjoy the show. All right, I think now it’s time to go– (record scratching) (sights) Don’t. Paige, Paige. (loud grunt) (jolly music) Okay, so that took forever. I shouldn’t have gone in
there, it was dangerous. But now we’ve seen what excellent
old houses have to offer. Let’s head home and do a
little bit of a comparison. (upbeat classical music) Now that we’re back from
our little side adventure, let’s talk about what we saw. There are three main things that I see that really stand out
to me as very different between new houses and old houses, and the first one is the layout. One of the biggest things that strikes me about old floor plans, is a
closed concept floor plan. All of the rooms are individual rooms. You don’t really have
these large sprawling, multi-purpose kitchen,
dining, family, game, eating breakfast rooms. Everything sort of has its
own space, its own spot. The rooms are very defined. All of my information about this came from a blog called, McMansion Hell, which is equally hysterical,
totally worth a binge for an entire afternoon. From that blog I learned that
somewhere around in the ’50s there kind of started to be
a separation in the house, where the bedrooms were in one wing and where there is kind of an
entertaining room in another. It’s not that this is
necessarily a bad thing and if you’re going
for a ’50s style house, that’s definitely something
you would wanna incorporate. The issue is that this
didn’t really show up in the late 1800s, it wasn’t a thing. It’s almost an anachronism
to try to make something that’s like super open like that, with no cased openings
and no dividing walls, because it just wasn’t
something that they had. Another thing, and McMansion
Hell talks about this a lot, is that the exterior of
the houses these days are almost an afterthought. Because of the way a lot
of modern houses are built and you can just very easily
add things and tack on things and put this here, and vault this ceiling, and it sort of makes
the outside of the house look a little bit grotesque. Old houses don’t look like that. The exterior of the house
was given as much thought as the interior of the house. The houses go deep and they
would make the houses go tall, instead of making them kind
of sprawl out really wide. Now, what do you do if you
want to build a new house that looks old? Well, for starters, use an old floor plan. This is a really fun exercise that I kind of do
occasionally, just to see, just to kind of have some fun, see what I would do if I
was building a new house. There’s a really great
Instagram account called, floorplans_of_the_past, and it’s just a huge collection
of different floor plans. You can look at the outside of the house, the inside floor plan of the house, multiple levels, and it
really gives you a sense of how different houses were used
throughout the time periods. I have binged this entire
feed, the whole thing. Go to floorplans_of_the_past,
or go to archive.org, or just type in old house
floor plans into Google and pull up a floor plan, and then see what you can do
to maybe tweak the floor plan so that it would work for you. I know nothing about building a house. I know nothing about
working with an architect, but I would imagine if
you went to an architect, they can help you do what you want. Let’s do a couple of examples. So here we are on floorplans_of_the_past. The whole purpose of this exercise is basically me saying, okay,
if I had a house this old, how would I retrofit it to
make it fit modern life? Usually the issue with these houses is that they don’t have enough bathrooms, or the master bedroom doesn’t
have an attached bath. The first thing I see is that you’ve got this
nice, big bedroom here and then a tiny, little alcove here with only one window on it. I would make this the master bedroom. And then I would split this alcove and put a master bathroom
here with a window and a walk-in closet back here. The was a Victorian. Let’s see if we can find something that’s a little bit more craftsman-ish. There we go. Here I might put just one door in between the kitchen
and the dining room, just to avoid that pantry slingshot. And then upstairs we have
this nice, big bedroom here. It has a small closet, but it also has this little store room. Make this actually the master bathroom. Maybe close off this little alcove here to make a bigger closet for the master, and then this is your new master. Big, beautiful house. This one is big enough, I
wouldn’t change anything. You’ve got a nice kitchen. You’ve got a nice laundry and mudroom. You’ve got a really nice
pantry, china cabinet. This is totally beautiful. I would build this just as it is. And then upstairs. Considering this house has five bedrooms and I personally wouldn’t
need five bedrooms, what I would most likely do is take this whole chunk of the house here and turn it into a very large
master suite with a bathroom, so maybe split this room into
a bathroom and a giant closet and then make this the whole master suite. Essentially just trying to
work within the confines of existing floor plans. Let’s do one more, just because I think these are really fun. Maybe something a little funkier. Oh, this is pretty. See these all the time,
kind of four-square-ish. Okay, here’s a bit of an issue. So we have a little bit of
separation between the kitchen and the dining room. Sadly I wouldn’t build this china cabinet, but I would put a door right there in between the kitchen and dining room. And then you’d have the
kitchen, the dining parlor, one big run, sort of
functions like a great room, but you would still have defined rooms. That’s really the first
biggest thing I see, is the difference between
old houses and new houses is just the layout. The next point that seems to really miss in a lot of modern homes is the scale of the trim. We’ve toured a lot of old houses, we’ve been to the deep
South, we’ve been here, we’ve been up North, we’ve looked at a lot of
different house museums. Almost every single
one has trim on a scale that you like can’t even comprehend. 12 inch base boards, gigantic door casing, huge entablatures over the doors. It just brings a sense of presence, and it brings a sense
of grandeur to the house that I really think is
lacking in a modern house. I say this as a completely uninformed, not realistic person who’s
never gonna sell my house ever, but I would say, if you want something that’s going to give you
the most bang for your buck in terms of design and style, it would be to add trim. Beef up your trim. Beef up those base boards. Put in window casings,
case out the openings. Put in crown molding, that will add so much elegance
and so much personality. The best resource that I
have for found for this, and the guy we learned all
of our trim skills from is Ken at The Joy of Moldings. I’ll link him down in the description. He’s working on a YouTube channel. He’s got a great blog,
with all sorts of posts. He teaches you how to make
amazing, fantastic trim out of MDF. Oh. Kitty (mumbles). Of course you’re stuck
on my sleave, aren’t you? Hi. I wasn’t intending to
finish the video like this, but he doesn’t appear to
want to move, so um… Maybe we can set you down. Oh, but you have poky claws. Please stop with your poky claws. I don’t even remember what I was saying. Oh, yes, adding trim. Trim is going to just increase
the elegance of your house. It’s going to make it feel more stately, feel more beautiful, feel more everything. It’s so amazing, and I think the trim is
one of the biggest reasons that we have been able
to make this house feel sort of like it was historically, sort of like it could have been when it was originally built. One of the last aspects of old houses that is really not repeated in new houses, are windows on all four sides. I find old houses to be just so airy and typically so light-filled
for the most part and I think a lot of it has
to do with those windows. – [Electronic Voice Over] But,
Paige, what about privacy? Old houses were packed
right next to each other in very, very close suburbs. Sometimes even closer than we have today. The difference is in
the size of the windows. If you look at old houses, their windows are massive. This house, this is a
little old farm house, and the windows on the first floor originally were six feet by
32 inches wide, enormous. What that does is it means
that you can block off the lower part of the window,
so that you’re not seeing in and your neighbors aren’t seeing in, but then you have the whole
rest of the upper window opened to let light in. I’m just gonna talk kind
of off the cuff here for a second, in hopes that
something good comes out, but I think when people say, how do I make a new house look old? It’s not necessarily that
they want it to look old. I mean, you do, but it’s about a feeling. We lived in a builder grade
house for a year and a half before we bought this house, and it doesn’t feel the same. I mean, this house, I
don’t know what it is, it speaks to me. It tells me what it wants. It tells me what colors it wants. It tells me how to decorate it. That house just didn’t speak to me. And I think old houses have a personality. Every single one you’ve walked into, there’s history there, there’s richness, there’s stories, there
were people who lived here that no longer live here. There’s just so much depth to them and so much character, and
so many interesting things, and you can just walk through them and you see the lives
that these people led while in this house. And it’s not that new
houses don’t have that. I just think they don’t have it as much. Maybe in 100 years they’ll have that. Older houses, particularly
around the turn of the century, it was just the hight of craftsmanship. They are so well made. They are so beautifully made. They’re so thoughtfully made, and I just don’t see
that in modern houses, but the thing is though, that it’s all about choices. These builders, when they made these turn of the century houses, they are making deliberate choices. Sure it might have been
informed by a designing trend or what was available in a catalog, but they’re just choices, and their choices were somewhat limited compared to what we have today. So theoretically if we could figure out what choices they made,
why they made them, what informed those decisions, and then make the same decisions coupled with some of
our better engineering, maybe we could have some of those houses that have that character,
that have that beauty, that have that feel, but built today. Thank you so much for watching. I very much appreciate it. This video was sponsored by
one of my lovely patrons. This was her question. They were building a new house and they wanted to know
how to make it look old, how to make it feel old, how to make it feel more like
a turn of the century house. I will drop references to anyone else who might help with this, who I think has done a really good job. I did interview Tammy,
from Colonial Farmstead. She has a 1986 standard
builder grade colonial house, and she has made it just
look the most incredible and she just transformed it. She makes it look very
colonial, very historical, and I interviewed her
on my Instagram page. So I will link to that
interview down below. If you know of anything else, if you’ve done this, if you
have links to any references, please leave them in the comments so that we can gather as
much information as possible. Thank you so much for watching and I will see you next time, bye. Say, bye. Bye, Mr. Ben. Bye, Big Paws.

100 comments on “How to Make a New House Look Old

  1. Old homes have a soul, because of the love and attention to detail that people put into them while they were being built. My great grandpa built the house that I used to live in. I knew so much about it, the history and the character that he had incorporated into it to make it work for his family at the time. It told his story and there was a part of him there that I could feel despite the fact that I never got to meet him. In my opinion, there’s no soul in the newer homes today. Like you said, floorplans are the “important” part which leaves the exterior lacking any kind of character. Especially where I live where the history isn’t as rich to start with and most people are of a “tear it down and build new” mentality with the history that actually IS here. Makes me so unbelievably sad. 😢

  2. When I'm ready to purchase a house, I may return to my Kentucky roots and buy a Victorian. My hometown even has tons of antebellum homes. Maybe someday.

  3. Hello, I asked myself this question for about 10 years prior building our house in 2009. It seemed at the time I was about ten years ahead of the New old house movement. I looked and lusted after floor plans on the HABS survey website. A project that had architectural students draw plans of old homes. Of course I think we consulted with at least three architects along the way. It was very expensive. We considered it tuition for building a home. For me comparing old to new construction is definitely proportion and symmetry. Paige is right…the exterior of new homes is just to encase what folks want on the inside, two story great rooms, open concept etc. And truly the lack of windows and horrible placement of the ones there are. While there are some good things about new construction, like energy efficient materials, pex tubing for plumbing and geothermal heating most of the materials are manufactured, not basic materials of wood or stone. Brick is used decoratively not really structurally. We finally found Connor Homes in Vermont. They have plans from old homes in New England with appropriate scale and proportion. We picked a plan and modified it using their architect to fit on our site. You could purchase the shell of the house which we did and it was shipped from Vermont to Ohio on four flatbed semi trucks. We chose a local builder who was game to assemble the house and then finish the inside. It was truly hard work to convince todays construction crews that it was ok to have something look old. One example, they spray painted everything, which made the woodwork look like plastic so I had to ask that after spraying someone when behind putting brush strokes in the wet paint. So…very long story short….I could go on and on…..the price of materials and labor makes this type of construction much more expensive than just slapping up a new house in your typical subdivision. For me the work was worth it….the house looks as though it has been here since the last couple centuries. The house however takes much more maintenance than a vinyl sided house. And remember lots of big windows means much time spent washing windows! Here is a book that might help …
    Stock Image

    View Larger Image

    Creating a New Old House: Yesterday's Character for Today's Home
    Versaci, Russell
    119 ratings by Goodreads
    ISBN 10: 1561586153 / ISBN 13: 9781561586158
    Published by Taunton Press, 2003

  4. Love this! One thing to consider when adding bathrooms is you need a vertical plumbing stack to flush waste and vent fumes, so you have to be aware of what is below/above your planned toilet in other levels of your house. Dont want a poo pipe drilled down into your nice formal dining room.

  5. Oh page I love watching your video’s I live in a 1908 small house in Ilkeston Derbyshire in the UK. It’s a small end terrace. I don’t have half the things you have in your house but it talks to me very loudly it knows what it likes and what it wants to the point where I can’t find a new house I like more than this one and your very right they do talk to you they tell you what they want and when to do it. Xx

  6. I NEED THAT BLOUSE! Where did you get it?? 🙂
    And I am swoooning in rapturous desire for those old houses (too much? hah!) I would pick any of those houses, any day, and plunk it right on top of the hill of our 73 acres.

  7. I know you are so right. They just don’t make them like they used to that’s for sure. I love love love the old houses and we had one then built a new house and I wish I could have moved my old house cause I loved it. Something about the plaster walls. Also I love your blouse where did you get it? Look forward to watching more videos so keep them coming ok. 😊

  8. My early childhood was spent in a late 1700's farmhouse and I've never gotten over it. I walk into modern mcmansions and they just feel impersonal and shoddy. I think the modern open layout aesthetic is so sad and limiting, really. Individual rooms give a sense of place, rather than the random free for all of open floor plans.

  9. Every time I watch your videos I think to myself “did she hear me say that?” “Is she somehow listening to me from afar?” Haha. I have so many of these old floor plans saved on my Pinterest and I have been struggling with designing our floor plan but you hit it spot on. The reason for me is I want intentionality and defined walls and spaces. I do not like all the open floor plan stuff. I might have asked you this exact question in one of your videos too. This was super helpful and maybe now I can incorporate some more modern things into the purposeful floor plans that are no longer around. I want to bring the art of Homemaking back. Sure you don’t want to help me design my house haha.

  10. On my family’s two homes, both New England Vernacular
    – White China doorknobs
    – wrought iron thumb latches
    – narrow maple board floors
    – wise pine board floors
    – a water glazed brick mantelpiece
    – inglenook fireplace
    – taaallllllll ceilings
    – closed off rooms
    – front/Center/back stairs
    – multiple hallways
    – not moving furniture that’s been there since God was in short pants
    – forgot the China closet
    – attics
    – porches
    – piazzas
    – verandas
    – stoops
    – lawns
    – gardens
    – granite front steps
    – 40lb. chunks of quartz on said steps
    – oddly shaped closets
    – efficiency kitchens in the former butterys
    – enormous farmhouse windows
    – original front doors with sidelights

  11. Paige, l’m 68 and I would have loved to have had teachers who are as passionate and interesting as you are. No matter what subject you’re talking about you have me enthralled. Ever think of teaching? Truly love your blog. Came across it last week and have watched all of them.Keep them coming.
    Bonnie Graham

  12. I L.O.V.E. Floorplans of the Past! (I'm PrettyOldHouse on IG), McMansion Hell is hysterical, I've been a long time follower. I live in a 1915 duplex in Cleveland Heights, an early suburb of Cleveland where all the homes are a similar vintage. I think with a few exceptions of the monied, there haven't been very many new builds since G.I. Bill post war little cape cods. An advantage of living in a rust belt city is that one can buy an old stone home for bargain basement prices and redo the innards, saving a ton of money on some of the trade skills required for exterior masonry.

  13. I would add the verticality of proportions, which reflect the human body, houses adressing the street and public realm (porches, big front doors, beautiful railings), and the use of natural, beautifully-aging materials such as wood, brick, stone, and copper.
    A few great resources out there: the books "Get Your House Right" by Marianne Cusato (a total game-changer) and "Traditional Construction Patterns" by Steve Mouzon. They highlight those details that make all the difference in the big picture!
    Greetings from an architectural designer.

  14. Older houses are welcoming, they feel like they have a soul. Newer homes seen sterile, cold and not comfortable.

  15. Molding and wood work. Our first house was a 1941 English Tudor, it was a handyman special in 1999 at $266K and it needed a complete overhaul. My husband found it and he told the RE agent, this is the one but I want my wife to see it first and he was right, that was THE ONE! We had to replace the cross siding, the 21 windows, the concrete had to be done new, paint inside and out, refinish the original hardwood flooring, retiled kitchen floors, the whole separate garage structure and door were rotten, we had to get someone to clean out the fireplace which I adored. The only thing we were not able to do was switch from oil fuel to heat the house in the winter and in NY it can be quite expensive but when we were done the neighbors were so happy because we had replaced the eyesore with overgrown grass to a beautiful house that blended in nicely and all the restorations were done true to its period. 3 years later we sold the house for $510K and it raised everyone's properties. Today the same house is worth a bit shy off $1million. We should have kept that property. It is the same owners who bought them from us and they have not changed a thin in 17 years since they bought it. I was proud of that house and sad that we had to let it go.

  16. My grandparents lived in two old houses that I loved as a child. Both houses were two stories, had full front porches with swings, entry ways with a grand stair case. Off each side of the entry were doors…the family side (living room, dining, kitchen) and the public side (parlor and music room). There were French doors to each side of the house. Pocket doors between the parlor and music room. The dining room had built-ins. The kitchen had a large pantry. One house had four bedrooms, the other had three bedrooms. The one with three bedrooms had a master suite with a sitting room and a nursery. The house with the four bedrooms had servant stairs. Lots of windows. Beautiful woodwork.

    Wanted to add…I really dislike “open concept”…I don’t want to see into every room. I like the idea of having a parlor that is always clean and tidy to entertain guests. I don’t need a kitchen with miles of counter space or to entertain a dozen people it. I do like a kitchen island…where you can roll out pie dough, or pasta, or cinnamon rolls.

  17. I think what gives most old houses soul is that the people who built them put a lot of love into it. It may not have been their home but they took pride in their work. The solidity of an old house is another thing that I always feel. Solid wood doors to muffle sound, lovely windows, and the trim and stairs, oh my!! Draperies are another feature of old houses that I love. Soft things absorb sound and make a space cozy and warm. Another great thing is the front or side porch. The welcoming space enticing people to come and say hi. You should check out Sarah Susanka's book call edThe Not So Big House. She talks a lot about making spaces human and feeling like home, no matter what size and she does hate the McMansion's because there is no real thought to the humans that will live there. Scale and proportion are so important to making us feel good in our home. Great topic as usual!! : ))

  18. I live in a circa 1888 victorian that true to the era is overbuilt but damn is she an elegant old lady of a house. Love everything about it from the high ceilings to the fact that is made up of separate rooms each with their own fireplace and personality. When I go intom8ft ceiling "cardboard" houses now they seem flimsy and character- less. Would recommend an old house to anyone that loves decorating.

  19. You should check out my friend Bungalow Roots on Instagram – she talks about this exact thing all the time and even does "floor plan Friday" every week where she (a professional architect) redoes a old floor plan with minor modernizing tweaks just as you did!

  20. I feel like I have found my people this comment section. House layouts (and old house layouts in particular) have been my obsession since I was in elementary school.
    My husband and I also are quite drawn to certain houses built circa 1950-1970 houses, and it's interesting to figure out why we enjoy them. In our particular area of the West Coast, large old houses like you showcased are very rare. People didn't live here then. The 1950s-1970s era of well designed, well built, larger (beyond a standard ranch) houses out here feel like peak design and style for our specific culture and historical setting and I dig it.

  21. Check out You tube My Soulful Home : Victorian House tour 1886…
    You will love it. She talks about the stairs and how they didn't have money in the Victorian days and how each step was a different wood….

  22. Great video and full of interesting points. I wonder if we are missing one point: we are comparing "new poor people" houses (= builder grade) with "old rich people" houses.

  23. Our old house was built circa 1887. though I think one section of the building was older as it had the square nails. When we worked on it, we found places where the workmen wrote things on the studs inside of the walls… a name, a scripture or a bit of a saying.. The windows were two over two but the dimensions were such that they started about eighteen inches from the floor and , like you said, were six feet tall. It seemed that if they wanted a wider window they would just go side by side. Typically I only see one feature window in a victorian and that is the one wide window in the front of the house. Wide isn't the usual thing… tall and narrow is. One thing that I learned when researching for paint colors (five in our case for our Queen Anne) was that they painted there around the window sashing black. Not the trim, just the sashing and boy! did it make those windows pop! And all this talk these days about the double and triple paned windows… let me just say, nothing was warmer than our old windows when the storm windows were put up for winter. Yes it was extra work and some of them were missing, but I did love our old storm windows. Our current house is new and the thing I miss most is the patina on everything. I want to try and do more nice wood here. Do a spit coat before staining and then bite the bullet and use real varnish and go with a rubbed wax finish. I miss my old house. When it was time to move, I wish I could have picked it up and brought it with me. Apparently, we had ghosts as well. Ok, I have to get off here cause you are making me miss my home too much!

  24. I’ve been watching old 1940’s and 50’s kitchen videos that they put out. It talked about how they engineered the kitchens to best work for the lady of the house. Everything in that kitchen had a purpose, a place and all the electronics served a time saving and practice purpose. The layout, materials, the hard surfaces, the cabinets, etc. I thought of you the entire time. You were trying to plan your kitchen according to your practical usage, and to it’s history. They built to last, they built for purpose, quality, and everything meant something. Nowadays it’s all about time means money. Materials are sub-par and no real thought went into purpose or details. It’s just for ticky tacky on the hillside.

  25. I loved this video! My house was built in 2012, my husband picked it out a few months before we met, with the intention of starting his family. It's not fancy, there's not a lot of detail, but it is a very practical house for us for now. Open plan is wonderful when your children are small. It's not very private, but I think that's how we live now vs 100 years ago. I can be busy in the kitchen and still be right with everyone. I used to imagine myself fixing up an old house but that doesn't seem to be in the cards for me anymore. In the future we plan to build a log home so I will get to add some details that I love from historical homes. I love craftsman and I think I could make certain things work in a log home. I love watching your videos and dreaming about what I want in our next house.

  26. We live in the house my husband grew up in. It is a 2 story red brick home, built in 1876. Has been in his family since 1881. It has so much character. Big windows, 7' tall, lots of big trim and moldings, even on the ceiling. We have 10' high ceiling down and 12' high up. We have lowered the ceilings to just above the windows that are above each door, to help with the heating. I noticed on the pictures of the homes the detailed work around outside of the windows! Ours has some too. Thanks for sharing this information on old houses.

  27. You're entirely right about old houses having personalities. We feel that way about our 1938 farmhouse.

    The windows also were about no air conditioning. We don't need AC in our house because it was made right for air flow.

  28. New houses do not have soul. They are not substantive.

    Plaster, not wall board. Thicker walls. Higher ceilings. Elegant hallways.

    We have a 1970, hipped-roof stick house. It's never ever going to look substantive.

    However, we are going to change the trim, the windows (eventually). We already installed wall-to-wall hardwood floors. When we renovate, we will incorporate built-in bookcases and cabinets.

    I will do my best on the outside utilizing paint for the trim.

    It won't be easy… 😉

  29. New homes are missing true artisans in there construction. Homes use to be works of art from the smallest to the largest and the pride the homeowners had.

  30. Old houses were made with love, meaning that the architects put their heart and soul into them. Modern homes aren’t made that way at all. That’s my opinion.

    Just like most of the younger generation now don’t want anything that their parents/grandparents owned, say furniture for example, there are exceptions like you and others I’m sure.
    They take antique furniture and paint it black or white – it’s a beautiful piece of furniture with real oak or cherry and the like.

    If I had the means and hindsight, I would had bought a Victorian home or a craftsman home and been happy remodeling to my heart’s desire – however I now, just enjoy viewing (and others like you) make your dreams become reality. Thank you.

  31. Thank you so much for this video!! We have an old house but it’s been stripped of its soul over the many terrible renovations. We’re now trying to bring back it’s essence but I’m struggling with how to actually to that!

    I found this great playlist of videos on YT that talk about various old house decorating style:


    Hopefully it’s helpful!

  32. I think a lot of people building new homes really think of trim as a complete after thought. Many people tend to shy away from "large trim" because they feel it will be far too expensive, but you can get larger trim for cheaper if you do your research, and especially if you want it to be paint grade. You can easily dress-up plain MDF slabs with a small moulding over the top, or with a small cove on top like you did on your trim (and it's similar to mine). I have 7.5" tall baseboards that are just flat slabs with a round-over on the top. I can get 6 lengths of 8 feet from a 40$ sheet of MDF. That works out to about 0.87$ a linear foot for tall baseboards.

  33. The large windows allowed a wonderful amount of light in and you could leave the bottom closed and open the tops to allow wind movement to pull out the hot air without winds blowing directly on people. Depending on when the houses were built, you had taxes levied on doors but not windows. So often very large windows were put in and used as doorways onto the porches, patios or walkways. It was also a sign of wealth, that you could afford so much of the delicate glass(a luxury). Bedrooms were considered utilitarian, and were often only large enough for a bed, side table, dresser, chair or chest, and wash stand. So many people now need large rooms for sleeping, gaming, entertaining, clothes/shoe hoarding, etc. 'Real' homes were built onsite by craftsmen. Newel posts, spindles, mantles, corbels, woodwork, trim, etc, were all carved by hand by men at the house, or close by. Wall murals were painted by hand, wall patterns painted by hand, furniture made by local craftsmen. Furniture placement was carefully considered before the house was built, not after. 'Public' rooms were given the higher consideration as so many family and friends would see them, but not the private rooms/areas. Ceilings were higher allowing for the grandeur of the woodworks to be noticed and appreciated. Just as personal clothing was considered so as to portray a certain status level, so were the houses and furnishings.

  34. Paige, what you said in this video is the essence of what I've been yammering on about for so many years, but you said it SO much better. Human beings need to be surrounded by beauty, and this is especially true in our homes, where we take refuge from the chaos and constant change of the world outside. Like it or not, we draw comfort in tradition–like being surrounded by loved ones at Thanksgiving dinner while framed by architectural details with a 2500 year-old track record of satisfying the human need for comfort and stability in our built environment. Thank you, Paige and Brandon, because you two put into words and deeds the thoughts and feelings of an entire generation of homeowners who are one generation removed from the sensible home design my grandparents probably took for granted. You two are a treasure!

  35. One can't, simple as that. My husband and I live in an historic home and LOVE it- today's modern flimsy architecture cannot compare, neither can the newly constructed 'farmhouses'- what a joke! Kimberly

  36. The golden ratio is a big part of it imo . Fengshui says its because old wood (building material ) have lost the stress of of being taken down. Also materials take on the hopefully positive energy of the previous owners. Something like that.. Old home are always more comfortable to me. I think that when these old homes were built they were meant to last,built with love, today the second something is built it's value is seen only in monetary value and not the unseen value of living in art.

  37. Question for you, because I can't remember if you addressed in your other restovation videos: are you doing sheetrock, or plaster walls?

  38. I'm pausing the play to answer your question "what do you see that's not typical in modern houses?" Well, as the reluctant owner of a modern house (in my area of the country there's no other choice), I'd have to say that as I alter my house to make it more "me," and look at a lot of other places for ideas, I'd have to say that the biggest thing I've seen in modern houses today started back in the 90s when the housing market became a way to speculatively invest. Used to be that a significant portion of houses were built to showcase the builder's skills, or to display craftsmanship, and were built as to last generations. Sure, there were housing tracts built quick-and-dirty as the economy exploded following WWII, but there were still many homes built that were supposed to be have individual personality. Now? Well now building houses is something conglomerate investment groups do to make a buck (as opposed to making a profit). Making a profit is to build a quality product efficiently so that your revenue exceeds your costs. Making a buck is to build a house using the absolutely dirtiest, cheapiest materials you can find and to build it in such a way that juuuust meets the building codes for the area. Then dress that pig up with some slutty lipstick and unload it as quickly as possible. Sure, the place is new and smells all fresh and looks all shiny. It's not shoddy, it's just not built to the standards builders had when builders were also craftsmen. So in 25 years the place is falling apart and needs major renovations. I can't tell you the number of just plain crappy design and building practices I've uncovered in renovating houses. It's just disgusting. And when asking why, the answer always seems to be the same: well, this way was cheaper for the builder.

    But when I look at old homes, I see craftsmanship. I see details that aren't in modern homes. I see homes that were built with a higher degree of pride, like the builders could drive by in the future and point out to passengers "yeah, I built that place." I almost never have a request to reno an old home. Update, some; modernize, yeah. But usually owners of older homes want to bring back the charm and beauty of their home by making it more like it was when it was younger. Most of the reno requests I get from owners of modern homes is to almost completely erase what the builders did. I've actually done work on older homes where I'll come across the carpenter's or mason's signature scrawled somewhere inside, like they were autographing their work. Homes from those eras had personality. Modern homes just don't, unless you're spending half a million or more. It's a crying shame.

  39. Get some popcorn ceiling, paneling walls, white appliances for the kitchen, shaggy blue or red carpet, make sure all hardware is good shiny brass including all light fixtures… let me see… o don’t forget floral wallpaper, including and especially in the kitchen and all bathrooms which should also display the same carpet from the rest of the house..and I believe you’ll be about set…👍🏻

  40. We only saw the outside of the houses… How were we supposed to know about the list you made… Excellent points, but I just didn’t see all that…
    Which video can I watch To see the external and internal tour of your home!? So intriguing… Now I’m off to go make a comment about your kitchen… A practical functional thought😊

  41. I don't know exactly how your channel ended up in my feed, but I'm SO glad it did!
    First, you speak my languages, which are "vintage" and "old house".
    Second, you look like family. Seriously, you remind me so much of my sister when she was younger. ♥️

    I would LOVE to live in an old house. Actually I did for 5 years. It was a 90-something year old bungalow duplex with wonderful cabinetry, and it even had the old fashioned push button light switches. God, I loved those, it was like living in a museum.
    Also a screened in service porch, an original claw foot tub, and a …argh, what was it called?… a cabinet in the kitchen with screened shelves that had ventilation. For produce, I think?
    I laid in some plywood squares so I could store canned goods.

    But the soul of an old house is palpable. I can walk into a vacant old house that contains not one piece of furniture, and it feels like "home". It's like the house wrapped it's arms around me and said "welcome".
    But I can walk into a fully furnished modern home, and it feels cold, even though people live there.

    They sound different.
    They feel different.

    Oh, one thing that I think makes a difference is paint.
    I could be wrong, but oil based trim paint just seems to have a look and feel that latex doesn't. Perhaps I simply haven't seen GOOD latex paint? I don't know.😄

    But I will definitely be checking out the rest of your channel. 🙂

  42. I hate the bland mass manufactured trim in most modern homes. You know the ones that goes with the 6 panel hollow core door. Yuck.

  43. Lol!!! Cracked me up when you threw on the breaks and tried to control your “antique monster” from coming out! And thank you for the advice of the Instagram site “Floorplans of the Past”. I can’t wait to check that out! Oh, and thank you for your thoughts on how old houses speaking to you. My husband thinks I’m crazy when I try to explain how our current house is not “old enough” for me. It definitely does not speak to me like an old home would.

  44. Wow! Those old houses are beautiful! They needed to be big, and with separate rooms, to accommodate large families. Someone already mentioned that the large windows allowed light in, but also air flow, before everyone had a/c. I'd say some of the biggest differences between old& new are the materials used and the attention to detail. But not all old houses look like that. Old the wealthy could afford all that space and trim. My parents (large) house, was built in 1930, the same year as the first (small) house I bought as an adult. There were similarities, like we had the same doorknobs. But their floors were double layer oak. Mine were single layer pine. 😊
    Love your videos!

  45. I live in a small Castle from the 11th century in Holland, i never liked New houses and I am very lucky to live in a Castle. We try to make it like the old days and we look For furnuture in second hand antique shops and auctions. So much fun to do 😀🏰 you definitely feel the soul in oud houses, which you will never find in new ones. And When you enter our Castle you feel like you feel like you live like long times ago.

  46. Those doors between the kitchen and the dining room, knocking out the China cabinet is terrible, the route from the kitchen to the dining room purposely goes through the pantry, most commonly called the butlers pantry. In the butlers pantry is where all he china and crystal and silver are stored and where meals are set up and garnished, it is also where plates are cleared from the dining room to go. There’s usually a sink in the butlers pantry for cleaning the dishes. So in my house I would have a butlers pantry between my kitchen and dining room, I don’t want my guests seeing into the hustle of the kitchen in a dining room that is supposed to be a formal room.
    I have spent my entire life, I’m 57 studying floor plans and vintage housing especially Victorians, I hate open concept floor plans they cost more to heat and cool and you get all the smoke and grease from the kitchen area all over the place. The thing that’s a trend right now, which I hate is flippers buying up old craftsman houses and gutting them down, removing all the dividing walls and built-ins and creating open concept floor plans they cover up the beautiful oak floors with vinyl plank flooring paint all the walls grey with white trim. They put in a white subway backsplash in the kitchen with black granite counters and SS appliances, but the bathrooms out and redo them in all white tile. It just makes me sick, it’s so hard to find an authentic craftsman home these days.

  47. I like that a new house is a blank slate. I am giving it the character with my family instead of feeling other people’s character in the house.

  48. Challenge question: How would you make a mid century tri level look old? Keep in mind it has barely 8 ft ceilings and big trim would just be proportionately ridiculous.

  49. Come to my house! I have the real deal with plaster walls. But my kitchen sucks. I do have old beautiful hardwood floors but they need to be refinished.

  50. Grew up in a Victorian home – beautiful, yes, but cost efficient, no !!!! Cold in the winter and hot in the summer. Never ending maintenance and money. If you can afford it though, go for it 🤗😎

  51. I have watched a multitude of episodes of the BBC program Escape To The Country, and what you’re talking about they do in the UK! They build new homes that look old and mimic some of the best qualities of their old buildings. I was amazed to discover this. I think I’ll go live in the UK. (Not really, but I LOOVE their country homes!!!)

  52. One thing most people aren't aware of back in the day they didn't have closets or if they DID they were incredibly small and maybe only one because back then you were taxed on how many rooms a person had and YES they counted CLOSETS as ROOM'S!!!
    Its WHY people back in the early 1900's ALWAYS talked about closets, kitchens and bathrooms because those are relatively new in architecture!
    I ADORE older home's and my husband's childhood home was built in the late 1800's by the first black man in that area! They have the main beam from the barn where everyone carved their names and dates from the barn raising! When they bought the house it was practically falling down and when it snowed it snowed up on the second floor! Once they got it closed off a huge blizzard hit which stranded my father in law at work and mother in law at home with 2 small children and 17 dairy cows so my mother in law ALLL 5'2" of her milked the cows by hand only finding her way to the barn by an old rope having to pour the milk out because it couldn't be stored(they were running a small dairy farm)and she had to take an ax to the bathroom wall to get to firewood that was stored next to the house! She was out there by herself for almost 2 weeks by herself 2 small wee ones and ALLL of the farm animals! I can't even begin to imagine how terrified, exhausted and worried she must have been dealing with no phone no electricity and no access or way to find out where her husband was or if he was okay or NOT!!!
    He finally hopped on a snowmobile and made it home dislocating his shoulder on the way when it got caught under a telephone wire! He rode 20 miles 10 of that with his shoulder messed up so if anyone is having a bad day lol take heart and know at least you didn't have to do any of THAT!!!
    But I ADORE my in laws home and love the history and heart it took to build it!💗 That's what I love about old farm house's they were built with dreams, hardwork and love💗💗💗💗

  53. New subscriber here, I am so glad to see I am not the only person who isn’t a fan of all these new open concept homes. Open concept kitchen/ living room would be a nightmare for me. My husband makes so much noise in the kitchen, I would never be able to hear the television, plus I don’t care to have my furniture smelling like yesterday’s fried fish dinner.😄

  54. Older homes were made for women & women in the home/ homemakers where there was structure and a “Time for Dinner”. Modern homes aren’t made for women since most aren’t homemakers anymore. Modern homes are made for busy families that eat out or eat whenever. The kitchen is now a fancy room/hang out vs. a “traditional” working kitchen. Also, people eat anytime, not on schedule and in any room….explains the open concept. – Just Say’n.

  55. Ceiling height. I don't know about the US, but in the UK, ceiling heights have dropped massively – so no more high ceilings with picture rails and room for big embossed plaster moulding. It may be worth just checking if raising the ceiling height helps with that "feeling"

  56. I watched the colonial house interview…you are so right. The farmhouse white fad is going to go out. Anyway, what real farmhouse had everything white? For goodness sake, farmers get DIRTY!!!! And they can't shower and change every time they come in for coffee and a sandwich!!
    Also, I am beginning to hate all these "words" on everything, telling me to smile, believe, love, laugh, etc.. If I am doing what I like, those things will automatically be there!
    I'm going to stay with what makes ME happy. No trends, home interior parties, or copying someone else.

  57. I am super grateful for your channel. I just bought a 1910 colonial revival three-story home in Pendleton Oregon. I have a lot of work ahead of me and I don’t know where to begin. My husband and I have different ideas on how to decorate and renovate. We will probably argue and disagree a lot. Your channel has given me insight of the history of colonial houses. While doing research On what kitchens looked like in 1910 I found next to nothing. This home has been my dream and I never thought it be a reality.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *