What Not To Do When Restoring an Old House

A Victorian dining room

A Victorian dining room

I just received some absolutely delicious books that I had ordered just recently from my suppliers. “Bringing Paris Home“, “Great Lady Decorators 1870-1955” and “Rooms to inspire in the Country” are three of my favorites. The problem is that I only have so much room for books. (I am a book addict so the only way I can control them from taking over the house is by having limited space to put them in). This means that when something comes in, something else comes out.

I like to keep magazines on old houses (of course) but I had to remove some from my library in order to make room for the new books. (I give these away) Anyways, I came up with an old issue of Old House Interiors (Winter 2005). I enjoyed reading the advice they gave. The words in italics are mine. Here it is:

A LIST OF DON’Ts for Restoring a Victorian House: (According to Old House Interiors)

  • Don’t display Teddy bears with pink ribbons. Teddy Roosevelt did not become president until 1902. Besides they look ridiculous.
  • Don’t use cheap nylon or cotton machine-made area rugs. Bare floors are better.
  • Don’t buy too florid or too delicate papers that have no grounding in Victorian design.
  • Don’t use an excess of bordello red.
  • Don’t buy shiny brass hardware. Buy un lacquered and let it develop a patina.
  • Don’t over illuminate a room with 100 watt bulbs. At the very least buy a dimmer.
  • Don’t buy ersatz (means synthetic or reproduction) Rococo furniture. It looks doubly out of place in a late Victorian room. (Rococo furniture came out in the 1860’s)
  • Don’t let a modern sensibility result in a gallery look: uncluttered with choice pieces on display. Sparse rooms would have meant poverty during the Victorian era.

3 responses to “What Not To Do When Restoring an Old House

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