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Before & After: 1890s Victorian Home Renovation


Top styling tips

Property stylist Heidi Cardelli (@heidicardelli_propertystylist) recently decked out a renovated 1890s Victorian home in Gilberton, Adelaide to bring it into the modern age. We’ve got 9 tips for updating and styling your period home while highlighting its classic character and timeless features.

1. Focus on the features

Put the home’s stunning original features in the limelight by arranging the layout of your room to showcase them. A cast-iron fireplace, stained-glass window or chandelier can really capture the essence of the era.

(Before renovation)

2. Be bold with a rich colour palette

Add depth and a rich a colour palette with your cushions, plants and other accessories. Homewares can be affordably updated or rotated throughout the seasons or whenever you feel like a change.

What's Your Style: Victorian

3. Keep it light and bright

Amplify the space and light with a neutral backdrop. Fresh whites and light tones are calming, bright and airy and can be dressed up or down with your furniture and décor.

(Before renovation)

4. Marry the old and new

Contrast comfy contemporary furniture against a few well-selected statement pieces, such as an oversize sofa with some Art Deco inspired velvet armchairs and a coffee table with cabriole legs.

5. Anchor your rooms with the right furniture

While we love those lofty ceilings that so many Victorian homes are known for, it’s important to fill your rooms with the right size furniture so your sofa, bed and dining table anchor the room and don’t feel like dollhouse furniture.

(Before renovation)

6. Curate some gallery walls

Make the most of those high ceilings with plenty of large wall art. You could pick some period pieces, go geometric with mid-century modern or even hang some contemporary prints to contrast against the cornices and ceiling roses.

Update Your Period Home Without Losing its Charm arched walkway

7. Amplify the space and light with mirrors

Large gilded mirrors are one of the trademarks of period homes, so put one in every room if possible. The magic of mirrors is that they amplify the space and light and make your rooms feel larger.

(Before renovation)

8. Let the floorplan flow outdoors

One of the biggest trends in contemporary design is the integration of outdoor living. It’s worth investing in sliding or bifold doors off the primary living zone to a large alfresco deck or pergola for open-air living and entertaining.

Update Your Period Home Without Losing its Charm bifold doors off living room

9. Restore your floors

A beautiful feature often to be unearthed in period homes is the hardwood flooring, sometimes hidden beneath old carpeting or vinyl. Peel it back, polish the boards and relish your timeless timber topped with a few cosy wool rugs to soften and zone your spaces.

(Before renovation)

More in-store at Early Settler

Visit us online or in-store at Early Settler to get inspired with furniture and homewares to update your period home (check out all the furniture and homewares used in the styling of this spectacular 1890s Victorian home in Adelaide below). And for more decorating ideas, check out what’s your style?


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