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March, 2011

From space-saving designs to the latest in sophisticated style, our design tips are made with you and your dream bathroom in mind.

Century Home Charm

Century Home Charm

When it comes to decorating, you love the idea of a century home, full of character and charm with interesting nooks and classic details. But the reality of a 100+ year-old home may be daunting to some homeowners. With a few simple changes, you can give your home some charm and a bit of classic flare, regardless of its real age.

Surface Area

Your house may not have the roots of an actual century home, but you can build the look and feel of one from the ground up. Older homes will often have floors that are well-worn and slightly distressed from the shoes of past generations. A great way to get this old look on a new floor is by using a softer wood. Cypress is a good choice - it dents more easily than your typical oak flooring for a lived-in appearance, plus you can stain it in a variety of wood tones to coordinate with the rest of your d├ęcor. If you prefer a hard wood, like oak, but still want to "age" it, pre-distressed floors are available. Hand distressed floors - achieved by a combination of grinding, pummeling and notching wood - are most authentic-looking, but factory-distressed floors offer a cost-effective alternative.

Moving up to your next major surface - the walls - it's important to mix your mediums. Nothing says new home like a nice neutral coat of paint in a uniform hue throughout the home. If you want to go for a slightly older look on your walls, incorporate several different styles of wall covering into each room. Start at floor level with a medium plank wainscoting, stopping one-third of the way up the wall. Top this off with a wallpaper treatment that has the appearance of old-fashioned hand-stamping, featuring a large pattern with two to three colors at most. Finally, add trim between different mediums, as well as at the floor and ceiling to complete the look.

Inner Workings

You may have your walls covered, but have you thought about what you'd like to put inside them? Built-in shelves and storage nooks are common amenities in older homes. There are two ways to incorporate these unique features - by building them into the spaces between two studs in a wall, or by building out from the wall and pulling everything together with coordinating finishes and trim. Either way, your cabinets will have a custom look. For an authentic touch, use your nooks to display historically significant pieces, like an antique china pattern or old black-and-white photos of family members from generations past.

Retro Re-done

Even if you are trying to make your home look old, there is something to be said for modern convenience. And when it comes to the kitchen, convenience is king. For the ideal mix of vintage styling and ease-of-use, install an undermount sink, topped with a traditionally-styled faucet in a classic Oil Rubbed Bronze finish. Moen's Vestige®: kitchen faucet in Stainless, Chrome or Oil Rubbed Bronze, available at local wholesale showrooms, offers that nostalgic look with the convenience of one- or two-handle design and matching sidespray. The Vestige collection also offers a high-arc, two-handle bar faucet, for a fully coordinated kitchen. Looking to go retro with your appliances? Appliance manufacturers like Big Chill offer refrigerators, dishwashers and stoves with a vintage look and modern functionality.

To carry your convenience and style into the bath, combine the old and the new - take a stunning antique pedestal sink and top it off with Moen's Boardwalk™ one-handle lavatory faucet in SpotResist Brusshed Nickel, available at Lowe's. Boardwalk features elaborate traditional styling and a classic high-arc spout, plus, this faucet is WaterSense certified, using up to 32 percent less water than a standard lavatory faucet without sacrificing performance. To complete the look, incorporate a decorative showerhead, also from the Boardwalk collection.

Not sure which rooms to deck out with the most decorative pieces? 19th century home style dictates that more formal, fanciful styles adorn public rooms - such as sitting rooms, bathrooms and guest rooms, whereas private spaces - such as personal bedrooms - utilize a more plain style. For inspiration, tour a historic home in your community, and note the specifics, from floor to ceiling. Your home may never have the history of a century home, but it can certainly carry off the look.

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