Design Hints

Building with Character

Do you daydream about buying and restoring an antique home? As romantic as this notion may sound, lovers of old houses often follow a different path and build a new home that recalls yesteryear but incorporates elements needed for today’s lifestyle. Teri Klinker advocates this old house, new balancing act and says, "Period homes never go out of style." Reflecting on her own experience with designing and building a home with an eye on the past, Teri offers these helpful tips:

Building With Character

  • Do Your Homework. Become fluent in architectural styles. Visit house museums, read architectural history books, gather images and take notes.
  • Create a Wish List. Fill a three-ring binder with information about windows, doors, flooring, lighting, millwork, plumbing, historic paint colors, wallpaper, window treatments and furnishings.
  • Collaborate with Experienced Professionals. Hire an architect or architectural designer. Select a contractor who specializes in period-reproduction construction. Check references.
  • Consider Architectural Salvage. Visit a salvage venue near your home and explore their inventory. Weave building materials, such as doors, windows, sinks and tubs, into your design.
  • Research Period-Reproduction Vendors Locate companies that sell items such as cabinet hardware and light switches designed specifically for Colonial-era homes. Visit their websites and bookmark products suited for your project.

Written by Cheryl Hackett
Photographed by Bill Mathews/Styled by Lauren Emmerling