When looking for a home I was drawn to period properties, the searched paused in Notting Hill and finding an apartment within a townhouse was the goal.
The downside of buying an apartment in a converted townhouse is that they have been renovated, perhaps two or in my case three times.
Over the years as property prices increased and cities became more densely populated the larger homes were converted to provide housing for a growing population.
Throughout the renovations the buildings were often stripped of their original features, such as the moulding and fireplaces. These were often sold to produce additional funding or simply disposed off – criminal!
Renovation aside, post war, when the country was in the grip of a determined spate of modernism, it became de rigueur to strip period homes of their architectural features, which today is unthinkable as these are the details we now look for when hunting for a property.
Before and during the eighties and nineties, many homes were badly augmented, leaving rooms lacking their original character.
If you’re planning to restore or install decorative mouldings or architectural details keep reading for a few tips.
Restoration and Replacement
Restoration or replacing is a way to breathe life back in to the interior architecture. Rather than choosing mouldings in isolation, it is important to consider them in relation to the whole interior and to make sure you choose the style that suits the age of your home.
London has very few showrooms, which combine the traditional handcraft skills with the right technological equipment and state of the art raw materials to produce high-end standard cornice and coving. I was lucky to work with the Cornice Centre in North West London.
The cornice installed into the Notting Hill apartment was a cheap modern day replacement and unfortunately it isn’t in keeping with the building age. When choosing architectural details research the history of the building and choose something in keeping. You could also knock on the door of a few neighbours as they may have already done a little research/refresh!
Process of elimination
Choose a design in keeping with the property and the interior architecture scheme, you want the details to feel effortless and blend into the structure rather than be jarring and uncomfortable.
When choosing a design it’s important to fix the samples to the ceiling to see how they look and work within the space, often the ones you think will be too large are the perfect size – a tip I wish someone told me!