Old home renovations: tips for maintaining your kitchen’s charm

Northern Beaches & Upper North Shore before and after

History is a beautiful thing. Looking back can reveal a rich and storied past that got us to where we are today. That’s what makes older, historic homes so fantastic. Every room has a story to tell, and at the heart of your home, this is especially true for your kitchen. 

Of course, as time changes, things that were top of the range in the 80s can start to become outdated and inefficient. As the most used room in your house, it helps to have an optimised and functioning space with all the innovations 2023 can provide. However, this doesn’t have to mean sacrificing the charm of a seasoned home you know and love. 

Here are some of our tips for older home renovations that focus specifically on the kitchen.

Our top tips for renovating an old home

1. Remember to plan

This is true for any kind of renovation. Before you begin you need to have a solid plan in place. Changing things up halfway through the process can impact your project and even the final result of the design. Ensure you’ve chosen all your materials and supplies ahead of time, and picked out the elements of your vintage kitchen that you want to keep. It can be overwhelming to get started, so it’s a good idea to partner with a renovation provider who can use their expertise to guide you through the process. This will help you achieve the vision you’ve imagined. 

2. Maintain as much of your original structure as possible

When renovating a historic home, the key to maintaining its character is keeping as much of the existing kitchen intact as you can. This includes the walls, floor, original kitchen symmetry and any other architectural elements. These are the elements that tell the story of the home and can maintain its heritage and charm. Striking the balance between the old and the new can even help increase the value of your home since many buyers are drawn in by the character of older, classic properties.

3. Upgrade key elements

Get that refreshed feeling from your kitchen without overhauling everything, and stick to updating key elements. Take your countertops as an example. They make up a large portion of your kitchen and could be dragging the look down with cheap vinyl, cracked paint, or inconvenient, hard-to-clean materials. Replacing these with sustainable and durable options like stone, concrete, or a solid surface can elevate your space without compromising its core characteristics. 

Another option is to install fresh door and drawer styles that align with the architecture and period of your home. This gives you a sense of the new without clashing with the overall look of the home. Otherwise, it could be as simple as new knobs and handles that enhance the visual appeal and function of your cabinets.

4. Improve functionality

Homes can become run down as they age, and so can appliances and fixtures. Updating these elements will offer convenience and style without changing the character of renovated old homes. For example, you can switch up your lighting to add new fixtures like pendant, cabinet, and under-benchtop lights to brighten up the space. This can also help with energy efficiency since older lighting options won’t have the same capabilities as modern ones. 

This is the same for your appliances. Outdated appliances can zap a lot of energy and end up costing you more than necessary. On the other hand, adopting new ones can optimise your functionality while being lighter on your wallet. This includes your dishwasher, microwave, toaster, and kettle.

5. Repaint you walls

This is the simplest way to upgrade your kitchen during renovations of an historic home. Breathe new life into your space with a fresh coat of paint. You can choose a colour that complements the existing tones throughout your home and blends your kitchen with the surrounding rooms. It also helps to pick something that aligns with the period of your home, like neutral colours or colours that were popular when the house was built.

Bring in the experts for your old home renovations

It helps to hire a renovation provider that understands how to upgrade a kitchen without compromising a home’s charm. At DDK, we have extensive experience in this space thanks to our kitchen facelifts. We maintain as much of your existing kitchen as possible and upgrade key elements like the ones discussed above, leaving us with great renovation ideas for old homes. We’ll help you make a plan, and find a design that keeps the charm of your home alive while giving you something new. Talk to us today to get started.