When it comes to interior design, people like to use the word “authentic.” But what does authenticity in interior design really mean?
In practice, it often means imitating something that might look authentic. But this ersatz approach is always paper-thin and never really does anything to add genuine character to a room. What homeowners want are designs with real history and experience.
Use Heavy, Ornate Furniture
With the rise of flat-pack furniture, many designers have lost sight of what real furniture should be like – heavy duty and intricately designed. The problem with much of today’s modern furniture is that it is the precise opposite – sapping rooms of their genuine character. Rather like our modern food system is all geared around convenience and low cost, the same is true about the furniture industry too.
If you ever take a visit to a traditional home complete with contemporary furniture, you’ll see just how heavy duty and well-finished it is. Solid hardwood beds, oak panelling and custom chairs by the fire all add to the authenticity.
Include Period Materials
All interior designers know about the importance of including period features, but what about period materials. If you’ve ever looked at, say, a Tudor reconstruction, you’ll immediately notice that the materials on show reveal the true origins of the building. It’s not Tudor at all – it’s a fake.
That’s why more and more people are using sites like https://www.tradoak.com/oak-beams/ to get genuine building materials from period houses. Authentic oak beams, for instance, sourced from houses built centuries ago, are increasingly popular, thanks to their ability to give an impression of genuine age and character. Modern or treated oak beams simply can’t compete.
Always Build On Existing Features
Designers who built houses in the past got a lot right, but not everything. The way we live our lives today is radically different from the way people lived their lives when many period homes were first built. This has led to the need for an improved, modernised aesthetic.
The best way to do this is to work with what’s already there. Any covering or panelling should remain, as should feature windows or conservatories. Foyers are important too, and they should be updated to reflect modern needs while remaining an integral part of the experience of coming into a new house.
Convert Your Kitchen, But Keep The Pantry
Cooking has moved on considerably since many period homes were built and modern families have a lot of new equipment and habits. But some interior designers can take kitchen redesigns too far says www.traditionalhome.com, gutting the home of its original features in favour of generic cabinetry and paintwork.
The key to preserving a kitchen’s authenticity is to keep the period features which made it special in the first place. Chief among these is the walk-in pantry, something which is still missing from many new builds and usually only something you get right at the top end of the market. Pantries are from another era but still useful today, which is why they are an essential part of any authentic kitchen design.