Today, if we look at any wallpapered, upholstered, placed, plumped, and hooked innards of a heritage building, we know its history. There is a reverence amongst innovators for the art of pictorial storytelling that often begins with bricks and mortar of space as an architectural surface. 

According to many designers, there should always be a link between the decorative pediments, Sloping roofs, sash windows, and twisting chimney stacks of heritage properties with the carpets, curtains, lampshades, and furniture. 

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Interior as a part of heritage_©

Historic Managers around Interiors 

The primary role of heritage managers is to preserve, organize, and provide entrance to heritage sites, including historic buildings, landscapes, and museums. The responsibilities of a heritage manager also include maintaining the contents of the heritage sites in good condition.

The contents also include the interiors of the heritage site. It also needs proper maintenance and delicate dealing with the intricate detailing. 

All heritage sites have intangible aspects associated with them and are known to be heritage values. And interiors of a heritage site are considered to be an ethereal aspect. In recent times, both the tangible and intangible received equal attention. 

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heritage manager_©

Interior themes related to Heritage (in a modern context)

Many historical heritage buildings that often held great value and pride in ancient times are left abandoned and in disrepair. This state is due to the social, cultural, and demographic shifts apart from the high maintenance costs. In the 19th Century, a movement was born that legally protected heritage buildings. It began by converting heritage sites into lounges, hotels, museums, and more. 

Creating an interior design project doesn’t always merely merge modern concepts. There is a trend of restoring and remodeling historical buildings.  

Here’s a list of heritage monuments that are adorned with modern interiors. 

1. Grand Trunk in Montreal 

Designers Mark Fekete and Viviana de Loera designed their own 1880s row house in Montreal, dubbing a project Grand Trunk. They gave the home a vibrant remodeling with an industrial touch. 

The house features wooden beams and industrial columns. The house is bright white in the interior, popping up with design elements like sliding barn doors. 

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Grand Trunk Montreal_©

2. Alemany’s 5 in Spain 

Alemany’s 5 is a pretty old house in the heart of Girona’s quarter. Ar. Anna Noguera Nieto preserved the exterior facade and a huge part of the traditional interiors but added plenty of modernity to the 16th-century townhouse with glass features

Apart from the glazed partitions that separate rooms, this house enjoys a green backyard, swimming pool, a lawn, and a dining area.

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Alemany’s 5 in Spain_©

3. Ca’ Spineda in Italy 

Ca’ Spineda is one of the older historical buildings restored to a habitable state. The residence features a straightforward interior design. The white-laden walls and floors contrast with the traditional wooden beamed ceilings. 

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Ca’ Spineda Italy_©

4. Villa Monja in Montenegro 

This Villa hails from the 19th Century, but the creators filled it with contemporary elements that reduce the space constraints between the rooms. The original stonework and untreated wood stand against the glass staircase railings and metallic accents. 

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Villa Monja in Montenegro_©

5. Restored Corner Building in Belgium 

This building is a restored 19th Century corner building in the Belgian city of Ghent. Watching the water on an old cobblestone lane, it stands out with an ebony facade and charitably sized window. Inside, it juxtaposes the black painted stone walls with white stucco surfaces, while wooden shafts in the vaulted ceilings give it a farmhouse vibe. 

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Restored Corner Building in Belgium _©

6. Chapel on the Hill, North Pennines, England 

Churches were the most in-demand historical buildings for modifications until recently. And while now it is more trendy to restore some other specialized buildings into homes, churches have found their nook.

The English chapel stood windowless before it was turned into a mid-century modern home with an open design and a farmhouse kitchen. Red window frames now give it a contemporary touch and a bright pop amidst the green and stone grey landscapes.

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Chapel on the Hill, North Pennines, England_©

7. Sant Augusti Cloister in Barcelona 

Sant Augusti Cloister is probably one of the best-documented buildings to become a modern home. A 500-year-old Spanish monastery with arched entryways and windows looks ventilated and breezy.

The all-white interior forms an open layout. Each area has characteristic architectural elements, but the color scheme never changes, keeping the immense home light and bright.

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Sant Augusti Cloister in Barcelona_©

8. 19th Century House in Lucca, Italy 

Century House is historical from the outside but modern through and through on the inside. It is an over-century-year-old house that has the most stylish interior design.

It is filled with authentic accents like wooden beams and stonework, each room comes wrapped in black and white or white and natural wood.

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19th Century House in Lucca, Italy_©

9. Renovated House in Chamoson

 In this 19th-century house, the architects improved the grey stone with concrete and added colorful accents to make the interiors look livelier.

Comprising a living/dining room, office, artist studio, cellar, and an exhibition gallery, this is a no-typical townhome.

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Renovated House in Chamoson_©

10. 16th Century Barn in Sheffield, England 

 This English barn has gotten a major recent update with enormous windows and elegant interiors.

Designed in a white and grey color scheme, the new abode uses soft furnishings and threaded rugs to create a sense of homely ease, all the while maintaining the historical look.

Interiors and Conservation 

Modernization of the recorded site’s interior entails the need to take many decisions, often conflicting. 

Operational requirements, protection of the architectural Heritage site, fire-safety recommendations, and construction regulations, are the aspects that involve a whole set of problems that require a rational solution, respecting ambient architectural and historical value, as well as the needs arising from the planned transformation. 

Adaptation and modernization of an interior, as opposed to purely preservation actions, often require intervention in the standard fabric of the construction of the building, its modification, or, in extreme cases, its transformation. The effect of such conversions may extend from the complete retention of the ‘external’ cultural layer to the full transformation. 

Works Cited

“15 Historical Buildings with Modern Interiors.” RTF | Rethinking the Future, 22 June 2021,

“21 Historical Buildings with Modern Interiors.” Trendir, 7 Nov. 2016,

“Heritage Work: Understanding the Values, Applying the Values.” Values in Heritage Management: Emerging Approaches and Research Directions, 9 Sept. 2019,


Sanvitti Shetty, an aspirant in the architecture field, has a keen interest in reading, writing, and researching. She is strongly opinionated and headstrong with her beliefs. She believes words can bring about a revolution in the field of architecture.