There is something so wonderfully beautiful about old architecture and styles in homes, and for many buyers, it’s what catches their eye and prompts them to purchase a property. But sometimes, even the most beautiful older homes need a little help, and renovations can help bring present-day conveniences and styles. It’s all about strategic renovations, i.e., knowing what makes sense to update and what to leave alone.

If you’re curious about preserving the past and how you go about renovating old homes with modern architectural touches then you’re going to want to read on.

What Are the Most Important and Beautiful Existing Features?

Before you start demolishing or making significant changes, it’s a good idea to identify the areas of the home you love the most. These can include architectural details, original woodwork, original flooring, pocket doors, crown moulding, original hardware and so forth. You are essentially making a “safe list” if you will, of features and items you don’t want to renovate.

By keeping some of the original features, you will be retaining its charm and character, even once the new modern touches are added. However, that’s not to say that the existing features may not need a little help, since they may need to be re-painted, stained, and/or repaired. The key is that you’re not making changes that affect the overall feel of the feature.

Does the Property Need Any Repairs?

This is also a great time to address any minor more major repairs. If you’re going to be renovating, you want to be sure the space looks and functions beautifully when you are done with it.

Be Picky About the Materials You Choose

The materials you choose always play a huge role in a home renovation project, and nowhere is that more obvious than with an older home. To stay true to its roots and ensure the styles blend, you will want to choose materials that make sense.

Woodwork and trim tend to be the two most important areas when looking for ways to preserve character while updating the space. This is a great way to choose a more modern design, but because you’ve chosen materials that are already present in the home, it works perfectly.

Research Modern Architectural Features

Taking the time to research modern architectural features will also pay off. You may have a rough vision in your head of what that means, but until you look at photos and see examples, it can be hard to put together a solid design plan. Modern architecture can include such things as:

  • Clean lines
  • Geometric shapes
  • Functional
  • Maximising natural lighting
  • Asymmetry
  • Minimal ornamentation
  • Open floor plans

Not everything is going to work in your home, which is why you want to look through the options carefully and figure out what’s doable and what makes sense in the space.

Look at Homes for Sale for Tips and Inspiration

One of the best tips for homeowners interested in renovating an older home is to look at the current listing of houses for sale, focusing on old homes. You can browse through photos and sometimes videos and get ideas and inspiration from what others have done.

These renovated homes for sale at Malta Sotheby’s Realty show how you can undertake modern renovations without sacrificing the original charm and unique details of the property. Many of the properties have figured out how to highlight the most attractive details and then blend in the new touches so that they aren’t jarring or out-of-place.

If you want a simplistic approach to modern architecture, simply remove anything that seems too ornamental. A great example is the use of art glass windows that act as artwork in the space. This means you don’t need wall hangings, thereby eliminating features in the space without sacrificing the feel of the home. Frank Lloyd Wright, a famous American architect who is known around the world for his prolific creations, was known for using this approach.

Don’t Forget the Outdoors

When people are renovating, they often focus on the indoors, but that could result in a missed opportunity. You can carry those modern architectural features through to the outdoors and help to tie things together. Again, it takes a creative eye and a bit of research so you are clear on what features would work best.

Some exterior features can include such things as strong lines, the use of angles, and a natural indoor-outdoor flow to the garden.

Preserving the Past While Bringing Homes into the Present-Day

It can be really difficult to renovate an older home when you are trying to be careful to preserve its character but have the desire to live in a more modern space. The good news is that there are ways to blend the old with the new and come up with something not only beautiful, but highly unique.


Rethinking The Future (RTF) is a Global Platform for Architecture and Design. RTF through more than 100 countries around the world provides an interactive platform of highest standard acknowledging the projects among creative and influential industry professionals.