These ideas from our first-ever renovation of a historic home offer inspiration for floors, ceilings, and everything else—including the kitchen sink!
Bring back the welcome mat.
A Georgia farmhouse without a front porch? We couldn't believe it. This wraparound one greets visitors with style.
Upgrade the shutters.
Keep the look authentic with hinged, operable shutters all the way around.
We kept the front entry and its surround but installed a new door made of antique heart pine and flanked it with handsome copper lanterns.
Reclaim lost space under the stairs.
An upholstered chair paired with a vintage chest provides a cozy landing spot near the door.
Bring in pattern through fabrics.
Nothing beats a classic plaid for a crisp farmhouse look. Choose a waterfall-style skirt to give it a modern edge.
Display your collections.
A grouping of vintage trophies is an inexpensive collection that's rich with patina.
Open up and say "aah."
A wide, dogtrot-like central hallway runs straight from the front door to the back, letting natural light and traffic flow easily.
Frame the doors with portieres.
Burlap draperies held in place with rope tiebacks add texture and give the entry the feel of a well-appointed room.
Paint your handrail high-gloss black.
It's a look that is handsome and durable. "A touch of black gives a room definition," says Paige.
Turn the stairwell into a gallery.
Start by hanging two or three larger pieces along the wall, and then fill in with smaller ones. Mix the subject matter and frame styles for more interest.
Opt for symmetry.
The main working part of the kitchen lines up front to back with twin cabinets capping both island ends and flanking the range.
Mix metals with ease.
As in fashion, it's okay to pair gold and silver. Unlacquered brass on the lights works with IKEA's stainless steel appliances and chrome hardware.
Choose two, not three.
Frame a large island with a pair of overscale hanging pendants to maintain a sight line between rooms.
Keep cabinets simple and straightforward.
Shaker-style cabinets by IKEA have a modern-vintage look that works in a classic farmhouse setting.
Give the backsplash an update.
Stack subway-style tile up to the undersides of the cabinets, and use dark grout for a modern look that's easy to clean.
Wrap the vent hood with custom millwork for a more seamless look.
Start at the top.
A chandelier gives the living room a visual center.
Use the full range of neutrals.
From white fabric to dark wood, a neutral room is made more interesting when you mix various tones.
Choose a statement sofa for a large room.
A tufted chesterfield sofa covered in family-friendly Sunbrella fabric adds scale and traditional style. Tip: A large sofa needs large pillows—ours are 26 inches square.
Reinvent vintage finds in a new setting. Here, an old flat file cabinet works as a coffee table.
View a pretty focal point from the entry.
Whenever a sofa is floating in a room, put a console table behind it for a more finished look.
Add a ventless gas fireplace.
A modular masonry unit has an authentic feel with an Eldorado fireplace surround and a wood mantel.
Top off your mantel with a collection.
Instead of one large painting, arrange a grouping of framed and unframed pieces.
For DIY rope curtain rings, add buttonholes to drapery panels, thread rope, and knot in front.
Sprinkle in a mix of tables.
We abide by the rule that every guest needs a place to set a drink!
Unify the look.
Use the same fabric throughout a room in different applications. Here, a stripe hangs vertically as draperies and is mitered for pillows.
Mix the seating for a collected look.
A combination of styles including wing chairs, a curvy settee, and burlap-topped benches circles the dining table.
Dress a room in white linen.
Flowy draperies frame the dining room's three sides of windows to soften the space. A continuous curtain rod keeps the look unfussy.
Try an asymmetrical centerpiece.
Add height and color to your table with an assortment of vases and pedestals.
Skip the chandelier and give an everyday dining space a casual vibe with a large hanging lantern.
Provide a hangout space.
Just off the kitchen, a keeping room adds a family-friendly spot for TV, leaving the living room neat for company.
Using paint by Sherwin-Williams, artist Katie Hesse covered the keeping room in an overscale gingham pattern.
Use rugs as anchors.
Rugs define the dining room as a separate area from the connecting kitchen and ground the arrangement of chairs on the porch.
Look up for some inspiration.
The porch ceiling's pale blue hue is carried through to the pillows and rug. Stools stand in as side tables.
Break with tradition.
A gathering of four woven chairs, instead of the usual sofa-and-chair combo, makes the porch better suited for conversation.
Mix old and new.
Add instant character to a new porch with a pair of vintage metal chairs painted with two coats of an exterior oil-based color.
Repeat exterior colors in furniture.
A black-painted porch swing, piled with various pillows, looks great with the shutters.
Give your porch a center.
Visible from the front door, the back porch's centered round table offers a pretty place for flowers or serving during a party.
Enhance the exterior with authentic lights.
Classic wall-mounted and hanging lanterns by New Orleans-based Bevolo surround the home with historical charm.
Add all-weather curtains to outdoor spaces to give them the feel of a finished room.
Bump out the back.
The only change to the original structure's roofline occurred in the back with a large new dormer that created space for the new guest baths.
Frame the backyard.
Because the addition is only one-room deep along the side, the rear areas aren't seen from the street and feel private.
Make a statement.
In a large master bedroom, choose a fully upholstered headboard and footboard to anchor the room.
Upgrade your linens.
Punchy poppy-hued stripes add unexpected color to an otherwise neutral room.
Mix, don't match.
Break up symmetry with bedside tables of the same height but different materials. A skirted table with tailored box pleats adds pattern.
Hang a grouping tightly to make it read as one element instead of a lot of different items.
Preserve the patina.
The house's original pine floors were sanded by hand and then simply sealed and waxed for luster.
Keep paintings unframed.
A piece of modern art is juxtaposed with rustic finishes used throughout the room.
Gray velvet and a driftwood finish update the look of these classic spool chairs by C.R. Laine.
Link your bedroom and bath with flooring.
Continuing wood floors into the master bath connects the rooms and warms up the space. Keep tile contained in the shower area.
Find a close match.
New wood flooring by Shaw Floors provides the convincing look of heart pine where the old floors weren't salvageable.
Layer color and pattern underfoot.
A large woven rug carries the bedroom's neutral palette into the bath and adds both softness and practicality.
Soak in classic farmhouse style.
A deep, cast-iron, claw-foot tub is only natural in a house like this. "Even though it's new, it looks like it's always been here," says designer Paige Schnell.
Maintain a plank position.
The new wood walls and ceiling, used in lieu of drywall, give extra character to this bath.
Customize a recessed medicine cabinet by hiding it with a hinged framed mirror.
Choose a freestanding vanity.
A hand-painted, marble-topped sink base feels like antique furniture rather than a standard built-in bath cabinet.
Start out with a bold pattern.
In this bedroom, classic patterns directed the color palette and design style.
Flank a bed with chests.
When there's enough space, a pair of small-scale chests adds extra storage conveniently at bedside.
Display a collection of family photos by hanging matching frames in a random pattern.
Give a new room instant age.
A perfectly worn painted table breaks up the sea of white tile and carries on the farmhouse look.
Keep tile classic.
White subway-style tiles by Daltile pair with octagonal tiles on the floor. The charcoal-colored grout remains true to the period style.
Coordinate your colors.
Let an antique find inspire your wall color. The pretty pale green walls are painted Spinach White by Sherwin-Williams.
Be a basket case.
Tuck extra storage into small rooms by using woven baskets. The natural material also adds warm texture to the space.
Keep beds simple.
A black metal bed from IKEA is a modern version of an antique iron bed.
Ground a space with texture.
Jute rugs go well with wood floors and don't detract from the furnishings.
Vintage items hung as art add one-of-a-kind Americana style.
Build in a landing spot.
A pedestal sink leaves much to be desired when it comes to storage. Extending the windowsill into a built-in ledge stylishly solves the problem.
Let there be light.
Rather than hanging flush against the window and blocking all the light, this tall, narrow mirror casually leans above the pedestal sink.
Try wallpaper in a small space to kick it up a notch.