4 Savvy Tips For Adding Historical Touches To Your Space

Vintage furniture is in, and stainless steel is out, according to a recent trend report by Insider. As evidenced by the rising popularity of Grandmillenial design, not everyone loves a minimal, bare, and modern-looking home. Bold colors and historical design elements add character to a space and make it feel more personal, especially for those living in rental apartments. But what can you do if your home was built with modern simplicity and bare necessities in mind? How can history-lovers overcome their bare, gray floors and vast white kitchens? 

Adding high-quality vintage or vintage-inspired pieces is the biggest trick to giving your home a perfect touch of history. Going on a shopping spree can be tempting, but collecting items for your dream home can and should take time. In the past, home design focused on quality over quantity and timeless details over sweeping trends. They may not make houses like they used to, but in this article, we'll break down simple ways you can make your home feel cozy, unique, and historical.  

1. Add a faux fireplace mantle

A historical home wouldn't be complete without a fireplace. You don't need a built-in fireplace to create a cozy focal point in your living room or bedroom — channel memories of a time before central heating, when everyone curled up by the fire to read before bed. Invest in a high-quality faux fireplace and mantle to set against a prominent wall, as it is an easy way to add instant historic charm and warm lighting to your home. 

To ensure the faux mantle looks historically accurate, choose one with detailed carvings or wainscoting around the sides. Avoid picking a mantle that looks intentionally weathered. Many interior designers admit that distressing faux looks tacky and "old" is not the same as ill-cared-for, via Insider. Once you have your fireplace, you can then elegantly decorate however you'd like. Fill the "fire" below with glowing LED candles, drape a tapestry over the mantle, or hang an oversized gold frame mirror to complete the historical vibe. 

2. Invest in secondhand pieces

Before the days of big-box furniture stores, people collected and salvaged their own handmade furniture. Instead of filling your home with cheap materials and matching sets, which Insider warns against, focus on making a curated furniture collection. One of the best ways to invite historical energy into your home is with authentic vintage and antique furniture.

Older furniture has a quality that modern retailers can't match, and it can be refurbished and customized to suit your décor style. Frequently browse your local secondhand shops, antique stores, and garage sales to find hidden gems. Interior designers like Julie Sousa encourage people to play with colors, textures, and natural elements to create a dynamic home, via The Sun. Mix and match your pieces but connect them all with a common theme or color scheme. Don't be afraid to DIY your secondhand furniture so it fits perfectly; sanding, repainting, or changing the hardware are simple ways to give an old piece new life. 

3. Hang vintage-inspired wallpaper

Wallpaper is the perfect solution for tying together your carefully mismatched vintage furniture. According to interior designer Timothy Corrigan, via Vogue, patterned wallpaper is having a major moment in 2022. But vintage florals and damask designs aren't just trendy; they've been used for centuries in interior design, making them ideal for giving your home a historical essence. The possibilities are endless when it comes to wallpaper placement in 2022. Don't be afraid to play with wallpaper in unconventional areas, like your kitchen backsplash, bathroom walls, and even your ceiling. Visitors will enjoy a charming surprise when they see elegant, swirling florals in the hallway or guest bathroom.

Even if your lease is temporary, you still deserve to feel at home in an apartment. Wallpaper isn't just for adventurous homeowners anymore; renter-friendly options have made it easier to customize your apartment's interior. Check out removable vinyl wallpapers to quickly transform your space and make any standard gray room feel more charming and vintage.

4. Install crown molding and wainscoting

Crown molding is like the cherry on top of a well-made home, but it's rare in recently built houses and apartments. Luckily, you can give your home a noticeable upgrade by cutting and installing your crown molding. Fitting each molding piece can be tricky, but the final result will be well worth the effort. If you live in a rented space, consider installing temporary crown molding. Many removable varieties are indistinguishable from traditional crown molding, and they can do a lot to elevate your space and make it look older. These lookalikes are lightweight, renter-friendly, and adhere easily to your walls.  

Already have crown molding but ready to take your home's historical charm to the next level? Wainscoting is an interior design trend dating back to 16th century England, where square wall panels were initially used as a buffer for cold and humidity. Sue De Chiara, the founder of the design blog, The Zhush, declares wainscoting as a major decorative trend for homes in 2022. Even so, this trending historical design will always feel elegant and timeless.