Keeping Up Appearances: How to Style Your Period Property

We love period properties and we understand that it can be hard to know how to show off a home's character to its full potential. Is it OK to mix old and new? What colours suit an older house? What's the best way to draw attention to the floor? To the fireplace? And what on earth can you do with a bay window?

We've put all of these questions - and more - to the friendly team of designers at Dulux Amazing Space who will explain how to highlight the character of your period home. 

Mix 'n' match

Not everything in a period property has to be old, a balance of vintage furniture and more modern pieces works really well. To get the balance right, try not to overcrowd the space with vintage finds (easily done as Preloved can be addictive!), or fill it with only modern pieces, which will feel alien in an older house.

A simple way to get the mix 'n' match look right is with accessories. The contrast of modern graphic prints next to traditional artwork looks brilliant below, or you could try putting contemporary ceramics with antique-style vases. It's quite an eclectic look so try a few different styles and see what looks right for you.

Mix and match example 1


Mix and match example 2

Adore your floor!

A lot of period properties have beautiful tiled or wooden floors and it would be criminal to hide them, or even worse replace them! So make the most of your stylish flooring by choosing colours for your walls and furniture that will draw attention to it. If your floor has gorgeous green tiles, choose soft furnishings in complementary ruby reds to make a statement.

And if you've got a beautiful wooden floor, try to match the texture and colour of the wood as much as possible with the furniture, like we've done below. The armchair looks like an extension of the wooden tiles and creates a harmonious, calming atmosphere, perfect for chilling out with the Sunday papers!

Be brave with colour too and go dark to emphasise the floor. Notice how the deep burgundy tones on the back wall below add to the look by drawing your attention to the stunning floor? It works because lighter shades visually come forwards and darker tones recede so that the flooring jumps straight out. Go on, give it a go, it works every time.

Adore your floor

Focus on your fireplace

Most period properties have beautiful ornate fireplaces, rumour has it that before the era of television they were the focal point of a room! There's not much you can do to enhance your fireplace so our only advice is to accentuate it.

One quick and easy way to brighten up a dark mantelpiece without taking the focus away from it is just to pop a few flowers in a neutral-coloured vase or some neutral accessories on it. If your fireplace is white or a light colour and your walls have been painted in strong colours (like this room), try adding accessories in similar dark tones for a sleek, sophisticated look.

Focus on your fireplace

Sitting on the flock of the bay

Bay windows are another wonderful period feature but it can be difficult to decide what to do with them. It's really easy to turn them into a cosy retreat where you can chill out and enjoy a good book, they also make a perfect extra seating area.

There are a few seating options depending on the look you're after (and your budget): you could have a bespoke storage window seat made to fit your bay window perfectly, or opt for an ottoman as a cost effective solution. There are lots of gorgeous styles available on the high street in a huge range of colours and materials to suit every possible design scheme, here are a few we like... Whatever you go for it will add some period charm to your room - and most importantly give you a snuggly corner to retreat to with a cuppa!

Bay window lounge


Bay window bedroom

The Dulux Amazing Space designers love to talk design and you can take advantage of their expertise by booking an online design consultation for £75 per room. Book online at Dulux Amazing Space.

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