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Finishing Touches to Perfect the Period Home Look

Updated on March 24, 2016

When you are working to create the period look in your home, first you consider the décor and the furnishings, for which there is plenty of advice available. After that you want to round it all off with those little finishing touches that make all the difference.

You won’t have a problem finding the main fixtures and fittings such as taps and door handles. But what about those subtle touches - the other little details that make all the difference? It’s easy to overlook them and risk spoiling the overall effect.

Windows and Stairs

Consider the windows. They will be enhanced with beautiful drapes that echo the period décor. But what is holding them up? To continue the period theme, you could have brass curtain poles and finials, with brass hooks on the surrounding walls to hold the curtaining back.

What about the stairs? In a period home wall to wall carpeting is inappropriate. We wrote about this in a previous article. Stair rods are needed to hold carpet runners securely in place. Luxury stair runners and rods came back into fashion in the 1980s, and there are plenty of antique styles to choose from in chrome or the warmer metals like brass.

In a period home wall to wall carpeting is inappropriate and stair rods are needed to hold carpet runners securely in place.
In a period home wall to wall carpeting is inappropriate and stair rods are needed to hold carpet runners securely in place.

Those Cosy Open Fireplaces

Rooms that have an open fire, or even a make believe one, need fireside fenders to complete the period look. The range available includes low fenders in iron or antique brass, but to make the fireplace a real period statement, you could go for an elegant club fender complete with cushioned seats on each side.

The finishing touches here might be a brass coal bucket and a companion set of poker, brush and hod. Of course, if you have young children, you might want a metal fire screen with a protective mesh, while some antique fire screens are wooden with attractive pictures on either side.

Rails, Frames and Subtle Details

Most Victorian houses had deep skirting boards and picture rails about a foot or a foot and a half from the ceiling. Pictures hung from brass hooks on these often had highly decorative gilded frames. When you walk around art galleries, sometimes the embellished antique frames compete for attention with the paintings you are there to view.

The Victorians might also have had ceiling hooks on which to hang their ornate chandeliers from a highly ornamental ceiling. Nowadays you might prefer to tone down this decoration but elegant ceiling hooks still have their place. You can buy hooks that screw directly into the ceiling or those which are mounted on a wooden plinth which hides the fitting.



The final touches in many period homes were ornaments, which should not be forgotten when replicating the look. Some people like to embellish their homes with collections on display. In the late Victorian era collections of horse brasses became popular. These can still be found today and people often collect souvenir brasses of places they visit or special events they attend.

There are many more contemporary ways to add ornamental touches to your home, but you need to take care not to upset the period look. It’s worth doing a little research and taking the trouble to get all the finer details and finishing touches right.


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