Remodeling A Historical Home Vs. Remodeling In A New Build

Hey all! Never in my wildest dreams did I ever believe that I would live in a brand spanking new house. Why you ask? Because I did not want to. Don’t get me wrong, knowing that mine, Alex’s and our two little humans are the only bodies that have lived in this house and the only feet that have walked on our carpet is rather comforting, but I quite frequently feel disappointed in the lack of character and design direction that this house provides.

Remodeling an old home vs. a new home has been on my mind a LOT! Especially as we dive into the upgrade projects that we have planned for our new home. There are pros and cons on both sides and I wanted to take a little time to share my prospective on this topic!

Let me take a minute to say that all of these little pros and cons are totally subjective. These are taken from my experience and yours could be totally different 😉

No. 1 Cohesive Details vs. Curated Character

Unless you have moved into a beautifully restored or untouched antique home you will probably find yourself scouring antique stores, ebay and reproduction sites to track down hardware that will match existing/original hardware unless you intend on replacing all the hardware.When we moved in to our 1920’s bungalow most of the doors had the original hardware and because it was beautiful and original to the home I wanted to maintain that look throughout the house. This meant that I needed to track down hardware for the few doors missing the matching door knobs. Conversely, in a newer home ideally all of your door hardware, light switch plates, trim, etc is going to match; which gives you so much more time to focus on larger projects or projects that are far more important to you.  

While our antique home needed a little more coddling when it came to matching up original door knobs, replacing door trim that didn’t match the original trim in the rest of the home and procuring matching, light switch plates, outlet covers etc. our home had a distinct and beautiful design direction. Craftsman bungalow. This architectural style affected how we approached projects in our home. We made decisions to opt for tiles, trim style, counter top material and cabinet style that were cohesive to the style of our home. This was super helpful during the planning phase of projects and I have to say in our brand new home that has a very transitional style I’m panicking a little bit! Our new home is very…blah, I mean transitional. I think if you are buying a newer home and you are a part of the design process you can have some really great character built into the home, unfortunately we did not have that kind of time when purchasing a home and swooped in to purchase the home just as it was being finished. The character in this home is virtually non-existent, any character we want in this home we will need to add ourselves, which is both exciting and scary.

No.2 Over-Hauls vs. Solid Walls

I know, that doesn’t even sound like a competition right?! Here’s the deal though, there is something totally satisfying about pulling a total gut job on a room and then turning it in to something incredibly beautiful! People love a good makeover story, that’s why shows like Fixer Upper give you all the warm and fuzzies inside! As a home and diy blogger I try to be transparent with you guys about my reasons for doing any project, I try to be really honest about the project, how long it’s taking, how much money it cost. I want to inspire people with the work I put into my home and even if I wasn’t writing about it I would still be doing all these projects in my home because I want to live in a beautiful space that feels comfortable for our family. However putting all this information out there also leads to some readers having questioned my motivations for wanting to remodel or upgrade a perfectly new home, and because I try very hard in all situations to put myself in someone else’s shoes I can see their motivation for asking why our new home isn’t “good enough for me.” BUT, at the end of the day I have to live in this home, my family has to be comfortable in this home and we have to sell this home.

It would be easy to let myself feel guilty or selfish for wanting to make upgrades to a brand new home. We are so incredibly thankful for this home, for being blessed with finding a home that fits our family and checked off most of our “must haves” but our desire to upgrade certain aspects of our home doesn’t negate our self-awareness or our thankfulness. As a military family we have a few short years ( and sometimes months) in each duty station, during this time we must unpack, organize, live here, repack and move – that is our life. I have found that the best way for me to provide a stable, warm, consistent and safe environment for our family to retreat to, is by creating an atmosphere that feels like us as quickly as possible.

In our old home that meant knocking out plaster, removing old vinyl flooring and breaking up concrete showers. In this home it means, painting, adding special moldings and replacing bathroom vanities for an upgraded look. While we wont have the massive over hauls that we did in our older home we have plenty of projects to keep us busy here and the absence of huge projects will hopefully keep our project timeline shorter and our wallets a little more full 😉

These are just a couple of the differences between our current house and our last house that I’ve been mentally wrestling with lately. It’s such a funny thing completely switching gears in aesthetic and it is for sure working out all of my creative muscles. What about you? Have you completely shifted gears in your home before? Was it easy? Or did it take time to develop a plan for you to move forward?

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