Does your newly purchased townhouse need renovations? Or maybe you’ve had your eye on a nineteenth-century property but wonder about renovating in a historic district. As an investment property owner, you’ll want to read the following townhouse renovation ideas.
Before You Start
Townhouses are often located in historic districts, and some are designated landmarks in their own right. Renovations to historic buildings must follow strict guidelines and be approved by a local authority. In Boston, for example, you must submit an application that includes an outline of the proposed renovations to the Landmarks Commission. If the property is in a historic district such as Beacon Hill or the North End, you must also apply to that district. Surrounding cities, such as Cambridge and Brookline, have their own approval processes.
Restrictions typically apply to exterior renovations that affect the building façade, such as
- Air conditioner units
Still, there are plenty of townhouse renovation ideas that can work with a city’s landmark requirements.
Mix Vintage With Modern
You can update your townhouse interior and keep its historic features at the same time. Do you love that ornate living room fireplace but not the garish wall color and dated flooring? A fresh coat of neutral-colored paint and new wood floors create a clean look while retaining the original fireplace.
Mixing new and vintage materials is a great way to refresh a townhouse interior. Maybe you want to keep the old wooden features while creating a more modern style. Try adding brick and steel next to the original wood for an industrial vibe.
One way to update the look of a historic townhouse is to maximize lighting. Sometimes this can be accomplished without installing windows. For example, does the original wood staircase block the light from already existing windows? Consider replacing the closed risers and wood spindles with a minimalist steel staircase and open risers.
Still need more sunlight? You can probably add new or larger windows, as long as they are on the rear facade. Landmark requirements are often less stringent with renovations that can’t be seen from the street. You can even build an extension from back of the building. Add large windows or steel French doors that open to the back balcony, and your townhouse interior will .
Change Colors and Textures
Love the layout of your townhouse but don’t love the dated color scheme? Brand new colors and textures can make a world of difference without altering the historic features of the building. For example, you can give the kitchen a clean contemporary feel with an off-white color for the walls, cabinets and countertops.
Along with a fresh coat of paint, textures play an important role in updating your townhouse interior. A tile floor or natural wood slat ceiling, for example, can add interest to a neutral color scheme. Wallpaper, plaster and decorative trim also provide color and texture.
When you’re planning to renovate a historic property, you need to hire licensed professionals with extensive general contracting experience. At RH Blanchard, we’ll treat your townhouse project with care. Get in touch for a free quote.