Stepping into a period property one of the first things people look for is its original features, how many times have you heard estate agents use this as one of their key selling points. Original features are not just for the grand and historic townhouses of London, they can equally be found on elegant period properties in Newcastle, Durham or York. this article by Knight Frank is an excellent guide to Victorian and Georgian properties.
These Georgian and Victorian properties exude timeless elegance, from their exquisite facades to their intricate internal features. The beauty of these homes lies not only in their architectural design but also in the intricate internal joinery that adorns their interiors. In this blog, we will explore the significance of preserving and replicating the original skirting boards, architraves, decorative mouldings and internal doors when working on period properties.
The Timeless Charm of Georgian and Victorian Properties
Georgian and Victorian architecture is renowned for its refined aesthetics, characterized by symmetrical facades, sash windows, ornate cornices, and intricate internal joinery. The delicate craftsmanship and attention to detail that went into creating these features set them apart from modern construction methods and materials, with most modern homes opting for the same “off the shelf” moulding regardless of the house style. Each piece of joinery work in these homes was a testament to the skilled artisans of the time and reflected the grandeur of the era.
The Importance of Internal Joinery
Internal joinery elements, such as skirting boards, architraves, and internal doors, play a pivotal role in defining the character and charm of these period properties, they carry equal importance as original coving’s and cornice through out the property. with different designs that changed throughout the times so ensuring that you use the correct design for your property is imperative.They serve as both functional and aesthetic components that enhance the overall appeal of the interiors. Preserving these elements is crucial for maintaining the authenticity and historical significance of the property.
Preservation vs. Restoration
When working on Georgian and Victorian properties, it’s essential to differentiate between preservation and restoration. Preservation focuses on maintaining the existing features, ensuring they stand the test of time. Restoration, on the other hand, involves bringing elements back to their original state. In many cases, it’s preferable to opt for preservation to retain the character of the property. Let’s take a closer look at each of the internal joinery components:
- Skirting Boards
Skirting boards, also known as baseboards, are the decorative trim that runs along the bottom of the interior walls. In Georgian and Victorian homes, skirting boards were often tall and elaborately designed. To preserve their original elegance, it’s essential to:
- Retain the height and design: Keep the skirting boards tall and in line with the historical style of the property.
- Match materials: Use the same type of wood that was originally used, and aim for a similar finish, such as paint or varnish.
- Replicate intricate patterns: If the skirting boards have ornate details, ensure they are replicated with precision to maintain authenticity.
Architraves are the decorative moldings that frame doorways and windows. These elements are essential for preserving the grandeur of a period property. To maintain the original charm of architraves:
- Choose appropriate profiles: Select architrave profiles that match the period and style of the property.
- Match materials and finishes: Use the same wood and finishes as the existing architraves to ensure a seamless integration with the historical elements.
- Replicate detailing: Pay attention to any intricate carvings or patterns on the architraves, ensuring that they are faithfully reproduced.
- Internal Doors
Internal doors in Georgian and Victorian properties are often solid, paneled, and intricately designed. To maintain the authenticity of the doors:
- Retain the style: Ensure that the doors are paneled and designed in line with the historical period.
- Match materials and finishes: Choose wood and finishes that are in harmony with the existing doors to achieve a cohesive look.
- Pay attention to hardware: Use period-appropriate doorknobs, handles, and hinges to complete the historical aesthetic.
The Benefits of Replication
While preserving and replicating original internal joinery products may require more effort and investment than opting for modern replacements, the benefits far outweigh the costs. Here’s why replication is the preferred choice:
- Historical Authenticity: Replicated joinery products maintain the historical authenticity of the property, allowing residents and visitors to experience the charm of a bygone era.
- Increased Property Value: Period features add significant value to a property, making it more attractive to potential buyers and increasing its resale value, in a recent Ideal Homes article they noted that removing original features from period properties is one sure fire way to reduce its value.
- Aesthetic Cohesion: Replicating internal joinery products ensures that the interiors have a cohesive and harmonious look, preserving the overall design integrity.
- Longevity: High-quality replicas made from durable materials can outlast modern alternatives, ensuring the preservation of the property for generations to come.
So how can H&C joinery assist you in replicating all your original joinery details ?, first we will visit your property where we can either take away a small section of the original items, or make a profiled templates, from here we can manufacture profiled cutters that are bespoke to your details and then our skilled craftsman can manufacture your skirting boards or architraves that are totally bespoke to you, along with our spray shop we can also fully prime all joinery works to make onsite finishing easier.
For internal doors, if possible we would bring a door back to our workshop to allow us to copy all panel dimensions, molding shape and size, that can be replicated down to the finest detail to ensure a perfect replacement or new door.
If you are have having building work carried out such as an extension to a period home then ensuring all details carry throughout the new extension can help to create a seamless flow, merging the new with the old.
If you would like to discuss how we can work with you to ensure the integrity of your period home then please contact us to discuss