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Old Is Gold: How To Renovate An Aging Home

November 26, 2019
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There was a time when Malaysian homes had more character, was a little less boxy, a whole lot larger, and typically come with a beautifully manicured garden. If you are a proud homeowner of one of these aged beauties, you’ll have to be cautious so as not to ‘over-modernise’ the property when rescuing a period gem from ruin.

Tasek House by Code Red Studio

Interior Firm: Code Red Studio

Here are five things to consider when renovating your old home for better functionality, safety, and energy efficiency while still preserving its original beauty.

1. Check the structural integrity first

Before you start making plans for a major renovation of an aged home, it’s best to get an inspector to check on the existing systems and structures of your home. An inspection will reveal if a home can stand up to the strains of a renovation, as even aesthetic renovations can bear down on ageing materials.

Tanjong Tokong Abode by Archiplan Interior Design

Moreover, a structural or systems survey (e.g. of load bearers, plumbing, drainage, etc.) will help you to focus your attention on issues that require immediate attention, such as water leaks or electrical problems.

2. Consider major renovation only for functional spaces

If you are keen on preserving the original appearance of your old home, keep major renovations limited to the functional spaces such as the kitchen and the bathroom. Updating these spaces with modern tech, better storage, or more hardwearing materials makes practical sense for your budget.

Kg. Simee, Ipoh by C Concept Studio

Interior Firm: C Concept Studio

Keeping major renovations confined to these spaces will also maintain a visual balance between the old and the new.

3. Refresh original materials

Where possible, consider maintaining your home’s original built materials such as hardwood floors, traditional Chinese tiles, and even jalopy windows; and just jazz them up! For instance, replace frosted jalopy glass slats with clear modern ones, restore traditional tiles, and polish hardwood floors.

Setia Eco Glades, Cyberjaya by X Two Concept

Interior Firm: X Two Concept

If original materials are beyond saving, the next best option to preserve the pre-existing appearance of the home is to simply opt for updated versions of the same materials. Try different grains or shades of hardwood, or replace old tiles with a similar style in a modern hue.

4. Go green

Ageing homes that have not been updated are less likely to employ energy-efficient systems of lighting, cooling/heating, and water supply, etc. Thus, consider switching to greener options to save money and be more environmentally responsible in the long-run.

Bangsar Bungalow by Lazern Sdn Bhd

Interior Firm: Lazern Sdn Bhd

For instance, opt for lighting systems that use LED or CFL bulbs; these last longer, emit less heat and take up a smaller amount of energy overall. While you’re at it, consider replacing rundown appliances with 5-Star energy versions.

5. Find the right talent

When it comes to maintaining the character and personality of an old home, it’s a good idea to work with an architect and an interior designer that possesses the necessary experience and dedication. They also need to be on the same page with you when it comes to your design philosophy. Thus, if you are of the ‘old is gold’ design style, make sure your designer feels the same way!

Eason House by Code Red Studio

Interior Firm: Code Red Studio

One incredibly easy way to source for an interior firm that ‘gets’ you, is to request for free quotes from Qanvast! We’ll match you with up to five talented designer firms based on your needs, budget and preferences.

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