Oh, Just Help Please!!

Weedville, PA(Zone 6a)

Hoping someone can help point me in the right direction...

BF wants help decorating his house. That's no big deal except that it's a Victorian Era home and may be a historical home, being that it was built by the town doctor. Ok, so it's not decorating, it's more restoration I guess. I've never done this type of thing. Anyone know of some good sites to start? There's so much info on the web to wade through, I was hoping someone could at least give me a few sites to start.

I'm hoping to get some pics for BF to look at. I'm not sure if he knows exactly what he wants, or how to go about it (I think this is where I come in, lol). This isn't as easy as going to Lowe's and picking out carpet and paint...we tried that and left empty handed, lol.

Any help and suggestions are welcome, thanks,

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

The first thing to do is figure out if it IS considered a historic home--if it is officially considered a historic home then there are likely some limitations on what he's allowed to do with renovations. You might start by calling the city and see if they can point you in the right direction to find that out. Then if there's a historic home preservation type of group in your area they would be a good source of information--if there are rules on what he can and can't do they can probably help guide him to appropriate renovations, and even if there aren't any rules that he has to follow, they likely have pictures and other resources that could help give him some ideas.

Weedville, PA(Zone 6a)

ecrane....great to see you!!!

Thanks for the ideas, I'll look into that.....but....the "city" that he lives in, well, there's more elk than there are people. I'm pretty sure there is a Historical Society for the county, but I don't know how much interest or info they would have in/for his area. I am going to talk to him about that and check it out asap though.

I'm going to bet that either they'll be 100% into it or have no interest at all.

BF still has all kinds of stuff that belonged to the doctor that owned the home. I would think if nothing else they would be interested in that stuff. Maybe I should look through all that stuff again.

central, NJ(Zone 6b)

Maybe info at the library in the archives about that house.

Weedville, PA(Zone 6a)

I contacted our local Historical Society and they are seeing if they can come up with any info on the home, which will help a ton. FlowerJen that is a great idea! I'm not certain but I'm betting there are books on the area the house is in...more research to do.

Medford, NJ

you also might want to start looking at magazines and books on decorating, get together a scrapbook of different looks and color schemes that appeal to you. Cut out pictures of the type of furniture you would consider. Get some paint brochures and fabric samples as well - consider what type of furniture you have or will be getting. You can find great books at most librarys or bookstores. Just because the home is historical does not mean you must decorate with victorian antiques....there are alot of great looks for these types of homes, a nice mix of old and new looks great. Of course, a very contemporary look would clash, but an eclectic mix has alot more personality and style.

Another great way to get ideas is to walk thru sample homes - often they pay big designer bucks to have them decorated! Find a builder who builds in a more traditional style, the decor will be less modern. Once you have gotten an idea of what look you want to go with, and the colors you like, THEN you take your samples etc to Lowes or a carpet/tile type store. I don't want to knock Lowes, but smaller owned businesses might have more decorator-savvy sales people with some design experience...not just order takers. (If Lowes has these types of employees, then I apologize)

Once you pin down a look as your goal, things get a lot easier, and it will be much easier for someone to assist you in following through on the choices.

And remember, stay closer to the neutral side....you can always add more color with accessories.

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

Also think about contacting your state historical society or one is a larger city. The state historical society in Kansas seems to be in contact with contractors and historians whose specialty is older houses and their restoration.

Lakeville, MN

I would NOT decorate it with authentic Victorian furniture. It is not comfortable and really is not required. You can mix in some of the better V pices with traditional furniture and colors and not have the nightmare of a sterile Victorian room.

Just sayin'

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Just saw an episode of Christopher Lowell with a victorian house redecoration. Amazing, he made it appropriate yet modern. Maybe he has a website and shows the episode or notes.

Willingboro, NJ

Sherwin Williams has paint colors selectioned according to era. That's where we started when we painted our victorian. The guys at the counter have always been helpful. Start there to pick your colors.

Lakeville, MN

I think it is best to decorate for the house but not in a strict Victorian tradition. So modern would be in appropriate but traditional would work, Keep it comfortable and easy on the wall colors if you are unsure of yourself.

Rosamond, CA(Zone 8b)

Go straight to the website and order Restorers catalog and get ideas.

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