Episode 132- Adding Architectural Antiques

19th century carved oak panelsI see absolutely no good reason not to add in old pieces where they merit it. If they are the appropriate style and period for your project, then go for it.

I just found these carved wood panels in the Cotswolds; early 19thc, slightly different of course, oak. One is  varnished, one not . Guess which I like?

Maybe you are putting back a feature that once graced your place  but has long since been stripped out.

Maybe you just find a piece that speaks to you.

I favour the word “denuded”.The Oxford Dictinary defines this-

past tense: denuded; past participle: denuded
  1. strip (something) of its covering, possessions, or assets.
    “almost overnight the Arctic was denuded of animals”
    synonyms: divest, strip, clear, deprive, bereave, rob

Our French village house has been certainly been denuded of almost all features of architectural merit; save where the bare bones of the building were covered by newer finishes. We are saving every scrap of that.

So, after long deliberation and discussion, mainly with myself because my family (with the exception of my artistic and creatively  sensitive son ) visibly just glaze over after about five minutes when I voice my thoughts on these matters, I have pinned down what we need to do as we put the hovel back together and into better shape.

I will take as the starting point the  time period when each individual space was originally created in it’s current form and work with pieces that suit that.

A fully coherent and homogenous style throughout will not work when we have so many historical periods cobbled into one building. I will add features with discretion and a degree of modesty, this isn’t  a museum or a chateau or even a grand house.

Here are some add-ins I love. Find them at –

http://zsazsabellagio.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/house-beautiful_16.html and


architectural antique columnsFrench features


About coteetcampagne

Artist, period home maker, renovator, restorer, Francophile. My mission is to save the old stuff, one beautiful piece at a time
This entry was posted in Art, design and inspiration blog, Renovation and restoration diary- France and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Episode 132- Adding Architectural Antiques

  1. Lynda says:

    Now THAT is a shower!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Osyth says:

    I love the panels, bien sûr. And you know I love what you are doing to the house. It is fortunate that you came along and are taking the time, the effort and the purse to make it whole again. Not turning it into a museum but giving it style and character all of it’s own. Sadly, many have different drivers when it comes to making their home and take the decision to rip out and cover rather than restore. It will never cut it with me but I have to concede that I should not be too judgemental of the process if I am not in their very shoes at that very moment.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. bizzyella says:

    Those panels are fabulous — as is that shower! I know, it’s not your shower but I hope those are your panels. Hmm, and the columns — what a great idea… Me, I could care less any more about period, at least for most buildings. If it looks right, it’s a good choice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Panels are mine. Found in the Cotswolds in UK via eBay.
      I have always intended to do something similar in my shower with an old fretwork/carved panel featuring roses and twiddly bits.
      Its about what looks right for me. And often, if not always, a room looks good with a flavour of the period. Having said that, I like to see contemporary pieces mixed in.


  4. zipfslaw1 says:

    Coherence and homogeneity are for small minds. Looking good!


  5. I feel your pain as a resident of another area that fell victim to unscrupulous “updating.” Replacing all my new doors with old ones definitely helped. I may someday write a long snobby rant about South Philly architectural vandalism, but until I do, enjoy this Google Street View scene, 1808-1812 South Broad Street. And of course the “before” houses to the left. https://www.google.com/maps/@39.9277411,-75.1690219,3a,90y,269.56h,94.8t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1smFUL1Drty0bOAACZUC5ELQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Chad
      I often write cathartic long snobby rants, so go for it . I think we may be finding out here that it is tougher and more costly to source and install the old than to restore or repair features that still exist.
      Still, at least you and I are secure in the knowledge that if WE hadn’t bought these ugly houses, they may never have been renovated sympathetically


      • Well one time I was walking through the neighborhood with some family friends and I said, “Speaking of butchered facades” and pointed to a picture window that had the fancy carved lintels from the two separate windows that used to be there. And an old guy, presumably the homeowner and probably the one who did it, was sitting on the steps. I wanted to sink into the ground!


      • And you’re right that it’s more costly to restore the old. I had custom jambs built to basically turn my old doors into pre-hung doors since they are odd sizes and the walls aren’t a standard thickness. But I spent about a month refinishing them and I’ve decided to never look back and check what I spent on finish carpentry.


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