5 DIY period features to bring back to your home

DIY Shutters 21/05/2019 10:00:14 AM

Period features DIY Shutters
Image credit: Amara

Looking for ways to bring character into your home? If you have a home of a certain age that’s crying out for some attention, it can be difficult to know where to begin, but there are many ways you can flex your DIY muscles and bring back period features to any space. Here are 5 ideas to bring period charm back to your home – the DIY way!

Bringing period features back into your home with DIY

Dado rails

Dado Rail Period home DIY Shutters

Image credit: Simon Whitmore 

Dado rails are a vital feature of most period houses. Originally designed to keep the back of chairs from damaging wallcoverings, they’re usually installed at a height of around 1m. Dado rails also provide a handy border to separate different colours on a wall.

When choosing a dado for your DIY project, it helps to go for a style that compliments your mouldings with regards to the type of design. There are many different styles available, from plain to a decorative egg and dart design. Think of the width in proportion to the size of the space it’s going to occupy, e.g. if you’re putting one up in a thoroughfare, you’ll need to keep enough room to move furniture without the risk of damage.

You can easily fix a dado rail in place with wood adhesive and screws. They’re available in softwood (redwood) and a variety of hardwoods. When matching up to the rest of your wooden mouldings, paint in eggshell or gloss, but you can always wax or varnish if you prefer.


Coving period home DIY Shutters
Image credit: Wm. Boyle

Coving, also known as moulding, is the strip of material used to cover the join between wall and ceiling, sometimes decoratively. Plaster coving became a staple of Victorian and Edwardian houses once mass availability of set lengths of cornice was possible.

Many homeowners who move into period homes where coving has been removed are understandably keen to reinstall. Fitting some impressive coving is an ideal way of turning a plain room into a visually stimulating place. Coving adds a stylish and elegant finish to a room, also bringing character that can really enhance an interior design theme. It also has the bonus of adding value to a property.

For a DIY project, installing coving couldn’t be easier! Ready-to-mount mouldings of different styles can be ordered from many suppliers, which are then cut into shape to be glued into place with purpose designed adhesive.  

Solid Shutters

Victorian Solid Shutters Period Home DIY Shutters
Image credit: DIY Shutters 

What could be more traditionally English than a solid wooden shutter? They’ve been a feature of UK homes for over 200 years and when you’re keen to minimise light intrusion, they provide near blackout results. These Victorian shutters add sophistication and style whilst offering total privacy, heat insulation and noise reduction. Whether you choose a full solid style or half solid with louvres, these secure shutters perfectly compliment a classically designed room.

Taking the DIY route to installing solid shutters is considerably easier and cheaper than you might think! By taking on the job yourself you’re saving around 50% less than what you’d pay for someone else to install whilst still benefiting from help at every step of the way.

Ornate ceiling rose

Ornate ceiling rose period home DIY Shutters

A great period room feature to get you flexing your DIY muscles is the classic ornate ceiling rose. Traditionally used to hide the fixings that were used to suspend a light fitting, the idea has continued, and ornate roses are an ideal means of hiding ugly wiring and junction boxes for ceiling lights.

If you have a period house, it’s a relatively cheap but visually appealing idea to add a plaster ceiling rose to the ceilings of your main rooms. Plastic and polystyrene versions are available but have little to offer longevity or looks-wise. A plaster ceiling rose isn’t expensive, and if the ceiling is structurally sound, will last for a very long time.

It’s a two-person job to affix the rose using a modest application of plasterboard adhesive before screwing the rose into the joists. Once it’s in place, you’ll see that ceiling roses are perfect for adding a touch of glamour and authenticity to a period room.

Tongue and Groove

Tongue and Groove flooring period home DIY Shutters

Image credit: The New & Reclaimed Flooring Company 

There’s nothing like walking into a home to be greeted by some beautiful wooden flooring, which immediately sets a tone of warmth and beauty in a period home. Tongue and groove flooring, which allows planks to be fitted tightly together, edge to edge, has been around since 1885.

When choosing the ideal wood for your DIY venture, the most durable hardwoods are oak, maple and cherry. But these choices are also the most expensive, so if you’re on a budget then opt for a softer type such as pine.

So which wood is the best for your rooms? White and pale grey wood are perfect for quieter rooms and their lightness considerably enhances space in a small room. But they also show up dirt and offer a more contemporary look than warm looking, honey-toned floors which are great for larger spaces that want to feel cosier. Mid-toned wood is the perfect choice for creating a relaxing and traditional finish.  

So there we have it. Simple ideas to bring character to your property. Ready to try measuring and installing DIY Shutters? It's easier than you think, take a look at our measuring and installation guides...