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Homeowners can include modern conveniences in period-style home design

July 15, 2013

Hardwood FloorsWhat's old is often new again when it comes to furniture. Beyond antiques, there is a world of collectibles that includes "mid-century" furnishings now considered retro from the 1950s to 1970s. When home design features maintain an appeal for several generations, like timeless oak floors in Anderson's Haversham Hardwood collection, you know a style is here to stay.

In the case of mid-century design, the quintessential piece was the egg chair, an oval-shaped seat hung on a freestanding frame or from a support on a ceiling. If that's a little too whimsical for some tastes, homeowners can capture the Swinging Sixties look with lighting from pole lamps, which play up the nostalgic mood but don't look out of place with modern furnishings. They have made a comeback and are useful for both indoor outdoor living spaces.

Homeowners can also emulate that era with geometric patterns on their area rugs and pillows by using neon colors - another comeback in both fashion and home decor - that fit both a contemporary and retro look.

Modern comforts and historical looks
People who like mid-century aren't the only ones who are trending toward more nostalgic designs in their home styles. But that doesn't mean they have to give up the convenience of low-maintenance furnishings and other modern-day comforts in their room designs.

According to a study by homes supplier James Hardie Building Products, owners of period-style homes may remain true to the historical look while using durable and sustainable materials.

Whether they are restoring a 1920s bungalow or a mid-century ranch home, today's homeowners want energy-efficient and eco-friendly building materials. Builders, architects and landscape designers have become experts in "green" practices and are responding by offering products that meet those standards.

Staying consistent advises homeowners to educate themselves about the characteristics of particular historical periods when it comes to landscaping so it will match the historical mood of the home. Sometimes homeowners have a choice of directions to take. People who like cottage-style decor can go with a rustic and woodsy design plan or choose beachside casual with a seashore theme.

While property size and budget will guide the projects, having the correct style of outdoor furnishings will help home decorators achieve an authentic look for their homes. A contemporary ranch home would not be in sync with a patio design that called for Victorian architectural features. Keeping the style consistent allows a natural flow to develop from the home's interior to the outside.