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Renovation Design for Colonial Revival Style Homes

Renovating a Colonial Revival style home can be a rewarding and exciting project. This architectural style, popularized in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, is known for its classic elegance and timeless appeal. Whether you are restoring a historic Colonial Revival home or renovating a more modern interpretation of the style, there are several key design considerations to keep in mind. From preserving the original character of the home to incorporating modern amenities, this comprehensive guide will provide valuable insights and tips for your Colonial Revival renovation project.

1. Understanding the Colonial Revival Style

Before embarking on a renovation project, it is important to have a clear understanding of the Colonial Revival style. This architectural style draws inspiration from the classic American Colonial architecture of the 18th century. It is characterized by symmetrical facades, gable roofs, and a central entrance with a pediment or portico. The use of traditional materials such as brick, wood, and stone is also common in Colonial Revival homes.

When renovating a Colonial Revival home, it is essential to preserve and enhance its original architectural features. This can include restoring or replicating decorative moldings, cornices, and window trim. Understanding the key elements of the style will guide your renovation decisions and help maintain the home’s historic charm.

2. Preserving Historic Details

Preserving the historic details of a Colonial Revival home is crucial to maintaining its authenticity and value. When renovating, pay close attention to the original architectural features and strive to restore or replicate them whenever possible. This can include:

  • Refinishing or restoring original hardwood floors
  • Repairing or replacing damaged decorative moldings and trim
  • Preserving and restoring original windows
  • Recreating historic paint colors
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By preserving these historic details, you can ensure that your Colonial Revival home retains its unique character and charm.

3. Modernizing the Infrastructure

While it is important to preserve the historic character of a Colonial Revival home, modernizing the infrastructure is essential for comfort and functionality. Upgrading the electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems will not only improve the livability of the home but also increase its energy efficiency. When modernizing the infrastructure, consider the following:

  • Updating the electrical wiring to meet current safety standards
  • Replacing outdated plumbing fixtures and pipes
  • Installing a modern HVAC system for heating and cooling
  • Adding insulation to improve energy efficiency

By modernizing the infrastructure, you can enjoy the conveniences of a contemporary home while still preserving the historic charm of your Colonial Revival property.

4. Enhancing the Kitchen and Bathrooms

The kitchen and bathrooms are often the most heavily used areas of a home, and renovating these spaces can greatly enhance the functionality and value of a Colonial Revival property. When updating the kitchen and bathrooms, consider the following design ideas:

  • Installing custom cabinetry that complements the style of the home
  • Choosing period-appropriate fixtures and hardware
  • Using traditional materials such as marble or subway tiles
  • Incorporating modern appliances for convenience

By blending modern amenities with traditional design elements, you can create a kitchen and bathrooms that seamlessly integrate with the overall style of your Colonial Revival home.

5. Landscaping and Outdoor Spaces

The exterior of a Colonial Revival home is just as important as the interior, and landscaping plays a crucial role in enhancing its curb appeal. When designing the outdoor spaces, consider the following:

  • Creating a symmetrical landscape design to complement the home’s architecture
  • Using traditional plantings such as boxwoods and hydrangeas
  • Adding hardscape elements such as brick pathways or a patio
  • Installing outdoor lighting to highlight architectural features
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By carefully planning and designing the outdoor spaces, you can create a cohesive and inviting environment that complements the Colonial Revival style of your home.


Renovating a Colonial Revival style home requires a balance between preserving its historic character and incorporating modern amenities. By understanding the key elements of the style, preserving historic details, modernizing the infrastructure, enhancing the kitchen and bathrooms, and designing the outdoor spaces, you can create a renovated Colonial Revival home that seamlessly blends the past with the present. Remember to consult with professionals, such as architects and contractors, to ensure that your renovation project is executed successfully and in line with the style’s principles. With careful planning and attention to detail, your Colonial Revival renovation can transform your home into a timeless and elegant masterpiece.

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