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What Original Details of Your Home Should You Never Change?

What Original Details of Your Home Should You Never Change?

The last thing in the world you want to do is spend TIME and money planning a remodel—designing that perfect space—only to realize you made a HUGE mistake!

Sometimes, that kind of remodeler’s regret comes from what you got RID of instead of what you selected.

There are so many original features homes that homeowners think they HAVE to get rid of if they want a cleaner, more modern look. When it comes to these kinds of original details, though, you’d better think twice…because there are some things you just can’t get back.

Before you go tearing out window seats or Dutch doors, for instance, know that each of the following original features in homes can add sales value AND a huge return on enjoyment.

That’s something worth thinking about!

Maybe these features need an update, but do not tear them out until you’re absolutely certain that’s the way to go!


Dutch DoorDutch Doors

Dutch doors were popular with Dutch settlers in the Northeast over a hundred years ago. Consequently, by the middle of the 20th century, they were considered “dated.”

Today, however, Dutch doors are coming back “in,” which goes to show that trends are not the reason to tear out an original detail of your home…trends come and go, so make decisions based on YOUR long-term likes.

It’s plenty easy to saw a door in half and update the hinges to add a Dutch door to your home…but that ORIGINAL Dutch door will always have special charm, especially in older houses.

And really, how many of these doors do you have in North Texas?! If you have a Dutch door and live in the area, you should really consider keeping it!!

You can see a dozen other types of doors here, too…


kitchen scene with hardwood flooringHardwood Flooring

One of the go-to features of older homes that homeowners were VERY wrong to tear out in the 1980s and ‘90s are hardwood floors. These beautiful floors give a warm and inviting look and feel. They practically cry out “home sweet home!”

Ripping hardwood planks off can also cause irreversible damage to your subfloor, so it’s best to leave them in place. If you must update the flooring, get a professional to install new flooring over the hardwood so you can keep it safely in place!


Window Seats

Window seats have a special kind of décor charm to them, I think…those cozy benches are tucked up against a window, making for the perfect space to read or relax.

If you have a home with a preexisting bay window seat, there’s often little else you can do with that nook if you tear the seat out, anyway! Leave the window seat in and re-imagine it instead. Maybe a beautiful potted plant can roost there and drink in all that sun…


Transom Windows

Transom windows feature large panels of glass perched above an accompanying door. They let natural light in and are wonderful for lighting up hallways and interior rooms. They’re also perfect for circulating more air across your home…

These transoms will never stop serving those two key purposes (letting in light and air), so there’s no reason to get rid of them unless you absolutely can’t stand the look! Personally, I think the beauty of glass is timeless…

Just look at this transom we installed in this recent remodel!

custom vitrine french door


sunroom with beautiful green outdoor viewSunrooms

Like window seats, sunrooms give off a feeling of relaxation (and even luxury) that you will SORELY miss if you get rid of them!

Instead of braving the outdoor elements, you can sit in a sunroom any day of the year and feel the warmth of sunlight on your skin. Personally, I could relax like that all day!

It’s not just about the sunlight, either. All those windows also give you a beautiful vantage point of your yard and the world around you.

For décor ideas, you can play with the indoors-meets-outdoors look in a sunroom by adding wicker furniture or rattan pieces.


Original Fireplaces

Original fireplaces that are in good shape can bring a HUGE benefit to your world in the wintertime…just picture snuggling up next to a toasty fireplace the next time a storm hits!!

Seriously, there aren’t a lot of things that beat that scene…


Ceiling Details

Ceiling details like original beams, coffered ceilings and original shiplap should absolutely be retained. Even if you aren’t TOTALLY in love with the look, just like with hardwood flooring, you should have a professional safely cover it up while not ripping out this original architecture…

That way, you retain greater value in your home, and you also ensure architectural integrity.


Woodwork and Built-ins

Original woodwork (like trim and molding) and built-ins (like fireplace mantels, bookcases and more) shouldn’t be torn out unless you ABSOLUTELY have to. Often, they just need a new paint job!!

If you are going to paint woodwork, be sure to read about the 9 mistakes to avoid when painting your home.

installing baseboards


Mail Slots

Aah, the mail slot…it enjoyed a LONG run as a front door “staple!”

With the rise of online bill payment and the fizzling out of regular mail delivery by USPS, however, sleeker and more secure doors WITHOUT mail slots are becoming all the rage.

You can add back some utility and style to your front door with a new mail slot. If you still have the original front door and mail slot, consider updating the metal hardware of the slot before replacing the door altogether…that’s a cheap and easy way to update the look…and you’ll be amazed what a difference it makes!

Do you even know what first impression your front door leaves?!


Today, you don’t have to worry about mixing original features with modern additions. In fact, old and new architecture AND décor can be joined in a thoughtful way that can be absolutely DAZZLING.

And another thing…if you are buying a new house and eyeing some of the original details thinking “Oh, that must go,” do NOT talk to the sellers about your plans…just jot your notes down in your Remodeling Planner, because those original features might have been what sold THAT family on the home in the first place!!

Besides…anything that can be kept and can help make the home uniquely “yours” should be something you think twice about before removing…that simple.

Which of these classic, original features does YOUR home have?! Start the conversation with us on social!!

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