Prepare Your Design

In this final step you will create your interpretation of the period design for your period property you have chosen and researched - be it Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian or 20th century.

As you think about how to decorate your home, prepare sample sheets; stick photos, fabric and wallpaper samples, drawings etc on a large sheet of paper or card. These will create a 'mood' for your design.

From this step you can go on to create the final design, and then a shopping list.

Included in this section are several short style guides.


Fireplaces can be used as a feature or as a practical source of heat. Look for salvaged ones, making sure all the parts are present and fit, or go for a reproduction fireplace.

You can fit refurbished or reproduction central heating radiators from earlier in the 20th century; these can look dramatic.


Most of us want electric lighting and have to go 'out of period' for this. Use modern light fittings, or a brass lantern in the hall and brass chandeliers in living rooms. Use simple fabric shades elsewhere. Consider avoiding a central light and instead use table lamps and standard lamps, whether to create a 'mood' or for specific activities.

Paints and Papers

Look for heritage paint ranges for your Georgian, Victorian or Edwardian home. Georgian, early Victorian, and Edwardian colours were lighter, with the strongest colours in the second half of the 19th century.

Period wallpapers are hard to find, expensive and may not be to everyone’s taste. Instead, go for simple patterns such as floral sprigs, or instead try a stencilled design above the picture rail; stencilling was very popular in the late Victorian and Edwardian periods.

With pre-1914 houses, it is important to let the walls 'breathe' so moisture can escape. You will have avoided sealing the outside of the building with cement renders and exterior paints, but you need to continue this inside, so avoid vinyl-based paints and wallpapers.

Carpets and Flooring

Rugs and runners go well in the hall, stairs and landing. Unless you are opting for a modern look, dark-stained flooring with unfitted carpets or rugs creates a distinctive look.

Doors and Woodwork

Unless you live in a cottage, do not leave pine doors bare; pine was an 'inferior' wood and hidden with paint, wood-effect graining and even Anaglypta-style or patterned paper in the panels. In a modern styled period house, white-painted doors look fresh but in a period style home, paint in a colour to match pictures and walls can look stunning.

The final step is 'doing it'. Please use our Directory to find sources of materials, baths, door furniture, wallpaper and more advice.