Charming Design Features Found in Older Homes

Design features found in older homes tell the story of the space. Here are a few ideas on how to embrace these heirloom details, so that they will stand the test of time – and set your home apart from the rest.

Photo by Amy Bartlam

Coffered Ceilings

Coffered ceilings are an ornate detail that changes the look and feel of an interior space. This element brings a little excitement and character to the ceiling. The coffered ceiling seen here, features and all-white design, but you can also leave the beams a natural wood look and paint inside the squares – leaving an endless amount of design options.


Glass Doorknob

Homes across the United States featured glass doorknobs after the U.S. entered World War I. The metals that were used to create doorknobs before, were now sent to support the war effort – thus the creation of glass doorknobs. Not only is this feature a unique and beautiful detail, glass doorknobs are well-built. To clean and preserve your glass doorknob, be sure to not immerse it into hot water, beause the glass may crack. Instead, try wetting a rag with a warm water and vinegar mixture, and rub the doorknob clean.

Photo by Lindsey Harris

Antique Mirror

Mixing modern and antique features can be a great way to give nod to the original style of your older home. This antique bathroom mirror is paired with more modern elements, while the mirror stands out as the star of the show.

Photo by Dan Lenore Studio


A common older home element, archways, are a visually appealing room separation that softens square corners and brings a classic charm to your home. Most newer homes have square door frames, but embracing your existing archway will set your home a part from the rest.

Photo by Sarah Dorio, Design by Cloth and Kind, Builder Athens Building Company

Transom Window

A transom window is implemented over a door or window to allow natural light and airflow throughout home spaces. Besides the practical purpose, a transom window is also used as an ornamental home detail.


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