Echoes of the Past: Restoring a Victorian Cottage

It isn’t unusual for a vintage home to have undergone numerous renovations. Such was the case for this Redlands, California Victorian cottage built in 1900. Luckily all the owners over the last 120 years have all made an effort to maintain the original character of the house, some with better results than others.

Some of the later renovators chose materials and finishes that were poor quality and historically incorrect. That’s when Brett Waterman of HGTV’s Restored made an appearance in the lengthy history of this house.

Come with us to discover how Brett reimagined this house to make it functional for modern day living yet true to its past.

Large dining room in a Victorian style with dark wood trim.

Quality & Timelessness

The overall goal of the renovation was to update the functionality while improving space utilization and finishes. The house held true to the Victorian style, both inside and out, which was a plus since Victorian style can look current with the right color palettes and materials.

“We focused our restoration efforts on quality materials with timeless design characteristics,” said the Restored team. They maintained the historic quality of the home with vintage period lighting and hardware. This helped ground the house in the Victorian period. They allowed the furnishings to be more evolved with pieces from numerous periods over the last 200 years. The interior styling, by Sara Zofko, reflects a current yet curated sense that lets the home stand with one foot in either century.

Large living room in the Victorian style with club chairs and dark wood accents.

Character Defining Finishes

Another tactic the designers used to keep things rooted in the past and growing into the future was the hardware. As mentioned before, hardware was a key element to keep the space true to its Victorian style.

“We consider hardware, like register vents and returns, as character defining for the home. These are elements that should last the life of a home, so the design and quality must be timeless,” said the team.

They chose Reggio Register because of its historic patterns and construction, plus the vast array of sizing. The team kept as many original vent covers as possible and picked a pattern similar to that for new vent covers.

The team selected Sunray pattern in Black and Oil Rubbed Bronze throughout the home.

Shop All Historic Vent Covers

A corner of a beautiful Victorian house with dark wood trim.

Updating for Modern Living

The Victorians lived much differently than we do today so an update to the floorplan on the main level of the home was needed. This improved space utilization and traffic flow through the space. The majority of the time was spent on the laundry room, kitchen, and service porch.

The biggest changes impacted both the interior and exterior with shifts in the location of some of the doors and windows to accommodate a better interior layout and more room for appliances and cabinetry.

In the end, the 2,600 square foot cottage became a 5 bedroom 2 ¾ bath haven any modern family could adore. It kept all the charm of Victorian style but still offered everything needed to live comfortably more than 100 years later.

See more projects completed by the Restored team with the help of Reggio Register.


 See More Victorian Renovations

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