Learn the History of Your House
Each house has a story to tell, about the original owners, a special resident, an era of history, or type of architecture. A House History allows you to learn what has happened in your home since it was built, and is a fascinating snapshot of a single location. 4/1 can track down the stories surrounding your house and present it to you in full, with all the maps, photographs, people, and primary sources that illustrate the narrative.
With this house history, you can receive a bronze plaque from Preservation Durham. Their plaque program has given names and dates to well over 100 properties around the city of Durham, and is a lovely way to call out the historic nature of your house. Any property within Durham that is over 75 years old is eligible.
If you are located within a Local Historic District, any changes (beyond basic maintenance) you make to the exterior of your home must be approved by the Historic Preservation Commission. Drawings and a written description of the project are required, and 4/1 can help explain the process, assemble your application and look it over before the proposal is due to be sure it will pass through easily – and on the first try.
4/1 is happy to act as a preservation consultant on projects in design by another architect or professional, whether it is to meet Local Historic District requirements or to ensure smooth sailing through the Preservation Tax Credit process. Working as part of a larger team is always a pleasure.
Interiors have their own set of rules. While looking at an historic palette can be a good starting point, when it comes to interiors it makes more sense to look at the lighting, function, and furnishings in a room than to wed yourself to a period look. Let one room act as a pivot point around which the others can relate, and give some variety to the spaces. In an older home with wide door and window surrounds, stick with one trim color per floor. And do let there be some contrast between the trim and the wall color – it can be accomplished in the paint finish if you want an all-white room, but white-washing everything in flat paint will make it look like a cheap rental apartment.
Color is fun – enjoy the process, look around for inspiration, try some options, and get in touch if you need some help or a nudge out of your comfort zone!