Home Remodeling Ideas from Atlanta’s Beautiful Historic Homes

Home Remodeling Ideas from Atlanta’s Beautiful Historic Homes

Nothing compares to the beauty and character of historic homes in Georgia. Sure they require upkeep and maintenance, but that's all part of the experience. There's nothing more satisfying than finding an old gem and shining it up to standard. We know because historical home remodeling is what we do best — and today, we're sharing our tips with you!

Historic Renovations: How Do You Modernize an Old House? 

A historic home remodel is a delicate balance. You need to bring the fixtures and finishes up-to-date without losing the features that make older structures such charming homes. 

Here's how to strike a balance between honoring your home's history and making it suitable for your modern life.


When you approach your historical home renovation, don't do so with the thought that everything needs replacing. Unless your pieces are irreparably worn or don't fit your vision, try revitalizing what's already in place, be it trim work, cabinetry, banisters, or railings. Our rule of thumb: stick to the original when you can. And since many historic homes in Atlanta feature sturdy easy-to-shine-up materials like natural wood, revitalizing is easier than you might think! 

For example, let's look at this revitalized Arts & Crafts home fireplace. In this remodel, we preserved the original mantelpiece, refinishing its wood and inlaying it with tile that matches the original design. This detailed trim work fits spectacularly with a complementary gray tile interior, framed on the floor with new inlaid wood that separates the fireplace from the wood flooring. The alternating rich red hues and matching pieces draw the eye back to the original hearth piece, the center of our interest.


While it's wonderful to revitalize historic home features, sometimes an old house restoration means recognizing that some pieces are past saving. In this instance, consider refitting originals with restoration hardware and modern reproductions that fit your home's period.

Take, for example, this foyer snapshot. We immediately see multiple layers of detail and points of interest to capture our attention. While some of these eye-catching pieces, like the door, are original to the home, many of them are refits.

For instance, the panes of glass surrounding the door and centered within it are stylistically reminiscent of the home's original design. The same is true for the unique pendant lighting in the room's center. They highlight the home's high ceilings and wood beams, compositionally leading us again to the door and entryway. Even though some of these are not original features, they enhance our experience of original design elements rather than detracting from them. The same could be said of this home's keyed entry and multiple outside railings.


If you want to add to your original home's structure with a deck, porch, or other addition, ensure your new features are cohesive with what's already there. Use the same materials, design features, colors, and shapes to maintain continuity. 

In this remodeled Cape Cod-style house, Copper Sky preserved and accentuated the existing central gable by echoing them with two parallel gables to its left and right. Bright paint on the door and above the door (which matches the triangular spaces above the windows) lends interest to the home's unique structural elements.

Even the steps on the deck leading to the door feature railings made of the same wood that support the gable, providing these parallel lines of vision with the same style. Overall, the effect welcomes visitors into the home's interior, where they find more structural additions representing the home's historic charm.

Release Expectations: Modern & Old Alike 

Remodeling a historic home comes with a lot of expectations. Nosy neighbors might shame you for doing away with older features that just weren't working for you. Others might say that your modern additions don't go with what's already there. Now's the time to block out all that noise. Focus on what you want and how you can make a historic house feel like your home — and trust that your remodeler won't let you go astray! 

Here are ideas you can utilize to modernize your home and infuse it with your personality:

  • Knock out walls to open up the floor plan
  • Shop for furniture and decor that matches your home's time period (think claw-foot tubs, free-standing sinks, and curved furniture legs)
  • Mix in modern art, light fixtures, and other features to create a balance that's totally your own
  • Add a splash of color on kitchen cabinets, an accent wall, or other prominent features
  • Create more light by installing extra windows or new fixtures

More Inspiration 

When you approach your historic home to remodel, remember what made you fall in love with your home in the first place. Remember, in other words, to work with its character, not against it. View these four kitchen remodels in historic Atlanta homes for more ideas on how to revitalize, refit, and represent your historic home. 

When you're ready to bring a remodeler in, contact the designers at Copper Sky Design + Remodel!

2024 Atlanta Remodeling Cost Guide (variant A)