Architectural features within a building are the details that tie the property to a certain period in history. They link the past to the present and create character and personality within the space.
Homes are however subject to constant refurbishment and upgrades over time and these features can become damaged, cornicing and ceiling roses can lose detail through layers and layers of paint applied over time and some features can be forgotten forever, hidden behind partition walls that have been constructed to suit a different layout.
Thankfully, not all is forgotten. Modern technology has provided products which can safely strip away years of paint to reveal the original, intricate design of cornicing and ceiling roses.
If however some details are damaged beyond repair, there are ways to salvage. First and foremost it’s always useful to bring in English Heritage (www.english-heritage.org.uk) to determine whether the features within your house are original. English Heritage has exceptional knowledge on architectural details and it’s quite a treat to learn about the company as well as the story of your house. Once you determine the authenticity of your architectural details it is helpful to know that English Heritage hold an archive of finishes and in the case of cornicing, you may be able to get moulds of the original so that you can lovingly restore them. It is also possible to remove a good quality section of your cornice, take a mould of it and have a replacement section made.
Of course, it is also pertinent to consider whether architectural details should be reinstated if removed. Certainly, if they exist it would be a shame to remove them as they work equally well in a contemporary and classic space and can be incorporated into the design of any interior. It really does depend on the homeowner’s personal taste and style as to whether they are reinstated however something beautifully crafted with a story to tell adds a unique aspect to any interior.
Such was the case in our Belsize Park project where we worked closely with English Heritage, the experts who champion and protect historic places, to restore the striking ceiling rose and ornate cornicing in the living room of this stucco fronted duplex apartment in North West London.