Personal expression is as American as blue jeans – and our homes are no exception. Everything from design, landscaping, and renovation is an opportunity to make a statement.

But changing or adding to your existing structure could compromise the history of your house. There may be all sorts of reasons you can’t change the look of your traditional home – from heritage laws to simply maintaining the historical integrity of a building.

Luckily, there are still lots of ways to inject character or personality into a traditional space without changing its core components.

In fact, the right home addition can elevate your traditional home into something both new and epic. Here are some pointers to help inspire a modern addition to your house.


5 Creative Ideas For Additions to Older Homes

Let’s start by examining some crucial areas before you start designing. Below are three questions you need to ask when considering an addition to your house.

  1. Will the new structure be on the front, side, back or top of the house?
  2. Should the style of the new space blend in with or stand apart from the original house (inside and outside)?
  3. How will the new addition function with the rest of the building (i.e. Does it need to be accessible to multiple family members or is it for one person? Is it a space for hosting? etc.)?

These factors determine how you will move forward. Once you have the answers to these basics, you’re ready to move onto the design (fun) part. Here are some pointers you can use for inspiration.


Tie Together the Old and New

Drop your home into today’s era with a super modern design. The bolder and more different it is, the bigger the statement.

The trick is to keep one element from the original design of your house and extend it into the modern addition to maintain fluidity. This, of course, depends on what makes your traditional home special.

For example, a house with an interior exposed ceiling and weathered paint should have that ceiling style extended into the new addition. Any other type of ceiling would look out of place and make the addition stick out like a sore thumb.

Maybe you want to create an addition that is architecturally modern. In that case, consider staying in the same color palette as the original structure and let the building stand out. Other unique elements to incorporate may include:

  • Matching roof shingles
  • Identical exterior siding
  • Vintage design
  • And whatever else you personally value – get creative!


Give the Feeling of a Modern Extension Without Overspending

Staying on budget might limit homeowners, but that doesn’t mean you can’t modernize your house. Lots of renovations are affordable and can breathe new life into an old space.

For example, instead of an expensive deck, consider a polished concrete floor. This type of upgrade is affordable and can create the feeling of an extended living room. Build an overhang to create more usable space and decorate with modern chairs and tables for a brand new look and feel.

Think outside the box and dare to do things in a different way. You might even end up surprising yourself with how good the outcome will look.


Turn One Addition into Two

Anytime you add an addition, there may be little tricks to expand it into two. For example, adding a bonus room to a 2-story building gives you an opportunity to build a roof terrace for the 2nd floor too.

Don’t miss the opportunity to extend living space for both floors because you didn’t think outside the box first. All the money you would’ve spent on a roof could go to an extra patio instead.


Let the Light into the Dark

Some older building designs don’t incorporate large windows, which can often leave a space feeling dreary and smaller than it is.  An addition that maintains the original exterior can include many windows or larger window sizes.

Letting in plenty of natural light can revitalize a space while maintaining the shape and color of the original building.


Embrace Two Entirely Different Styles

Building design across history offers wildly differing styles that are appealing. How do you choose which style to use for a new addition?

Just because you love Victorian styles doesn’t mean you have to give up your admiration of modern design. Instead, embrace the stark differences in a bold way by building an addition that is completely unique from the original.

Then, simply tie the two buildings together in an innovative way. Consider building a glass bridge that connects the two structures. That way, space remains usable while maintaining the appearance of separation.

Overall, when coming up with a modern addition to traditional homes, don’t be afraid to get creative and use innovative design. The sky’s (or more likely the budget is) the limit!

What kind of clever ways can you think of incorporating modern designs into your house? Sound off in the comments below!