Ceiling Fans: 5 Ways to Keep that Old-fashioned Charm

Shannon Lee

Have you taken a look at the ceiling fans at your favorite home improvement store lately? There are hundreds of possible selections to fit any home you can imagine. But if you think a modern ceiling fan won't look appropriate in your historic home, think again!

Ceiling Fans and Historical Charm

Ceiling fans were first introduced in 1882. Back then they were operated on a series of pulleys that kept all the ceiling fans moving in unison. Even after electricity brought the marvels of air conditioners into every home, the ceiling fan stayed on as a traditional favorite, and now the ceiling fan can still help keep utility bills down.

How do you choose a ceiling fan that looks like it belongs in your historic home? Here are a few tips:

  • Go with the old-fashioned pulley system. There's no reason your modern ceiling fan has to look like a new invention. Reproduction pulley fans are available, and while they have the same old-fashioned charm as the originals, these pulleys start up with the flip of a switch.
  • Go unique! If you really want to make an impression, choose a fan that is unique enough to make your visitors stop and stare. Consider a fan with an unusual design, Victorian embellishments, or even this interesting ceiling fan that turns air flow into a work of art.
  • Consider details. The small details of your ceiling fan, such as antique pull cords, natural woods, and muted finishes can help your fan blend in with the surroundings. Even the most modern fan can look like an antique with some careful attention to detail.
  • Choose a restored fan. Many companies specialize in restoring antique ceiling fans. If you have a certain year of manufacture of a specific antique style in mind, a professionally restored ceiling fan can bring that touch of authenticity your historic home needs.
  • To light or not to light? Ceiling fans are available with lights or without. Keep in mind that the earliest ceiling fans were all about air flow, not about lighting the room. If you do choose to use a ceiling fan with a light, search for one that offers an antique-style light fixture that fits in with your home's existing decor.

You can have the comfort of a modern ceiling fan while maintaining the authentic look of your historic home. So get inspired--and then go shopping!


About the Author

Shannon Dauphin is a freelance writer based near Nashville, Tennessee. Her house was built in 1901, so home repair and renovation have become her hobbies.

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