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Heritage; What’s It All About?


All heritage buildings tell a story and we make it our business to learn and understand that story. We love to restore and uplift the original beauty of a building and have over thirty years of experience working in the field of heritage and restoration.

Heritage property is property that was created in, and has features belonging to, a bygone era. Some buildings are listed as heritage as they hold historical importance.

These kind of homes can be found in some of Sydney’s oldest suburbs like Paddington, Surry Hills and also within the CBD. Some of these buildings have beautiful stonework and intricate craftsmanship that is not used today and that is very unique to the era and area.

Some people are unsure whether they live within a heritage home or area. The best way to find out is to make contact with your local council, who will be able to assist in establishing this via their registered home list.


There are a few things you can do to look after your beautiful heritage home, as they are not like any new build or modern homes and so require a different approach to preservation and restoration.

When working with heritage, it is important that you only work with the best in the trade. Heritage buildings are old and can have hidden problems, so it is important to work with skilled professionals who have a reputation for the high standard of their craft.

When decorating or restoring your heritage home, it is important to get detailed quotes so that you do not run into any surprises down the track. Plan, budget, research and book experts accordingly.


Take time to work with specialists who can help you pick the right colours to compliment your heritage property and also bring it in to the present era in terms of modern conveniences in a sympathetic way.

Artistic Decor offer complete colour consultations, or we can put you in touch with our specialist reps who can provide expert advice on the best colours and products from their brand for the transformation of your home.

Often, we see old heritage homes that have been left to deteriorate and are in bad condition for one reason or another. It is sad to see; however, this does happen and we’d rather it not be your precious property that lapses into such a state of disarray.

“We have received a heritage of craftsmanship, of aesthetics, of taste, of identity. Our brands have the beauty to preserve and perpetuate it.”  – Antoine Arnault


The most important thing with heritage works is to actually preserve the existing décor. Some decorators would go all out opening up cracks all over the house and filling them up, but this is not always the best way to fix this problem. An old home that has fragile, brittle walls, for example, should have lining paper throughout to prevent further disruption or damage, something a professional heritage restorer would know.

Did you know that some Victorian ceilings where made with horsehair!? And the last thing you want is an unruly tradesman pulling it to pieces and opening up a can of worms!

Some woodwork within heritage homes is absolutely stunning, showing off the age of the home by detailed curves and patterns that are only from a historic era. Sadly, a lot have not been looked after properly and have had multiple coats of the wrong material applied over the top. This malpractice encourages runs, loss off exquisite detail, very bad peeling and paint falling off.

With exteriors, you can usually choose the colours that you would like applied on you home with no complications, however, in some cases you may need to seek council approval for the works and colours chosen. So, as a rule of thumb, always check. And it’s worth noting that Councils do tend to take their time when lodging any request for working on heritage properties, so make sure you get your paperwork in ASAP prior to any works being carried out.


When maintaining a heritage home, it is important to carry out thorough checks and regular maintenance in order to prevent any damage that comes with age. We understand that renovating a heritage home can be a big task, so it is important to identify any weak areas and deal with those first.

Ensure the building stays aired and watch for damp spots. Draw up a plan of what you want to achieve and then you can work your way through it. Maintaining your heritage home can be simple once the decoration has been completed. Depending on the materials your painter has used or that you have agreed with them to use, a refresh coat of paint or maintenance can be simply touch-ups or a day’s work when needed.


  • Be sure to ask your painter to leave you some paint for touch ups once your decoration has been completed. This will allow you do some minor touch ups on your walls, ceiling and woodwork if you need to.
  • Some paints will NOT touch up well at all so it’s important you are made aware of that in advance. This could be due to the finish you or your painter has chosen, colour or brand of paint.
  • If you start seeing spider webs remove them with a duster immediately, if you don’t, with time they will mark your ceiling and can turn black.
  • With woodwork, you can use a damp cloth to remove most stains but not all will be easy so be careful not to damage the paint work! You may decide to cover the stain with a little touch up with the paint you have been left by your painter, if it is indeed one that can be touched up.
  • Low sheen paint is a semi-gloss paint, when light hits it it will reflect that light and in some cases drain the lovely colour on the walls. This is great if the room is lacking natural light, but it could be very bright, if not. It is also often very obvious when touch-ups have been made with low sheen paint too, so it is not always the best type of paint to use, despite been marketed as such.


There is a lot to think about when it comes to heritage home restoration, and in a lot of cases it can be costly and not done properly. This usually leaves people very disappointed and not wanting to do any works at all on their beautiful legacy buildings. This is why it is so important to use a company who has a wide knowledge and experience in working with these delicate homes.

Artistic Decor possess all of the necessary skills, knowledge and have completed countless heritage projects, from 800-year old cottages in the UK, to multi-million-dollar heritage homes in Paddington, to the iconic art galleries that are listed within the NSW government heritage list.

We are very different to many other painting and decorating companies out there. We are uniquely skilled and experts with what we do. We know and love our craft and are not here to just “get in and get out” or to simply make something look good. We understand it needs to perform and last and we know a bad finish and poor workmanship are easy for anyone to see.

In the long run, investing wisely in doing a job correctly gives you that peace of mind, and will preserve, if not increase, the value of your home.

Heritage is a labour of love. There is so much joy to be had in taking on a heritage project and seeing a building come back to life. Artistic Decor have had the privilege of restoring some of England and Australia’s finest heritage buildings back to their former glory, and look forward to helping you to achieve the same!

“People can see past the decorating a lot of times, but if they see that a house hasn’t been taken care of, they wonder what else is wrong that they can’t see. ”

Mary Johnson


I can't recommend Artistic Decor highly enough. Sam and his team are an absolute delight to work with - extremely professional, highly skilled and committed to delivering a beautiful result - not to mention the exceptional service. Despite the many issues that raised their head during my job, Sam's and his team had an unwavering commitment to getting a superb result and I could not be happier. 500 out of 10!

Jess Onus


    Contact Artistic Decor Sydney