10 Ways to Modernize an Old Home
Old homes are coveted for their uniqueness and historic grandeur, but are often lacking in interior design. If you have an old home, you’re not stuck with outdated and stuffy decor.
There are many ways to update and modernize your home while still complementing the historic charm that is inherent to every old home.
Here are some ideas to get your home decor creativity flowing!
1. Update your Lighting Fixtures
Lighting is one of the easiest ways to transform the look and feel of a room. Antique light fixtures immediately date your home, so shop around for more modern fixtures to update your home’s look. Installing dimmer switches allows you to set low lighting to create a cozy old home feeling, or turn up the light to brighten up your space and bring it into the current era. Try LED light to save on energy, help the environment, and provide a cooler, whiter light that quickly and easily brightens any room.
2. Change Flooring
Old carpeting or stained hardwood can contribute greatly to the stuffy, old-fashioned feeling that old homes sometimes have. Flooring displays many signs of wear and use over the decades, so switching out to a new look can take years off your home’s appearance. If you don’t want to replace old flooring, make sure to do a deep clean to remove signs of use. For a more complete update, consider changing your flooring to a light bamboo or natural carpet color to open up space and make your room look newer. To add historic charm in a modern way, look for a fun patterned rug that calls to mind eras past or places far away.
3. Get rid of Clutter
Tons of figurines, collectibles, or other items littering the surfaces of a room can make it feel more like a museum than a living space. Try to clean up the clutter and create more open space in the room. Clean, simple, open spaces immediately look more modern than cluttered, stuffy ones. If you can’t bear to get rid of your favorite collections, find a new, modern way to display them. Consider using a clear coffee table with a display inside, shadowbox displays, or modern shelving.
4. Opt for Paint
Old wallpapers show their age both with signs of wear and outdated colors and patterns. Remove dated wallpaper and replace it either with a more contemporary design or a fresh coat of paint. Light colors open up the space and make a room look cleaner and newer. Consider the classic interior design tip of adding a “pop” of color to one wall of the room. Three natural walls with one brightly colored walls offers a modern look and is visually appealing to you and guests in your home.
5. Upgrade your Kitchen
You don’t have to do a complete overhaul to modernize your kitchen. Just by replacing the faucet, cabinet handles, and lighting fixtures, you will be well on your way to a modern looking kitchen. If your appliances are very old, consider switching them out for new models that are more energy efficient. If you’re interested in a more complete kitchen makeover, consider refacing your cabinets. It maintains the structure of your old kitchen, but gives a fresh look to the entire room. If you want to keep a traditional atmosphere, stay away from stainless steel appliances, and consider a cork or hardwood floor for a timeless elegance.
6. Clean up the Bathroom
Even the cleanest bathroom can look dingy and dirty if it hasn’t been renovated in a while. To freshen up your bathroom, replace discolored flooring with a new tile floor, or opt for hardwood or cork if you want a unique, trendy appearance. Be sure to remove old wallpaper from the bathroom as well, as bathroom decor often ages a home more than many other rooms. To make a big difference with minimal investment, replace small but visible items like the sink faucet and toilet seat for an instant modernizing effect.
7. Update your Fabrics
Any textiles that aren’t from the current decade are sure to date your home’s decor significantly. Switch out heavy curtains for sheer, light-colored fabrics to quickly brighten and modernize the home. Lighter materials reduce the stuffiness of old-fashioned decor and bring your home into modern times. Old rugs can also be switched for newer designs that fit your personality, rather than the personality of someone who inhabited your home years and years ago.
8. Call the Maintenance Men
Besides the aesthetics, old homes also come with a host of structural problems. Along with any design renovations, call a plumber and electrician to assess any wiring or plumbing issues you may have. It may cost a bit to get the issues resolved, but problems like water leaks and faulty outlets can cause a lot of damage over time. Preventing any major issues is well worth the initial investment of having professionals look over your home.
9. Create a Beautiful Entryway
The front door to your home creates the atmosphere for your entire house, so you don’t want this area to be outdated. If your door is worn or damaged, consider replacing or refinishing it. For a quick upgrade, just replace the simple knob on your front door with a more ornate and eye-catching handle. Frame the doorway with gas lanterns or big planters to keep the old-fashioned feeling while also creating a modern, welcoming entrance. A coordinating wreath or welcome sign on the front door completes the look and makes it your own.
10. Design the Lawn
A lawn that is not well maintained makes your home look both old and unkempt. Make sure to mow regularly to keep your home looking lived in. Adding shrubs, a vegetable garden, or other lawn fixtures is a great way to customize your home and make it look less like a museum piece. Shrubbery design can also do wonders to give your home an elegant appeal.