7 Ways to Make an Older, Dated Home Look Modern


    As the saying goes, “The only constant is change.” This maxim definitely holds true in the arena of real estate and home design.

    Interior design and architectural trends come and go fairly swiftly, which can leave your home looking outdated in a depressingly short time. Fortunately, modernizing a dated-looking structure doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming.

    If you’re willing to get creative — and possibly get your hands dirty in the process — there’s plenty you can do.

    Try These Seven Tricks

    Whether you’re planning to put your home on the market and want to maximize its value, or you have no intention of moving but want to live and entertain in a more trendy-looking home, there are plenty of reasons to modernize the look and feel of your residence. Depending on when your house was built and last renovated, you might find the following tips helpful.

    1. Get Rid of the Popcorn Ceilings 

    In their heyday, popcorn ceilings were all the rage. Not only did they make a fashion statement, but they also provided a great way to hide imperfections and eliminate the need to paint. Decades later, however, popcorn ceilings simply make a house look out of date.

    Honestly, getting rid of popcorn ceilings is a pain in the rear, but you don’t have much choice if you want to make your home look more contemporary. You may consider several different strategies, including manually stripping with a paint scraper, sanding, or even covering the surface with paneling. Research your options and choose the one that’s best for your situation.

    1. Strip the Wallpaper 

    Wallpaper was popular for many years, but today it simply screams “old.” And because it’s notorious for being difficult to remove, you’ve probably been putting it off.

     “People usually have no clue on how to strip wallpaper,” Gerald Bishop writes for HGTV. “It’s not that difficult. But it takes a lot of patience, and there’s an art to stripping wallpaper.”

    Bishop suggests avoiding the traditional steamer method and opting for a concentrated remover solution mixed with water. The solution actually dissolves the adhesive backing and makes it easy to peel off. It’s still frustrating and time consuming, but it’s effective.

    1. Install Fresh Carpet

    Carpet can start to look ragged and dated in a hurry. So it’s a good thing that it’s fairly inexpensive to replace and can make your entire home look fresher.

    You may even discover beautiful hardwood floors underneath. For some reason, there was a period when homeowners covered hardwoods with carpeting.

    When installing carpet, you want to be conservative. Carpet influences a substantial portion of a room’s overall design, so you probably don’t want to select bright and bold colors. Neutral earth tones are currently in style.

    1. Paint Wood Trim and Finishes

    Homes built and renovated in the ’80s, ’90s and even early 2000s generally feature a lot of brown trim. From crown molding to window and door frames, everything has that dated brown look.

    This is an easy fix, however. With a single coat of white paint, you can instantly freshen up wood trim and make it look modern. This guide from an ambitious DIY-lover shows exactly how to handle this kind of project.

    1. Replace Hardware 

    One of the simplest tricks is to replace and update hardware throughout a space. Drawer pulls, knobs, faucets, door handles, hinges, etc. … all of these elements can be removed and replaced with little more than a screwdriver or drill.

    If you’re on a strict budget and can’t afford to buy all new hardware for your home, you could paint your existing hardware instead. Going from the ’90s look of gold-colored hardware to a darker bronze is as easy as removing, spray painting, and reinstalling.

    1. Update the Garage Door 

    You might not spend a lot of time thinking about it, but your garage door plays a major role in the exterior appearance of your home. Trying to replace your entire garage door can be extremely costly, though.

    The good news here is that there are ways to update your garage door rather inexpensively. If you don’t like the color, you may paint the door to freshen it a bit.

    An easier option is to add some simple DIY carriage hardware to make the door look fancier. If you have unattractive windows, installing basic trim can make a significant improvement. 

    1. Show the Kitchen Some Love 

    Modernizing a home can be as simple as getting the small details right. Dated hardware, wallpaper, popcorn ceilings … all of these things have a cumulative impact on the design of your home.

    If you have space in your budget, though, you should try to tackle some of the big projects, as well. The first room to focus on is the kitchen.

    Not only do you spend a bunch of time there, but the kitchen also has a major impact on your home’s value. For a few thousand dollars, you can paint cabinets, install granite countertops, install a backsplash, and update appliances.

    You may even be able to purchase a designer light fixture, which could potentially become a new focal point for the room. If and when you decide to sell, you’ll get almost all that money back in the sale price of the home.

    Sell Your Home With Green Residential

    When it comes time to sell your home, you might presume you have but two options: Either sell it yourself — which takes a lot of time, but usually allows you to keep more money in your pocket — or work with a real estate agent and flush 6 percent of the home sale down the drain in Realtor fees and commissions.

    There is a third option, however. Green Residential is one of the rare real estate agencies in Houston that operates on a flat-fee rate. Instead of paying us the full 3 percent commission you would normally owe to your seller’s agent, we take a flat rate that could potentially save you thousands.

    For more information on how our home selling services work, please contact us today!

    Comments are closed.