things that make your house look outdated
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Things that Make your House Look Outdated

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Things that make your house look outdated and learn how to easily rejuvenate your space for a modern touch.

Does your home seem stuck in a time long past?

This guide will help you identify and update those elements that may be making your home feel outdated.

With a few simple changes, you can bring your space into the modern era, creating a harmonious and vibrant environment that you’ll love to live in.

Recognizing Outdated Decor

Before you can modernize your space, you need to identify what’s giving off a retro vibe.

Here are some common signs that your decor is showing its age:

Brass and oak fixtures: Once the epitome of luxury, brass and oak finishes now tend to show a serious case of the ’80s.

Floral and mosaic tile patterns: While some vintage tile is timeless, intricate patterns can date a room.

Overly fussy furniture: Heavy, ornate furniture can make a home feel stuffy and cluttered.

Popcorn ceilings: This texture was popular in the mid-20th century, but it can now make rooms look smaller and outdated.

Patterned wallpaper: Particularly bold or busy wallpapers can overwhelm a space and make it feel heavy and closed in.

Once you’ve pinpointed these things that make your house look outdated, you’re ready to begin the transformation.

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Your Step-by-Step Modernization Plan

Revitalizing your home doesn’t have to be an overly complex or expensive process.

Follow these basic steps to give your home a fresh, modern look.

Step 1: Declutter and Simplify

The first step to updating your home is decluttering.

Remove unnecessary items that accumulate over time and serve to overwhelm and complicate your space.

Replace over-furnished rooms with simple, clean looks, focusing on quality over quantity.

Discover more tips on decluttering here.

Step 2: Refresh Paint and Replace Fixtures

A fresh coat of paint can work wonders, particularly if you’re still using shades from another decade.

Neutral tones usually modernize a space, but don’t shy away from muted contemporary shades or even bold, on-trend colors if that’s more your style.

In addition, consider replacing those ’70s brass fixtures with sleek and modern alternatives.

Step 3: Modernize with Technology

Incorporating technology that has come of age can significantly update your home.

For example, installing smart home systems not only makes your home more functional but it also adds a contemporary touch.

Smart thermostats, lighting, and security systems are all examples of unobtrusive, yet stylish tech innovations.

Step 4: Swap Outdated Accessories for Modern Ones

Small, decorative items from table lamps to throw pillows can make a big difference.

Out with the old, in with the new.

Look for contemporary designs that reflect current trends.

Not only will this remove things that make your house look outdated, but it also tells a story about you and your home’s personality.

Step 5: Flooring and Windows Are Key

If you have shag carpet or those outdated vertical blinds, it’s time to upgrade.

Hardwood floors and polished concrete are modern and easy to clean.

And when it comes to windows, opt for sleek, minimalistic treatments or let in natural light to create a fresh, airy atmosphere.

Step 6: Embrace Minimalism and Functional Spaces

Modern design often revolves around the principles of minimalism and multifunctionality.

Reevaluate your spaces to see if you can open them up and make better use of the area.

This could involve removing walls to create open-plan layouts or simply reorganizing a room to serve more than one purpose.

Discover more about minimalism here.

Step 7: Use Art and Mirrors Strategically

Strategically placed mirrors can help to create the illusion of a larger space, while contemporary art can add a splash of color and a personal touch.

Choose artwork that resonates with you and complements your overall design aesthetic.

Step 8: Bring the Outdoors In

One of the marker signs of modern design is a connection between the interior and exterior.

Bring the outdoors in with plants and natural materials.

This not only adds a modern touch but also a sense of tranquility and natural beauty to your space.

By following these simple steps, you can transform your home from a symbol of the past into a contemporary haven.

Remember, modernizing your space is as much about personal taste as it is about following trends.

The most important thing is to create a space that you enjoy coming home to, so don’t be afraid to let your unique style shine through.

15 Things that Make your House Look Outdated

1 Color palette

Gone are the days when monochrome ruled our interiors – the days of all grey, beige, or cream have passed.

We recall when paint techniques, seeking a patina effect, adorned our walls in a tapestry of earthy tones, do you?

We remember well because those designs once filled our homes.

Yet today, contemporary styles lean towards simplicity, with people craving naturalness that reflects in their choice of color palettes and materials.

Neutral tones are reigning supreme in modern-day interiors, finding a place within a more natural color range that eschews the extremes of stark grey or deep beige.

Read more about paint colors for your home here!

If you’re looking to get rid of things that make your house look outdated, starting with the color palette can be transformative.

Try painting your interiors a warm, soft white or another inviting neutral tone; this alone can dramatically change the feel of your space.

And before you think it, no, this doesn’t mean you need to replace all your furniture. Far from it!

Simply stripping away those all-too-characteristic hues of the ’90s and 2000s can radically refresh any room, allowing even dated pieces to shine in a new light.

While bold and vibrant colors had their heyday, interiors currently seek to inspire relaxation and tranquility, countering the fast pace of modern life.

If you’re enamored with color, use it judiciously.

For large surfaces like walls, choose soft chromatic tones, whether dark or light, steering clear of high-intensity shades.

Such subtlety in color both looks beautiful and feels more organic.

Reserve the more intense colors for medium or small-sized decorative pieces to avoid overwhelming your sanctuaries.

By incorporating these modern color palettes, you not only avoid trends that make your house look outdated but also create spaces that offer calm and peaceful retreats within the bustle of modern life.

2 Yellow tone wood

Do outdated wooden finishes, banisters, cabinets, or any elements with a yellow hue or reddish tones clutter your space?

These were once all the rage – the signature kitchen aesthetic.

However, these shades are no longer in vogue as they tend to over-darken rooms and excessively dictate style.

Instead, today’s trend leans towards more neutral wood tones that offer a natural, softer look and blend seamlessly with contemporary color palettes.

I understand the concern— maybe everything in your home is decked out in these now-outmoded shades.

You might wonder, “Is modernizing even an option for me?” Well, I have excellent news for you: updating these fixtures can be relatively straightforward.

Wood quality is non-negotiable. Properly maintained wood can stand the test of time, even after 40, 50, or 60 years.

Fortunately, there are numerous products and paints available today that can instantly catapult your wood elements from the vibe of the ’80s into the aesthetics of 2023.

The beauty of wood lies in its versatility—it can be sanded down to reveal its naked grain and even be repainted in the future.

There’s no need to discard such eternal, high-quality pieces.

Sometimes, replacing such fine woodwork with contemporary materials, which might not last as long, is a misstep.

By simply reviving the wood with more subdued tones or a chic modern color, you can transform your space in no time.

This advice rings especially true if you have wooden wall panels, a prevalent trend from the ’70s to the ’90s.

Though beautiful, these panels, showcasing intense and bold wood grains, can feel dated.

With a simple refresh to lighter tones, you can breathe new life into them and bring them into modernity.

3 Wide tile joints

In the past, it was common to use tiles with wide joints.

The tiles would have wide, usually white joints, which made each piece stand out.

However, in recent years, the world of ceramics and porcelain has dramatically evolved.

Now, the trend is to have large-sized tiles with minimal joints.

This creates a homogeneous surface that makes spaces look bigger, more elegant, and uniform.

If you’re thinking of changing your floors, I recommend opting for large-sized pieces with minimal joints.

On the other hand, if you already have wide joints and want to renovate a space without much hassle, you can carefully remove the joints and fill them with a color similar to the tile.

Alternatively, you can easily make a radical change by using vinyl flooring.

Vinyl floors come in various styles and textures, such as wood imitation.

They are moisture-resistant and can be installed over existing floors or interlocked for higher durability.

Whether it’s for high-traffic areas like kitchens or bathrooms or low-usage areas like closets, vinyl flooring offers a quick and convenient solution for transforming your space in just minutes.

4 Glossy finishes

Are you looking to achieve a modern and stylish home?

Let’s talk about how to strike the perfect balance in your interiors.

While shiny surfaces like glossy kitchen cabinets or polished floors can add a touch of sophistication, it’s important not to overdo it.

Incorporating matte surfaces can create a more natural and contemporary feel.

By combining both matte and glossy elements, you’ll achieve a harmonious composition that feels authentic, less industrial, and truly modern.

5 Old ceiling fan

Do you have an old fan that’s taking up space? It’s time to upgrade!

Nowadays, there are so many modern options that can instantly transform your space without compromising on cooling.

From sleek designs in black or white matte to wooden and steel ones, you have plenty of choices.

Some even come with trendy Chandelier-style crystal lamps that feature retractable blades.

With this wide variety of fans available, you can easily update your space and enhance its aesthetic appeal.

If your fan still works but looks outdated, don’t worry! You can give it a fresh look by painting it with metal paint.

There are even spray paints specifically designed for this purpose.

Don’t let a rusty fan detract from your space when a little paint can make it so much better.

6 Vertical blinds

In the 80s or 90s, plastic vertical blinds were popular in every interior.

While they can still be found, there are now many more practical and easier-to-clean options available.

Curtain panels, roller blinds, and pleated blinds not only offer a more modern look but also allow better natural light and seamlessly adapt to any decor, even minimalist styles.

If you still have these old blinds at home, no need to worry!

Upgrading is easy and can be done in a weekend. You’ll instantly notice a refreshed and pleasant atmosphere with a lighter feel.

7 Heavy curtains

Another element that instantly makes an interior look old is heavy curtains.

Not only are they impractical, but many of these fabrics can’t even be washed at home because they’re too heavy for the washing machine to handle.

Clearly, this is not suitable for contemporary living.

Additionally, heavy curtains block natural light, making interiors appear darker and heavier.

Luckily, there are gorgeous curtain fabrics available today that are elegant, lightweight, and easy to clean.

They come in spectacular colors and finishes with a beautiful drape.

Opening and closing them is a breeze, they accumulate less dust, and they can be easily washed in the machine.

There’s nothing more practical than being able to remove your curtains and toss them in the washer whenever needed.

Speaking of curtains, valances that used to be popular also make interiors look dated.

If your style is classic and it’s what you love, I respect that.

However, if you’re looking to update your interiors, opt for modern curtain rods and systems that are discreet yet give the space a clean and light appearance.

Remember that anything that makes a space feel airy, simple, and practical is synonymous with contemporary design.

Simple curtains blend much better with the background wall, creating a relaxed, uncluttered, and modern atmosphere.

Another detail that ages a space is bold prints on curtains.

Neutral-toned curtain panels with subtle patterns or solid colors have a timeless appeal; they never go out of style and allow your decor elements to shine as the focal points of the room.

Read more about how to pick and hang curtains here!

8 Wall messages

The 2000s may seem recent, but phrases on walls are still considered antique.

While many enjoy personalizing their space in this way, there are countless timeless alternatives.

Rather than a literal “I love my family” statement, why not express that love and sense of unity through a curated wall gallery filled with precious moments?

Not only does it add elegance and complement your home decor, but it also adds a personal touch by showcasing something truly yours.

Of course, we don’t advocate filling every wall with an entire life story in photos.

Remove those things that make your house look outdated and think of selecting a designated area for a thoughtfully arranged and modern gallery.

You can create a spectacular and uniquely familiar atmosphere in your home.

9 Carpets

Intense colors. Who doesn’t remember them?

They were typical to see in vibrant shades of green, apple green, blue, yellow, orange – any color that screamed “Look at me, I’m the floor!”

Having carpet throughout the entire home is not practical nowadays.

There was even a time when people used carpets in bathrooms. Don’t ask me why or how, but it was a trend. Obviously, that’s unthinkable today.

However, a carpeted floor can still work well in a bedroom – that intimate space only you use.

It can be an alternative especially if you live in areas with harsh cold seasons.

And here’s a design tip: if you’re going for a carpeted floor, choose timeless neutral colors that will match everything even years from now.

Opting for neutral tones is a smart choice when it comes to elements that are harder to replace like large furniture, carpets, and similar items.

You can always introduce pops of color in other easily replaceable and more affordable elements like accent walls, pillows, wall art, bedding, and more.

10 Pop corn textured ceiling

Back in the 90s, popcorn-textured ceilings and walls were all the rage.

I’m sure many of you remember them from your childhood, maybe even scraping against one and ending up with itchy arms and legs all day.

It’s understandable why they were so popular back then, given the limited options for adding texture to our interiors.

But today, we have numerous easier, more beautiful, and practical alternatives.

One major downside of those textured surfaces is that they accumulate a lot of dust.

In contemporary design, we strive for practicality and functionality.

Smooth ceilings and easy-to-clean wall coverings are a much better choice.

If you want to update your interiors, carefully remove that popcorn-like surface or simply cover it with a false ceiling – burying it in the past while giving your space a modern touch.

11 Tv stands

When it comes to interior design, television stands have come a long way.

Gone are the days of massive, heavy separators taking up space in our homes.

Today, televisions are sleek and compact, even mounted on walls.

They blend seamlessly with our decor, harmonizing with other furniture pieces and giving our living spaces a lighter feel.

If you’re looking to upgrade your television area, donate those things that make your house look outdated.

Get creative and repurpose an existing credenza or sideboard that matches your style.

By painting it in a color that complements your decor or matches the background wall, you can give it a modern and lighter look.

Remember, when the object and the background share similar colors, it creates visual uniformity and makes the furniture blend effortlessly into the space.

This trick will make your room feel more cohesive and integrated.

So, for those seeking to modernize their heavy furniture while maintaining a versatile and organic style that aligns with their home decor, painting is an excellent option.

Don’t be afraid to explore different colors and make your television area a stylish focal point in your living space.

12 Wallpaper borders

In the 90s, wallpaper borders were all the rage.

However, nowadays, wallpaper technology and material variety offer extensive options.

Borders can even impact how we perceive the height of a space, creating the illusion of a lower ceiling by dividing the wall into two parts.

Removing them is easy and can be done over a weekend.

Simply remove the border, apply a fresh coat of paint, and instantly your space will look more modern.

If you want to add patterns and bring life to your walls, wallpaper is your best bet.

By covering an area or entire wall, it won’t disrupt or interfere with the perception of space.

You don’t have to cover your entire house—just highlight an accent wall or specific area.

This approach adds color, movement, and a concept to the space without going overboard. Remember: moderation is key!

13 Themed decor

Thematic decorations used to be a big trend in the past, particularly in bathrooms and children’s bedrooms.

Nautical themes, for example, were very popular.

However, nowadays people are opting for more versatile and adaptable spaces that can withstand changing circumstances without needing constant renovations.

It’s better to bring life to a space using a palette of colors and textures that you love, representing your desired concept.

Avoid overly literal decorations as they can detract elegance from your interiors.

This trend had its moment, but it’s no longer in style.

14 Matching bedding set

In the world of home decor, matching bedding sets used to be all the rage.

From bold and vibrant prints to rigid coordination, everything had to be perfectly matched, making it difficult to mix and match with other fabrics.

But let’s face it – this look can feel outdated and inflexible in contemporary interiors.

Modern interiors thrive on versatility and personal style.

Instead of overwhelming your bed with an excessive number of cushions, opt for a more streamlined approach.

Choose bedding in neutral tones and timeless patterns that can easily be mixed and matched with your existing decor and color scheme.

Remember, less is more when it comes to cushions.

Use them sparingly for a functional yet stylish touch.

Embrace a concept that allows you to effortlessly combine different pieces and create a bedroom aesthetic that truly reflects your personality and design preferences.

15 Bathroom set

Gone are the days of buying matching bathroom sets with rugs, hats to cover everything, toilet seat covers, and towels.

While this trend had its moment, why limit yourself to pre-packaged options that don’t allow for personalization?

If you want to add color and texture to your bathroom, get rid of these things that make your house look outdated and opt for individual details instead.

This gives you the freedom to create a style that truly reflects your taste and allows for a wider range of personalized colors.

Not only will it look more elegant, but it also gives your bathroom a modern and timeless touch.

Instead of cluttering your toilet with fabrics and textiles, focus on decorating with subtle, timeless, and modern elements.

16 Lack of Technology Integration

The modern home is intelligent, seamlessly integrating technology to enhance comfort and convenience.

Whether it’s smart climate control, home security, or entertainment systems, a touch of home tech goes a long way in crafting a contemporary environment.

17 Mirrored Walls

A mirrored wall had its heyday in the ’70s dance studios and ’80s fitness rooms, but it may feel more out of place than reflective today.

Replace it with a large, well-placed mirror to open up the space and make your modern style statement.

18 Brass Fixtures

While brass enjoyed a resurgence in the late 20th century, it’s time to step back into the light with fixtures in sleek stainless steel, warm copper, or elegant black that are better aligned with modern sensibilities.

19 Worn-out Furniture

Furniture pieces are the unsung heroes of home design, shaping the character and comfort of living spaces.

If your couches and tables are showing their age, consider replacing or reupholstering them in trending fabrics and styles.

Mid-century modern and Scandinavian influences are timeless yet contemporary choices.

20 Cluttered Spaces

Nothing screams “this design is stuck in the past” quite like a room bursting at the seams.

Clear the clutter, embrace functional storage solutions, and let the focus be on your space’s architectural elements and key decor pieces.

Conclusion: Things that make your house look outdated

As we’ve walked through these 20 things that make your house look outdated, you’ll likely find aspects of your home’s design that could use a refresh.

Remember, the goal is not to erase the personal history your home holds but to blend its unique features with a current and inviting style that resonates with the present.

By making strategic updates in your home, you can ensure that it’s a place you never want to leave — even when modern design inevitably evolves to something new.

Embrace the transformation, and enjoy the journey to a more stylish and sophisticated living space.

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If you love having an elegant and beautiful home and want to keep learning about design, I recommend checking out these articles.

Sending you a big hug with much love. Don’t forget to share your tips for achieving a fancy bedroom!

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