10 Ways Your Home Looks Outdated – and How to Fix Them

If you can’t even remember the last time you made a change to the decor in your home, most likely there is something in there that could use a facelift. What may have been the cool thing back in the 70s, 80s, and 90s is probably an eye sore today.

Here are 10 features that are definitely making your home look dated, along with simple solutions on how to update them.

1. Bad Wall Colors

One of the first things that people will notice the second they enter a home is the color on the walls. If your walls are still covered in mauve, dusty rose, or burnt umber, it’s time for a change. Luckily, this is an easy fix, and just requires a few cans of paint and a little elbow grease.

features to fix_old paint

Consider painting your walls a more neutral color that will appease to everyone’s tastes and stand the test of time. Or else, if you want to try something that’s on-trend these days – such as steel blue or plum – go for it. You can always change it next year.

2. Wood Paneling

You might be stuck in the 1970s if you’ve still got crappy wood paneling plastered on your walls. Your best bet here is to completely remove the paneling and replace it with drywall that you can paint.

features to fix_panelled wood

Or else, if time and budget are a concern, you can always paint over the paneling, though this is definitely the less attractive option. You’ll first have to prep the wood paneling make sure that the paint sticks to it and completely covers all the grooves.

3. Outdated Window Treatments

Remember the good ol’ days when grandma had those pink-and-green floral window treatments and valances all over her house? While that may bring back some fond memories, however these window treatments have no business being featured in the modern home. If you’re guilty of having this type of fabric on your windows, take it down – especially if they come with fringed trim and tassels.

features to fix_outdated curtains

If there’s no issue with privacy, then leave the windows be and let the light shine in while enjoying the view. Or else, consider something more contemporary and timeless, such as sliding drapery across a rod in a more subdued and neutral fabric and print.

4. Tacky Wall Borders

features to fix_wallpaper

This is another highly outdated feature, despite the fact that it was all the rage three decades ago. Wallpaper borders are a perfect example of 1980s overdecorating. They look particularly dated when they sit directly on top of wallpaper. If your walls are still lined with flowers, stars, vines, or other tacky patterns in the form of wall bordering, it’s high time that they be scraped off in favor of a more uniform look.

5. Tarnished Brass

features to fix_brass

Whether it’s in the form of light fixtures, cabinet hardware, or even bed posts, tarnished brass is simply gaudy. You’d be amazed at what a difference can be made when these pieces are removed and replaced with other finishes, such as brushed nickel or chrome. Just head on over to your local home improvement store and you’ll have your pick of the litter when it comes to the latest trends.

6. Raggedy Carpeting

Homeowners are increasingly forgoing their wall-to-wall carpeting in favor of more modern flooring, such as hardwood planks or ceramic. Carpeting can be OK in many circumstances, but if it’s stained, shaggy, or features an uncomfortably bold color, you may want to reconsider.

In this case, you might just want to rip out the old carpeting and replace it with something more modern and attractive. Luckily, there are so many affordable wood floor options these days thanks to engineered hardwood. With this material, you can achieve durable, esthetically pleasing floors that look exactly like wood.

7. Massive Entertainment Center

You know what we’re talking about here. Those gargantuan entertainment centers that were big enough to house your huge tube TV, a VCR, stereo system, and CD player. There was probably enough space to store VHS videos and books too.

features to fix_old entertainment system

These days, televisions are as flat as can be, and don’t need these oversized and outdated entertainment units. They’re typically mounted on walls or over fireplaces, which don’t warrant the use of these old furnishings. Replace that old, obsolete entertainment center with floating shelves or something else that’s more delicate and not so in-your-face and overwhelming.

8. Outdated Furniture

Sleigh beds. Overly-bulky sofas. You get the idea. These archaic furniture pieces can really make your home look out-of-date. While replacing furniture with more modern pieces can be an expensive endeavor, it’s one that’s well worth the effort and the cash.

Interior of bedroom with bed and wood floor

Interior of bedroom with bed and wood floor

If you aren’t keen on making a huge dent in your bank account, you can always look into refurbishing what you already have. For instance, consider repainting wood furniture pieces in a dark, rich color, or cover up any loud patterned sofas and chairs with a solid-colored slip cover for a more contemporary look.

9. Sheet Laminate Countertops

Countertops that are lined in cheap sheet laminate are a sure-fire way to date your kitchen – especially if it’s peeling off. Sure, these materials are pretty inexpensive, but it’s not worth sacrificing style just to save a couple of bucks.

There are plenty of more modern options out there that are affordable. Granite, for instance, is a contemporary and attractive choice, and is becoming more cost-effective by the day. Other options to consider for your kitchen countertops include quartz, soapstone, and even wooden butcher blocks.

10. Short, Muted Backsplashes

Backsplashes – which are the walls behind kitchen countertops near the sink and stove – are installed to protect the walls from splashing food and liquid. While they have a functional purpose, they are also a key source of decor in a kitchen. Older kitchens usually came with very short backsplashes – typically no more than 4 inches tall. They were also made of laminate or a material that’s identical to the counters.

features to fix_backsplash

Nowadays, this look is highly outdated. To update the look of the backsplash in your kitchen, consider replacing it with one that extends from the counters to the cabinets, and replace the material with something like glass or ceramic tile walls in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Whether you’re looking to revamp your home to make it more sellable, or simply want a refreshed look in your home for your own visual appeal, replacing these outdated features can make a huge difference on the look and feel of your home from top to bottom.