Older homes tend to offer plenty of character and often cost less than new construction, all while offering important and distinct advantages. As such, you tend to get better-quality construction in a well-established location with a larger lot and fun eclectic details, like built-ins, fun tiles and a variety of nooks and crannies.

However, if you aren’t careful, that older home could end up looking like a picture of the past. Help your older home come into the 21st century with these easy updates.

1. Create Space

Start by finding ways to create space. Most modern homes have open floor plans, where the living room, dining room and kitchen are all connected. If your older home has a formal dining room and doors separating each room from the other, open space may seem like an impossibility.

While you could hire a contractor to break down walls to open up these rooms, it’s still possible to create a new space without revamping your entire floor plan. Start by choosing the right-sized furniture for your room, as big, bulky pieces tend to make rooms feel smaller.

You can also incorporate light colors on your walls and mirrors, as well as have a more open placement of your furniture to trick your eye into thinking you have more space than you do. Similarly, remove pieces that are no longer serving you. For instance, a formal dining room that isn’t being used can make a lovely library or home office.

2. Update Lighting

Look at your lighting, too. Certain styles were indicative of a bygone era, and they can really date your space.

Something as simple as buying a new light fixture to replace an outdated ceiling fan can bring your home into the next decade, if not next century. Likewise, if you don’t like the placement of your current lights or want to add fixtures, you might opt to have an electrician wire in new lighting, so you can feature different areas of your home.

Additionally, keep in mind brighter rooms tend to feel larger and more open. Use floor lamps to light up the corners of each room and add table lamps to pull your eye to different areas in the space.

3. Improve Curb Appeal

The front of your house is the first thing visitors or potential buyers see, so make sure it has the right curb appeal. The look of your front door, porch and landscaping sets the tone for the rest of the house. Changing the color of your front door to something bold or modern instead of dark and conventional can make a difference, as can adding pillars or new porch railing. Add to that a few plants or better landscaping in general and you’ll see a home that looks modernized if not modern.

4. Freshen Up Your Space

When you want to give an older home a more modern look, take the time to freshen up every available surface. Aged materials will make your home look dated, but something as simple as a fresh coat of paint will give them new life. Here is a list of some suggestions for easy updates:

  • Ceilings: While popcorn ceilings, old watermarks and staining from age can date a property, they are easy to fix with a little scraping and a coat of paint.
  • Cabinets or Shelves: Simply adding a few coats of paint to kitchen cabinets, bookshelves and built-ins will help everything look cleaner and more modern.
  • Hardware: The cabinet handles in your kitchen and bathroom can date these spaces, so they should be among the first things to go. Also, look at your doorknobs and replace them if they don’t look modern.
  • Details: Small details like light switch covers or molding can show the age of your home and are easy to replace.
  • Floors: Stained carpet, worn wood or marked tiles make a house look well-worn. Updating your home can be as easy as adding new flooring or a coat of paint. You can even paint-stain tile floors.

5. Add Some Color

Finally, keep in mind decorations can make a big difference. Bringing a pop of color with bright throw pillows or a patterned chair can provide a whole new feel to an outdated space. Put some of these fun touches in your living room and dining room.

You should also consider buying new furniture as well. Old pieces in a dated house just complete the picture that your home is not modern. Instead, choosing a bedroom suite or living room set with a modern silhouette can help bring your home up to date.

Mind the Details When Updating an Older Home

The easiest way to update your older home is to pay attention to the details. Spend time considering how you can make each room better. From improved lighting and a fresh coat of paint to fun throw pillows and new furniture, small changes can make a big difference.

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