We update our wardrobes to reflect the changing and emerging styles, so naturally we should update our homes. In the long-run, a well maintained and updated home is necessary if you plan on putting your house on the market. Whether this is your first or second home, you are likely to, at some point, move on. By staying current with the styles you will have less work to do to your home should you decide that you do want to put it on the market. (I am avoiding the word trends here on purpose as style has staying power whereas trends are fleeting, and do not.) Home design styles do have staying power, so any money that you spend should be looked at as an investment, much in the way you look at your house.
A well maintained and updated house will need less work in long run, when it is time to sell. A well maintained and updated house will attract more buyers and will sell faster than one that needs work. Perhaps you are not planning on selling any time in the near or distant future. Perhaps this is your dream home and you plan on spending the next 30 or 50 years there. Regardless of whether you want to sell your home or not, consider this: Except for the classic and timeless pieces, you wouldn’t wear something that was in your closet 10 or 20 years ago, so why would you want your home to do so?
At the moment your home needs some serious updating. Perhaps you’ve been there for a long while or perhaps you purchased an older home at a great price because it desperately needed updating. By making a few necessary changes you will greatly increase the value of your home. And without question, you will enjoy it much more. Why wait until you plan on selling to make these changes? Why let someone else enjoy your hard work?
1. Colored fixtures
Get rid of any colored tile that was popular when our parents and grandparents were children! Get a sledgehammer and take down all that pink and yellow and mauve tile. Replace it with a clean and timeless white or neutral tile. Get rid of the baby blue bathtubs and toilets. White bathroom fixtures will stay in style much longer. If you need to add color opt to paint the walls or bring color in with framed artwork, rugs and towels.
2. Toss the avocado and mustard
Mustard and avocados belong in your salad, and not on your kitchen appliances! If you happen to have a really old kitchen and you can actually use colors like avocado and mustard to describe it, then you really have a lot of work ahead of you! Stainless steel and white appliances will have staying power in this room. A fresh coat of paint can also transform tired walls and cabinets.
3. Remove all wood paneling
Wood paneling is dark and heavy and really make any room look dated. By removing the wood paneling and adding a coat of fresh paint to the walls, you’ve managed to liven up your space and give your room a whole new look. You will be amazed by just how powerful this simple transformation is. If you feel the walls are too plain, you can always add mouldings or wainscotting.
4. Remove all faux finishes
Faux paint was extremely popular in the 1980s. The faux finish was found in nearly every 80s home either in paint or wallpaper form. It might have worked for Ralph Lauren 30 years ago, but in this case what’s old is not new. It is dated and tired and desperately needs to be removed from your home! In my last home I moved into a living room that was covered in faux finishes, both on the walls and on the fireplace hearth. Upon close inspection of the hearth we learned that the faux marble was actually covering real marble! We still, to this day, wonder why on earth someone would do this. Naturally, the faux marble was immediately removed to reveal the gorgeous real marble beneath. (And the faux walls were immediately painted over as well.)
5. Save the red carpet for Hollywood!
It has no right to be in anyone’s home. Rip up any and all old carpeting. Carpeting immediately dates your home. If you happen to have hardwood floors, leave them entirely or partially exposed. This instantly freshens up your home. If you don’t have hardwood floors you might want to consider having them installed. If this is not at all possible, then select a durable rug that can stand up to traffic and spills, and please select your rug in a neutral color!
6. Replace your countertops
Old, aged, dingy countertops should be replaced. A countertop will instantly change the overall feel and appearance of your room. You need not spend a fortune to bring your counters up to date. There are many wonderfully affordable, handsome options out there that will not cost an arm and a leg.
These accessories may be small but they are both powerful and impactful. Remove and replace your old drawer pulls and cabinet handles. Brushed metals and chrome have staying power and brass is making a comeback as well. Look for clean lines and refined shapes. Stay away from items that appear too trendy. Kitchen and bathroom faucets and handles should be replaced and updated as well if they are showing signs of age, wear and tear.
8. Take down wallpaper borders
Again widely popular in the 1980s was wallpaper borders. Not only are they dated, but they simply look silly in most rooms with the exception of children’s play areas and bedrooms. There’s not much more to add about these other than remove them immediately!
9. Replace old light fixtures
Whether sconces, or hanging from the ceiling, replace dated light fixtures to add a fresh and modern look. Any interior decorator will tell you that lighting is crucial to your space. The amount of light your home has sets the mood and tone. It can create both a productive as well as a relaxing atmosphere. Many older light fixtures use odd sized bulbs when you replace these with newer models you will be able to replace your incandescent bulbs with fluorescent ones. This will save energy and lower your electric bill.
This may be the easiest and yet the hardest task of all. Walls should be repainted every few years. Nothing makes a home look old and dingy like tired walls. Many will tell you to stick with a neutral color, but if you prefer bright or pastel walls, then by all means repaint them in a color that best reflects your style and personality. Placement of color is crucial. A bright pink may be more suited to a child’s room than one in a main living area. If you tend to prefer louder, bolder colors, when it does come time to sell, your Realtor may indeed advise you to repaint using a softer, more neutral color.
For the most part these fairly small fixes will make a huge impact in the overall appearance of your home!