Home Lifestyle Home Improvement How to Modernize the Style of an Old Home

How to Modernize the Style of an Old Home


If you live in or just bought an old home, you understand how it can quickly start to feel dated and worn. While there is a certain charm to old homes, it is also important to stay on top of your home improvement projects. Here are a few of the best ways that you can modernize the style of an old home.

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Replace Flooring

While it may be labor-intensive and expensive, replacing the flooring will make a drastic change in the appearance of an old home. You may find that underneath that worn carpet, your home enjoys a layer of hardwood or another type of classic flooring. If you are lucky enough to own a home that has classic hardwood flooring, simply refinishing it can go a long way in making the house feel more modern. If you want to keep the carpet, paying a professional cleaner to spruce it up can give the entire home more life.

When it comes to the flooring and other wooden structures in the home, it may be worth having an inspector pay a visit. An inspector will be able to spot any issues in the home. Sometimes pests like termites can make your house a home in areas you cannot see and start gnawing on the wooden structure of the house. This can pose a danger if that is the case, so it is better to check than to be sorry later.

Freshen Up the Paint

There is no more dramatic way to freshen up a room than to give it a new coat of paint. A new paint palette for your home will bring it up to date. If your home includes exposed brick or other types of masonry surfaces, you may want to think about using lime wash paint. This type of paint is formulated to deliver a distinct white wash effect that will bring out the best parts of a classic home. If your budget allows, be sure to think about updating the exterior paint as well. This is an instant boost to the curb appeal of your home.

Depending on the type of paint you choose will affect the overall tone of your household. Darker paints are best for large rooms. If you paint a small room choose a lighter paint. While you can use lighter paint for large rooms, if you use dark paint for smaller rooms it will make the room look even smaller and cramped. For this reason, it is best to avoid dark colors in a small room.

Update Light and Outlet Coverings

Another great idea when looking to modernize an old home is to simply update all of the light and outlet coverings. Many old homes have assembled a hodgepodge of outlet covers over the years, creating a mismatched look. Outlet covers typically only cost a few cents to a dollar so they are worth changing out. Not only will this project inject a new style into every room in the home, but it will also make the look more cohesive. You can also consider replacing thermostats and smoke detectors at the same time. Having a carbon monoxide combination is the best option for keeping your family safe. This is an easy fix that you can complete in just a few hours and on a limited budget.

Light it Up

Lighting is another element of your home that can have a profound impact on its overall appearance. Many old homes have a tendency to be dark and drab. Even if you do not have the ability to knock out walls or add windows to bring more light into the rooms, you can add lighting in other ways. Replacing light bulbs, adding mirrors to create the illusion of more light, and choosing paint colors that lighten up space are all good ideas. While you are at it, be sure to replace old light fixtures.

At the same time, you may want to replace your bathroom light and vent fan. Vent fans should be replaced every ten years in a home and should be cleaned once per year. Dirt and grime can build up in the fan if not cleaned regularly. This will lead to more stress on the motor which will cause your vent fan to burn out.

Choose the Right Furniture and Decor

The right furniture and decor that you choose can also modernize the look of a home in an instant. Rather than trying to work against the age of your home, lean into the style and choose furniture and decor that fit with the restored style. Farmhouse decor and repurposed vintage furniture are all great ideas to make the most out of the overall aesthetic of your home. You can also mix in more modern pieces so that you can update the home without losing sight of its unique character.

Paint Cabinetry

You will be amazed at how much a change of cabinetry can alter the entire look of a kitchen or bathroom. Unfortunately, replacing all of the cabinets can be a costly and time-consuming venture. If your cabinets, we custom-built, to fully replace them would require a cabinetry installer to take measures and order a replacement custom-built cabinet. These custom-built cabinets can several weeks or months to come in.

However, if you have the time and inclination, you can paint the cabinets yourself. For instance, painting old and worn oak cabinets with a coat of bright white paint will modernize the vibe of a kitchen. Most cabinets can be painted over, but if you have a plastic laminate cabinet this will require special paint and technique as it will not take a topcoat paint.


Regardless of if you are looking for a quick and easy fix or an entire overhaul of your old home, these ideas will provide you with the inspiration that you are looking for to dive right into that next project. Remember that you do not have to do everything all at once. Prioritize your upgrades and tackle them as time and money allow. Often starting with the easy and inexpensive upgrades is the best way to go.


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