If you have an older home that needs a lot of work done, updating it can feel overwhelming. Even if you’re not ready to invest in a full-blown remodel, there are some minor things you can do throughout your home to create a more modern look. Taking on these smaller projects first makes the job as a while seem a little less intimidating, and can allow you to save up and think about what you really want in a major remodel.
Here are 5 easy ways to give your home a modern, updated look:
1. Upgrade Fixtures & Appliances
Many older homes have dated gold or brass hardware and fixtures. You’ll be amazed at what a difference can be made with such minor details! There are limitless options of finishes and styles that can really give your home fresh look. The best part is – this is a super easy project that you can typically do on your own over the weekend. No professionals needed!
Getting new appliances, on the other hand, is a little bit more involved and, of course, more expensive. Things like ovens, dishwashers, refrigerators, washers and dryers come in so many different models with different features and price tags. This process might need to be done over a longer period of time, based on your budget and priorities. Nonetheless, replacing dated appliances with sleek new ones will not only improve the look of your home, but also the functionality.
2. Refresh Walls, Flooring, & Countertops
Although wallpaper is making a surprising comeback, old patterns and styles can really age home’s interior. Faded paint can also contribute to a dated look. One of the biggest changes you can make in a room is to clean the walls and apply a coat of vibrant new paint. Adding an accent wall can provide a fun pop of color and create some visual interest in an otherwise lack-luster room.
Installing new flooring is another project that’s a little bit higher on the cost scale, but replacing old carpets with a beautiful wood, laminate or tile will make a jaw-dropping impact. If you do a lot of searching, you can usually find a great option that is on sale or discounted at a local flooring provider. If you already have hardwoods, stripping and re-finishing them can breathe new life into the floors for a fresh, modern look. Updating and maintaining the floors will also be a great selling point if you are planning on moving later on.
New countertops also make a great selling point for potential home buyers. However, be warned that this home update can get very pricey. Some affordable options might be laminate, concrete, or engineered stone. Even granite is becoming a more affordable option than it once was. The best advice we can give to homeowners that are considering installing new kitchen countertops is to take a good look at your existing cabinetry as well. Often times, if you have older cabinets and choose to only replace the counters, a few years will pass and your cabinets will need to be replaced, too. The process of removing and replacing the old cabinets would include removing and replacing the newer countertops. It’s best to get these two items replaced at the same time, so you don’t end up wasting money by replacing the countertops twice. This is another reason that this project in particular usually turns into a bigger, more expensive task!
If you’re really trying to stick to a budget, you can even try refinishing your existing countertops. There are tons of products on the market that can provide a faux-granite or stone look at a fraction of the cost; even DIY concrete countertops are becoming popular. Keep in mind though, that where you cut costs, you often cut quality. These types of products may be good short-term, but usually damage easily and need to be refinished or replaced in a short amount of time. Also, if you’re not 100% confident that you know how to execute these projects correctly, it’s best to hire a professional and get the job done right. It may cost you more upfront, but it will be worth it in the long run!
3. Create a Consistent Color Scheme & Flowing Layout
Another great way to modernize an outdated home is to create a consistent, flowing color scheme throughout. Fresh, neutral walls are a great palette for pops of color and accents in your interior decor. It’s a good idea to carry the same color family throughout your entire home for a sense of consistency and balance. Neutral paint colors also make it easier if you tend to change your décor often, as they look great with a variety of accent colors.
Even if you can’t afford to knock down walls in order to open up a space, there are ways to make a floor plan feel more open. You’ll want to group your furniture in a way that provides a spacious look and easy transition from room to room. Leave as much open space as possible along walkways and thresholds and avoid bulky furniture that distracts from the room as a whole.
4. Enhance Interior Lighting
Updating the lighting might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about modernizing your home, but trust us, this update will make a huge impact! Many older homes feature a single rectangular fluorescent light in the kitchen and fan-light kits in the bedrooms and living areas. While there is nothing wrong with these fixtures, they don’t provide evenly distributed light and tend to create a dim environment. Having strategically placed LED can lights installed will dramatically change your home’s interior and give it a completely modernized feel. For more about LED lighting, check out our recent blog post.
5. Invest in Curb Appeal
Having a modern home starts with its exterior – the first thing guests see upon visiting. Little touches, like painting your front door, installing some outdoor lights, or adding some colorful landscaping can all make a positive impact on your home’s curb appeal. Check out this cool project we did for a client a few years ago: we installed custom shutters and an awning to the front of her house to add some character and personality to a cookie-cutter home. Iron doors are another option we offer for adding a sense of luxury and appeal to your home’s exterior.
While a complete remodel is the dream, sometimes it’s not a realistic option. However, these are some great ways to modernize your home little by little, until a major remodel is feasible. If you need help updating your home throughout or would like more information on the remodeling process, Medford Design-Build is a great place to start! Our talented Interior Designer, Stephanie, loves working with clients that are looking to refresh their home without a full-scale remodel. She can meet with you, one on one, to discuss your tastes, preferences, color palette, and ideas for your home, and also provide some input if you need to narrow your vision. She is always willing to meet you at our local vendors and suppliers to help you shop for the right products, or she can collect samples and bring them to your home to review. If you’re feeling overwhelmed trying to modernize your out of date home, Stephanie will give you the assistance and confidence to get your updates done right!
Fill out this simple contact form on our site and we’ll be happy to discuss your best options!
The Medford Design-Build Team