As we get older, our interests begin to change. While we loved cartoons as a child, that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll still love them as an adult. The same goes for taste and style. It’s a good thing when you think about it because it’s a sign of growing up and maturing. However, one mistake we tend to make as we get older is not listening to home decor advice. When we’re younger, we tend to be more focused on accumulating furniture rather than making it look good. Eventually, there will be a point when you can buy newer things and upgrade a little. The hardest part about decorating is that it can seem difficult to get your house to look like those in magazines and shows. Some mistakes we make over the age of 45 can make the house or apartment seem, well, old. If you’re looking to change your home, these are some things you can do to upgrade and keep your space from looking like it’s the 1950s.
Gaudy Shower Curtains
If you have shower curtains that have ruffles or look intricate enough to be in a castle, it’s time to say goodbye to them. We are living in a minimalist age, so keeping it simple is the key to elegance now. You can upgrade your bathroom with other accessories like rugs and metallic trays.
Shag carpeting belongs in the ’70s and should very well stay there. One of the biggest problems with it isn’t that it looks outdated, it’s just difficult to clean when you compare it to normal carpeting.
Aside from being outdated, these blinds are ineffective. Vertical blinds tend to make your home look like a shady roadside motel from the ’80s. They just won’t be attractive or practical – ever. Move on to something newer.
Framed Photos Everywhere
While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to show off those adorable photos you have, having more than a few on display in one room tends to give a ‘grandma’s house’ impression. A better alternative would be to buy a digital frame that sets all the pictures you want into a slideshow. This will have all your grandkids in it and won’t make your walls look too busy.
If you’re someone who always covered your end and coffee tables with doilies, it’s time to stop. The cheap doilies take away from the natural beauty of the glass or wood furniture. You should embrace the pieces on their own and clean them regularly to keep them looking good.
Having a single room in the house that looks like it belongs in a Victorian royal house used to be a big trend, we know. However, these days, practicality is preferred over luxury. Get rid of the hard furniture, all those throw pillows, and delicate vases. Replace them with modern and functional pieces like a chaise lounge or a coffee table you can actually use.
We know La-Z-boy furniture is comfortable, but it’s also clunky and can only seat one person. Honestly, they’re not very stylish or good-looking. If your living room has just La-Z-boys, you should seriously consider ditching them for modern sofas, or love seats. Those will make the room seem much bigger and you won’t have to pull out the folding chairs for guests anymore.
Antiques and Collectibles
You’re probably proud of your vintage collection, but you need to understand that antiques aren’t usually the most aesthetically pleasing decorations for a home. Keep most of your collection on display in the basement, and instead incorporate one or two of your favorite pieces into your decor, like in a shadow box or a floral arrangement.
If you have a guest room painted blue, there should be almost nothing else in the room that is blue. If you have done this, consider redecorating with curtains, bedsheets, and furniture that are different colors than the wall. Not everything has to match. Choose a color palette and stick to it.
It used to be a common thing to have a beach-themed bathroom or bedroom in the house, but today, this decorating style looks rather tacky. If you want to incorporate beachy elements into your home, do it sparingly. Think more towards a teal-and-white theme that represents the beach or a rustic wooden dresser to represent a ski lodge. Less is more.
Toilet Rugs and Covers
Remember those fuzzy toilet covers and rugs? Do you still have them? If yes, then throw them out. They’re about 20 years out of date now. These pieces make your bathroom look like it came straight out of the ’90s. Replace them with a single, rectangular shag rug to make your bathroom look more modern.
If you have random items sitting near the couch or on the counters, consider coming up with a better organizational system. Look through Pinterest for some inspiration and creative solutions like ottomans with hidden compartments. Or you can get cute baskets to keep on your bookshelves. Doing so will instantly make your home feel more put together.
No one is fooled by those plants, your guests know they’re 100% fake. Having these around will make your house feel like a portal straight into the ’90s. Decorate your house with real plants instead – if you’re worried about keeping them alive, opt for plants like succulents. Those are easy to maintain.
Let’s be honest here, most of your pickle jars have probably sitting on top of your cabinet longer than your kids have been alive. It’s time to get rid of them once and for all. Stick them in the pantry where no one can see them.
While those honey oak-stained cabinets were popular in the 1990 and 2000s, not they don’t look great. Make your kitchen stand out by refinishing your cabinets. Go for a dark, cherry, or white stain.
We know that having a sleigh bed in your bedroom was once a status symbol, but that time is now over. They look and feel chunky in today’s modern world. Go with a bed that’s a little more minimal to update your room.
In order to keep your home looking up to date, you need to actually upgrade things and change them up. Switch out brass fixtures with bronze or copper. Change those drawer pulls for round knobs. You won’t regret it.
If you’re still using those heavy curtains with tassels, it’s time to get rid of them – for good. Use lightweight curtains that are a solid color or have a very simple design. If you really want to be on-trend, skip window treatments completely.
Keeping Old Wallpaper
You might think it takes too much work to replace the ugly and old wallpaper in your house. However, we’re here to say it’s completely worth it to do yourself or even pay a professional. It will change your entire home and make it feel new!
Covering The Sofa in Plastic
We understand you want to protect your sofa and make it last as long as possible, but covering it in plastic is not the way to go. This horrible cover makes the sofa look ugly, even if it’s in good condition underneath. Instead, risk it and leave your sofa as-is, and cover the most vulnerable parts with a throw blanket.
When was the last time you actually went through your house and threw away or donated some of your old decor pieces? You’d be amazed by how much more fresh and clean your house looks once you get rid of the excess.
Floral Print Furniture
While florals are a popular trend in the fashion world right now, they aren’t in the home decor world. No matter how long you’ve had that floral sofa, you need to get rid of it. Floral furniture is a symbol of an ‘old lady house’.
Let’s be honest, no one really uses teacups anymore. Most people use mugs since they’re a bigger size. Teacups also are deemed outdated and posh. Hanging them makes it even worse since they’re not even ‘decorative’ in the first place.
Patterned Sofas or Loveseats
In order to modernize your home, buy a sofa that doesn’t have a pattern. Any pattern automatically makes your house look kitschy at best. At worst, it looks like someone from the ’60s designed it. Floral sofas and loveseats are especially ‘senior’ looking.
Sofas with Fringe or Tassels
Fringes and tassels don’t look good on curtains, we know this already. However, they look even worse on furniture. Most places that use tassels or fringes do so in order to make the room feel more dated and ‘regal’.
Keeping Old Electronics
We understand that electronics are not a cheap thing. With that being said, a new TV doesn’t cost so much these days. Those old fat-back TVs make your house look like you’re in a time warp from the ’90s. Now, TVs are thin and relatively cheap so long as you don’t need a 50-inch brand-name.
There’s just something about farmhouse decor that makes a house look old. It might be because not many people live on farms anymore. Still, chicken lamps and rooster plates are not a theme you want to use for a modern look.
Taking out special dishware for holidays is one thing. Owning a china cabinet with dishes that are never used is completely different. The best thing to do is store your dishes in the cabinets and take them out as you need them.
Wall to Wall Carpeting
Having wall-to-wall carpeting isn’t ideal. It can cause allergy issues, and it’s a lot more difficult to clean when compared to hardwood or laminate. Hardwood flooring does need rugs, but you can change them and switch the colors without working around the carpet.
While mirrors can make a room look bigger, having walls covered in them has the opposite effect. Not to mention, mirrors with no frames at all look a whole lot more modern than those antique gold ones.
Soft Pink and Blue Hues
If you pair soft pinks and blues with accenting shades, then you can get away with using them in home decor. With pink, use rose gold or another complimenting color. Blue can be paired with different colors, but avoid light shades and go with navy blue.
Too Many Colors and Patterns
We know we said you shouldn’t match everything in a room, but on the flip side, don’t use too many colors and patterns together. That’s just as bad. Go with a color palette you choose and stick to one pattern. Having the wall, curtains, bedsheets, and furniture all completely different colors can be overwhelming. Some contrasting colors are fine, just don’t go overboard.
Hanging Frames Too Low
If you find yourself having to crouch or crane your neck down to look at a picture or art piece, then it’s too low. When frames are hung too low, they create the illusion that the walls are shorter than they really are. In order to keep your house looking up-to-date, keep frames hung up about 60″ from the ground.
Too Many Pillows
Using pillows as decor is great, but too many pillows – bed pillows or throw pillows – can be problematic. If your guests seem to have a hard time sitting on the couch or laying on a bed, that means you have too many pillows.
Furniture Against the Walls
This is a rather common mistake that a lot of people make. You’d think it makes the room seem bigger or more spacious, but it actually does the opposite. It might give you more walking space, but the room will look uninviting. Doing this doesn’t give the furniture enough breathing room and discourages conversations.
Alright, so this applies to all novelty clocks and not just cat clocks. Still, cat clocks are the most famous ones. They look creepy and very outdated. If you don’t want a house that looks like it came out of a ’60s horror movie, ditch those clocks.
While this might have been all the range in the ’60s and ’70s, wood paneling is just an eyesore now. It’s recommended to paint over cheap, fake wood paneling. However, if you’re lucky enough to have nice, real wood, then it’s somewhat more acceptible. In short, avoid the wood if you don’t want a ’70s vibe in the house.
Another popular ’70s trend, tile countertops are now nothing more than something that’s difficult to clean and rather unsightly. Countertops might not necessarily be something you think about evry day, but they can make your home look at least 40 years older. Think about switching those tiles with marble, wood, or even granite.
Ever wished you could just take a flat scraper and get rid of popcorn ceilings altogether? Not only are they hard to clean and paint, they cast shadows and create the illusion that the ceiling is darker and lower than it actually is. Normally, we’d recommend to avoid textured ceilings to prevent that dated look.
This is the same as wall-to-wall carpeting, essentially. It looks just as bad. Linoleum makes the room look cheap and old. It can drag down the look of any room it’s in. Ditch the linoleum, do yourself a favor.
It’s important to stay proportional when designing rooms in your home. You don’t want a small chair next to a huge lamp or a huge couch next to a tiny coffee table. The ginormous statue below looks completely out of place next to the small couch and side table.
Lighting can be tricky- you don’t want too much light but you also don’t want too little. Dimmers can help the problem but you also need to think of task and accent lighting. All we can say is: ensure there is sufficient lighting in a room. Think of every spot in a specific room and where you would need light in it.
With all of our electronics these days, an army of cords is hard to escape. Do you have a mess of cords sticking out behind your desk or TV? You’re not alone. First, organize and untangle them, then hide them in a box or tape them to the wall behind your cabinet. There are also cord covers that improve their appearance a bit. Whatever you do, don’t let them lie on the ground collecting dust.
A Cluttered Kitchen
A kitchen is supposed to be functional with plenty of counter space. While it may be the heart of the home, it’s important to have a de-cluttered kitchen. A countertop crammed with small appliances doesn’t only look terrible, it also leaves you no room for prep work. Nothing should be out on the counters other than your daily necessities.
The Grandkids/Kids Toys Everywhere
We know kids have a lot of toys and are quite messy but this doesn’t mean they have to take over your house. Provide them with shelving and bins to hide all their toys when not in use. Label the bins so they can find what they’re looking for more easily.
A Stuffed Garage
When people have too much stuff in their home where does it go? Either the garage or the basement. These spaces in your home deserve to look good too; don’t make them a breeding ground for junk. Donate or throw out everything you don’t have a use for.
Creating A Room Around The TV
While we know you probably spend most of your evenings watching TV, it doesn’t mean your TV needs to be the focal point of the room. Doing this takes all of the design appeal out of the room; a big black screen isn’t too attractive if you didn’t know that already. Instead, design the room and then fit the TV in.
A Room Without Plants
Greenery adds a sense of life to any room; a space without plants feels stuffy and bland. Every room in your house should have at least one plant, and no, we’re not talking about the fake kind. If you’re known for killing plants, get one that needs minimal maintenance like a cactus or succulent.
Covering Your HVAC Vents
You should never cover your HVAC unit with a piece of furniture. Not only is this extremely dangerous but it’s also not economical. If your heavy sofa is blocking the heater, you’ll need to turn the heat up to feel the air, therefore jacking up your bill.
Ignoring The Foyer
The foyer is a room of its own and should be treated as one. This is the first impression guests get upon entering your home. It doesn’t have to be something grand, but it should make a statement. Hang a chic light fixture and a few photographs; add a bench and a mirror. Things are looking better already!
Uncomfortable Dining Chairs
Dining room chairs are for sitting….and should, therefore, be comfortable. None of your furniture should be uncomfortable, but this one is especially important. Before purchasing a chair, sit in it, if it’s not comfortable, don’t buy it.
Matching Furniture Sets
Matching furniture sets were a big craze a few decades ago, but now? They’re so out! No one wants a matching bed, dresser, side tables, and vanity anymore. If you still own a set like this, it’s time to part ways.
When decorating, it’s important to think about the future; will I still like this in 10 years? Fads like lava lamps and bean bags were uber-popular at one time but they’re far from it nowadays. If you can’t get enough of “what’s in” then go for it, just be prepared to give it away when it goes out of style.
When visiting a furniture showroom, remember one thing: they are usually much bigger than your home. That couch may have looked great there but once in your living room, the proportions could be totally off. Be sure to measure before buying anything.
A rug should be touching a piece of furniture at all times. Floating area rugs are a big no no; they make a room look awkward and disproportionate (see below). Before buying an area rug, be sure to measure properly to ensure your family room doesn’t look like this one.
Many people are afraid of color and they end up with rooms looking like this one. A neutral/bland palette will do nothing for your home or your emotions. Everyone needs a pop of color in their life and in their home!
Even the cleanest of rooms will look messy if there are knick-knacks everywhere. Whether you call them decorations, tchotchkes, or accessories, they all have the same purpose…collecting dust!
Terrazzo flooring was popular between 1930 and 1970 in the U.S. but nowadays it’s only used in office buildings and hotel/apartment lobbies. Materials like marble and granite are used instead.
This one is hard because who doesn’t love a Tiffany lamp…right? While this famed light fixture may be elegant and hold significant value, it makes even the most modern of rooms look dated.
Seashells, nautical stripes, anchors and sailor’s rope are for the beach, not your home. If you have a beach house, go for a less obvious theme with touches of blue or a driftwood table instead.