An older home has the benefits of historical charm and character, but it also poses the difficulty of preserving the past while maintaining the appearance and feel of the present. By combining classic and modern elements to create a personalized transitional design, you can find a happy medium.

Interior design is more than just making a house look new and trendy. It can also be about maintaining the past and appreciating an older home's charm. Consider these recommendations for resolving the issues that need to be addressed while bringing out the best of your home's past, present, and future!

Many of these ideas are do-it-yourself projects, and some of them may be accomplished even in a weekend. Continue reading for home remodeling ideas to help you bring your ancient house into the 21st century.

First plan everything ahead

The first thing you should learn about how to make an old house look new is to plan your steps ahead of time. If you don't think about it carefully, your house may wind up looking deformed, especially if you only make a few alterations here and there rather than the entire place. Make a cohesive blueprint of all the inventive catches you're going to do to ensure nothing is out of place.

Writing in the planner

Clean everything up

After you've completed the planning phase, give your home a thorough cleaning. This isn't simply to help prepare the space for its upcoming makeover, but also to help you find areas that you might overlook when cleaning your home on a regular basis. Before you start decorating, make sure you leave no stone unturned. You'll be glad you did it!

Ditch the old wallpaper

If you have wallpaper in your home, which many older homes do, now is the best time to remove it. True, accent walls are bringing back little sections of wallpaper, but the trend has nothing to do with entirely covered and outmoded interiors or complicated decorating concepts. 

Removing the old wallpaper will transform the room's appearance and feel, and will allow you to modernize it with a single refreshing coat. Doesn't appear to be very costly, does it? It's a really low-cost home decoration idea.

Plus, if your current wallpaper is quite old, there's a strong chance you'll find some mold behind it, so remove it as quickly as possible.

Paint the walls to hide imperfections

With a simple change of wall paint, an old house can be changed into a wonderful, modern residence. The bulk of contemporary design trends place a premium on simplicity. As a result, neutral hues like gray, white, and beige will work well in your home. If you like the way things are now, a fast touch-up will hide all the tears and damage.

Painted ceiling in hunter green

Clean or replace carpets

Make the place feel new by installing a new carpet or having the old one cleaned professionally. Carpet has a typical lifespan of 10-15 years, so if yours is older, it will need to be replaced.

Just keep in mind that you won't know the condition of the floors beneath the carpet until you remove it, so it's a bit of a risk. Most floors may be restored to resemble brand new, but some hardwoods may be water-damaged and need to be replaced. If this is the case, you have the option of installing new hardwoods or luxury vinyl.

Consider opening your home’s floor plan

The layout of your older home's design is likely to feel tight or choppy because the trendy open concept floor plan has only been around for a short period. Remove non-load-bearing walls and enlarge doorways to breathe new vitality into your space.

Update your old outlets

While this may appear to be a tiny feature, it may completely transform an antique home. It's also a pretty low-cost way to beautify your home. Many homes today include a variety of light switches, plates, and outlets as a result of upgrades over the years. Thereby, they may appear exceedingly messy.

Replace your light and electrical fixtures with new ones that complement your home's current theme or style. Builder-grade light switch and outlet plates are unattractive and unappealing. To stay true to the era, look for nickel and brass finishes. If you're a purist, you can go for antiques, but there are plenty of imitation pieces that will suffice.

Vintage light switch

Replace your backsplash

Replacing the backsplash in your kitchen may make a huge difference. Replace the old backsplash with new tiles or paneling, or create geographic patterns with masking tape to paint over existing tiles. It's also less expensive than fully renovating your kitchen and can be a quick method to update the dinner space.

Paint your kitchen cabinetry

It's not the quickest home improvement project, but the time invested in refinishing your kitchen cabinets will make a huge difference in the heart of your home. As long as the frames and doors are physically good, you can clean them up and re-paint them to transform the kitchen from drab to bright on a weekend. It will be less expensive in the long run than constructing a whole new kitchen, and the effects will undoubtedly brighten the space. Only a strong cleanser, sandpaper, a paintbrush, and a little elbow grease are required. What you don't need is a lot of cash, because the change will cost a fraction of the price of even the most basic new cabinets.

Add lighting

Nothing brightens up a room like some lighting.

If you want your home to have a modern appearance, you should use a variety of lighting schemes both inside and outside. Ambient or mood lighting can be installed in leisure rooms or locations. Task lighting, on the other hand, is installed in areas where you undertake tasks or work. You can install decking lights to the outside of your house for added safety. String lights and lanterns are also popular and inexpensive illumination options.

String lights

Hang a wallpaper

Lately wallpaper has made a comeback and right besides regular wallpaper, there are other options, for example, peel-and-stick wallpaper, which has made the installment of wallpaper a lot easier. Using a creative design to cover blank walls will make a big impact.

There is a lot of removable wallpaper available in wonderful patterns and graphics that will make your area look like you paid a fortune for an interior designer. This type of wallpaper may be easily removed by simply peeling it off the wall (without causing damage to the wall underneath), and the majority of it can be reused.

For an easy weekend project, create an accent wall in your bedroom by hanging on peaceful pattern wallpaper, or consider a living room makeover with a fun geometric patterned wallpaper.

Replace old curtains

If you're still using the old curtains, it's time to replace them. Since they're on display all of the time, it's vital to get this aspect right. You might want to replace the curtain rods as well if they are worn.

Add dimension with molding

Add narrow molding strips to plain walls to create a paneled effect. Picture framing is a basic technique for directing attention to specific regions of a room. For a symmetrical, appealing aesthetic, keep the spacing consistent and the borders aligned.

Trim on walls. Molding

Paint trim

Trimwork highlights the elements of your property, giving emphasis to walls, windows, stairwells, and other areas. Painting trim in a new color can help to define these pieces and give them a more high-end appearance. For a very modern feel, apply a fresh coat of white paint to dated-looking woodwork, or use a contrasting trim color, such as black.

Mix up the furniture

If you want a layered, lived-in look, buying all of your furniture in one afternoon at a department store isn't going to cut it. Instead, for a mismatched look, slowly collect your parts over time. Craft fairs, antique stores, salvage shops, art displays, and even Craigslist will have unique items that can add timeless appeal to your home.

Update your pantry

No, not simply a clean-out (though you should probably do that as well), but renovating an existing pantry can modernize and organize everything in one place. Organizing everything into streamlined containers, hiding items in baskets, and finding a home for your large bulky appliances will make the area look so much more fresh and new.

Clean Pantry interior

Add nature-inspired elements

Learning from nature and including decorations inspired by your garden (woven baskets, patina wood, vintage house numbers, etc.) creates a valuable rustic atmosphere that demonstrates your desire to keep up with trends without sacrificing your home's attractiveness. Great decorating ideas can come from nature.

Upgrade your art

This is something you may want to update whether or not you already have art on display in your home. Get a few beautiful reproductions or select your favorite family photos, frame them all in good quality frames, and hang them in your living or guest rooms. Even better, buy a piece of art from a local artist; not only will you have a lovely piece of art, but you'll have something to talk about at your next get-together.

Highlight features

If you own an older home, you're already aware of the lovely elements such as distinctive doorways, attractive cornices, and other things that younger homes lack. Because these characteristics are so attractive and distinct, you should make every effort to highlight them.

Painting these features in a distinct color or theme from the rest of the space is one way to attract attention to them. This will draw attention to these features and give the impression that the room has been fully transformed.

If you don't feel like painting these elements, use glossy paint instead to keep items in good condition and give a gleam that will catch the eye.

Wall cornices

Restore any original woodwork

Styles fluctuate from year to year, and your woodwork may reflect this, depending on the age of your property. Adding coats of paint or stain to beautiful original details might make them look gunky and out-of-date. Take the time to properly restore your home's woodwork to give it a new lease on life.

Make your home smell good

One of the simplest ways to clean and decorate your home is to make it smell wonderful. Using an air freshener or lighting a few candles will help with this. A great option nowadays is also an essential oil dispenser that can be used as a design item for your room as well.

Use airy shelving units

Open and airy shelving units are a chic way to provide extra storage and exhibition space for treasures, books, and baskets of miscellaneous items without disrupting the original architecture with built-ins or large bookcases. Plus, while feeling like a modern accent, they have a gallery-like elegance that matches older homes.


Try symmetry

In terms of home design, the majority of individuals like symmetry. It has a more refined and relaxing appearance. Consider putting items in pairs while designing your home. If you're adding mirrors, for example, you could put them at opposing ends of a corridor. To create symmetry, place two side tables on either side of the room. Just make sure to get decorations in pairs – simply as that!

Create the illusion of higher ceilings

In many luxury homes, enormous ceiling heights are a remarkable feature. If physically raising the ceiling height isn't an option for you, use window coverings to give the impression of a higher ceiling. To give the area a larger feel, hang curtain rods closer to the ceiling and choose long, flowing curtains.

Update your towels and shower curtain

Your shower curtain, like your window treatments, is always on display in your bathroom. If you have a bath with a shower curtain, you might think about replacing it to brighten up the space. You should also think about replacing your bath mat and towels. The finer your towels are, the less cleaning you'll have to do in the bathroom before your guests arrive.

Shower curtain

Make the ceilings stand out

Architectural elements can make a house appear more valuable. This easy method will turn the ceiling into a focal point. Use a lightweight polyurethane ceiling medallion to embellish the space around a light fixture's attachment. Ceiling medallions come in a variety of sizes and colors, and they can be painted to match your decor.

Line your drawers and bookcases with wallpaper

Wallpaper isn't just for walls, and using it on a little piece of furniture rather than a whole room offers far less of a risk. Lining the backs of your bookshelves, dresser drawers, or the inside of a tiny cabinet is a fantastic way to completely transform your space. If you don't want to mess around with glue, try peel and stick wallpaper!

When in doubt, get the help of professionals

Historic structures and the design process can be intimidating, which is understandable given how different they are from new construction. However, intimidation can quickly transform into knowledge. Investigate your property's history, determine the character-defining aspects (those features that distinguish your home from others), and devise a plan that preserves those features while modernizing the technology and infrastructure around them.

Colored tile in a midcentury home or wavy glass windows in a Victorian home are both instances of what identifies a building. Do you have any idea what those distinct characteristics are or what you should do with them? Seek the help of a consultant. A small amount of money spent upfront might go a long way toward guaranteeing a successful recovery. Soon enough, you'll be referring to yourself as your own in-house expert.

Bring an old home into the modern world

A few simple improvements will revive your home, whether your cabinets need to be repainted, your ceilings need to be restored, or your flooring needs to be refinished. Furthermore, the updating procedure does not have to be costly. In fact, there are certain simple do-it-yourself projects that are less expensive than hiring a contractor to accomplish. They're also entertaining to do on your own or with your family. If you know what you're doing, decorating an ancient house is simple. You'll be able to make the necessary changes with these suggestions!

June 29, 2022