Ideas On How To Modernise A Dated Home

If you live in an older - dated - home and want to give it an updated look on a budget, take a look at these easy decorating ideas.




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When you are living in an older or dated home, the decor can quickly become depressing and dark. There are plenty of ways to give an older or dated home an update and we offer a few decorating ideas to get you started.

Take a look at the inside of your house with a critical eye, and be honest with yourself. Walk through the front day and take a closer look at what visitors see when they enter the door. First off, does the house appear dark due to dark colours or wood panelling? Are floors looking dated due to old-fashioned tiles or vinyl flooring? Are the colours used to decorate the home on the bland side? These are all questions you should be asking yourself before making a list of what could be changed to update your home - without spending too much money.


We start with a few smaller changes that can be done before moving on to larger jobs you can do:



You don't realise how doors can date the inside of a property until you change them for more modern doors. If your interior/exterior doors are more than 15-years old, it's time for something new. And changing doors doesn't have to cost that much if you keep an eye on the press for special offers at your local Builders or hardware store. I managed to change all my interior doors at a cost of R320 each and it made a vast improvement on my home interior.



See how much of a difference it makes to add new doors. The original front door {below} was scratched and faded and while a good sanding and a new coat of sealer would have made a big improvement, these homeowners opted for a brand new front door {above}.


If you like the look of your existing interior doors, perhaps because they blend perfectly with the style of the home, an option to consider is to paint doors to bring them up to date. While many prefer to keep doors and trim white, bringing a splash of colour into a bland setting is sometimes all you need.


These savvy homeowners moved into their new home and decided to keep the doors as is. They did, however, update their entire home, including this dreary passage {below} by painting and add colour to the doors {above}.









Hard to believe that something as insignificant as handles and knobs can make much of an impact, but they do. Most homeowners never give knobs or handles a second thought and yet it is an affordable way to update doors and furniture. If you are looking to replace old doors with new, don't forget to choose the right handles as well.


The furniture and fittings that fill your home need updating just as much as everything else. I'm not suggesting that you change the look of antique or vintage furniture but more the pieces you add to your home over time. Simply replacing handles and knobs on furniture, cabinets, cupboards and doors, etc.,. will instantly revitalise furniture and fittings. Pop into Builders or your favourite hardware store and you will find a wide selection of handles and knobs at very affordable prices.



While doing away with incandescent lighting has made many a homeowner update their light fittings, I'm sure there are still many homes out there with old-fashioned light fittings providing a dim view of their surroundings. If your home still has light fixtures that came out of the Ark, it's time to bring your home into this century. Light fittings are one area of home improvement that has drastically increased in price and you are still able to purchase affordable lighting solutions with a modern edge.



Unless you are specifically going for the look, old fashioned light fittings only make a home feel even more dated. Nowadays, it is easy to update a home and still decorate in a traditional style with modern light fittings that actually light up a dining room. Mixing things up has become a new style, one that allows you to bring in traditional furniture with a modern twist. Replacing dated light fittings is just one of the ways you can modernise the look of any home and give is a fresh look.








Nothing dates a home more than a flat, tired and worn carpet or cracked and broken floor tiles. Who knows, when lifting carpets in an older home there is always the possibility of something beautiful underneath. If you don't, well there is always the option to rip out dingy carpets and remove a cracked tile floor and replace it with modern materials.


Imagine wood-look ceramic tiles throughout your home to replace Novilon flooring or vinyl tiles and then pop into your local tile supplier to check out prices. You will be surprised to discover that new tiles won't cost that much and you can hire labour to rip out and replace your flooring for less than you thought. From around R100 per metre, updating your dated flooring is not as expensive as you thought and you end up with a brand new look.


If you prefer a touch of luxury underfoot, ripping out worn carpets and replacing them with durable and comfortable carpets will freshen up any room and bring it into the 21st century - again at a price you may not expect. If carpets are 15 - 20 years old, today's carpets are manufactured using modern techniques that offer a better lifespan and extended comfort.



Fixtures, taps and sanitary ware such as sinks, baths and showers tend to be overlooked when it comes to updating a home, especially if you are looking for budget options, but sometimes there's no getting over the fact that they're old and out of style. While coloured bathroom sets might have been popular in the 80s, today's bathrooms are clean and fresh.



If your bathroom or kitchen is in desperate need of modernising, look at how much it would cost to do a cosmetic makeover (painting tiles, etc.) as compared to a full-on renovation. If you don't move things around too much and can use the same plumbing layout, a bathroom or kitchen renovation might be just the thing to update that older home.


If you need ideas and inspiration or advice on remodelling a bathroom, pop on over to our Bathroom section and browse through ideas and projects that you can do on a DIY basis.



Anyone with a bit of DIY savvy can do a few cosmetic changes to update a bathroom or kitchen. It's not always about ripping out and replacing with new. There are plenty of budget-friendly ways to give a kitchen a new look without spending too much, especially if you are prepared to put in the hard work yourself. Visit our Kitchen section if you are looking for ideas and then check out some of the DIY tasks you can do to update or modernise a kitchen. 




There are plenty of affordable ways that you can bring a home into the 21st century and while you may not be able to do these all at once, doing it yourself gives you the option to do what you can when you can afford it. Setting a schedule for a few of the jobs listed above will not only make a home look fresh and modern, but it will also feel better for you and your family. Like they say, "A change is as good as a holiday".







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