16 Decorating Tips to Make an Old Home Look New on a Budget

If you have an older home that you need to turn from drab to fab, or your new home is just looking a little dated and is in need of a spruce, here are 16 tips to make an old home look new on a budget.

  1. Plan ahead

You’ll want to plan ahead when it comes to decorating your home. Little updates here and there in different rooms can leave your home feeling mismatched. In order to create a cohesive design throughout your old home, you’ll need to take some time to plan your look. Start by going over this list.

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  1. Clean everything

The first step, after planning your decorating, should be to give your home a serious deep clean. No matter how much time you spend each week cleaning and maintaining your home, there are probably a lot of areas that you don’t pay much attention to. Give everything a thorough clean, you’ll be grateful you did when you begin to decorate, and even just a proper tidy-up can help your home feel brand new again.

  1. Paint everything white

You may or may not be sick of the white-on-white-on-white trend by now but this trend isn’t going to go away when it comes to making an old home look new. Painting the walls, ceiling and trim all in one colour is the easiest, cheapest and most practical way to hide imperfections and uneven walls.

Paint white

  1. Ditch the wallpaper

If your home has wallpaper, as many older homes do, now is the time to get rid of it. Old wallpaper is often peeling already and it can get seriously grimy. If your wallpaper is very old, there is a good chance that you’ll find some areas of mould underneath, so the sooner you remove it, the better. Hire a wallpaper remover/steamer from your local hardware store. This is not a job you want to do without one, even if there’s not too much to get rid of.

  1. Highlight doors and other features

Many old homes have amazing doors and features like ornate cornices that many newer homes lack. It’s a great idea to highlight these features of your home by painting them differently. Paint your external doors a bold colour to make them stand out. You can also add glossy paint to your cornices to help them stand out on the white on white on white. Compliment your internal doors by painting them a cool grey or other neutral shade.

Highlight doors

  1. Clean or replace carpets and rugs

If your home is carpeted throughout then you’ll want to give it a spruce either by replacing it for a truly new look or by getting it professionally cleaned. Of course, getting is cleaned professionally is going to be much cheaper, so if you’re on a tight budget for your decorating, this is the way to go. If you have wood floors and use rugs, you can also get them cleaned for a newer look.

  1. Update your old outlets 

While this may seem like an insignificant step it can really make an old home feel new again. It’s also a very cheap way to upgrade your home. Many homes have all different kinds of light switches, plates and outlets due to updates over the years, they may look really old and yellowed or be cracked or painted on. This is an easy update that will help lift up a drab home and will help make your home feel new.

Replace old outlets

  1. Replace your hardware

Another great and easy way to update your old home is to update your hardware. While more costly than replacing your old outlets and switches, replacing your hardware is going to have a serious effect on your home. If you’ve got old taps and door handles like Grandma, it’s time to move on and create a more modern look throughout your home.

  1. Paint the cupboards

If your home has outdated, old chipboard cupboards in either your bathroom, kitchen or in the bedrooms, now is the time to either replace or update. Replacing cupboards can get pretty costly, especially if you go to the trouble of replacing all your kitchen cabinetry. A cheaper way to make everything look new again is to paint instead. Use kitchen and bathroom paint that’s easier to clean and more resistant to mould and stains.

  1. Replace your backsplash

Replacing the backsplash can have an enormous impact on your kitchen. There’s little that will do more to uplift the room. Most older homes also have older backsplashes and make everything look seriously dated. They may also be chipped and the colour may not be holding up anymore. Replace it with new tiles, panelling or you can paint over old tiles if this step isn’t in your budget.

Replace your backsplash

  1. Add lighting

Nothing will brighten up a space more than adding some lighting. Opt for table lamps and floor lamps in the lounge and upgrade your bedside by adding some new shades. Adding lighting is a great way to really brighten up your living areas. Consider replacing your overhead lighting in the living areas, kitchen and bathroom if they’re outdated.

  1. Replace old furniture

If you’re old furniture just doesn’t hold up to your newly improved house, then you may want to think about adding some new pieces. If new isn’t in the budget then think about buying used instead or simply getting creative and updating your old furniture with a lick of paint or a new wood stain.

  1. Replace old curtains

If you’re still living with the original curtains, it’s time for a change. Nothing dates a home as much as old curtains. They’re on display 24/7 so it’s important to get this feature right. You may also consider replacing the curtain rods as well if they’re also dated.

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  1. Update with home-wares

You can easily make a room feel new again by mixing and matching homewares. If you’ve gone with the white-on-white-on-white theme to help reduce the look of flaws in your walls and ceiling, then this is where you want to add your colour. Pick out bold items to add pops of colour to your living spaces. Don’t overdo it, one or two features per room should do to upgrade your space.

  1. Update your towels and shower curtain

Just like with window furnishings, your shower curtain is always on display in your bathroom. If you have a bath with a shower curtain you might want to consider replacing it to brighten up the room. You’ll also want to consider updating your bath mat and towels. The nicer your towels, the less you need to tidy up in the bathroom before guests arrive.

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  1. Upgrade your art 

Whether you already make art a feature in your home or not, you may want to upgrade here. To keep things cheap you can get many fantastic reproduction pieces and put them in a good quality frame for your living room or guest rooms. Better yet, help out a local artist and buy their work, not only will you have a great piece of art but you’ll also have a good talking piece for your next get-together.

What do you think, do you consider these ideas helpful for your future project?

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