7 Ways to Modernize Your Dated Home

C.E. Larusso
Written by C.E. Larusso
Updated September 14, 2021
The interior of a modern living room in an old country house
Westend61 via Getty Images

How to get your house from outdated to au courant

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Some things, as they say, get better with age. There are a lot of reasons to be smitten with older homes. We often fall in love with their antique moldings, stylish and unique tiles, and stately exteriors. But sometimes you want your home to look less like a museum piece and more magazine-ready. Get ready to modernize your home with these seven essential tips.

1. Deep Clean

Dirt and stains always make something seem more dated. Do a thorough pressure washing of your driveway, and clean all the windows. Sweep—or use a leaf blower—to get rid of any plant debris from the roof and shingles.

2. Focus on the Front Door

Your front door is one of the main focal points of your home’s exterior and probably the entryway you use the most. Give it the attention it deserves with updated hardware, a good cleaning, and a fresh paint job. Consider painting your front door a bright, exciting color—like red or blue—to really help it pop. For extra inspiration, look at a color palette to determine which shades will work best. 

3. Touch Up Exterior Paint

Worn-out paint can expose your siding to harsh weather, causing warping and sun or water damage. Inspect the exterior of your home and look for chipping, flaking, or peeling paint, and then complete the touch-up with your home's original paint colors. If you have the funds, you can hire a local professional to repaint the full home exterior, preferably in a light and bright shade to give it that modern feel.

A freshly painted front porch of a house
David Papazian/The Image Bank via Getty Images

4. Let There Be Light

You want your home to look just as good at night as it does in the day. Plus, a well-lit home is a more secure one. Install sleek pathway lights, modern scones near the door, or even a pendant to highlight the door.

5. Give Plants a New Life

If you have overgrown hedges and bushes, trim them back to neat and tidy shapes. Pull out weeds, mow the grass, and consider sculptural plants like boxwoods to replace any others that are unwieldy. If new landscape improvements are out of your budget, you can design a striking container garden using fresh and potter planters.

Clipped boxwoods in a cottage garden
Kim Sayer/Corbis Documentary via Getty Image

6. Add Symmetry to Your Porch

A balanced, symmetrical lawn looks polished and well-maintained. Consider placing topiaries or other decorative items like lanterns on either side of the front door to frame it. Also pay attention to where plants of different heights are placed around the porch—try to create equality in your landscaping.

7. Consider the Details

If your mailbox looks 50 years old, it might be time for a new, minimalist one with a sleek look. The same goes for the door knocker and other little flourishes. For a final, fresh and decorative touch, add a seasonal wreath to your door.

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