If your new house is actually an old house, you'll probably need to update some details you might not have thought about. Trust me, I know. Renovating my 1950s ranch has sent me running for the store so many times that my car knows the way without me.
At first, I thought fresh paint would do the trick. In the bedroom I tackled, the new paint looked great. But what it also did was make a lot of little details stand out—details that made the room look old and outdated. So in addition to paint, you need to go a few steps further.
Here are five quick updates for every room I found that really transform a room. Fortunately, they are all really easy to change! Read on to find out how.
A new ceiling fixture, and wall sconces if the room has them, is just the ticket to make your room seem bright. If your room has an old ceiling fan without a light, you’ll want to be sure to a light, or update the fixture entirely. However, new doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go with a modern design. You can choose a fixture that reflects the era of your house but still looks fresh and updated.
2. Outlet and Switch Plate Covers
Once you’ve painted, don’t be tempted to take a shortcut and screw your old outlet and switch plate covers back into place. Replacing them with new ones is an inexpensive and easy update. Plastic doesn’t age well, so those old covers are going to look dingy from previous owners.
When you are picking new outlet or switch plate covers, choose the color that matches the outlet or switch. If the switches are cream, choose cream. If the outlets are white, choose white. Or, go with a decorative plate for an added touch of style.
3. Window Treatments
Almost nothing makes a room look more outdated than old window treatments. Dirty, dusty and old-fashioned curtains or blinds are an eyesore. Since a window is often the room’s focal point, you’ll want to make sure your window treatments look terrific. Wash your curtains and drapes or deep-clean your blinds. If you find they still look outdated—or it was simply the style that was the problem in the first place—it’s time to toss them.
The old adage “less is more” applies to windows. For an updated look, remove your sheers, or push them back so they don’t cover the window. Extend rods so the drapery panels move past edges of the window, offering the most view possible. You’ll want to give your windows and screens a good cleaning as well.
4. A Dirty Floor
As part of your updating, give a share of attention to the floor. As nice as you make everything else, if the floor isn’t up-to-par, you’ll notice. It’s such an expansive space that it will definitely stand out if it’s dusty, scratched or stained. Have your carpets and area rugs professionally cleaned. Give tile and grout a scrubbing. If you have hardwood floors, take the time to clean and shine them well and apply scratch concealer where needed.
5. Design Scheme
If you want your room to have a fresh, new look, then take the time to bring in a new design element. Use something eye-catching that will help set the tone for the rest of the room. You can build a whole design scheme around your favorite element. It can be a rich accent color, an ottoman with fun fabric or a unique coffee table.
You can also add an affordable design element with paint by adding an accent wall in a different color or a quirky piece of art. Murals and wall decals are popping up as a widespread decor trend. Bring in an updated look with removable RoomMates wall decal, like the floral one above, for an unexpected pop of interest. RoomMates Removable Wall Decals are a plus because they allow you to update your wall design as often as you’d like by easily peeling off and sticking on a new wall decal without ruining the new paint. (If using wall decals, allow three weeks for the fresh paint to fully dry so wall decals to not curl).
A beautiful room is really all about the little details. Each of these small components blend together to create a rejuvenated space that’s modern and cool.
Lea Schneider is a detail-oriented professional organization expert and the proud owner of a 50’s ranch house in Nashville, Tennessee, who enjoys sharing her organization and renovation tips. Lea writes online for The Home Depot. To research ceiling lighting fixtures that may be part of your own room renovation, you can visit the Home Decorators website.