When you have an older home, it can be a struggle to figure out how to handle renovations. Do you embrace what’s there? Or do you start from scratch with an all-modern remodel? While some outdated home trends are not worth saving (hello, faux wood paneling) with a few modern updates, there are some old trends that can take on a whole new life. Working with existing décor and materials will help save time and money, and allow you to highlight the home’s unique character while putting your own stamp on it. Check out these five ideas for putting modern twists on out-of-fashion trends:
Builder Basic Mirrors
The basic builder-grade mirror adorns many a bathroom from the 90s and early 2000s. There is no reason to replace that plain plate-glass when you can make it look like a custom piece with a DIY frame. With a few careful measurements (and cuts done by a professional at a home improvement store), you can completely update a boring bathroom mirror.
Dark Wood Kitchen Cabinets
Before there was the modern-day farmhouse trend, there was the farmhouse trend of the 70s and 80s where instead of bright and open, everything was dark wood and ornate hardware. Especially in a small kitchen, these dark, outdated cabinets can be overwhelming, but don’t scrap them just yet. Painted cabinets and new hardware can completely transform a kitchen, and cost considerably less than new cabinets, which run between $5,000-$14,000. Use a semi-gloss enamel paint and have fun with the color — bright white cabinets are classic and can fit any style, or try a soft blue or gray-green for a calm space.
Ugly Brick Fireplace
A fireplace is an amazing addition to a home, but not when its outdated red brick surround (and probably garish brass doors) dominates your living space. Make your fireplace the focal point it should be. There are many ways to go about modernizing your fireplace, depending on your room’s style. You can keep the brick look, but soften the color by whitewashing it. For something more traditional, build, or salvage, a mantel that will cover the existing brick. For a modern overhaul, tile over the brick surround with elegant art tiles.
Honey Oak Everywhere
The thinking in the 80s seemed to be that there could never be too much oak. Not only were oak cabinets all the rage in kitchens, but that yellowy oak found its way into trim, built-in bookcases, paneling and ceiling beams. It may be overwhelming now, but solid wood is never a bad thing. Instead of replacing it with something more modern, consider either staining (which is a lot of work, but can produce beautiful results if done well), or painting the oak. Both will allow you to keep the character of wood while moving your home into the modern age.
Vinyl Kitchen Flooring
There were a lot of years (decades) where vinyl was the go-to flooring option for kitchen floors. If your kitchen is still covered in an outdated and damaged vinyl, you will need to pull it up but not need to put down an entirely new floor. If your home is on a concrete slab, you can get a modern, industrial look with painted and sealed concrete.