The Habitat
Decor Mistakes that Make Your House Look Dated
Decor Mistakes that Make Your House Look Dated

Keeping up with the latest home decor trends can be challenging, and sometimes — no matter how much time and money you invest — your home looks dated. All kinds of decor can have this effect. Sometimes, these design elements go unnoticed because they're small details, like light fixtures and drapery. The good news is, these smaller things are an easy fix, so you can update your space with a few quick swaps. In general, these days, homes with clean, crisp lines and simpler color schemes tend to feel more current. Of course, all of these examples can suit deliberate decor styles or provide a focal point in an otherwise modern home. But too many will leave your rooms looking tired.


Tile countertops

Tile countertops were a popular trend in the 1970s, but if you want to keep your home feeling modern, it's best to avoid them. Tile counters tend to feel outdated, plus they can be a hassle to keep clean. Instead, consider quartz for a high-end alternative or wood for a fresh cottage feel. If you're finding it hard to part with the tiled look, consider creating a modern tile backsplash instead.


Heavy window coverings

Gloomy window treatments can make your home feel dark and outdated. Instead, consider bright and simple window coverings that give the room and modern feel. Heavy fabrics appear behind the times, not to mention they block out any natural light. In contrast, semi-sheer curtains never get old and can help lighten the mood.


Pastel fixtures

Pastel pink and mint green were popular colors for sinks, toilets, and tubs in the 1950s — but certainly won't look modern today. Seeing these hues is liable to make someone think you haven't redecorated since the previous owners moved out in the early 90s. Instead, consider white fixtures with brushed nickel hardware or even polished chrome trim.


Floor-to-ceiling mirrors

Floor-to-ceiling mirrors are a sure-fire way to make your home look dated. Back in the 1980s, this look was all the rage, but nowadays, it's gone out of style. A quick fix would be to ditch the tall mirrors for something smaller and more contemporary. Accent mirrors tend to give a room a more updated look and draw in natural light to brighten the space.


Gold and brass light fixtures

Gold or brass light fixtures can make any home feel dated. While both were recent trends, they quickly faded into an era of brushed nickel and classic bronze. For a modern industrial vibe, consider adding a metal table lamp with an open silhouette. An arched floor lamp is a classic style that's as current as can be.


Bland but Busy wallpaper

Busy wallpaper reminds us of the 1960s, especially when it's old and worn or faded. Swap out your flower print for something young and fresh. Painted designs are a super fun way to bring your home up to date, particularly stripes and bold patterns. Wall accents are another option that leaves plenty of room for creativity.


Dated colors

If your walls are gold, mauve, or even olive green, consider fresh paint to update the look. The safest color schemes are clean ones that make your home feel crisp and modern. Grays, off-whites, and even shades of beige or tan work beautifully in any room and blend nicely with most other colors.


Shag carpet

Shag carpet is synonymous with the 1970s, and it tends to make your home feel a little tired. When it comes to modernizing your space, stick to low-pile carpets with a more updated aesthetic. Low pile means shorter fibers that aren't as visually invasive but still feel dense underfoot. This kind of rug doesn't catch dirt and handles even heavy foot traffic without needing regular deep-cleaning.


Tiffany lamps

While parting with a Tiffany lamp may seem impossible, it's a good idea if you want to modernize your space. These iconic light fixtures tend to make a room feel dated, and there are tons of other lighting options that feel way fresher. Consider lamps crafted from metal, and don't be afraid of an arched arm — something that always seems more modern.


Popcorn ceiling

The popcorn ceiling is one trend that is likely never to come back. Also known as stipple ceiling or stucco, this kind of topping may be better at absorbing sound, but it can make your house appear outdated in a hurry. Instead, consider opting for a smooth texture for a crisp and spacious vibe. Avoid dark colors — as a rule of thumb, you should paint your ceiling a light neutral tone.




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