I had originally published this post back in 2016. Now, after almost a year of being stuck at home, I have had several people reach out, telling me their home was looking tired and dated, which was making them feel tired and dated. I thought it was a perfect time to republish this with seven suggestions you can change to help both you and your home from looking old.
Remember a few years back when vintage brooches were really hot? Well I have a collection of brooches that I inherited from my mom and grandmother. Thinking it might be time to drag them out, I reached out to a fashion stylist friend. I asked her if she thought I should wear one to an upcoming designer event. Her response was, ” Brooches on 20 and 30 somethings makes them look cool, brooches on 50 year olds and older, makes them look… well…. just old”.
This advice has stayed with me and I realized it relates to interiors as well. A room full of vintage or dated elements (MIGHT) look cool when you are twenty or thirty. Just like with the brooches though, living with dated decor (when you are of a certain age) can make you look, well…just old.
Here are seven ways your house is making you look old
1. Dated colors and sponge painted walls
One of the easiest ways to update dated home decor is to change up wall colors. Gold, burgundy and all those 90’s Tuscan Colors will instantly date your home and make you look older than you are.
Update with some fresh current colors such as blues, greens, grays, white or cream and you will instantly look younger. Also, 80’s sponge painted walls will add years to your looks so paint over them ASAP!
If you want to see the update I did for room, just click here.
2. Dated photography
Have you been married for 20+ years yet your wedding photo is still prominently on display over the fireplace? Once you are a few years into your marriage, it’s time to move the wedding photo into the bedroom or to a more private area of the house. Otherwise, it’s just a screaming reminder that you’re not a young bride anymore.
Same rule applies to baby photos. Framed photos scattered all over the living room or framed going up the staircase wall is absolutely fine when your kids are babies. However, when they are grown with children of their own, it’s time to let go of the past and move on.
3. Fake ivy on top of the kitchen cabinets
I don’t know what the appeal is of fake ivy on top of kitchen cabinets but I see this quite often. Its honestly better to have nothing up there then dusty, faded, fake greenery. I predict removing the fake plants will make you look at least ten years younger!
4. Colored wall to wall carpet
Emerald green, blue or any brightly colored wall to wall carpet will make both you and your house look old. Not only are colored wall to wall carpets dated, but also unhealthy in that it is most likely filled with dust mites. Pull it up and with any luck there is hardwood underneath.
5. Busy, layered window treatments
No one cares how much you paid for them “back in the day”. Busy, fru fru, swags and jabots are so old school. Swap them out for simple panels and call it a day.
6. Too many Tchotchkes or clutter
Nothing will add years to your looks like a dated collection of Hummels, porcelain figurines, Department 56 angels, or any of those other tchotchke collections. Although they were once all the rage, they are no longer in style and your children are NOT going to want them…EVER!
Box them up and hope that the Church rummage sale will take them. Before Covid, our local Salvation Army had a whole shelf of Hummels priced three for ten dollars. They were covered with dust so that should tell you something.
Clutter is a whole other issue. It stresses us out and drains us emotionally and physically. You can read a recent a post I wrote about decluttering here.
7. All vintage everything
In full disclosure, this is not someone’s house. It’s a tea room in a bed and breakfast, but you get the idea. A young twenty something could pull this off with a few changes but a 50 or 60 year old…not so much.
This room is equivalent of the brooch on a vintage suit with a 50’s hair style!
There is nothing wrong with loving all things vintage. I personally have several vintage items in my home. If you are of a certain age however, it’s a good idea to incorporate at least a few modern elements to keep the room looking fresh. Otherwise your home will reinforce the image of a 1940’s grandmother.
So the moral of the story is if you are young, wear the brooch and don’t worry about having some dated home decor. If you are old(er) skip the brooch and watch out for these seven dated design elements.
Remember, the hot trend called “Granny Chic” is only chic if you are not actually old enough to be a granny.
If you need help with updating some of your dated home decor, reach out to me. I offer one or two hour virtual calls and I can help you take years off your looks!
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