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10 Ways to Make an Old Home Feel New

Tips to make an old home feel new

In my ideal world, I would have a picture perfect new home with all of the old home charm. Apparently, a knock down is not in our budget, nor are the high quality building materials that I would want to use! The solution? Finding ways to make an old home feel new.

One of the most important elements in our search was neighborhood. I passed up my picture perfect Colonial loaded with details for an enchanting neighborhood. So far, I don’t regret it! Okay, I’m still mourning the loss of 2 levels of hardwoods & the floor plan, but the neighbors welcoming us with friendly smiles, cake bites & fireworks on the green have compensated for it! This home is actually a few years newer, just showed signs of heavy wear. Here are a few of my favorite ways to give new life to an old home:

Clean or Replace Carpets
Make the space feel fresh with like new carpet.

10 Ways to Make an Old Home Feel New | make an old home feel new with these easy ideas

Make it Cohesive
A lot can be lost through the years – an update here & an update there can leave the home in a state of mis-matched chaos. Determine whether you want room by room finishes to be the same throughout the house. It will feel polished, thus giving it new life.

Update Outlets, Light Switches & Plates
This is something we have found in all 3 of our older homes to make a significant difference. Some may have yellowed, been painted over, various shapes & styles through the years. Update your house by switching all of the light switches & plates. We completed our entire house for under $100 & 1 minor shock. Note: if you’re not experienced in doing this, hire a licensed electrician or find a great online video source & watch a few tutorials. It’s relatively simple, yet tedious work. We also updated yellowed alarms, thermostats & smoke detectors.

Give an old home new life with these simple tips

10 Ways to Make an Old Home Feel New | make an old home feel new with these easy ideas

Repair Walls
When we purchased our home, it was apparent that years of poor quality DIY patching had taken place. We had our painter fix the blemishes & fill all 240 nail holes. Yes, 240. Now when the light shines on them, it looks like new drywall!

Add Light
See my post about 7 ways to add light to your home – there are several tips & tricks to add light to your home beyond new fixtures.

Give an old home new life with these simple tips


If I would have mentioned this first, you would have moved onto another blog, but it’s true. A current & cohesive paint palette brings the home into the present.

Remove Dated Fixtures
Updating lights & hardware are easy ways to make your home feel like new.

New Doors
If you really want to go all out, replace your doors with shaker or 6 panel doors. A front door can add a lot of curb appeal.

Refinish Hardwoods

Choose an appropriate stain & give your hardwoods new life! I remember being astonished at how inexpensive it was to do the living room in our previous home.

Make an old home feel new with these easy ideas

Do you prefer an older home or a new home?

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first image credit: Ballard Designs}

43 comments on “10 Ways to Make an Old Home Feel New”

  1. I couldn’t agree more with all these suggestions. We just bought an older home and the first thing we did was replace the light switches, outlets, and the covers. It is such an inexpensive fix, but looks so much better! Painting was next along with repairing the 240 nail holes! Wow, that is a lot of holes. We haven’t refinished the hardwoods yet. We need to! These pictures are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks, Shambray! You were on top of it! The little things can add up to big change. I hope you enjoy the process! Best wishes for your home!

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  4. Hi Julie!
    I love your style and am wanting to try that paint color in your opening picture of the living room. Do you have the color of that paint?
    Thanks Gayle

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  6. Beautiful ideas, and practical too! And I love your honesty. I prefer an older home–in fact, it’s my dream to restore my Great-grandpa’s 105-year old home in the future. Take care and thank you for the continuing inspiration!

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  8. Where did you get the area rug in the first pic? It’s gorgeous.

  9. I had no idea that something as small as replacing your doors could add more curb appeal to your home. I really like the suggestion, though, because it is something simple. I like your suggestion to get 6 panel doors because I definitely think that these add a lot of positive aesthetics to any home. Thanks for your suggestions!

  10. I am one of those crazy people who prefer older homes, mainly older than 1950 and wouldn’t change a thing. It’s getting harder to find original old homes but there are a few out there. I love the old kitchens baths with their gorgeous tiles that they don’t make anymore. When I get my home I will actually be installing a vintage stove and replacing any sinks with period correct ones. No granite for me!

    • I absolutely adore older homes, but sometimes it’s the updates made along the way that make them feel less charming – this post is about restoring a home to it’s original integrity or bringing that 70’s cheap up-to-date. No granite for me either!

  11. I love this! And I’m realizing that I did the majority of those things and it really does make a stark, new house feel like a home.

  12. Thanks for the commentary about a home possessing a cohesive motif. I can totally see what you mean when you say that over time new items get purchased and a room theme gets thrown off kilter. That is great advice to go through a room every so often and analyze what really needs to be changed and what is okay to stay the same.

  13. I love older homes. They usually have more character and nice shady mature trees. It’s all in the details for me, arched doorways, crown moulding, hardwood flooring and a dining room. A lot of newer homes seems to fall short on the creative end as it usually ends up being a whole neighborhood of the same looking houses.

    • I completely agree, Erika – it’s not about the character of an older home but rather restoring what had been adapted in the years since that makes a home feel bleh {particularly 60’s – 80’s homes}. I wouldn’t trade character and trees for anything!

  14. Hello! I love the chandelier in the first picture! I would love to know where you purchased it. 🙂

  15. I’ve also painted many pieces of furniture over the years, even before chalk paint became so popular. I love the look of white (and sometimes gray) furniture, and I think it lightens a room and makes your decor more versatile.

  16. I needed these 10 tips surely. I bough my home 5 years ago and last redecorated it 1 year ago, so it’s just the perfect time to make my old home feel new. Thanks for a nice allocation.

  17. I love the Candle Chandelier in the top photo. Can you tell me where you purchased?

  18. What color of stain is the wood floors? Thanks!

  19. I love the two white chairs in the first picture. Did you create these or did your purchase them? If so, where from? I am looking for two white chairs similar to these to go along with my large white linen sofa.

  20. Thanks for the article, as a 19 year old buying my very first house soon, i find this very welcoming 🙂

  21. I absolutely love all of your tips. New flooring, carpeting, and new fixtures makes a world of difference for very little. Often times, you can find great prices on flooring and it spruces up a home in an instant. It is definitely a great idea to look around your house and find little and inexpensive projects that will make a home stand out. Thanks for sharing!

  22. How did you mount the wood shelves into the tiled wall? So beautiful!

  23. Hi! I LOVE the coffee table in this picture! Do you mind sharing where you purchased it?

  24. Did you also replace the vent covers? My are dated with both color and style.

  25. Great tips! My husband and I just purchased our first home and it was built back in 1915 with few updates but tons of potential. I noticed you have similar woodwork. Did you paint yours? I am on the fence about painting ours. I hate to take away from the original woodwork, but I do prefer white woodwork.

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