There are some telltale signs (I believe) that make an older house look its age. Our “new” house is hardly NEW, as in new-construction; it was built in 1950. It’s not an antique, but it sure isn’t brand spankin’ new either! There are some areas in the house that look a little dated, and here is how I will fix these outdated features!
Tips to Update an Old House
1. Electrical faceplates: Is it just me or do those almond-colored electrical receptacles and electrical faceplates look so dated? This may be entirely my opinion (and not objective fact), but I do think a bright white electrical receptacle/faceplate looks bright, modern and clean. I get that the almond-colored ones blend in well with beige-colored walls and everything, but they don’t really blend in. They still stand out to me, and just kinda look dirty. Anyway, so we are changing almost all the electrical faceplates in the house. The previous owners had some almond-colored ones, some weirdly-shaped ones…
and some with odd designs on them.
Another thing we realized is that even though you can replace the switchplate in about 30 seconds,if the electrical box receptacle underneath is also almond-colored, as seen below, the almond-color will still show through. So we will be hard-wiring some new electrical boxes (white ones of course) at some point in the near future.
Here is one that we replaced. Doesn’t the bright white just look clean and modern to you, too?
2. Worn Molding: Whether it’s baseboard molding that is showing its age or air conditioning trim molding that has suffered serious damage (see below!), replacing or repairing the molding is an easy way to bring an old house back to life! You can use caulk, spackle or wood putty to fill in any strange gaps or holes in the molding. Let dry and then sand down. Finally, a fresh, new coat of semi-gloss white will restore those bad boys! I will post a pic of this AC molding once I am done “treating” it!
3. Antique Lighting: There are few things that scream old age in a house more than a brass-y antiquated ceiling light. And I have a bunch of them in my house. There are a few solutions. You could take it down, cover the lightbulb socket and any electrical components and spray paint with an Oil Rubbed Bronze paint for a fresh, modern look. Of course, you could just replace the whole thing with something from this century, too! 🙂