From Dated To Rated: Transforming An Old Space For The Now

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contemporary living room natural light

Trends come and go, sensibilities become outdated, and yesterday’s good ideas turned out to be anything but. It’s okay if there’s something a bit dated in your home decor; with a positive outlook and a creative eye, you can bring those old styles into this decade. Let’s go room to room and look at some outdated styles that are easy to update.

The overdone bathroom

A shaped rug around the toilet. A wild color scheme. An abundance of purely decorative items (vases full of seashells, etc). These are all common fixtures in bathrooms that try a bit too hard to be stylish and end up just being silly.

Instead of making the space feel fussed-over, keep a good balance between form and function. Ditch the shaped rug and get a simple bath mat. Get rid of entirely decorative objects and spice up the room with a scented candle or a fancy soap dispenser–things that have a use. As for that color palette, clean and simple beats vibrant when it comes to the bathroom.

The human-free living room

A lot of people dream of having a living room fit for a magazine cover, but the detail a lot of people miss is that there usually aren’t any people in those pictures. Flower vases, statuettes and an overabundance of candles just clutter a place people are supposed to use every day.

A living room should feel comfortable and inviting. This means aiming for furniture that feels as good to sit on as it looks and decorations that don’t get in the way of more practical uses.When it comes to living room decor, some stylish coasters, tasteful wall art, and attractive lighting are more useful than fancy but empty components.

The uncomfortable dining room

Sure, there’s an aesthetic appeal to austere, wooden chairs, sharp angles and striking centerpieces, but when it comes to actually having a meal in such a space, the allure fades. The dining room shouldn’t feel like a gallery. Instead, it should be a place where people won’t mind spending a few hours over a relaxing meal.

Ditch the uncomfortable wood chairs for seating with some padding and back support. Instead of an obtrusive centerpiece, offer something practical like some ornate salt and pepper shakers or a convenient wine station. There’s no reason to make the family dining room overly formal.

The themed bedroom

There was a time when some folks decided to make their bedrooms into mini-vacation houses, using extreme decorative themes to capture the feel of a recent adventure. It’s easy to go overboard with such a concept. The bold colors of a tropical getaway or the Old World furniture of a trip to Tuscany are more likely to make the bedroom feel out of place and busy when compared to the rest of the house.

Of all places, the bedroom should be relaxing and simple. Instead of making every detail reflect the theme, opt for one or two pieces of art or other subtle accents. Suggest, don’t set-dress.

Comfort and function never go out of style

Modern home decor sensibilities are about comfort and function. Think about how you actually use a space and make sure your design aesthetic stays functional.


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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.