Did you move into your present home some years ago, decorating and furnishing it up to date fixtures, fittings with enthusiasm and sat back and enjoyed since? How many years ago?
Now, sit back, look at your home objectively – is it looking ‘tired’ a little worse for wear? Does it look slightly ‘dated’? Be honest. It’s easy to settle into a comfortable living way of life. You’ve modernised, decorated and furnished it all once, why do it again? Because it ages you, puts you right into a certain decade, which decade is your home from? So unless you are deliberately trying to recreate a certain era or decade in your home, visit http://www.geffrye-museum.org.uk/ it needs changing.
Inspiration and ideas from previous decades can successfully be incorporated into present interiors and are often used as research for paint, paper and fabric design companies. Morris and Co https://www.william-morris.co.uk/shop/new-collections/
In the late 70’s and early 80’s the trend was for stripped pine. Antique pieces are still acceptable, (however, the Victorians would never have had their cheap pine furniture on show, and it would have been painted or stained to look like mahogany or hidden below stairs). The more modern pine pieces – I use this term loosely, turn an orange colour over time and not only look awful but are dated. Same is to be said of heavy dark furniture popular from the Victorians to the 1940’s.
Before discarding the usually well made, real wood furniture for flat pack modern pieces, consider updating your existing furniture with paint – unless of course you have a budget for a better quality product. Furniture can be transformed with paint. Do check though before painting, that the item of furniture is not a valuable piece.
Kitchens are a huge investment and if yours is well planned and works well few changes to update it maybe all that it requires.
Doors- Again these can be painted and swap the handles and knobs with new ones.
Work Tops – Replace with new to blend in with your new door fronts.
Splash Backs – Remove the tiles if they are from a decade you wish to move on from, and replace with specialist glass or a contemporary tile design.
Flooring – Perhaps lay new vinyl if the existing is worn, with an up to date design to compliment the other changes made. If floor tiles are dated, remove them and lay new. This is more expensive and more difficult if they are laid under the existing fitted cabinets. Never lay tiles over tiles, you’re asking for trouble with cracking and movement. If the tiles are acceptable, and you wish to keep them, choose cabinet and work top colours to compliment the floor. Using specialist floor paint is also an option, can work well if done properly. Hang a new blind, and add some fresh accessories and tea towels.
Walls- Unless you live in a beautiful Victorian house wall paper borders are a no, no. So are dado and picture rails stained a mahogany colour. This is another 80’s hangover.
Decoration – If you love your paintings, pictures and prints try re framing them. The difference in using a double mount and new frame will not only enhance the art work but also your room. Hang pictures in groups either by subject matter or in matching frames for an eye catching display. Do not hang them as in the 70’s in a triangular mode across the wall, or too high.
Flooring – No swirly carpets – sorry. People use this description when describing a house in need of an update ‘All swirly carpets’ and people understand what the house is like, dated. Swirly carpets can also compete with the rest of the furnishings.
Have you got wood underneath the existing carpet that is worth exposing, then lay a large rug for warmth in colours to complement your other furnishings? If carpet is preferred a plain neutral carpet usually works best in the majority of standard size homes as it makes the rooms appear larger.
Lighting– It’s fine if you live in a period property or re- creating a particular decade style because you like it, otherwise try changing the shades and lamps to a more contemporary style. Florescent strips in the kitchen offer great light, but its unforgiving and provides little ambience. Try changing the strip to a budget friendly track system. The adjustability of the spots makes it easy to aim the light where its most needed.
Now get into a decade where you and your home belong be it traditional, classic or contemporary.
Bathrooms can be more tricky to update without major work. However, if the layout works well, update with new tiles and flooring. Ditch the carpet for a start! It’s a far better job if the old tiles are removed prior to laying new, especially when tiling down to a bath, basin and shower. However if you have a plaster board wall, this may come away with the old tiles in places, which will need to be repaired before tiling. This is not a quick update job. If storage is a problem, try replacing your pedestal basin with a vanity unit and basin, and add a mirrored cabinet above it. Hang a new blind and add new towels to compliment the room.
Now which decade does your home reflect?
Images from annesage.com, hative, HousetoHome,Geffrye Museum,Little Greene Paint