11 Decor Tips to Make an Old House Look New

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Your home is one of the biggest investments you’ll make in your lifetime. As time passes after your purchase, the excitement around owning and maintaining a home can start to dwindle. Alternatively, your purchase may be a lot newer than the home itself, and you don’t know where to start in terms of upgrades. Regardless, all homeowners will witness a little wear and tear at some point. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can upgrade your home in a major way simply by updating its design. Here are the top eleven decor tips to make an old house look brand new and restore your excitement for it, too.

11 Decor Tips to Make an Old House Look New

1: Upgrading your DOORKNOBS is a great way to start

A budget-friendly and simple project, replacing your old doorknobs is a project you can accomplish quickly. Whether you choose a classic or contemporary style for your doorknobs, the results will be stunning, and more noticeable than you might think. If you prefer to utilize vintage knobs, explore yard sales and consignment shops in your area to help keep costs down. Be sure to browse sites like Pinterest for ideas, and Etsy for some unique doorknob designs.

The whole upgrading process becomes even more enjoyable if you’re hands-on with some of the planned changes. Maintaining or replacing your older knob requires certain knowledge and basic locksmithing skills to ensure your door won’t get damaged once the doorknob is removed.

Hardware by Christina Z Antonio at The Greenwich Hotel NYC
Hardware by Christina Z Antonio at The Greenwich Hotel NYC


If you’re searching for a bold way to update the atmosphere of your living room, nothing beats the addition of an electric fireplace insert. Installing an electric fireplace offers a variety of advantages in both design and in creating more value for your home. They’re also a lot more versatile than you may realize. From vintage chic to modern to eclectic, they come in a variety of styles and materials that can cater to any style. You can also click here to choose your favorite electric fireplaces.

Magik Flame's fireplace interior how to make an old house look new
Magik Flame’s fireplace interior

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3: PAINT the WALLS a new color

A fresh coat of paint can do wonders to your home design, especially if it’s currently sporting an outdated design. Neutral walls provide the most decorating flexibility, as they allow you to quickly change up your accessories. If you have two small rooms adjacent to one another, painting them the same neutral color creates the illusion of a larger space. Before you embark on this project, make sure that you have the right tools ready. Aside from your painting supplies, don’t forget durable nitrile gloves for painting. These protect your hands from getting splattered with hard-to-remove paint. Because if you get paint on your skin, you would have to scrub roughly, which would hurt the upper layer of the skin and potentially lead to an infection. You can dispose of the gloves right after a painting session or reuse them as long as they hold up. 

how to make an old house look new Valspar's White Paints Collection
Valspar’s White Paints Collection

4: While you’re at it, PAINT your CABINETS

If your kitchen is looking drab and dull, rinse the paintbrushes you used for the walls and get to work on the cabinets. Choose a color that gives the “vibe” you want your kitchen to have. Go with white paint for a clean, minimal design that will make your kitchen look bigger, or choose something vibrant and bright.

5: Get creative with TILES

The DIY movement has created a lot of fun trends that give design elements multiple purposes. You can use them normally and just update the flooring in your bathroom, or you can make it your own. Try using tile to update outdated countertops and the backsplash in your kitchen. From simple and elegant to geometric and vibrant, there are all kinds of fun design options that can help make an old house look new.

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Floating shelves are increasingly popular these days, as they can be used as additional storage space or to display decor. These shelves can really elevate any room in your home. They’re also a great way to showcase wall art and/or trinkets that can introduce a new personality into the room.

Design by Jennifer Welch, Floating Shelves by Amuneal
Design by Jennifer Welch, Floating Shelves by Amuneal

7: Replace OUTLETS

While this may seem like a minor detail, it can truly help transform an older home. It’s also a relatively inexpensive option. Over the years, your home’s electrical outlets have aged with it. As a result, they may appear ancient and yellowed or may be broken or painted over. This simple modification will help brighten up a dreary home and give it a new feel.

8: Upgrade your LIGHTING

Additional lighting will literally and figuratively brighten up your space! Choose table and floor lamps for the living room, and refresh your bedroom with some trendy new sconces. Lighting is an excellent method to liven up all areas of your home. In fact, replacing bright white lighting with softer shades like blue lighting can actually make the room more relaxing and creates a whole new ambiance. KOKET has amazing chandeliers to brighten and dress up any room in your home. This is one of our favorite ways to make an old house look new!

how to make an old house feel new gia pendants chandelier
KOKET’s Gia Chandelier

9: Modernize your WINDOWS

If you’re still using the original curtains, now is the time to replace them – nothing is more indicative of a home’s age than worn-out curtains! You may also want to consider changing the curtain rods if they are also out of date. Keep in mind that windows and the natural light they provide should be a focal point of whatever room they’re in. Avoid things such as blackout curtains that are designed to hide them rather than enhance them.

10: Refurbished FLOORING gives a renewed look

If your home is carpeted throughout, you’ll want to tidy it up by replacing it or having it professionally cleaned. Or, you could rip them up altogether and utilize the wood floors underneath them. Not all homes have wood floors under their carpet, so consider yourself lucky if you do! If you already have wood floors or are sticking with the carpet, always utilize an area rug – be sure it’s clean or replace it with a new one.

11: Utilize WALL ART as decor

Even if you already incorporate art into your home, you may want to update them to be more cohesive to the new look you’re going for. To keep costs down, you can recycle current art and simply re-frame them or move them to a guest room. This is also a great way to support a local artist by purchasing their work. Not only will you have a beautiful, unique piece of art, but you’ll also have a new conversation starter when you have people over.

how to make an old house look new Jimmie Martin Wallpapers graffiti
Jimmie Martin’s Wallpapers

A Renewed Look Brings a Renewed Comfort

At the end of the day, there are countless ways to make your old house look and feel new. You don’t even have to plan a total refurbishment or hire a contractor. Remember that good things take time, so be sure to plan your updating process thoroughly. This will result in a new AND cohesive design that you’re proud of, and still feels like home!

Feature Image by KOKET