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8 Signs Your House is Dated


on November 2, 2021


Decorating trends come and go so fast that it can be hard to keep up. If you don’t change up your decor, you might even see your own style fall out of fashion only to come back again.

But there comes a point when a style shows no signs of coming back and it just makes your home look dated. If any of these design trends make you cringe in acknowledgment, then it could be time for some redecorating.

1. Your windows came with the house.

A window style that fits your home creates a timeless look. Although most styles typically age well, the windows themselves might not. Poorly maintained windows can show their age with physical issues like cracked or peeling paint. They may also be less efficient, difficult to operate or broken entirely. Replacing your old windows can give your home an updated look inside and out, and with the right materials and proper installation, you can see a nice return on the investment.

Some modern window styles that can both add variation to a home without disrupting the clean, minimalist designs popular today and withstand the trends of time include bay windows and arched windows.

  • Bay windows. These will make your interior space feel bigger and give your exterior a simple but effective architectural flare. With openness being a recurring theme in today’s design trends, you can’t go wrong with the addition of bay windows.
  • Arched windows. The perfect balance of classic and contemporary, arched windows can bring just the right amount of character to a home without detracting from its overall aesthetic. Increased sources of natural light within homes are becoming more and more popular, and the half circle window used to create the arch provides an additional place for it to shine through.

2. The windows are covered by drapes.

Your windows could still be in good shape and good taste, but the treatments drag down their visual appeal. Long, heavy curtains were common in the 70s, 80s and 90s. They often had ties, fringe and ornate or floral patterns.

Curtains are not all the way out. You can swap out the old, heavy drapes for new, lightweight curtains. If you want a change in treatments, consider the usual options — blinds, shades and shutters — or think outside the box with less conventional window coverings.

3. Your walls are covered in wood panels.

Wood paneling was everywhere in the 50s, 60s and 70s. If you happen to still see it today, you’re either watching reruns of The Brady Bunch or in an outdated home. It can make your home look dated and dark — even if you have windows bringing in lots of light.

With shiplap, wainscoting and beadboard, paneling has made a resurgence, but those styles tend to go white or light in color and are used more often as accents than to cover an entire room.

4. Your walls are covered in even worse—dated wallpaper.

Wallpaper trends can move in and out of fashion quickly. You might have been a trendsetter when you put it up, but there’s likely been several popular waves of wallpaper design since. One trend that screams 1990s is a wallpaper border in a bathroom, nursery or child’s bedroom. If your children have outgrown it, then it’s time to take it down.

You may see plenty of other current wallpaper trends, but if you want to avoid the style fluctuations, go with a good old can of paint. Changing with the times will be less tedious than taking down and putting up new wallpaper.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also opt to eliminate certain walls altogether. Then, you won’t need to worry about wallpaper at all. You can add doorways sans the door to create the illusion of separate rooms while maintaining a more open space. And since simplicity is key in today’s design trends, consider adding your unique touches within the home’s architecture. Straight lines and sharp edges are all the rage, but something like arched doorways cut through it all and make the perfect subtle statement. There’s a reason arches have transcended time.

5. There’s popcorn on your ceiling.

Textured ceilings, and specifically popcorn ceilings, were popular in homes built from the 1930s through the 1990s. The bumps hid imperfections and helped absorb sound. Those bumps don’t age well, however. The bright white turns yellow and the popcorn texture makes it hard to clean off dust and dirt.

Orange peel texture or flat ceilings are more common now. But before you rush to refinish your ceiling, beware the dangers hidden inside the popcorn. Up until the late 70s, asbestos was commonly used for insulation and lead-based paints were also common. So if your house was built before the 1980s, disturbing your popcorn ceiling might be a health hazard. Consider if you need to hire a professional to inspect your home and remove the hazardous material.

6. Your carpet has pops of color.

Old carpet can look permanently dirty, have worn paths in high traffic areas or show stains that you could never quite clean. A less obvious sign of age is the color of the carpet.

Homes were heavily carpeted in colorful shades through the 90s. If every room in your house has a different color of carpet, consider switching to neutral tones. Or get rid of it altogether. Wood and tile floors are in vogue now, and they’re also much easier to clean. If you simply cannot live without the feel of carpet in your home, get an area rug to accent your hardwood or tile.

7. Your kitchen has arched cabinets.

One place arches shouldn’t be in your home? Its cabinets.

Arched cabinets and cathedral cabinets were big in the 80s. Cabinet doors commonly had arches on the top rail or both the top and bottom. Cabinet trends today skew simple and modern. The clean minimalism of modern design is timeless. With smooth edges and clean lines, flat panel cabinets and square-paneled cabinet doors are modern designs that complement nearly any other style, too.

8. Or it looks like a Tuscan kitchen.

The kitchen is no longer just for cooks—it’s for the whole family. That made the warm, inviting, family feel of an authentic Italian kitchen so popular a decade ago. The style effectively captured the essence of an old-fashioned Tuscan kitchen, but now it’s out of fashion.

Tuscan kitchen decor emphasizes ornate detail, bronze finishes, dark colors, oversized furniture and an abundance of accessories. Those elements can make your kitchen feel dark, cluttered and claustrophobic. Let’s leave that style to Italian restaurant chains from now on.

Like modern cabinets, kitchens are trending towards minimalism and functionality. Homeowners are looking to open up their kitchens by scaling down, simplifying and brightening up the space. Light-colored cabinets and countertops, minimalist fixtures and black or stainless steel appliances are popular in today’s kitchen design trends.

Make Timeless Updates to Your Home

When it comes to the design and decor of your home, it’s hard to always be on-trend. Between the price of furniture and renovations, as well as everyone’s own individual preferences, making changes when a new trend emerges or something goes out of style just isn’t feasible. Instead, try replacing long-lasting features like windows and interior architecture with timeless styles that won’t require a refresh after a few years. Get in touch with a local Pella professional to help you explore all your options today.

Schedule a free consultation to find windows and doors for your home.