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32 Things That Date Your Home (And How to Fix Them)

Trends come and go and, before you know it, what you thought was stylish once is now behind the times. If your home has any of these, it’s time for an update!

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Dated: Old Window TreatmentsOffscreen/Shutterstock

Dated: Old Window Treatments

Heavy fabrics, ties, fringed trim and roller shades belong in the '70s, '80s and '90s. Dirty blinds or cracked blinds also make a home look dated.
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Update: Blinds and Light CurtainsElena Elisseeva/Shutterstock

Update: Blinds and Light Curtains

If privacy isn't an issue, try letting your view take center stage. But, if you need some privacy or light diffusion, try some modern shades or hang some horizontal blinds. If you prefer curtains, make sure they are lightweight.
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floor to ceiling mirrors datedFamily Handyman

Dated: Floor-to-Ceiling Mirrors

We displayed this floor-to-ceiling mirror setup in 1982 inside an apartment. We said back then that floor-to-ceiling mirrors added a feeling of more space and also hid cabinetry and an entertainment center. You might notice the angled lighting creates a dramatic effect and helps point your eyes where the interior designer wanted you to focus. Mirrors have long been a device people use to make a small room feel bigger, but have you heard of these 14 ways to make a small room look bigger?

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Updated: Big Picture Windows and Vaulted Ceilings

Big picture windows and vaulted ceilings will make any room look bigger. These options are obviously more expensive than hanging mirrors but in the long run, they will add to the resale value of your home. These are the best projects to increase your home’s resale value.

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Dated: Old Wallpaper and Bordersriekephotos/Shutterstock

Dated: Old Wallpaper and Borders

Whether it's flowers, bunnies in baskets or busy patterns, nothing makes a home look dated quicker than wallpaper. To get out of the old and in with the new, learn more about the easy process on how to remove wallpaper.

Or try out some modern wallpaper with these trending wallpaper ideas.

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Update: Painted PatternsKUPRYNENKO ANDRII/Shutterstock

Update: Painted Patterns

There are some fun wall designs that can bring your home to the present day. So try bold patterns, stripes and faux finishes. Here are some Trendy Paint Patterns to Spice Up Walls.
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glass block bathroom windowsArtazum/Shutterstock

Dated: Glass Block Bathroom Windows

We’ve shown any number of glass block projects through the years, like a glass block shower and a glass block basement window. Glass block walls appeared in homes in a variety of ways in the ’90s.

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skylight Berkay Demirkan/Shutterstock

Updated: Skylight

You can have your privacy and plenty of light in your bathroom without the use of glass block windows, which can come off as dated. Instead, try a skylight or a frosted window.

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Faux stone fireplaceFamily Handyman

Dated: Faux Stone Fireplaces

There’s a lot going in this room but one thing that stands out is the faux rock fireplace. Homeowners moved away from the classic brick fireplace in the ’70s and ’80s to something like this. Then there’s the ubiquitous track lighting in the room and vertical blinds on the sliding glass door.

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reader finished fireplace

Updated: Real Stone Fireplace

Forget the faux and use real materials when updating your fireplace!

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Dated: Old Colorshanohiki/Shutterstock

Dated: Old Colors

Are your walls hunter green, olive, gold or mauve? These paint colors make your home look dated. It's time for some new paint! Worried you'll mess it up? Paint a Room Without Making a Mess.
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Update: Clean ColorsTr1sha/Shutterstock

Update: Clean Colors

Light wall colors today work to make your home look more spacious and clean. Try grays, tans and off-whites. Also, try these 10 Interior House Painting Tips and Painting Techniques for the Perfect Paint Job.
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Dated: Brass or Gold Light FixturesOlivier Le Queinec/Shutterstock

Dated: Brass or Gold Light Fixtures

Shiny brass or gold light fixtures make your home look dated and are a sign it's time to update your lighting. Learn tips on How to Hang a Ceiling Light Fixture.
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Update: Modern Light FixturesSaveLightstock/Shutterstock

Update: Modern Light Fixtures

When it comes to today's light fixtures, the options are endless. Modern, industrial and classic looks come in everything from bronze to graphite and nearly every color of the rainbow. Learn How to Connect Old Wiring to a New Light Fixture.
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Dated: Analog Thermostat ControlRob Byron/Shutterstock

Dated: Analog Thermostat Control

If you're still using an old thermostat to control your home's heating and cooling system, it's time for an upgrade. An analog thermostat makes a home look dated. And a smart thermostat even helps with energy savings.
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Update: Smart ThermostatOlivier Le Moal/Shutterstock

Update: Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats come in a variety styles and are simple to install. Bonus: Some can be controlled via Wi-Fi.
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Dated: Old Cabinet Hardwarepondpony/Shutterstock

Dated: Old Cabinet Hardware

Even if you've installed new kitchen cabinets, old hardware such as hinges and pulls can make a home look dated.
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Update: Modern Matching Hardware

Today's style is all about matching all your cabinet pulls and knobs. So try pewter, chrome or nickel. And learn How to Install Cabinet Hardware.
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90s primary colorsFamily Handyman

Outed: Primary Colors

Bright color tend to indicate the strength of the economy. When colors turn brighter in clothing and decor, it’s generally because the economy is performing well. That’s what happened in the mid ’90s and it often took the form of primary colors in home decor. Follow these tips on choosing paint colors next time you’ve got a painting task.

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house Breadmaker/Shutterstock

Updated: Clean Fresh Colors

Variations of neutral color tones give your home a unique dimensional perspective. One-color neutral combinations may sound boring but when carefully planned, using tones of browns and grays can be serene and elegant. Dark blue is one neutral that works well for exteriors and selecting a trim color two shades darker from the siding color is a safe bet.

Plus: How to Prepare for House Painting

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Dated: ClutterGrand Warszawski/Shutterstock

Dated: Clutter

Whether it's your living room, basement or office, remove all the old knickknacks and decorations you've had on display for decades. This clutter makes your home look dated, and it doesn't have to. Here are a few signs that your place might be over-decorated.
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Update: Minimalism

Fewer decorations will make your home look up-to-date. And add some plants to make it feel fresh. These Clutter-Busting Strategies for Every Room can help keep your home clutter-free.
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Dated: Wood Wall PanelsArtazum/Shutterstock

Dated: Wood Wall Panels

It's hard to make a home look modern when it still sports paneling on the walls. Wood panels and dark rooms make your home look dated. And you can remove them and Build a Wainscoted Wall.
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Update: Remove or Paint Over PanelsLighthunter/Shutterstock

Update: Remove or Paint Over Panels

To upgrade your walls, remove the panels, repair or replace the drywall and paint walls a neutral color such as gray or tan. You can also paint the paneling. Try these tips for Preparing Walls for Painting: Problem Walls.
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Dated: Popcorn CeilingsFamily Handyman

Dated: Popcorn Ceilings

Popcorn, cottage cheese or textured — whatever you want to call it — has been over and make a home look dated for a long time. Discover 11 Tips for Removing a Popcorn Ceiling Faster and Easier.
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Update: Ceilings With Clean LinesFamily Handyman

Update: Ceilings With Clean Lines

You can remove the popcorn ceiling, or you can cover it with a new layer of drywall. Then bring it up-to-date with a couple coats of paint.
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Dated: Tile CountertopsChad McDermott/Shutterstock

Dated: Tile Countertops

Tile countertops may have been on-trend in the '80s and '90s, but there's a reason people rarely have them today. Tile counters make a home look dated and are prone to cracking. Also, keeping the grout clean is a tough job.
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Update: Modern CountertopsArtazum/Shutterstock

Update: Modern Countertops

Whether it's marble, granite, quartz, wood, stainless steel, concrete or soapstone, today's trendy kitchen remodeling ideas are endless. Buying Countertops: Plastic Laminates, Granite, and Solid Surfaces.
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Dated: Carpeting in the BathroomArtazum/Shutterstock

Dated: Carpeting in the Bathroom

Carpeting in the bathroom definitely makes a home look dated. And let's not even think about how difficult it is to keep bathroom carpet clean and free of mold.
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Update: Bathroom TileTodd Kuhns/Shutterstock

Update: Bathroom Tile

There are several tile options for every style, whether you're going for a modern or classic look. Learn 13 Tile Tips for a Better Bathroom.
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Dated: Vinyl FlooringDavid W. Leindecker/Shutterstock

Dated: Vinyl Flooring

Linoleum and vinyl may have been popular 20 years ago. But now it often looks cheap and can be difficult to keep it looking clean. When something looks cheap and dirty it definitely makes your home look dated and it's certainly time for an update.
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Update: Wood FloorsHABRDA/Shutterstock

Update: Wood Floors

Whether it's solid, engineered, bamboo or cork, there's a wood flooring option that will work for your room and your family. Bonus: Wood has never gone out of style.

Rachel Brougham
Rachel Brougham lived through a major home renovation in 2019, knows the ups and downs of home improvement, and loves sharing tips with readers. A veteran journalist of both print and television, she’s won several awards for her writing and has covered everything from the environment and education to health care, politics and food. She’s written for several publications beyond newspapers including Bob Vila, Taste of Home and Minnesota Parent, and she currently writes a weekly syndicated newspaper column. Her memoir, Widowland, about the sudden loss of her husband, was published in 2022. She specializes in everything from home decor and design to lawn and garden, product reviews and pet care. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her tending to her garden (both vegetables and native plants), playing with her dog, watching sports with her family or getting some exercise. A native of Michigan, she currently lives in Minneapolis. An avid user of Instagram, you can follow her @RachBrougham.