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12 Ways Your House Can Make You Look Older Than You Are

If you're sitting in your Barcalounger or reading this on your bulky desktop computer, your house might be dating you. See if any more of these signs sound familiar.

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clutterLeonardo Emiliozzi/Shutterstock

You have tchotchke overload.

There’s a fine line between a collection and clutter. Okay, the line is not so fine. A well-curated collection of meaningful items proudly and neatly displayed is a great way to personalize your space. But a mess of crowded knickknacks—especially if they look cheap or mass-produced and have no rhyme or reason—is a surefire way to age yourself.

These 100 essential cleaning hacks will change your life.

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doiliesStokkete/Shutterstock

You use lace doilies, and not ironically.


If there’s one thing that could make an unwieldy tchotchke collection look even more dated, it’s lace doilies placed beneath them. There’s a reason we associate these cloths with grandmas of another era. The doily became popular in the 19th century, when knowing how to crochet was a status symbol for young women. These tricks will make a small room seem bigger.

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flowersStockforlife/Shutterstock

You keep obviously fake flowers and plants.


Faux flowers and plants have enjoyed a modern Renaissance in recent years, but those stale-looking bouquets—the ones with visible stitching, plastic stems, and an inch of dust—can make it look like your decor style peaked in the 1980s.

Here are 10 seriously cool succulents that make great houseplants—and they’re real!

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TVSvetoslav Radkov/Shutterstock

You watch the news on a big, clunky TV.


Remember when TVs had hump backs? That’s where the set stored its cathode ray tube, but modern technology eliminated that component and made flat-panel TVs slim and sleek. But here’s the thing: flat-panel TVs aren’t so new anymore. So having one of those clunkers in your sitting room could make you look a tad out of touch.

Bad TV reception? Try this fix.

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computerNonchanon/Shutterstock

You keep a big, clunky computer in your home office.


Televisions are not the only things that got a slimming makeover. Early desktop computers were pretty bulky, but by the early aughts we’d pretty much all moved on to sleek monitors and laptop computers. Now it’s rare to see one of these relics. Don’t be a relic, too! Here’s how to clean your computer keyboard and screen.

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panelingDRWelch/Shutterstock

You’re cool with that dark wood wall paneling.


Wood paneling was a staple in many a mid-century home, but eventually it just made a room look dark and stuffy. Changing it out can be costly, so it’s not uncommon for homeowners to paint their paneling white to lighten things up. If your dark paneling is an intentional style choice, it might make you seem over-the-hill.

Check out these 12 incredible, stylish shiplap walls.

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reclinercreativesunday/Shutterstock

You lounge in an oversize recliner.


Attached to your old Barcalounger? There’s no doubt this overstuffed easy chair with its side lever is comfortable, but stylistically it could make its owner (you) look like a fossil. Luckily there are plenty of modern recliners that let you relax in luxury without maintaining a dated eyesore in your decor.

Looking to downsize? Here’s how to do it!

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blindsfotiyka/Shutterstock

You still have valances.


Hang sheer panels. Install wooden blinds. Just please don’t use droopy valances above your windows—or boxy ones that match the curtains. This time-warp window treatment keeps your style stuck in a bygone era. Time to let in the light. Here are 10 window treatments we love.

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carpetingSuzanne Tucker/Shutterstock

You rock that wall-to-wall shag carpeting.


1974 called and said it would like its shag carpeting back, so that’s a good excuse to banish this mortal sin of archaic decor from your home. Yes, it may feel good underfoot, but it’s not a good look on young, modern you!

Ready to remove that shag? Here’s how.

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lampmilosljubicic/Shutterstock

You love Tiffany lamps.


These sweet, stained-glass lamps enjoyed a heyday about a century ago. While the distinct lighting style still has its share of fans, Tiffany glass just doesn’t jibe with modern, more youthful decor. And because it’s so colorful, it’s a very obvious old-fashioned element in your home. Here’s how to rewire a lamp yourself.

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wallpaperPhovoir/Shutterstock

You have wallpaper borders.


You may have peeped your share of wallpaper borders in the 1980s, but designers and homeowners soon came to realize this wall-dividing trick actually visually shortens the room. So wallpaper borders went the way of, well, wallpaper! Modern wallpapers have emerged to adorn accent walls of today’s homes, so don’t hang on to that horrid border. Here’s how to remove your dated wallpaper.

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furnitureArtazum/Shutterstock

You have floral furniture everywhere.


If ever there was a word that encapsulates dated decor, it’s ‘chintzy,’ named after chintz fabric usually with floral patterns and very popular in 1980s homes. But floral furniture has become an outmoded trend, and quite a loud one at that. Keep these flowery sofas in your family room and you’re practically screaming, “Let’s watch Golden Girls!”

Here are 30 home trends kids of the ’90s remember.