10 Tips for Updating your Traditional-Style Home
There are many different types of architectural styles in homes around Austin, some of the more common are traditional brick and wood siding homes that were built in the 1960s and ’70s. More recently, Tuscan-style homes were very popular. Homes like these often have many individual, small rooms, including formal dining and living rooms. They may also have intricate or busy lighting and plumbing fixtures and ornate woodwork.
Many homeowners are looking to update their home to give it a fresher, more contemporary look, with less of a formal feel.
Contemporary home styles are interesting and versatile because so much can fall into the broad definition of what contemporary design is — mid-century modern, retro, industrial, farmhouse and art deco are all examples. Every situation is unique, and each brings it’s own unique touch and personality to the space.
Contemporary means “of the time,” so if your home is very traditional and you want to update, the following steps might help — ranging from simple to complex. If you need extra help, speak with a professional interior designer or, for more complex structural changes, consider consulting a professional contractor.
Contemporary is all about “less is more”. By eliminating any superfluous accessories you may have, such as knick knacks you no longer care for or items you no longer use, you can really open up a room. Having a tidy, uncluttered space is essential to making a space feel more open.
- Remove dated wallpaper
Wallpaper is making a comeback, but your ten-year-old pattern has probably seen better days. Consider removing the existing wallpaper and either painting the wall a fresh, new color or replacing the existing paper with a new one.
Painting is the least expensive and best option to freshen up a home and give a room a whole new look and feel. Get rid of dark colors and keep a common theme of color going through the home. It is best to use just one or two colors throughout a home.
- Update your light fixtures
Change out any ornate fixtures and get rid of old, clunky track lighting. Have fun with a new modern pendant or chandelier. The world of lighting has gained from advances in LED technology, and this is an area that can have a real impact, both aesthetically and economically, with reduced heat gain and power demand.
- Update your window coverings
Heavy, ornate drapery should be removed and replaced with lighter, more streamlined drapery that helps to open up your space. Also, there are many new shade products that allow varying light control and also help to reduce glare and heat.
- Refresh your furniture art and area rugs
This is a step that will provide the most impact and should be carefully coordinated with the other changes you are making. It’s best to have a plan and avoid impulse buying. Mixing select “keeper” pieces that you cannot part with in with new items and decor is the best way to go. Seek help from a design professional as mistakes can be costly — but know that the reward for a well-designed project is huge. Don’t overlook the importance of rugs. Outdated busy rug patterns can be hard to overcome, so consider finding new area rugs.
- Replace cabinet hardware
This simple step can make a big difference. A change in metal color and a simplified design, coupled with perhaps a new cabinet color or even replacing the cabinet doors, will take years off your kitchen or bath.
- Remove Carpet
Carpeting can quickly become outdated, and can keep a room from feeling light and open. Replace carpet with ceramic tile or wood.
- Open up living areas
If you really want to open up a living area, consider creating an open floor plan. For this, it’s best to involve an architect or professional contractor to take out walls and make your living area bigger and more all-encompassing. A hallmark of modern living is open, bigger rooms so this step can be very effective if your home’s floor plan allows it.
- Update kitchens and bathrooms
Freshen up backsplashes, countertops and flooring with new materials such as soapstone, concrete, terrazzo, stainless steel recycled glass or wood.
At John-William Interiors, we work with clients daily on projects like these, and would be pleased to help you. Stop by or call and we can begin the process of exploring the options for updating your home.