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25 Ways to Modernize Your Dated Home Decor

Decide what you want.

Do you have an aesthetic you would love to see in your home? You don’t have to know everything (thankfully) but having a general idea of how you want to style your home sure does help. Do you favor a more modern look? A more traditional feel? Having a general direction to head in will save you a lot of heartache down the road. Remember, most homes don’t need much work. A little twist on what you already have will go a long way.

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Mix modern and ornate.

Mixing the two styles will help balance each other out. Use sleek, modern frames in a traditionally styled room or pair a modern chair with an ornate desk. The contrast will work well together, each pulling on the other’s strengths.

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Reupholster.

If you have a dated piece of furniture, like a vintage wing chair, replace its older fabric with a more modern one. You’ll get to keep the great chair while bringing an entirely new look into the room.

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Mix it up.

Change up where something belongs. Use your creativity to see if a piece of furniture might be better served doing something else in a different room, like using a vintage dresser as a TV stand.

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Don’t forget the rug.

Have you ever stumbled upon a breathtaking rug that you weren't quite sure what to do with? Don’t be afraid to put it to use. Pair it with a simple couch in your living room. 

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Pair vintage styles with neutral colors.

Vintage pieces are typically busy enough, so pairing them with neutral colors will really help to tone things down. If you have a nice, ornate bench, stick it in a neutral room. This will keep the room feeling balanced and comfortable.

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Embrace rustic storage.

 Rustic storage is very in right now, and why shouldn’t it be? Attractive storage is not an easy thing to find, and rustic pieces bring so much to the table.

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Throw a wardrobe into the dining room.

Wardrobes are some of the most beautiful pieces of furniture humans have ever invented. Sadly, we also invented the closet, so there’s not much need for them anymore. If you happen to have one, move it into your dining room for elegant storage.

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Have fun with frames.

Hang a gilded mirror next to some sleek picture frames to add a bit of contrast to your wall. You’ll emphasize the beauty of the mirror and the content of those picture frames. It’s a win-win.

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Paint.

Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Your room needs splashes of color, and what better way to do that than to paint the ugly chandelier you hate? It’ll spice up the room in no time.

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Update your kitchen chairs.

Pair a heavy table with lighter, modern chairs. The table will look fantastic, and the chairs will be significantly more comfortable than the ones the table came with.

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Look for the similarities.

If you have an end table with a distinct wooden look, see if you can’t find some picture frames that are made from similar wood. The repetition will be subtle, but the room will feel cohesive.

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Display what you’ve got.

Try putting your vintage accessories on a modern bookcase. The bookcase will look good with everything on it, and you will finally have a place for all those random things you’ve collected over the years.

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Coordinate colors.

Coordinating colors will pull pieces from different time periods together. You know that super-cushy, green couch that you love? Find something that matches its green but isn’t quite as cushy. You can keep your couch and tie the room together.

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Display old family photos.

You’ve got them boxed up in the attic. Why not display some familial pride with a picture from your youth? Or a faded photo of grandma and grandpa’s wedding day? The pictures will be nice talking points for when you have guests over.

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Rejuvenate outdated technology hubs.

If you don’t use your sewing machine anymore, try moving the table to the bedroom. It’d make a beautiful bedside table.

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Put those doilies up.

Literally. Frame the doilies grandma gave you and hang them right up. It’ll add a bit of texture while making the place really yours.

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Repurpose a fireplace mantle.

Take an old fireplace mantle, paint it, and use it as a headboard for your bed. It’ll give your bedroom a unique feel.

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Decorate with old records.

If you don’t already have a ton of unused records hidden away somewhere, they’re a dime a dozen at any thrift store or flea market. Hang them in a 3 x 3 layout to add a bit of personality on open bit of wall.

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Use book pages as wallpaper.

If you have an old book you’ll never read, tear the pages out and use them as wallpaper on a statement wall in a small room somewhere. Bonus points if the book has pictures.

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Have some fun with marquee letters.

Old marquee letters aren’t hard to find, and they make excellent center pieces if you find the right letter. If you can get the lights to work, then add a little dim lighting to your room. If not, maybe you’ll want to repaint it so that it’ll match the feel of your room perfectly. Either way, there are at least 26 different options to choose from.

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Make use of wooden crates.

Wooden crates make easy storage and super simple nightstands. Group them together and to create a makeshift, Tetris-like bookshelf or hang them to display things in. They’re so simple you can do almost anything with them!

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Transform your vintage suitcases.

They make great nightstands and side tables. There’s plenty of room to store the things you don’t need for most of the year, and they bring plenty of personality to the room.

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Update your wallpaper.

If your living room still has busy floral wallpaper three decades old, then it might be time to tone it down. Sure, the print is pretty, but most rooms already have so much going on that busy wallpaper’s too in your face. See if you can’t find a cleaner, less busy wallpaper to replace it with instead.

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Use old door knobs as towel or coat hooks.

Take those crystal door knobs that aren’t working too well anymore and mount them on a wall somewhere. You’ll get to have working door handles again and your coats will hang in style.

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