How do you modernise an old house?

Don’t sacrifice the charm and uniqueness of your home with a sterile, cookie-cutter renovation. Learn how to get the best of old and new with these tips to modernise your older home without losing its character. Then, you’ll be ready to get started with your home remodelling project.

If you have an older home that you need to turn from drab to fab, or your new home is just looking a little dated. Here are the tips to make an old home look new on a budget. Check out our range of Melbourne home renovations for your dream house.

Create Open Space In Your Home

Open floor plans are on the top of the list when it comes to home buying and homeownership. Homeowners want an open floor plan where the kitchen, family room and dining room share one vast open space. Also, formal dining rooms seem to be going out of style. Here is your opportunity to create space in your home, making it more appealing to you and to your visitors. How can you do this without tearing out walls, you ask? Actually, making your home seem open and airy can be easier than you think. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting rid of bigger, bulkier furnishings, or moving furnishings around the room to see what placement gives the most open space. If you are attached to the huge armoire, cabinet or other bulky furnishings that are taking up a lot of space, then consider painting it a warm off-white colour— this will help it “disappear” into the room, tricking the eye to think space is more airy and open. Another trick of the eye that gives the illusion of open space mirrors. When the mirrors are placed opposite windows reflect light into the room and make the room seem more open. If you have a formal dining room that you really don’t use, then consider turning it into a cozy den, home office, crafting room or library with a reading nook. This will make the current space you have more usable and creates a whole new room in your home that you never had before (without any messy renovations!)

Add New Lighting To Your Home

Proper lighting can truly bring a room to life. A poorly lit room looks small, dark and cramped, while a brightly lit room appears open, airy and welcoming. There are numerous ways to brighten up your home with lights. Some of the easier methods are as simple as buying table lamps and floor lamps for your home. Strategically place a couple of tall floor lamps in dark corners and watch your room come alive. Layer this lighting with lamps on side tables, making the room feel welcoming and cozy. Then, if you want to get adventurous, you can replace all those outdated ceiling fixtures with the stunning modern masterpieces that are available on the market. Of course, this last part may require you to hire an electrician for installation, but if you’re handy, replacing a ceiling fixture is something that is not too complicated. Whether you keep it simple with floor lamps, or go all out and replace all your ceiling fixtures —modernise your home with plenty of bright lights.

This is an area where you can do as little or as much as you want, depending on how modern of a change you desire. You may absolutely adore some of the original fixtures in your home, and swapping the old glaring incandescent bulbs for soft LEDs could be the only thing you need to do. There may be some fixtures that you aren’t so attracted to or others that are broken; in these cases, you can replace the pieces with some excellent modern options that feature a vintage flair in their design.

New Plumbing Fixtures  

Similar to changing light fixtures, you also want to give your plumbing fixtures a once over—this goes for the big (tubs, toilets, sinks) as well as the small (faucets, knobs, showerheads) components. If your fixtures are in pristine condition and excellent working order and you think they’re great, then, by all means, carry on; if fixtures are broken, inefficient, covered in gunk, not to your taste, well, you get the idea, then replace them. When it comes to your tubs, if they are in good condition and the size is adequate, an alternate option is to simply have them reglazed, which even provides you with the option to change the colour. This technique can also be done on certain countertops and sinks depending on the material, just something to keep in mind.

Replace Hardware on Cabinets, Doors, and Drawers  

You can still keep a vintage feel, but enjoy an easy update, with this quick DIY project. Swapping out knobs and pulls on your doors and drawers is like changing accessories on an outfit; it can give things a whole new look. Think of it as giving your house a mini-facelift.

Nothing dates your kitchen and bathrooms more than old-fashioned, worn and dirty handle pulls and knobs. There is no excuse not to update all your cabinet and door handles when it is so simple to do, and there are so many ways to update your cabinetry. There are numerous finishes to choose from, such as bronze, brushed nickel, aged copper, and shiny stainless. With so many modern choices on the market, it may be hard to decide what best suits your home. Don’t stress too much about the plethora of options; after all, you could always buy one or two different styles to see what works best in the room. Plus, there are not any steadfast rules for choosing cabinet pulls and knobs. Essentially, a country kitchen can look chic and updated with very modern stainless knobs, while a modern kitchen can look cool and eclectic with more vintage-style knobs. The design choice is up to you, so get out there and start updating your kitchen and bathroom cupboards today.

Looking for home renovations Melbourne? Look no further! Hitch Property Constructions has you covered.

New Appliances  

Historic homes can be extremely charming, but old, worn-out appliances are a whole other story. If your appliances are original to the home, even if they are still in working order, installing new ones can save you money (and headaches) in the long run. For example, trying to cook in the “retro” stove that’s just like your grandma’s even though you can’t even fit your new baking pan inside of it probably doesn’t result in a calm meal-prep experience. Plus, old appliances are notorious for their lack of energy efficiency. If you want to maintain the vintage feel of your appliances, there are several companies today that offer retro styles.

Convert Fuses to Breakers  

Okay, so this change might not sound as exciting, after all, you don’t actually see a big visual difference in your home, but in terms of long term cost savings it might make a big difference, and here’s why. Your homeowner’s insurance alone may very well charge you a higher premium if you still have your old fuse panel. It isn’t that fuses are unsafe, but more so because they were put in your home at a time when electricity demands weren’t as high as they are today, which means they might not adequately handle everything that you need them to.

Restore Old Windows  

Do you love the original, wood windows in your home? Original wood windows give a home its character and are often the “eyes” of a house. However, you probably aren’t as crazy about possibly drafty, non-efficient qualities that come along with older windows. You might think completely replacing your windows is the only answer, but then you would lose that classic quality of your home and feature mismatched architectural components. The wood in your original windows is often very dense and of exceptional quality. Newer materials sometimes just don’t hold up and can be bad for the environment to produce.

Windows seem to be overlooked a lot of the time. Homeowners struggle to decide what style would suit the room best, leading them to give up and leave the windows bare or just install simple blinds for privacy. Here’s the thing— windows beg to be dressed! By leaving your windows bare, you are missing out on a whole spectacular layer of decorating. While those who are lucky enough to enjoy ocean or mountain views may argue this fact, but even the best of views could be framed by stylish window panels. Windows can be dressed to perfectly suit your style and taste. You can go bold and graphic with geometric curtain panels, or beachy with gauzy white sheers, or minimalist with bamboo shades—-the options are endless. If you are stressing about all the possibilities, then take a cue from the colour schemes that you already have in place. Sometimes the easiest option is to simply match curtain panels to the colour of your walls— doing this creates a look that goes with any style.

Create An Outdoor Room

Sometimes we forget to look outside our very own doors for unused space. Even if your home doesn’t have a large front porch or amazing backyard patio—there is still space to be used. You just need to be inventive. You can create an amazing outdoor space by starting with an outdoor rug to define a “room” outdoors. Then add a couple of comfortable outdoor chairs and throw cushions, a small fire pit, some dangling string lights — Voila! You have added a new “room” to your home. If you want to get fancier, you could put down some brick pavers or flagstones, then layer it with the outdoor rugs, chairs etc. Or you could go all out and install a large pergola, drape the sides with privacy curtains, add an outdoor heater, some music, some wine….yes, this sounds like a great outdoor escape. The pergola install may take the weekend to accomplish, but it would be worth it come Sunday evening when you unwind outdoors with your glass of wine.

Regrout Tile  

There is nothing charming about dingy, dirty grout, and it can make the original tile look just plain old and outdated, instead of cool and retro. If your tile is in good shape and you want to keep it, then you need to redo the grout and caulking definitely. They not only probably need a redo to be as effective as possible, but fresh grout will make your tile surfaces look a whole lot better.

Landscape Your Yard

Landscaping is too often overlooked. We plant one or two trees and assume we are done. However, curb appeal is greatly affected by the design of your landscaping. While not all of us have a green thumb, it can be easy to make a couple raised garden beds or plant more trees and flowering shrubs. Begin with a visit to your local greenhouse. Staff at these stores are full of advice and knowledge about local plant life. Ask them what plants thrive best in your area and, more importantly, what plants are the easiest to care for. Most of these garden centres have a landscape architect on staff who can design a landscaping plan for you, as well. It is best to start slowly by adding a couple flowering shrubs to your front yard, and then add a small raised bed around a walkway or front door. Remember to layer the heights of plants with the tallest in back, and read the planting directions for spacing and projected heights. With time and patience, you will have a beautifully landscaped yard.

Hitch Property Constructions has the best range of renovations services to help you create your dream house.

Add Easy to Install (And Remove) Wallpaper

This is not your Grandmother’s wallpaper. No, we are talking about all of the amazing new removable wallpapers that are currently hitting the market. We are also not talking about those tacky wall decals that say, “Always Kiss me Goodnight”.Rather, the new lines of removable wallpaper come in amazing patterns and graphics that will make your room look like you hired an interior designer (and spent a fortune). These wallpapers are easily removed by simply peeling them off (without harm to the wall underneath), and most can be reused. For an easy weekend project, consider covering the main wall of your bedroom with a peaceful pattern, or consider a living room update by covering one wall with a funky geometric patterned paper. There are numerous online stores where these wonderful wallpaper can be purchased. Just be sure to read the fine print and buy the brands that are top-of-the-line and remove easily.

Ditch the wallpaper

If your home has wallpaper, as many older homes do, now is the time to get rid of it. Old wallpaper is often peeling already, and it can get seriously grimy. If your wallpaper is very old, there is a good chance that you’ll find some areas of mould underneath, so the sooner you remove, the better. Hire a wallpaper remover/steamer from your local hardware store. This is not a job you want to do without one, even if there’s not too much to get rid of.

Spruce-Up Your Bathroom

Bathrooms get dirty and dingy quite quickly. Begin a bathroom overhaul with a thorough cleaning. Yes, not a lot of fun, but the shiny result will give you new motivation to spruce-up the rest of the bathroom. Once the room is clean, look to the outdated knobs, light fixtures, vanity, faucets, and shower curtains. By simply changing out one or two of the most outdated items, you can make your bathroom look modern and new. A coat of paint can really go far in a bathroom, as well. Look to the bathroom below and notice all the shiny white painted trim and blue walls; the modern cabinet pulls; the cool lantern light fixture; the modern faucet; the plush towels, and the pretty plants—-these all add up to a brand-new bathroom, without tearing out cabinets, walls or sinks.

Make a Man Cave

Men are uniting everywhere— in their man caves. While some of us girls don’t get it, men really like to have a man-cave to escape in, a room to call their own, a room to drink with the guys and watch the game in peace. Who can blame them? It does sound like a great escape. Men, here are some tips for creating the ultimate man-cave. First, find a space in your home that you can use, whether it is the basement, the garage, or an outdoor room or outbuilding such as a shed. Then you need to decorate it and make it your ultimate escape. Add a TV, a pool table, a fridge, a bar, some darts, comfortable chairs, rugs, pillows, music…etc. Getting the picture? Make it home. There are a lot of companies that customise garages into amazing man-caves. They install flooring, wall units, and sound systems, essentially turning the garage into a new room in your home. Ladies, maybe we can do the same with a craft room?

When In Doubt Just Clean and Paint

Does this list have you exhausted? Is your home overwhelming you? Maybe you should just start by simply cleaning-up your main living space. A deep-clean can enhance our mood and make our home more livable (and more importantly inspire us to do more). It seems obvious, but a clean coat of paint can take a room from drab to fab. Consider adding a punch of colour on an accent wall, or just touch up your trim with a clean coat of white paint. If your home already has a fresh coat of paint, then look to other things that could use a touch-up. Maybe paint your ceiling a cool blue, or bring new life to an outdated piece of furniture with a new coat of paint. A deep clean and a new coat of paint can go a long way when it comes to revamping our rooms without major renovations.

Keep it simple in space layout, materials, detailing, and furnishings.

As you work to design your modern home, keep the aforementioned tips in mind. Careful attention to these principles will help ensure that you’re on the right track with your modern home design.

And if you really want to make sure you get the kind of modern house that you want, you can always hire a design expert like us to help with the design or provide consultations. Contact us today for help with your modern design. We’d be happy to help you.

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