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Avoid These 10 Things if You Don’t Want an Outdated Kitchen

Is Your Kitchen Outdated?

We all love old houses; they have a certain vibe. They have an intricate architectural style that tells a good story from the past and a specific classic character that feels rather familiar and welcoming. Truth be told, a place with a lot of history behind it represents a major interest for many potential buyers.

But some aspects of an old home could feel a bit more outdated than just retro. Stepping through the front door of a 1970s rancher could often feel like a time warp. And even if keeping the home’s original character is really a good idea, making the much-needed updates is still mandatory.

This way, you won’t feel stuck in another decade. Repainting the exterior, for instance, is one of the easiest ways to freshen up your old home. Moreover, some interior design trends, like wood paneling, popcorn ceilings, and vertical blinds, should be left in the past for good. Here are some things that will make your house seem “older”:

Photo by ehrlif from Shutterstock

Busy granite countertops

There’s one thing that will instantly make your home look outdated, and that is the material of your kitchen countertops. Busy granite ages any space almost instantly. The dizzying pattern of the heavy slabs points towards an unwelcome focal point. Moreover, it generally overpowers the rest of the room.

Outdated cabinetry

Granite countertops generally pair with natural wood cabinets, even if pine and hickory cabinetry could easily date your kitchen’s style back a couple of decades at the least. Besides, cabinetry with gold and brass fixtures reveals how the kitchen hasn’t had any proper updates in ages.

Ceramic tile countertops

Another countertop material that ages right away in your kitchen is tile. Ceramic tile counters crack super easy, and they truly don’t stand up to the ongoing demands of a hardworking kitchen. Moreover, bright white grout rapidly gets stained by inevitable spills, which leaves any clean space out there looking a bit dirty.

Outdated colors

Color trends change all the time, and that’s the downside of “keeping up with the trends.” Well, in the 1970s, people were very into bold colors such as avocado green or poppy red in kitchens. Repainting cabinetry, for example, is a super cost-efficient way of bringing back a brand-new look (and even incorporating some color) to the room.

Old window treatments

Truth be told, nothing really dates a house like the look of rusty and dusty window treatments. Those drapes with dated styles, heavy fabrics, and ornate paneling only reveal an older decor. You can opt for a modern or even custom blind to make your home way more contemporary. Over-the-top floral window treatments are also a rather common indication of outdated decor.

Clashing backsplash

Picking a backsplash that doesn’t interfere with the busy-looking granite pattern is also a huge challenge. What’s even worse is that replacing kitchen countertops can be quite pricey. Purchasing granite remnants rather than simply investing in slabs could be seen as an efficient way to save some money. Or, you could keep the original countertops and freshen up the space in many other ways.

Busy wallpaper prints

Mixing all sorts of clashing prints can truly date any home, but this rule still has its exceptions. Here, it depends on the style. For instance, a courageous and expressive wallpaper might be a wonderful leftover from the 1970s and 1980s decorating styles, but more modern wallpaper can also have quite a maximalist look. It’s worth noting that if the wallpaper is meant to be bright but looks a bit faded, then it’s probably a wonderful idea to exchange it for something new or go with a neutral paint color instead.

Wood paneling

Wood paneling is often found in homes that have been built from the 1950s through the 1970s. Back then, wood paneling was quite an inexpensive and easy-to-install option for wall decor. As an alternative, if you like the look of wood paneling, you should try updating it with a brand-new wood stain or even a paint color. Also, a wainscotted wall sometimes tends to seem more modern.

Dim light fixtures

Lighting can truly have a positive or negative impact on the way a room looks, and it all depends on your choice. For instance, overhead lighting and fluorescent bulbs might cast a rather harsh light. It’s much better to have a strategically placed row of pendant lights or even a variety of table and floor lamps.

outdated kitchen
Photo by Joseph Hendrickson from Shutterstock

Outdated appliances

If the appliances are old, then the whole room will seem dated. White and small appliances sometimes give off an outdated feeling. Even if appliances are often on the list of super-costly updates, they can truly impact your home’s future real estate value.

Ways to improve your kitchen: replace all handles and knobs

These are commonly known as the “jewels” of the kitchen, and they can add that subtle refresh without spending a lot of money. Whether you decide to buy online or from your DIY store, you need to make sure that the distance between your handleholes is properly measured. Otherwise, they won’t fit!

Update the backsplash.

In any outdated kitchen, a dingy backsplash (which is the wall behind your sink and oven) can be quite depressing. If you want to modernize a tiled backsplash without actually replacing it, you should consider re-grouting. This will spruce it up a bit. Also, dig out the old grout and make sure you replace it with a new one.


As any professional kitchen redecorator out there, you need to remind yourself how powerful a deep cleaning can be. In fact, even the oldest and most worn-out cupboards could look brighter with a proper swab!

A dampened microfiber cloth and a bit of detergent are the best ways to care for your painted kitchen. Moreover, you can scrub with some vinegar and some soda bicarbonate, so you can finally see how bright those tile floors can shine!

Add textiles

Incorporating fabrics into your kitchen will definitely change the look in a matter of minutes. Textiles soften any hard surface and add much-needed depth. Laying the “runner” extends the space and also helps prevent slippery floors. You can also use some accent bolds, stripes, and patterns in cloths and tea towels because they’re much easier to swap and they also add a much-needed pop of color.


Truth be told, nothing really screams “new” like bright kitchen lighting. You can easily replace the existing lights with new, more modern ones that are also lower in energy. If you can’t do it by yourself, don’t hesitate to bring in an electrician. Better ask for help than mess with wiring!

Upgrade the appliances.

If you’re dealing with mismatched appliances, then no wonder they look a bit traditional and out of touch! It gets even worse when they start to fade and discolor over time. If you’re looking for an upgrade, we recommend you try modern stainless steel.

It has a timeless appeal, and some of the retro models out there could truly make awesome statements. Before you rush into buying anything, you need to make sure your new appliances fit the space you have on hand. You should consider replacing one item at a time and spreading the cost of your upgrade.

If you found this article useful, we also recommend reading: How To Stop Mice From Getting Indoors Naturally – 7 Simple Secrets To Success!


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