Creative Home Renovations: Turning Old Spaces into Modern Marvels | the ReFab Diaries

Your home is a space of your very own to express your personality and take a reprieve from the daily responsibilities of your life. Seeing all these beautifully modern homes decorated in chic fashion can make you feel like the older and more dated areas of your home have no hope. 

However, all you have to do is get creative and these older living spaces can be turned into modern marvels! Those uniquely old spaces in your home — be it an in-wall shelving unit, an old lazy Susan, or even a tiny dining room — can all be transformed into a beautiful and enjoyable place to call your own. 

Whether you want to overhaul your entire home so it has a more modern appeal or you just wish to transform awkward rooms into spaces more streamlined for the rest of your home, here are tips that can allow you to make your home renovation or rehabilitation come to life. 

Start With Color 

Color is a great way to modernize a dated living space and make an area appear brighter, newer, and more refreshing. Older spaces often have a stark white contrast to the rest of the rooms or worse — can be outfitted with trending colors of the past (baby pink or avocado green, anyone?) or even be covered in severely antiqued wallpaper. 

Adding color to your living space enlivens the older rooms and makes them look more engaging (stick to earth-based tones like sage, sand, sunny yellow, or even ocean blue), thus modernizing these spaces with very little effort. If you don’t know where to start, pick a single wall in these spaces to turn into an accent wall to paint then go from there. 

Incorporate Recycled Relics

Just because a space is older doesn’t mean you can’t pay homage to its antique or unique beauty as part of the renovation. Recycling relics you inherit from loved ones or that you find for a steal at vintage and thrift stores can make these older rooms more meaningful. For example, you can place vintage lace curtains in an older bathroom or hang an antique mirror in a giant entry or great room to bring the past to the future in a modern way. 

The key to incorporating reused or recycled relics is to not pick an entire theme, otherwise you date and age the entire space and defeat the purpose. Instead, you want to mix recycled and charming relics with more modern embellishments to blend the past of your home’s history with the modern appeal you enjoy in your property today. 

Add Decidedly Trending Pieces To Your Older Property

Some locations in the US have decidedly older properties than others, with the national average age of an owner-occupied home being around four decades old. Some states, like Utah, for example, may have seen rapid growth in housing and have many newer properties being built as a result, while other states, such as Pennsylvania, may have slower growth and therefore, less new builds being constructed.

Philadelphia properties are no strangers to age and many homes can be several decades old. While this makes for creatively-designed and constructed homes as a result, it can also make for confusion as to just how to modernize a space for convenient living. There are several ways you can modernize your home so those old and unused spaces are more warm and inviting. An easy way to do this is to incorporate trending pieces that would easily be showcased in any brand-new home. An example of this would be placing a round shelving unit in your bathroom or family room or a chevron-patterned rug in your living room. 

Not sure what pieces to incorporate? Use your personality as well as your interests as your main guides. AI home design tools can also offer personalized suggestions based on your preferences and existing decor.

You can also use home improvement magazines as your guide to inspire you. Or, you could explore  MainLinePhillyHomes properties for sale in your area to get an idea of what other Philadelphia homeowners are doing to modernize their properties. These modern home improvement ideas and additions can quickly turn old spaces into modernized and inspired areas to hang out and enjoy. 

Choose Great Lighting 

The right lighting will make your home more soft and alluring. Many older room spaces are either large and bulky or tight and cramped, so classic white lighting (or blue-white lighting) makes these spaces appear even harsher. The goal here is to find balance by bringing in two different types of lighting: either soft yellow lighting or natural lighting. 

Where you can, utilize natural lighting as much as possible in every room of the house, not just the older and more dated areas. This brings your entire house together and makes whole spaces appear warm, bright, and engaging. 

Where natural light can’t be used to its fullest, opt for soft yellow lighting instead. The softer yellow lighting is less harsh on the eyes and allows you to feel the ambiance of a living space. If you still prefer traditional white lighting, consider adding a few soft yellow-lighted lamps in the corners of these rooms to give them a few intimate focal points to bring the space together. 

Alternatively, you can keep the existing lighting in these spaces as they are and have an electrician install dimmer switches in these dated rooms. This small modern enhancement can turn the older space into a more modern luxury and give you all the more reason to relax and recline in these forgotten spaces. 

Before Picking Your Project

Your home can use a few creative touches but don’t forget about your budget and how much time you want to dedicate to your living space. The best thing to do is to line out a plan for how you want to renovate your living space so you can complete projects one at a time without getting overwhelmed. Choose a room that needs modernizing most and stick with the space until it’s completed, then move on to the next. This way, you stay motivated from start to finish. 

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