Old homes have character. And what makes them charming is the thought that for decades, it has witnessed a great many family ties that have flourished in it. If you are one of the lucky few who own a beautiful old house that you want to preserve, there are so many ways of doing it. But to add some touch-ups to make it stand out even more while downplaying the imperfections, you will need some creativity and a lot of advice from experts. 

Here’s how you can refresh that old home and still keep its glorious past intact. 

Reglaze Your Old Tub

Do you have an old bathtub? You can improve the look by having it reglazed. For below $1,000, you can revive your bathtub’s original luster. A professional who specializes in refinishing can help you. Instead of buying a new tub, retain your sturdy, old clawfoot bathtub and trust your Cambridge tub reglazing expert to do a perfect job of transforming it.

Strip Away Old Wallpaper

If your decades-old home still has wallpaper, you can get rid of it. Old wallpaper can be peeling off and looks dirty even after some cleaning. You might discover that there is mold underneath it. So, you should remove them before it becomes hazardous to your health. You will need a wallpaper steamer to remove it, so hire a professional who can do the job. 

Go White and Bold

Many decades ago, people built houses with so much detail. Moldings are intricate, doors are handcrafted, and vintage windows are of stained glass. These are what make an older home very pleasing to the eye. In earlier times, a home has a certain flair. It has a personality that is mysterious in an appealing way.

If you want to improve your old home, go with white paint and then go bold with darker colors. Your first task is to paint your ceiling and walls with one color – white. Paint all moldings with glossy white to highlight it. Doing so will attract attention to it. It works well in living room areas where you receive guests.


Another way of highlighting parts of your home after painting walls, ceilings, and moldings all-white is to color your doors with a darker or bolder shade. Charcoal gray blends well with white in that it stands out. It is eye-catching when it contrasts with the white walls. You preserve and highlight the best of the past.

If you feel white is too dainty, you can also try neutral colors and contrast it with a different almost-neutral shade for doors. Follow the same rule of painting the wall, ceiling, and molding with the same color. Also, use the same color style for the rest of the areas in the house. It will give it a seamless and tied together look.

Restore Stained Glass Windows

Your antique stained glass windows are in itself a beautiful piece in your home. But since it’s been there for decades, it may have lost its beauty. Wipe the glass with soap and lukewarm water. Wet a clean rag, wring it dry, and wipe the windows. Do not wash. Also, never use store-bought window cleaners. Some have harsh ingredients like ammonia. It can damage antique windows, especially the types that are of leaded glass. If mold is present, mix one-part vinegar with four parts of water. Dab a clean cloth in this solution. Wring it dry and wipe the surface of the glass to remove mold.

A clean stained glass window is like a piece of art that stands out against a white wall.

Switch to In-Window Shades

It is time to change those heavy drapes if it conceals your glass window trim. Show off your antique window trims. Do not hide it from anyone’s view. Also, you are blending the old with the new if you do this. There are so many window shades in the market today. The easiest ones to maintain are cellular shades. It repels dust and is anti-static. Because of these, they do not require frequent dusting. You can use a vacuum cleaner to clean the fabric. 

Hide the Flaws

Unfortunately, some 100-year old houses come with windows in unexpected areas of the house. And you cannot stop noticing it every time you walk past it. But do not feel stressed by it. There are solutions for every home issue. Since replacing that window with a new wall is more costly, you can cover it with a full drapery made of light material. The room will not lose its soft vibe. Also, you do not block the sunlight from seeping through the window at day time. 

Replace Big Bookcases

Many old homes have huge wood bookcases that run from wall to wall. While these are charming, they may feel and look too heavy in the eye. Replace these with open shelving units that are modern and stylish. Choose shelves with antique finish frames to match the rest of the furniture. You can put your antique collectibles in it like old small sculptures, clear antique glass vases, and some books. Arrange them in an organized way. The goal is to give this storage space a clutter-free look. Add some potted plants in small wicker baskets to complete the look. 

Decorate With Reproduced Art 

Reproduced art is cheap, but here is a way to make it look expensive. Frame it in an expensive-looking frame. If you have one, you can also use your antique frame. Hang it in your family room or one of your bedrooms. You can also buy the work of a local artist in your area. Put it in the living room. It can become an interesting talking piece for the next thanksgiving party.  

Restore Old Furniture

You don’t have to buy new furniture. Keep it but refurbish it if your budget allows it. Modern furniture that you have now does blend with the old traditional home. It just takes some creativity and good taste. Reupholster but stick to soft colors. Another way of improving the look of your sofa is to buy throw pillow covers that are textured. Again, choose neutrals with clean lines. When you do this, it will not appear forced. 

Blend Old With New

In designing and improving your old home, remember to keep the old vibe, and blend it with the new. Even if you live in an old house and have some antique pieces, you still have modern appliances like a TV and gadgets like a computer in your indoor living areas. So to make them go together, it will help to display modern along with vintage pieces of artwork. But make sure they go together.

Try Distressed Furniture

Find distressed furniture in yard sales and flea markets in your area. Many homeowners are selling old wares and old furniture as a way of getting rid of junk to create more space in their homes. Choose pieces that will match your home interior. Incorporating a vintage dresser for the master’s bedroom or antique accent chair (a curved backed chair, for instance) in the living room is a good start. Just make sure that the colors match and again, buy pieces in neutral colors even if they are distressed. 

If you have free time (one weekend, maybe), you may also do it yourself. Get sandpaper and rub it on the surface of an old piece of furniture. Then, apply a light coat of paint. Apply some wax and another layer of paint. Distress the surface with the use of steel wool and sandpaper. Apply stain, but this is optional. Lastly, top it off with Polyurethane.


Create Separate Zones

Most old houses have minimal wall partitions. Some have wide-open spaces and do not have dividers at all between living rooms, kitchens, dining areas, and studies. You can break the areas of your home into zones even without installing walls or dividers. Use area rugs in the living room to visually separate it from the dining room. If your flooring is of wood, apply some floor wax to keep it shiny and looking new. A light-colored, textured rug will look good on a glossy wood floor. 

The Rewards of Revitalizing Your Home

A lot of folks like you might put a home improvement project in the backseat because it may not be a priority at this time. However, the longer you delay it, the harder it will be to execute it later on. The cost of materials and labor keeps rising every year. Moreover, you cannot foretell if you will have the luxury of time to plan and do it in the coming years. So now that you have more time for planning and execution, today is the best time to go for it. 

It is going to be challenging to revitalize an old home, all the more if you have a limited budget. But doing it now (not tomorrow) will up your chances of finally living in a beautiful home where the old meets the new.