6 Features that Make a Room Look Dated

interior of living room with furniture

Just like clothes, room decor fashions change, and things that were in style years ago aren’t favored anymore. When things change, so many homeowners find themselves with homes that don’t quite fit in with decor trends of today.

Some things are pretty obvious. For example, you understand that bar stools are a far better option for a kitchen island than standard chairs. However, other decor ideas tend to be based on the tastes of decorators and designers. How do you know if a room in your home is dated, and what can you do to spruce it up and bring it into this era?

Here are 6 things that make your home look dated, along with possible changes you can make.

Heavy Curtains With Print

Remember when curtains had very busy flower prints in colors like red, green and orange? Nowadays curtains that have that look along with being really heavy and thick look extremely old. Those thick curtains feel so vintage now, and they are not in-line with current room trends.

Nowadays, the best, stylish and most beautiful curtains are pretty much one color, low or no print, and are usually quite neutral and not extremely heavy.

It’s a shift in mindset, where curtains are now taking the backseat to well-designed furniture pieces and decorative items like indoor plants, minimalist artwork and other smaller furnishings.

Curtains are not supposed to take over the room, they are meant to quietly enhance what’s in it.


Minimalism is no longer a fringe movement, it’s the look most people are after. Not everyone is willing to leave a room with next to nothing in it, so some are just paring things down instead.

Gone are the bookcases filled from edge to edge with heavy books. Now bookcases feature different items, from ornaments and bookends to small pieces of art – this breaks up the books and creates more openness.

Less is more, and people are picking the pieces for their homes more thoughtfully so you won’t see floors filled with large couches, lots of stools and side tables or any other indicators of clutter. As a result, a cluttered room looks a lot like an old room because that was something people did years ago.

Clutter is so undesirable that if you’re selling a house, Realtors want you to clear it up for your home to be more valuable to potential buyers. If your home is cluttered, the good news is you don’t have to do a whole lot to make it look better, you just have to edit down what you have, declutter, and leave on display the beautiful essentials.

Old Brass Chandeliers & Wall Sconces

We all love wall sconces and built in light fixtures, and back in the day, the more elaborate and brassy the piece, the better. Now, this just looks really old and out of place, especially because the light fixtures that are in trend now are completely different.

Firstly, if the sconce or chandelier is really old, it might look really worn down and dull, which is what contributes to how dated it looks.

Sconces are still quite popular but they definitely lean more minimalist now, so if you have an old brass one, consider switching it up to a lamp with just a bare Edison bulb. It will instantly modernize the room. Plus you can find another use for the old stuff so it’s not a total loss.

Too Much Glass

Back in the early to mid-2000s, it seemed like having a lot of glass in your home was chic, now glass just doesn’t seem to look quite right. There was a time where a glass coffee table, dining table, side table and even TV cabinet was the most stylish look.

Now too much glass seems to make a room feel cold and lacking in character. While we do still see singular glass pieces, they now come in the form of curved tempered glass which looks softer and more inviting. There’s been a huge trend in the DIY world of covering up glass vases and decorative pieces with paint because it just looks better.

Textured Ceilings

Popcorn and textured ceilings were very popular in the 1980s, it was a time when a lot was done to ceilings and walls through things like plastering. Nowadays, they just make a room look really old and heavy.

One of the biggest problems with this type of texture is that it makes ceilings look lower, which goes completely against the idea of open airiness that has become the decorating standard today.

Removing texture from your ceiling is one of the most labor intensive processes in home renovating, but achieving a smoother look will absolutely give your room a makeover, so it’s worth it.

Full Wood Paneling

On home renovation shows, one of the telltale signs of a dated room is wood paneling covering on all four walls, full coverage wood paneling which is associated with the 1970s. There’s just something about that look that makes it really obvious that a room was designed decades ago.

Nowadays walls tend to be less overdone. Even if there’s wood paneling, it’s usually done as an accent like the very slatted wood accent walls that are very popular right now. Removing wood paneling really opens up a room and instantly brings it into 2021.

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