I think we all walk through homes with rose colored glasses. Every time I’ve bought a house (3 times now) I find things afterward. Perhaps it is different when the house is empty. I prefer to think somehow someone slips glasses on us and hides all of the flaws. When we purchased our home it was a nightmare. I’ve told that story before. What we didn’t realize was all of the small stuff that needed updating. We did a lot of easy home updates that helped our house look more modern and, most of all, helped it look more clean!
Update the Outlets
You don’t have to be an electrician to update your outlets. This is something that I did all on my own at my first house. I had zero help whatsoever and the house is still standing today. My trick is to duplicate exactly what you see when you pull out the outlet. There are a lot of different sayings and ways people remember which wire goes where. I still find that to be confusing. With older houses you may not have those wire colors either and things may be a little backwards. The best practice is to replicate whatever is on the outlet when you take it out.
In my first house, all of the outlets had been painted. It looked tacky and made the outlets look dirty. In our current house they had already updated about half the outlets. The rest of them had yellowed greatly over time. I was shocked when I put them next to each other. This is one of those things that when we walked through the house they looked white to me! I’m telling you, it’s the glasses.
I shouldn’t have to elaborate on this. If you want to update your home the very best way to do that is to paint it. I always say a little paint goes a long way. It has transformed the homes we lived in. It’s a lot of work but it is so well worth it. We used Magnolia Home paint from Ace and were so impressed with how it covered.
Update the Vents
Vents tend to take a beating over the years. They are often getting hit by furniture being moved or, more often, vacuums. This leaves them with marks or scratches that shows their age and, again, makes them look dirty. I actually tried to clean up the vents that we had in our current house and I just couldn’t get them clean. They had a pretty yellowed look which showed their age. They also smoked in our house so I think that had an impact on our white being yellow. Bright white vents next to our nice white trim looked so clean and fresh.
Update the Lights
I am a light fanatic. I notice them wherever I go and I spend a lot of time picking out the “perfect” lights for our homes. I’ve gotten several compliments on our lights and a lot of people ask me where I get them. It’s such an easy thing to update that I did them all on my own in my first house. Again, you don’t have to be an electrician to figure it out. I’ve found that older lights tend to be more dim than the ones that I install. If you don’t want people to see all the nooks and crannies of your house they might be worth leaving. I prefer to install new lights that match with my decor and also brighten up the rooms to make them more comfortable.
As a side note I prefer to get my lights from Home Depot. We have the farmhouse theme in our house (because it’s a farmhouse) and they have so many that match well. I was never able to find anything in the store though. I’ve had to order them online and still hope they look good. For this house I also tried some lights from Amazon. We tried one at the old house that was super cheap and looked terrible. I got a hit and a miss with the lights at this house. One that I ordered I loved. The other that I ordered broke within minutes of my husband trying to put it up. Take that for what you will. I know there are other good light places too but these were the ones that I found to be affordable too.
Paint the Trim
This is one of the worst tasks but it has a big impact! In my first house I had plain old wood trim. It was trim that they had stained and put in years ago. When I bought the place my parents went in and sprayed it all white with paint. This gave me a huge head start and I highly recommend this if you have time. I tried painting my trim by hand and it took several coats for it to even look remotely okay. The spray, on the other hand, took only a couple coats to completely cover the stain. In our current house we already had white trim but it needed an update. Trim, like vents, tends to take a beating over time. Scuffs from all kinds of stuff make it look dingy and old. Throw down some tape on the floor before you paint the walls and roller some paint on!
Paint the Interior Doors
This is another thing that I did in my first house and we did in the current house. My husband was utterly shocked when I put a coat of paint on our doors. He could not believe how yellow they were compared to the paint. They just didn’t look outright yellow until you started to put the white around them. I knew when I painted the trim that the doors would also need a fresh coat. Again, just use your roller and add a fresh coat. If you are starting with wood this is another scenario where I recommend spraying. We did this in the first house and eliminated the need for a lot of hand painting and layers.
The best part about all of these home updates is that they are relatively inexpensive and easy to do. No matter who you are and what your skill level is you should feel confident that you can make these updates too. They will make your home look fresher, brighter, and cleaner! What is the first thing that you update when you move into a new home? Let us know in the comments!