How to Modernize Your Home, Your Way

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This collection of modern home ideas will help you make interior updates and renovations that suit your personal style and budget. Start with the six “golden rules,” and start planning!

modern living room with yellow sofa and wicker ottoman

Six Golden Rules to Make Your House More Modern

First, memorize these all-encompassing golden rules for modernizing a home.

  1. Less is more. If every item in your home has a purpose and ample space, the entire place will automatically feel more modern. Start clearing the clutter and extra furniture now!
  2. Choose statement pieces. When deciding how to modernize your home, choose a statement piece for every distinct area.
  3. Focus on light and space. Wherever you can, make your home feel open and bright, rather than closed in. This can mean adding light fixtures or windows, knocking down walls, and more.
  4. Avoid the matchy-matchy. One of the markers of an old-fashioned home is the presence of a lot of matching items. Instead of worrying about matching, focus on expressing your style through your home.
  5. Texturize. Remove dated or traditional patterns in your home, replacing them with textured items that create depth. This can apply to your furniture, art, and more – just not your old popcorn ceiling!
  6. Let colors pop. If you go for a pure-white room with a black countertop, you’ll probably miss color in a week. Neutrals and light colors are fabulous, but adding some pops of color brings warmth and personality.

Now it’s time to dig into some specific modern home ideas and formulate your plan.

If you decide you need help from local professionals, the family of home service pros at Neighborly® can help! Just search for whatever service you need.

Modern Home Ideas by Category

Furniture and Décor

Don’t worry – you probably don’t need to replace all your furniture to create a modern feeling.

Some of these updates should do the trick:

  • If you have matching furniture sets, move some of the furniture to another room to avoid breaking the matchy-matchy rule.
  • As a statement piece, consider a brightly colored geometric chair or couch that works with the architectural style of your home.
  • Donate or re-cover furniture that has a dated pattern like paisley, flowers, plaid, polka dots, etc.
  • Replace floral or lace curtains with a more neutral option, such as wheat-colored linen drapes.
  • Add décor with subtle pops of color that complement your statement piece.
  • Don’t forget plants! They will warm up any space, even if you opt for a highly neutral color palette.
  • Add three-dimensional art to the walls. For example, have a custom mirror made, or add some glass shelving.
  • Open up space by replacing large dressers and cupboards with built-in storage. If you need a reliable team for the job, see if Mr. Handyman® is available in your area.
  • Ready to get rid or your cumbersome four-post bed or big headboard? Get a simpler bed with no headboard; then add a large art piece behind it! This gives the impression of a headboard without cluttering the room.

Walls, Windows, and Trim

Whether you’re wondering how to modernize your home on the cheap or you want to go big, you’ll probably want to update your walls.

Explore these options:

  • Have wood paneling? Learn how to paint it, or remove it altogether.
  • Paint your walls in light, neutral colors – with the occasional pop of color. If you’re dreading DIY painting and/or need help deciding on colors, hire a team with lots of experience.
  • Remove a few non-load-bearing walls to open your home up! Not only will this make it feel bigger and more modern, but an open floorplan is also more conducive to socializing and entertaining.
  • Replace wrought-iron details, inside and out. A lot of older homes have an iron porch or stair railings that don’t really mesh with the house’s overall style.
  • Unpainted pine trim, cabinets, and paneling don’t have a modern feel. Replace or paint unfinished pine wherever it lurks.
  • Add lovely tile to the shower – or even the entire lower half of your bathroom walls. This is a simple modern home idea with a big impact, especially if there’s existing tile with a more retro look. For a flawless installation, hire a reliable handyman.
  • Install bigger windows or additional windows. This modern home idea is a big project best left to experienced professionals. Once the job is finished, you’ll see how the extra light makes your home feel newer and more comfortable.

Lighting, Plumbing, and Technology

Modernizing a home isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s about convenience, function, and safety too. You should have it all!

  • Consider upgrading to stainless steel appliances or appliances with cabinet-style fronts. Or simply ask an expert to maintain your existing appliances so they run like new.
  • Have a programmable or smart thermostat installed so you can save energy and be comfy.
  • If you want metallic light fixtures or plumbing fixtures, stick to one or two metals. For a softer look, opt for a matte-finish material. If you already have copper or brass fixtures, consider keeping them – they’re back in style in some applications.
  • Add light dimmers. This update helps you achieve the ambiance you’re going for, any time of day.
  • Choose custom lighting to highlight your favorite gathering areas and art displays.
  • Consider upgrading to water-saving showerheads and toilets.
  • Install whole-house audio and a smart security system.

Need a dependable electrician or plumber for some of these tasks? Mr. Electric® and Mr. Rooter® are trusted Neighborly home service brands that may be available near you.

Ceiling and Flooring

The ceiling and flooring are often the most dated parts of a home. Modernize them to achieve the look you want.

Get the Help You Need

It’s hard enough deciding how to modernize your home. Then you have to figure out how to make it happen and which service providers you need to hire.

How do you find trustworthy help? Easy. Neighborly will connect you with reliable home service pros right in your neighborhood. Just type in the service you need.

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