8 ways to banish dated interiors

Give your home a lift and refresh your look with a little TLC – just follow our 8 top ideas for a fabulous home

Many of us buy houses, which although in a liveable state, are in need of a cosmetic overhaul to suit our tastes. But don't despair because dated, dark and dingy properties can be ightened, brightened and transformed into the home of your dreams!

living room with photoframe on white wall

(Image credit: Dominic Blackmore)

Go white & bright
A simple first step for a makeover is to give the walls a refresh with white emulsion. This instantly freshens up a space and creates a clean, blank canvas to work with. Introduce a couple of summery accent colours to prevent it looking too clinical, such as yellow or turquoise.

living room with wooden flooring and window with curtains

(Image credit: TBC)

Keep floors light coloured
Flooring in pale, neutral colours helps to create a fresh new look for your living spaces. Choose natural wooden flooring for an easy-to-clean option. Carpeting adds warmth to a relaxed living space, but make sure you use a hardwearing option.

room with printed curtains and flower in vase

(Image credit: TBC)

Lose the chintz
Replace bulky curtains with simple blinds to maximise the amount of light coming in. If you opt for Roman blinds, try to hang them 30cm higher than the top of the window so that when open, the folded fabric is not blocking light from the top section of the window.

living room with wooden flooring and white door

(Image credit: TBC)

Hang modern art
To liven up a tired-looking room, choose dynamic, bright artwork for the walls that will help to shape an uplifting new scheme. Modern art doesn't just have to be for the walls, great fabrics are now available in painterly abstract prints.

kitchen room with orange wall and white kitchen cabinets

(Image credit: TBC)

Opt for gloss
High-shine surfaces reflect light, which makes gloss-finish furniture a great choice for a fresh makeover. Buy a new modern design, or paint an old wooden piece white, topped with shiny varnish.

room with large mirror on blue wall

(Image credit: TBC)

Reflect light
Hang decorative mirrors to increase the feeling of light and space. Choose a style that complements your furniture, for example a square gloss frame to go with contemporary furnishings, or an ornate silver piece for a room with more classic items. For an alternative to a traditional picture gallery, you could collect mirrors in different shapes, and hang together on one wall. 

dining room with dining table and white chairs

(Image credit: TBC)

Let there be light
An obvious way to brighten up a room is to add lighting! Recessed spotlights look neat and provide a large amount of good-quality light. In the kitchen, install lights under the wall units or shelves on a separate switch to those on the ceiling so you can control the mood in the room.

kitchen room with white walls and black kitchen chimney

(Image credit: TBC)

Knock down walls
If your kitchen is small and cramped, why not take drastic action and knock through a wall to create a kitchen-diner? Seek advice on whether this would be possible, and then get quotes from local builders before going ahead. An open-plan layout can suit many people, but consider whether it is right for you and your family before getting the sledgehammer out.


Amy Hodge

Amy Hodge has been working on interiors magazines for over 11 years. She's a freelance writer and sub editor who has worked for some of the UK's leading interiors magazines including Ideal Home, Style at Home and Country Homes & Interiors. She started at Style at Home just after it launched as food editor and is now chief sub editor for Ideal Home, Style at Home and Country Homes & Interiors.