Outdated Living Room With Old Furniture

20 Things That Make a Home Look Outdated

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Old houses have their own charming qualities but most people won’t find a dated look very attractive. If you want to keep your living space stylish, it’s recommended to avoid some things that make the house appear behind the times. Even if you love a particular design trend, it’s almost inevitable that it will become dated at some point.

You don’t necessarily have to give up on your Victorian home aesthetic but you need to consider carefully the use of certain trends and design elements. They can have an unappealing visual effect making the space seem like it hasn’t been updated in ages. If you wish to avoid the “stuck in the past” home look, check out the most important dated home décor elements to avoid.

1. Bed Skirts

Outdated Bedroom With Bed Skirt

While the bed skirt used to be a staple in any bedding set, it’s no longer as popular today. You’re better off giving up on the bed skirt if you wish to avoid an outdated look. The primary function of a bed skirt is to hide the stored items under the bed. However, this is no longer an important concern for many people. Lots of modern beds feature integrated drawers or other designs that make the bed skirt unnecessary.

2. Popcorn Ceiling

Popcorn Ceiling Texture

Another trend that makes your home look outdated is the popcorn ceiling. This type of texture used to have a big moment in the past but has since fallen out of favor. Popcorn texture on the ceiling can be part of the reason why your home feels dated. Many homeowners still use the texture because replacing it can be quite difficult. Some ceilings that feature it contain asbestos making the process dangerous.

3. Built-In Media Cabinets

Classic Media Cabinet

The days when TVs used to be wide and bulky are long gone now. We are living in the age of flat screens making it pretty pointless to use a large media cabinet. These clunky cabinets have been replaced by slimmer furniture that takes up less space. Many homes don’t even require media furniture because televisions can be more conveniently mounted on the wall.

4. Millennial Pink

Millenial Pink Bedroom

Decorating your home with this flamboyant color is not a good idea if you’re worried about an outdated look. Despite its huge popularity, millennial pink is nowadays considered dated. It still has its place when used sparingly but complete room makeovers are no longer trendy. If you really love the color, try incorporating it only through simple accents on a neutral-toned background.

5. Matching Furniture Set

Generic Looking Matching Furniture Set

Considering the rise of maximalism and other bold décor trends in recent years, it’s not surprising to see that classic approaches fall out of favor. Using matching furniture sets can easily make your home outdated but that doesn’t mean you should take the opposite approach and embrace a chaotic aesthetic. The idea is to add some personality using carefully chosen pieces without making the look of the room resemble a furniture store catalog.

6. Carpeting

Carpeted Floor in Walk in Closet

Wall-to-wall carpeting is terribly outdated. You should update the look of the room with the help of modern area rugs. Interior designers don’t have strict rules in this regard because rugs of any size and style still look better than full-room carpeting. If you favor a bolder aesthetic, consider overlapping throw rugs.

7. Chintz Wallpaper

Chintz Wallpaper

A colorful floral pattern that enjoyed a lot of use in the 19th-century, chintz is now associated with old homes and dated designs. Wallpapers using this style are still popular for décor approaches such as granny chic. Chintz florals are able to contribute to an overall eclectic vibe but the style is difficult to incorporate properly unless you’re really striving to recreate an authentic vintage aesthetic.

8. Word Art

Kitschy Word Art in Outdated Room

Popularized by the farmhouse style, the décor pieces that include word art can be considered guilty of making your home appear dated. While they seem cute at first, all these basic decorations featuring basic phrases and simple platitudes are kitschy and should be avoided to keep your house looking fresh. If you enjoy the rustic style, you can decorate the home without showcasing “Live, laugh, love” art pieces.

9. Pine Furniture

Pine Dresser

Pine is no longer the staple when it comes to wood types used for furniture. If your home is predominantly furnished with pine furniture, it’s safe to say that it can appear outdated. Focus on more attractive woods like walnut and teak or restrict the use of pine to just a few select pieces. The dated visual effect of pine can be stronger when the furniture style is also really old.

10. Ruffly Comforters

Ruffly Comforter

Using ruffly comforters for your bedding is a sure way to make your bedroom look outdated. This style makes it appear as if your design tastes are stuck in the past. Ruffly comforters are part of a forgotten trend that reached its peak in the 90s. Modernize your bedding with a different style featuring fun colors or vibrant patterns.

11. Tuscan Décor

Outdated Tuscan Kitchen Style

Many Tuscan-inspired décor elements feel no longer relevant in modern times. This style can infuse any room with a dated vibe. The kitchen can give a strong outdated impression if you use rustic cabinetry or arched entryways based on the Tuscan design style. While there’s nothing wrong with this aesthetic, it’s safe to say that Tuscan décor doesn’t feel as fresh as it used to a decade ago.

12. Heavy Window Treatments

Heavy Curtains on Bay Windows

Bulky curtains give the impression of cramped living areas of the past. Making use of a heavy window treatment suggests an outdated look. The reason for this is the overwhelming presence of large drapes that can change the vibe of the whole room. Another aspect is the difficult maintenance that also makes heavy curtains less popular than they used to be.

13. Beige Walls

Beige Walls in Outdated Living Room

Neutral tones are more popular than ever but beige might feel outdated with certain design approaches. The best example is having beige walls because other neutrals such as gray are preferred in modern times. Despite its superior elegance, gray isn’t a good alternative if you like the warm style of beige. In that case, it’s recommended to focus on a combination of hues such as greige.

14. Artificial Flowers

Fake Flowers in a Glass Vase

Although maintaining live plants takes more effort, the visual effect is clearly superior to using artificial options. Faux flowers look outdated because they’re reminiscent of an old era. The shiny plastic requires no maintenance but can affect the look of the room negatively. It’s simply a kitsch element, especially when the artificial flowers are embellished with colored sand or other sparkly elements.

15. Ironwork Furniture

Decorative Iron Chair

Ironwork elements can look quite attractive in a home but only when used correctly. This aesthetic is typically better suited for the exterior of the home. Ornate wrought iron can bring out some solid antique vibes. However, if you use the style for furniture pieces such as coffee tables, it’s safe to say that it looks outdated. The curved angles are no longer compatible with the modern trends focused on straight angles.

16. Wall-to-Wall Square Tiles

Bathroom With White Square Tiles

If you’re looking to upgrade the look of your bathroom tiles, you’ll probably notice that many options focus on subway tiles or more interesting patterns such as hexagons or mosaics. This is not surprising considering that classic wall-to-wall square tiles are no longer trendy. The standard look of these tiles will easily make the bathroom appear dated.

17. Dark Wood Paneling

Dark Wood Paneling in Home Office

Wall paneling is a forgotten trend that can give the appearance of an outdated space. Modern interiors can still make use of these wood panels, however, if you choose a light-tone paint. Dark wood paneling provides the classic dated feel that you should avoid. It’s not a big issue because wood paneling is relatively easy to freshen up. You can still find creative ways to make real wood attractive but panels that only mimic the look should be removed.

18. White Kitchen Appliances

White Kitchen Appliances in Outdated Kitchen

White appliances in the kitchen are no longer as ubiquitous as they used to be. They enjoyed considerable popularity when the idea of integrated kitchen appliances first appeared. It’s not difficult to see why. White kitchen appliances were the standard of affordability and practicality for most homeowners. The modern trends favor stainless steel, gray, or other styles rather than white making these appliances outdated.

19. Glass Block Walls

Glass Block Wall in the Shower

Mostly used in the shower, these walls had a big moment in the 80s. Glass blocks helped a lot in terms of increasing the level of natural light in the bathroom but without sacrificing privacy completely. The same purpose today is fulfilled by modern shower curtains or glass enclosures. It’s a rare sight to still find a glass block wall in a home instead of a sleek shower screen.

20. Ceiling Fans

Ceiling Fan in Bedroom

Ceiling fans are really valued during hot summers but they contribute to an outdated look. Despite its overall practicality, it doesn’t make much sense for many homeowners to still use a ceiling fan when other more reliable cooling or venting technologies exist. If you’re looking to upgrade the style of the room, consider getting rid of the ceiling fan and mounting an air conditioning unit. The area should feel less like an old movie set.


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