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Vintage homes can be absolutely stunning, but that doesn’t mean they can’t use a little updating. You don’t necessarily have to invest your time and money in a full renovation: the simplest things can make all the difference when it comes to making your home look brand-new. To help you get started, we’ve collected some budget-friendly tips on how to modernize an old home.

1. Paint

A fresh coat of paint can make all the difference in your home’s aesthetic. A light, modern color scheme not only covers up scuffs and discoloration, but also opens up the room and makes it feel brighter. You can also remove any old, outdated wallpaper and replace it with a fresh coat of paint.

2. Replace the Light Switch Plates

This may seem small, but a dated light switch plate can look very out of place when framed against a newly painted wall. New light switch plates don’t cost much, and they’ll add a subtle touch of newness to your room.

3. Replace Caulk

The caulk between your floor tiles can become discolored and begin to crack. This can really affect the room’s appearance, so we suggest scraping away all the old caulk and replacing it with a bright new layer.

4. Power Wash the Exterior

Power washing your home’s exterior can make a huge difference in the overall look of your home. You may not realize just how much grime has built up on your walls until it’s washed off. You can buy pressure washers for less than a hundred dollars or hire someone to do the job for you.

5. Polish Hardwood Floors

Genuine hardwood floors are highly coveted for their quality. If yours look out of shape, sand them down and give them a good polish. You’ll be left with stunning floors that look as though they were just installed.

6. Make Reproductions

Just as with your floors, you may want to keep and enhance some original aspects of your old home. If the carvings on your staircase have suffered damage, for example, some companies can reproduce them for you so that you can refresh your home while maintaining its vintage look.

7. Update the Lighting

Old bulbs and lighting fixtures can feel very outdated, so you may want to consider replacing them. Install energy-efficient bulbs with cool tones and add in some modern light fixtures.

Here is a great list of tools that help you make these changes happen

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.