Budget-Friendly Upgrades to Modernize Your Home
Remember our run-down of 5 Signs Your Home is Stuck in the 90s? Well, we couldn’t resist adding a few more to the list! And this time, we’re talking all about those deja vu trends that are so rooted in 90s decor lore that it’s hard to believe they were ever in style. But of course, if you own a home that had a featured selling point of pristine wallpaper borders in every room, then you are all too familiar with the reality. Fear not, though! Everything in today’s post is budget friendly. So, if an extensive remodel just isn’t in the cards for this year, you can still make some changes that we guarantee will have a major impact (and will bring you right into the present day).
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#1 – Hunter Green & Burgundy
Ultra-saturated hues of green, red, blue, and everything in between seem to be everywhere right now, and if you’ve got a shade in a soft sage or a bold wine red, you’re sure to be right on trend. But a good old fashioned hunter green or burgundy (or both)? You’re living in a 90s decor world, baby. Luckily, getting rid of this color is as easy as slapping on a few new coats of paint. Just remember to use a quality primer first – getting rid of that dark paint color takes a bit more work than putting it on a neutral wall to start with.
#2 – Shiny Faux Brass Hardware
Listen, we love a good infusion of brass into a space. But the key to making this finish feel modern is to opt for brushed brass or an antiqued brass finish. Any hardware that’s ultra shiny (and especially faux) is definitely going to age your home to about 1992. The good news? Well, all you need to do is a simple swap. You can find replacements at any price point, and as long as you stick to the same hardware style (knob versus pull), it’s as easy as unscrewing one and screwing in another.
#3 – Pickled Wood Kitchens
We will admit, a little shabby chic style in moderation can work in a room. But the 90s decor trend of a kitchen full of floor-to-ceiling pickled wood cabinets is a no-go. It’s dated through and through. So, what’s the solution? For a total custom route, you can scrap your existing cabinets and start fresh with new, contemporary ones. Or, you can work with what you have by sanding your cabinets down to their bases and using an updated stain. Painting your cabinets a fresh new color is also a great option (and probably the least messy and expensive of the three).
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#4 – Wallpaper Borders, Wall Stencils, Faux Paint Finishes, Sponge Painting
Does a scalloped floral border around a room make you think instantly of your great aunt? Are you staring at a purple sponge-painted wall and wondering how the heck to work with it? Wallpaper borders, wall stencils, faux paint finishes, and sponge painting are hallmarks of a 90s home. As such, we give you full permission to remove and paint over all of it. We promise you won’t miss it one bit.
#5 – Florals Everywhere
Finally, we can’t forget to mention the florals everywhere trend of the 90s. And when we say everywhere, we mean everywhere. Think a powder room with floral wallpaper, floral hand towels, faux flowers in a vase, a flower toilet seat cover, and a floral-patterned floor mat. Or, imagine a master bedroom with floral bedding, floral scalloped wallpaper, framed floral prints, and floral curtains “to match.” Needless to say, this look is a nightmare and needs to be pared way down. Florals can absolutely work, you just need to use them sparingly. Balance them with more structured and solid prints and patterns and they’ll get the spotlight they deserve (and you’ll actually feel at home in your space).
What are you most looking forward to painting over or swapping out? Is “ditch the pickled wood cabinets” on the top of your list? Or are you planning to strip that floral wallpaper the next time a long holiday weekend rolls around? Whatever your DIY decision may be, we’re here for it – 90s decor style has simply got to go.
By Megan Johansson, Contributor to Carla Bast Design