Ideas for Modernizing an Older Home

Older homes have an undeniable charm and unique energy. Most were built with “TLC” by master home builders of those past times. But while you may love the stability of your older home, you may also want to update it.

Older homes have an undeniable charm and unique energy. Most were built with “TLC” by master home builders of those past times. This is part of the appeal of living in the city of Philadelphia — many Philly homes were made in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Some houses even date back to the 1700s. But while you may love the stability of your older home, you may also want to update it so that the rooms look more modern. Use these ideas to modernize an older home while still maintaining its unique appeal.

Replace or Add Crown Molding

Molding is decorative wooden trim that lines the doorways, windows, floors, and ceilings of your home. After many years, the molding may become worn and outdated. A fresh paint job may help, but in some cases it’s best to start anew if you want a more up-to-date look. Remove the old pieces and install modern crown molding styles that will better complement the room. Consider adding molding in new places, like the ceilings or at the center of walls for a cleaner, crisper look.

Cover Old Hardwood with Laminate Flooring

Many older Philly homes still have the original wood flooring that they were built with. These floors are usually very sturdy and solid, but not always very attractive to look at on the surface. Attempting to refinish very old wooden flooring doesn’t always work, so cover it with interlocking wooden or laminate planks instead for a more modern looking room.

Flickr/William Warby

Image Source: Flickr/William Warby

Replace the Windows

Replace older windows in your home with newer, energy efficient windows. Many older windows were fabricated using all-wood frames, which is why they let so much air in and out of the home. Energy efficient windows are made of vinyl, composite, or fiberglass material that does a better job of keeping air out, plus it looks much more modern.

Redo the Basement

If you’re up for a project that will both modernize your home and open up a new room for use, update the basement. The basements in older Philadelphia area homes are often timeworn and uninviting. The walls and floors are sometimes made of bare cement, rocks, and bricks — not a particularly comfortable place to do your laundry and watch television. Update your basement with new drywall, waterproof flooring, and a drop ceiling outfitted with recessed lighting to make it more appealing.

It is possible to have an old home with a contemporary look if you just make a few relatively minor modifications. Start with the basics and then progress to more advanced projects to modernize your Philly home in the future.

Main Image Source: Flickr/Brian Moloney

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