Seven ways to take your home from retro to right now


As easy as it is to say “out with the old and in with the new”, it’s not always that simple when it comes to your home. For many, new and modern properties can cost a (not-so) pretty penny; not to mention that it won’t come with the memories of your child’s first steps or that big backyard where the best family braais take place every Sunday.

If you are living in an older, 20th century home and are eager to update it to something a little more millennial, we’ve got some good news! Check out our nifty DIY tricks that will make any out-dated property look and feel like a brand new home in no time.
1) The home facelift  

Nothing shouts “old school!” as much as an old-fashioned face-brick, pebble stone or patterned-plaster on the exterior walls of your home. Give your home an instant facelift by rendering the walls and, then, paint them in a fresh, neutral colour. Simple, easy and effective.

2) Put a little pressure on it

Who says you need to replace the paving leading up to your front door or the surface surrounding the pool to give your home a fresh feel? Rather rent a pressure washer and give the outside surfaces a good scrub. And while you have the washer in hand, give your roof a thorough cleaning as well (please remember to ask for tips before getting up there!). Now, isn’t this a much easier, stress-free and inexpensive option?

3) Spray paint it

Does your home’s hardware – think: door handles, light fittings, door knocker, light switch plates and electrical outlets – look a little worse for wear? There’s really no need to replace them if they’re still in good working condition. Simply pick up a bottle of spray paint from your hardware store and give it a fresh lick of life – just make sure its appropriate for the material you’ll be applying it to, and remember to remove the item from its fittings before spray-painting it.

4) Kitchen aids

Let’s face it: a total kitchen remake is never really in anyone’s budget. Luckily, there are a few easy things you can do to give the heart of your home an update. For cupboards that are in need of some love, a fresh coat of paint can do just that. And don’t forget to add sparkly new handles to them too.  

You can also create a gorgeous backsplash from stacked-stone panels to give your kitchen a modern touch. Fresh counter tops in laminate or, for those who can afford it, granite can also go a long way in making your kitchen functional, friendly and fashionable.

5) Hit the roof

Ordinary ceilings are so last century… Update yours and add some charm (and value) to the character of your home with crown moulding. The lightweight polystyrene that’s coated in a hard plaster is easy to cut and apply. And believe us when we say that the crown moulding options are endless (a visit to a décor and home store will tell you that). A good paint of the ceiling will add further to the updated look.

6) Tile treatment

Replacing tiled floors can be a costly exercise, and one you don’t want to cut corners on. So, until you can afford to do so, why not paint over your existing tiles to give them a fresh, modern, clean update whilst adding value to your home? Think: monochrome, grey, and terracotta – the colour options are bountiful! Be sure to use the right tile treatment to make it last.

7) Go green

Plants can brighten up the gloomiest of spaces, and make even the most mature home feel like the new kid on the block. In addition, there’s so much you can do with greenery without it breaking the bank. Think: window boxes; indoor plant-hubs around dead spaces (such as that non-working “vintage” fireplace); or updating your landscaping with fresh shrubbery, perennials that bloom at different times of the year and ever-green trees. Now, doesn’t that sound like a blooming good idea? 

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