Clever ways to modernize a dated interior

Red Deer interior designer offers some great, simple tips

Life has been busy!

Summer has been wonderful and full of adventure which I have enjoyed to the fullest. I just celebrated my (gulp) 49th trip around the sun but instead of being sad it was a wonderful weekend full of love and laughter. Sometimes aging isn’t always a bad thing, if you think of yourself like a fine bottle of wine instead of a blackened banana sitting on the countertop!

The homes I have been showing and selling have been in the older, pre-1990 category as houses priced in the $300,000 are the most likely price point right now to sell.

Oh, that we could all be selling million dollar properties like the shiny people on TV but, life is not always as glamorous as what we see on screen.

There are hundreds of wonderful and charming properties in this price range with one recurring issue – too much wood.

Back in the day, people LOVED oak; I mean really loved it!

The oak craze floated from floors to wall board to base and window trim then back to cabinets and doors.

It is with anticipation that I show these properties to my clients and wait for the inevitable question about what to do with all that wood.

Sometimes a homeowner has gotten the idea to add hardwood or laminate to replace carpeting which adds more wood to the equation and when it is all put together (especially if a home is vacant) the amount and different shades of wood can be overwhelming.

The obvious choice is to paint or stain but it can be a difficult decision to decide what exactly to tackle to find the right balance.

There is no magic formula for this and sometimes it takes an experienced designer eye to help you choose which elements to neutralize.

Some people have a hard time painting wood and others are gung-ho to make a change and to update an older interior. It can be a matter of workload (do you tackle cabinets or just the baseboards) or it can hinge on the item to be painted (flat cabinets will be easier than knobbed spindles to paint).

When deciding it is important to choose to do the entire space in the same treatment.

If you are painting base and window trim, you need to carry it through the entire space to make it look consistent.

An easier solution is often just painting doors or a kitchen island to smooth away the wood look and to bring some visual relief to the eyes rather than devoting time to hundreds of feet of base and window trim.

Nothing modernizes an interior like painting yellow-toned wood baseboards into a creamy soft tone or a bold, striking colour.

Painting over wood panelling or beams or tongue and groove ceiling is also an easy way to freshen up any interior and to give it that beachy, breezy look.

Certain wood features can be stained to a darker colour but this requires a little more prowess in the painting department.

The results of bringing an older wood feature into the current day are dramatic and striking and there are professional companies which specialize in this exact procedure if you are unsure of your skills.

To see a golden oak kitchen transformed to a coffee stain is quite breathtaking and well worth the additional investment.

Kim Wyse is a local freelance designer. Find her on facebook at ‘Ask a Realtor/Ask a Designer’.

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