Key ways to make your home look more modern

As with everything, architecture and interior design are always evolving. What was 'in' a few years ago (think feature walls) may well now be considered passe; so be open to changing your mind and keep your interiors moving with the times  

Style and taste are always changing and you see this by looking back at photoes of homes in our recent history: sitting rooms and kitchens in homes in the 1970s, say, look totally dated and clunky. Contrast with a modern kitchen today, which is sleek with soft close doors, it may well have gloss units, and it's de rigeur to have built-in appliances

We trog along happily for years but then one day start looking with a critical eye at our homes. The carpet looks drab, the kitchen looks tired, that magnolia paint is scuffed and what a dull colour...Then we start to think about updating and modernising a bit and generally giving our homes a brand new look and feel.

If you're a fan of modern interiors over say, the country house or cozy farmhouse look, there are a few pointers to guide your way. First, a modern house is simply and tastefully decorated with a few quality pieces. It's more minimalist that maximalist (and clutter is a no-no), furniture is more streamlined rather than chunky and there's an emphasis on comfort - so things work well and materials are of high quality (think wood over plastic, wool over polyester). Colours tend to be more subtle - natural earth hues over vivid or psychedelic colours. And to achieve that spacious airy look, you may well have to get rid of some of things, especially if you've accumulated a lot over the years. Why not consider bringing in professionals to handle household waste and help you declutter? Firms such as Valley Trading also offer affordable skip-hire services.

And there are other tips and tricks from interior designers that can help you modernise:

1.    Re-think your art
If you don't like your paintings/pictures/posters and haven't got the budget to replace them, then a bold move could be to take them all down and have your walls beautifully painted with nothing hung on them. It's certainly one way to have a cleaner neater looking interior. But many of us find bare walls boring and impersonal, so another option is to limit your artworks to larger pieces. A well-framed print hung over a fireplace can make a stunning focal point - you don't have to have millions of pounds to buy original paintings. Choose similar frames throughout your home for consistency - say black wood frames. Mixing and matching frame styles can make your artworks look a bit ragbag, so to speak.

2.    Reconsider your flooring
Flooring is crucial. Old carpet, particularly if it's a bit threadbare, or patterned, can make rooms look dated. Carpet is also tougher to maintain and because dust and dirt particles can quickly settle into the fibres, it's not ideal for asthma sufferers. For a natural, eco friendly modern look, opt for wooden floors, either in dark or light hues. The Scandi look of birch wood is great for most rooms bar bathrooms where condensation might be a problem. Wood floors are easy to clean, they have a freshness about them and you can make them cosy by adding rugs on top. 

3.    Repaint your rooms
Smooth walls and ceilings are a must, so if you have any rooms with textured ceilings or woodchip wallpaper, get the former plastered over and the latter removed and replaced with lining paper. Then think about colour and get painting because a fresh coat of paint always improves the look of a room. Most good quality paint companies have developed really extensive colour palettes, so you don't have to play it safe with white. Lighter shades are undoubtedly easier to live - and make properties easier to sell - with but why not go for a bold darker colour if you have a small room? Remember you can inject colour into a room via accent pieces such as cushions, throws, rugs and lampshades.