40 Common Mistakes You Don't Realize Make Your Home Look Dated

Small updates that make a big difference.

Originally Published: 
We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

Updating your home doesn’t necessarily require a full-blown renovation. Small changes here and there can make a world of difference to upgrade a room both visually and practically. With that in mind, I’ve found a cheap fix for some of the most common mistakes you probably don’t realize make your home look dated.

From new cabinet hardware that’ll spruce up your kitchen to easy-to-use chalk-style paint to breathe new life into an old piece of furniture, these tried and true reviewer favorites are the perfect way to upgrade your home on a budget.


Mistake: Old cabinet pulls that make the whole kitchen appear dated

Solution: These sleek pulls for an instant facelift

Give your kitchen a quick, easy, and cheap makeover by simply switching out old pulls that make the whole room look dated. These matte black pulls have a streamlined design that works with a variety of decor styles and cabinet colors. They’re clean and elegant and a fan favorite with over 26,000 perfect five-star reviews that mention their high quality, hassle-free installation, and modern appearance.


Mistake: Having a single source of light in a room

Solution: These wireless puck lights that add ambient lighting

Create a cozy ambiance and elevate your kitchen by installing these wireless puck lights under upper cabinets. Since they’re battery-operated, you don’t need to worry about a hefty bill for electrical work, and in addition to placing them in the kitchen, these lights are a great addition to a closet, staircase, or dark hallway. They come with a remote for easy operation, are dimmable, and have a handy timer feature.


Mistake: A dated backsplash that’s a distracting eyesore

Solution: This peel & stick subway tile for a great DIY update

Don’t wait for a full renovation to give your kitchen a much-needed update — take the DIY route and replace an old backsplash with this timeless peel-and-stick subway tile. Unlike real tile, there’s no messy grout involved, all you need to do is peel off the backing and attach the self-adhesive tile sheets on the wall. They’re waterproof so you can easily wipe them down and tons of shoppers say you’d never know it’s not actual tile, it looks that good.


Mistake: Your home’s exterior lacks curb appeal

Solution: These stylish solar-powered house numbers for a welcoming touch

Boost your home’s curb appeal and help guests find your place more easily with the addition of these solar-powered house numbers. The waterproof LED lights have a smart sensor that turns them on at dusk and off at dawn and they automatically charge when in direct sunlight. They’re suitable for all weather conditions and year-round use, and their simple design complements any architectural style.


Mistake: Having threadbare throw pillows on your sofa

Solution: These textured throw pillow covers that offer a quick refresh

Cozy up your sofa with this set of throw pillow covers that add a pop of color, pattern, and texture. Throw pillows can get ridiculously expensive, which is why this under-$20 set is a total steal and a reviewer-loved Amazon find. The corduroy covers are available in multiple colors, from a warm terracotta to a soothing sage green, and they come in several sizes, and a square and lumbar shape.


Mistake: An outdated shower head with a trickling stream of water

Solution: A high-pressure shower head for a spa-like bathroom upgrade

Add a spa-inspired feature to your bathroom in the form of this high-pressure shower head. Not only will the beautiful chrome fixture dress up an outdated space, but it’s also a cheap way to bring in a touch of luxury. The rain shower head is easy to install without the use of any tools and its flexible silicone jets prevent limescale buildup, so you can start every morning with a rejuvenating rinse.


Mistake: Having to rely on harsh overhead lighting

Solution: A minimalist wall sconce for task lighting

Instead of turning on a blinding overhead light for every task, get this minimalist wall sconce that’s great for reading or working at your desk. It features a rechargeable battery and rotates 360 degrees so you can direct it exactly as needed. Install the sconce with strong adhesive tape to avoid putting holes in the wall and to turn it on, simply tap it, then choose from three brightness levels and color temperatures to suit your task at hand.


Mistake: Using an old, stained shower curtain

Solution: This waffle-textured curtain that adds a stylish touch

If your shower curtain has seen better days, replace it with this stylish waffle-textured shower curtain for a quick update. The heavy-duty polyester blend repels water and stains and the curtain has rust-proof grommets for easy hanging. The elegant weave pattern gives it a sophisticated look that’ll dress up your bathroom and the shower curtain is available in multiple colors and sizes so you can find the right fit.


Mistake: Cluttered surfaces that make your home look messy

Solution: A modern floating shelf to tidy your space

Declutter your home and keep surfaces clean by stashing small items in this modern floating shelf. It comes with strong adhesive plates so you can mount it on the wall without drilling holes and it’s made from durable plastic that can hold up to 5 pounds of weight. Use the multi-purpose shelf for small toiletries in the bathroom, as a charging station above your desk, or to hold craft supplies in a playroom.


Mistake: A closet that’s bursting at the seams

Solution: These storage bags that’ll make you feel like you hired an organizer

One of the best updates you can ever give your home is to declutter and organize rooms and closets. These foldable storage bags will help you do just that; if your closet is bursting at the seams and bulky blankets have taken over the sofa, neatly fold and store out-of-season and excessively large items in these bags. Pop them under the bed or on top of a closet shelf and quickly identify their contents as needed thanks to the clear front panels.


Mistake: Grimy grout that makes the bathroom look shabby

Solution: This cordless power scrubber to make dirty tile look new

Restore shine and sparkle to your bathroom tile with the help of this cordless power scrubber. The small handheld tool cleans up to two times faster than a regular brush thanks to its oscillating head that scrubs 60 times per second. Choose from a pulsing or continual scrubbing setting to clean grout lines, tight spaces, and all the dingy nooks and crevices that could use a good scrub down.


Mistake: Leaving smudge marks on your stainless steel appliances

Solution: A cleaner that restores a streak-free shine

Keep appliances shiny and smudge-free using this plant-based stainless steel cleaner. The formula is made with coconut oil and scented with lavender essential oil to restore sparkle without leaving behind streaks or residue. The popular spray has garnered over 14,000 perfect five-star ratings and in addition to cleaning, it creates a protective barrier that repels fingerprints, dirt, and dust.


Mistake: Old rusty shelves that ruin your bathroom’s aesthetic

Solution: These caddy shelves with a streamlined design

Maximize bathroom storage with a two-pack of these caddy shelves that have a streamlined, contemporary design to give your shower a quick update. The rust-resistant shelves allow for good drainage thanks to their open construction and don’t require drilling, but can instead be mounted using the provided super strong adhesive hooks that can hold up to 40 pounds. The shelves also come in eight colors, including black, golden, and silver.


Mistake: A permanently stained toilet bowl

Solution: A pumice stone cleaner with an easy-to-grip handle

Remove rust stains, hard water rings, and calcium deposits that make your toilet look extra dated using this pumice stone cleaner. It has an easy-to-grip handle for comfortable use and ensures a deep clean without scratching the porcelain surface. The odorless cleaner can also be used on other areas of the bathroom, such as the sink, floor tile, or bathtub.


Mistake: Using old, mismatched dish towels

Solution: These 100% cotton dish cloths with a stylish waffle weave

If your dish-drying towels are looking worse for the wear, upgrade them with these 100% cotton waffle-weave dish towels that also happen to be a more sustainable alternative to single-use paper towels. Available in 22 colors, the cloths have a honeycomb design that ensures excellent liquid absorption and helps scrub tough stains without scratching surfaces. They’re also quick-drying and have a hanging hook for convenient storage.


Mistake: Ratty bedding that messes up your bedroom vibe

Solution: This bed sheet set that’s as elegant as it is comfy

Treat yourself to a new set of bed sheets and give your bedroom an elegant makeover on a budget. The soft microfiber set includes a fitted sheet, flat sheet, and pillowcases whose moisture-wicking texture will keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Choose from one of the multiple neutral colors the set is available in and upgrade both your bedroom and maybe even your sleep quality.


Mistake: Harsh outdoor lighting that ruins the ambiance

Solution: These solar deck lights for gentle illumination

Add lighting to your outdoor space and create a warm ambiance with a set of these solar deck lights. Since they’re powered by the sun’s rays, no wiring or distracting extension cords are needed. The minimalist design gives the lights a discreet look and offers versatility, making them a great choice for a deck, staircase, or fence. They’re available in a warm white or multi-colored version and can be secured in place using the provided screws.


Mistake: Overused towels that have lost their absorbency

Solution: A set of plush bath towels that are quick-drying

Ratty old towels can make your bathroom look dated, plus they may have lost their original absorbency — but these plush bath towels are an everyday luxury that can make a huge difference, both in style and function. This four-piece set consists of large, quick-drying bath towels that are made from 100% cotton to soak up moisture and feel ultra-soft and fluffy. There are nine colors to choose from such as cool gray and soothing shades of blue and green.


Mistake: Mismatched, bent hangers taking up too much closet space

Solution: These velvet hangers that maximize space & look chic

Get these velvet hangers and maximize closet space while making it look like you hired a professional organizer. The nonslip hangers prevent garments from slipping off and their slim design creates up to 50% more space in your closet. They also add a beautiful uniform appearance that’s much more appealing than a collection of mismatched, bent, or broken hangers.


Mistake: Not switching out an old bath mat

Solution: A bamboo mat that’s chic & durable

Replace a torn-up bath mat with this stylish bamboo mat that’s durable and adds a beautiful decorative touch. It has rubber pads on the bottom to help keep it securely in place, and the slightly raised design and open weave construction allow for good air ventilation and quick drying to maintain its finish and prevent fading or sagging.


Mistake: Tangled wires making a mess

Solution: This cable management box with a sleek wooden lid

Instead of letting all your wires and chargers make a mess, conceal them all in this cable management box. Its wooden lid will keep them all dust-free and the side slots make each still easy to access. At over 11 inches long, it can store an entire power strip.


Mistake: Curled rug corners that look messy

Solution: These rug grippers that secure corners in place

Prevent rugs from shifting and stop corners from curling and looking messy by securing them in place with these rug corner grippers. They use a super sticky gel to hold corners down but don’t leave behind any tacky residue when lifted, and you can refresh the gel’s stickiness by wiping it with a damp cloth as needed.


Mistake: Not fixing the scratches on your wood furniture

Solution: A furniture repair kit to hide scuff marks

Fill in small scuffs and scratches on wood pieces with this furniture repair kit that includes markers, wax sticks, and a sharpener. The touch-up markers and wax sticks come in six different shades so you can closely match them to the exact wood tone of your furniture for a flawless finish.


Mistake: Exposed cords that clutter surfaces

Solution: A thin cover with a power strip to discreetly hide an outlet

Eliminate cords cluttering every surface with the help of this thin outlet concealer with a power strip to keep your home neat. This small change makes a big impact, discreetly hiding bulky cables and making the outlet seamlessly blend into the wall. Additionally, the power strip lets you plug in up to three appliances at once.


Mistake: Scuffs on the walls that make the paint look dated

Solution: A touch-up pen for a quick way to freshen wall paint

Quickly remove scuffs and scrapes and give wall paint a quick refresh with this touch-up paint pen. It’s much easier than pulling out an entire paint can, less messy to use, and allows you to make small, detailed touch-ups. The pen is refillable and you’ll be amazed at what a difference it makes in making your home look much neater and more updated.


Mistake: Letting furniture slip & scratch hardwood floors

Solution: These felt furniture pads that protect flooring

Stick these felt furniture pads on everything from sofa and chair legs to the bottom of your desk to protect floors from getting scratched. The set includes square and round self-adhesive pads that are easy to stick on and don’t require any glue. The weight of the furniture helps keep the pads in place and their anti-slip texture prevents any potential floor damage.


Mistake: Not adding any texture or color to cozy up your sofa

Solution: This fringed throw blanket that adds warmth & a decorative element

Place this fringed throw blanket on your sofa to add a pop of color and texture as well as something warm to wrap yourself in. The throw features a diamond pattern with raised stitching for a modern touch and can be thrown in the washer on a cold cycle for easy maintenance. And with over 20 color options, including mustard, coral, and dark lavender, there’s sure to be one to suit your style.


Mistake: Not updating your TV or computer screen

Solution: An LED light strip for a clearer view

With 15 different colors, 10 brightness levels, and three fade modes, you can completely customize the performance of this LED light strip. By doing so, you’ll be able to enhance the colors on your TV, bring greater contrast to your computer monitor, and more. The 13-foot strip can be cut, bent, and adhered to nearly any surface.


Mistake: A jumble of coffee pods in your junk drawer

Solution: These coffee pod holders that adhere to the side of your machine

You no longer have to sacrifice drawer, cabinet, or counter space to enjoy a freshly brewed cup each morning. With these coffee pod holders, you can have everything you need right on your appliance instead of having it make a mess of other parts of your kitchen. Each of the dispensers can hold up to five pods at a time and come with adhesive tape for easy installation.


Mistake: A dark hallway with no lighting

Solution: A light switch that doubles as a sleek night-light

Replace a regular switch with this LED night-light switch that plays double-duty to illuminate a dark hallway. It doesn’t require batteries but snaps into place where any rocker or toggle light switch is used. The slim profile and simple design keep it discreet and also make it an excellent choice for tight spaces where a bulky night-light isn’t an option.


Mistake: Leaving your laptop flat on a table, desk, or coffee table

Solution: This aluminum stand that raises your laptop to eye level

Made of 100% aluminum, this laptop stand will keep your device sturdy as you work. It lifts it about 5 inches in the air so that you don’t have to strain your neck, back, or eyes in order to see your screen clearly. Plus, it has rubber pads on the arms to prevent any scratching.


Mistake: A staircase that relies on overhead lighting only

Solution: These LED stair lights that don’t require wiring

Illuminate a dark staircase and add a contemporary feature with these wireless LED stair lights. With built-in motion sensors, these battery-operated lights will turn on automatically when you need them and turn off after 30 seconds of no motion. Plus, they’ll only turn on when it’s dark to preserve energy and come with mounting screws and adhesive tape for easy installation.


Mistake: Using worn, stained oven mitts

Solution: These sleek silicone oven mitts that can handle up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit

While the outer layer of these silicone oven mitts is durable enough to resist water, steam, and any other form of heat that reaches up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, the inside is lined with soft cotton. This makes them breathable and easier to work in so that you have complete control over any sheet or pan you’re reaching for. They also have textured palms for a nonslip grip.


Mistake: Leaving cabinets an unorganized mess

Solution: This 2-tier organizer with removable dividers

To prevent messy piles from forming in your cabinets, use this under-sink organizer to neatly line up all your dish soaps, skincare products, or even spices if used on your kitchen countertop. The bottom tier smoothly slides out for easy access to everything you need and it sits atop nonslip feet that keep it stable. You can also make use of the included hanging cup and eight side hooks.


Mistake: Surfaces showing signs of visible heat & moisture damage

Solution: These stylish coasters that look nice while protecting furniture

Protect furniture from water rings and heat damage and add a stylish accent to your coffee table with a set of these ceramic coasters. The three-layer design provides ample protection and consists of a marble-like top, a highly absorbent dolomite middle, and a cork bottom that prevents scratching and sliding.


Mistake: A messy pile of pots & pans in the cabinet

Solution: A cabinet rack to keep everything organized

Upgrade your kitchen cabinets with this sturdy rack to organize pots and pans of various sizes. It can be installed horizontally or vertically and has the capacity to hold up to eight items. The tiers are adjustable and the clever organizational tool comes highly recommended by more than 13,000 shoppers who have given it a positive review.


Mistake: An over-stuffed pantry that creates chaos

Solution: These airtight food storage containers

Give your pantry a polished look and help staples stay fresher for longer with these airtight food storage containers. The set includes four BPA-free canisters that have locking lids and are stackable in order to save shelf and counter space. It also comes with chalkboard labels and a white marker so you can take your organizational game to the next level.


Mistake: A cluttered sink that makes for a messy kitchen

Solution: A caddy that neatly holds cleaning products

Keep your kitchen sink neat and organize brushes, sponges, and dish soap in this stainless steel caddy. Available in black and silver, the sturdy metal construction gives it durability and a timeless look while providing good drainage to help prevent mold and mildew from forming. Plus, the caddy would work just as well in a bathroom if you could use a little help getting your vanity organized.


Mistake: Letting your feline friend scratch the couch

Solution: A scratch deterrent that protects furniture

Extend the life of your furniture and protect it from your feline household member’s claws using this cat scratch deterrent. The flexible shield wraps around and adheres to a variety of sofa fabrics using the built-in adhesive that keeps it securely in place, but it can also be attached using pins. You can cut it down to size to fit your furniture and it’s easily removable without leaving behind any residue.


Mistake: Creating piles of cookware & bakeware in cabinets

Solution: These organizer racks with sturdy rubber feet

Your pots, pans, and cookie sheets will not only be protected when kept on these bakeware organizer racks but they’ll also be much easier to reach. Each in this set of two has three compartments and sits on rubber feet that will keep even the heaviest tools sturdy.

This article was originally published on

Related Tags