There are period features that add value to your home, and then there are features that simply make your home feel like it belongs to the dark ages.
“While certain décor features are timeless, others are very time specific and, much like the perm and aerobic videos, need to be left behind to make room for updated trends,” says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
Below are just three of the outdated home décor features that need to time warp themselves into the 21st Century:
Wooden Wall Panelling
A popular décor trend in the 1960s and 70s, wooden wall panelling often makes a room feel incredibly dark and boxed-in, especially since the trend was mostly adopted in the darker wood shades.
Removing these panels without damaging the walls can be difficult. Instead, Goslett suggests sanding them down and adding a lick of paint to create a modern beach-inspired, white-washed look.
In the 1950s, carpet was seen as a luxury item that most homeowners simply couldn’t afford. Consequently, anyone who could afford it made sure that guests would notice – and, if you happened to miss it in the wall-to-floor carpeted sitting room, you certainly couldn’t miss it in the bathroom.
Thought of today as somewhat unhygienic (unless cleaned thoroughly and regularly), carpeted bathrooms are a feature that often make a home a tricky sell.
Goslett advises home owners to remove the carpeting and to install new tiles. If the chill of the porcelain beneath your feet is too much to bear, consider installing underfloor heating.
“The antithesis of carpeted bathrooms, underfloor heating actually increases the value of a home,” Goslett explains.
Not only is this outdated décor trend the most effective dust and cobweb trapper known to man, but it also poses a potential health risk. Ceilings installed before 1980 might contain traces of asbestos.
Before removing this ceiling, Goslett advises homeowners to contact their local department of health to arrange for somebody to come and collect a sample to test for the harmful building material.
“Admittedly, there is a fine line between antique and outdated. If you are living in a home that has any of the above features and you happen to love it, then own it. Each person is unique and is entitled to their taste.
"But, if your home is currently on the market, then you are going to want it to have the broadest buyer appeal as possible. The above features will only attract a niche market, and will make your home trickier to sell. If you’re unsure of how to update the look of your home, then enlist the help of a good real estate agent who has the relevant experience to know what sells and what doesn’t,” said Goslett.