The new year is a great time to reevaulate the aesthetics of your home, especially if you want to make some updates with an eye on resale value. While bathrooms and kitchens offer the most opportunities return on investment, bedrooms also offer ample opportunities for beneficial (and relatively easy!) updates—especially if they feature some common features that now scream “dated.”
In order to help potential buyers see themselves living in your home, it helps if they don’t feel like they stepped into a time machine.
“Formerly in-vogue design details subconsciously remind a buyer that a home was renovated a number of years ago,” explains Allison Chiaramonte of Warburg Realty in New York City.
Though the heyday of these four once common design features has passed, there are easy fixes to bring your bedroom into the current year. Here’s what the experts recommend:
1. Wallpaper borders
Growing up, I had pale pink walls, complete with border wallpaper depicting ballet slippers. In the 1980s and ’90s, six-inch wallpaper borders with cutesy motifs were super common. By the 2000s, though, they fell by the wayside.
Full wallpaper is a more modern option, according to Edyta Czajowska, interior designer of Edyta & Co. Keep in mind that what comes around goes around, though:
“Six-inch borders had their moment and will probably be back again at some point,” says Czajowska.
2. Bold colors
Once upon a time, saturated colors in the bedroom, like deep lavender and dark chocolate, were a stylish choice. These days, people are opting for more neutral palettes, like soft greens and gentle beige, in an effort to create more calming and peaceful spaces.
“The growing interest in health and wellness at home is driving bedroom design in 2019,” says Dan DiClerico, home expert for Home Advisor. “It’s all about creating sanctuary spaces that are conducive to rest and relaxation.”
According to Chiaramonte, you can’t go wrong with simple white, which will automatically make a space look larger and brighter, too.
3. Wall-to-wall carpet
Carpet throughout the entire bedroom (and even most of the house) used to be the norm, but not so today. Instead, area rugs on a hard-flooring surface create contrast without all the maintenance that full carpeting requires. What’s more, you can change out the rugs to reflect your mood or the season.
“I love having the option of changing out different rugs that add a whole new feel to the bedroom,” says Luke Caldwell, designer on HGTV’s “Boise Boys” and co-owner of Timber and Love. “A hard flooring surface gives you a different level of commitment with design and enables you to make small changes that can impact decor without spending a lot of money.”
Claire Groome of Warburg Realty agrees that carpet can be a major turnoff for buyers.
“Carpet is extremely personal and most of my buyers don’t want to use someone else’s carpet,” says Groome. “In my experience, most buyers will pull it up and buy their own or use their own carpets.”
4. Wood paneling
The 1970s is calling, and it wants its wood paneling back. Distressed wood walls are super-dated, says Karin Sun, Crane & Canopy. If you want to add some texture and dimension to your walls today, gallery walls are a great option.
“Many today are putting up gallery walls in the bedroom that consist of picture frames, sconces and other home decor,” Sun says. “As an alternative, others place vibrant wallpaper in the bedroom with a bold color or complimentary pattern.”
On the other end of the transaction? Here are six things to look for that increase your home’s value—even before you buy.