Wondering how to update a 90s house? Get decorating and renovation ideas for your 90s home update from this 90s home remodel before and after!
Sometimes home renovation projects feel like a whirlwind (like the time we rewired our entire home when I was 8 months pregnant, or the time I found out I was pregnant the day after we ripped out our kitchen… are we seeing a pattern?!?). And other times they feel like a marathon (like our total gut job on Little Pax Ranch). And still, at other times, it feels more like a leisurely hike – lots of pleasant and easy progress interspersed with shorter, more intensive climbs… and, most importantly, a beautiful, rewarding view at the end. That’s how I feel about the four years we’ve been in this home and the updates we’ve made to our 1990s era house. It didn’t start as our dream home, but it’s definitely made a lot of progress.
When you want to update a house built in the 1990s, it’s sometimes hard to know where to start. When we bought the home, we did just two things before we even moved in. First, we had the entire downstairs and the two-story entryway painted (because two story yellow ceilings?!). We installed hardwood floors throughout (because tile downstairs and off white carpet upstairs were not our preferred flooring options, and we didn’t want to move everything out again later).
Entry and Stairwell
You can see both those updates in our entryway. The paint we chose for the entire downstairs and our upstairs hallway is one of my favorite greige paint colors: Agreeable Gray by Sherwin Williams.
Though the railing is still quite reminiscent of the 90s, by updating the flooring on the stairs to these beautiful wide-plank oak floors, I feel we effectively updated the view while maintaining the elegant traditional flow of the staircase.
Being visible from the front door, I try to keep our formal dining room (and all our interiors) as neat as possible. I refinished my great grandmother’s dining set while we were still at our last home, and I don’t have any intention of parting with it any time soon.
A new chandelier, some modern accents, and some additional storage on the wall not shown allows this room to serve both as a formal dining space and our primary homeschool room.
To the other side of the entry is our living room. The biggest project we tackled in here (other than flooring, paint, and light fixture) was the fireplace and mantel.
You can read all about that renovation project here, and find out why we actually enclosed a bit of wall, rather than opening up for a more open floor plan. While we don’t watch a lot of tv in our home anyway (keep reading to see where we’ve chosen to hide the tv), I do like having a sitting room that doesn’t have any tv at all. And I love having the piano in here… now to do a better job of finding time to practice!
Though it’s not a very big room, the layout makes it so comfortable for our family of six plus many friends.
If you’re wondering where to start on a kitchen remodel, be sure to read this. Most 1990’s floor plans do not include open kitchens as we think of them today, and this one was no exception. But we decided not to rearrange walls, as this 1990s kitchen was already partially open to the family room. We chose rather to focus on updating finishes for a more modern kitchen.
Marble countertops, marble tile backsplash, new shaker doors for the kitchen cabinets, painted cabinetry frames, and brass cabinet door hardware completed our kitchen makeover. The white cabinets and Carrara marble makes the entire space feel much more bright and modern.
In the master bedroom, the new floors and paint were the only major projects. The ceilings were painted flat white (why, oh why, would anyone paint ceilings in satin creamy yellow?!?!), and the walls were painted Behr Cameo White in eggshell.
When we found out we were expecting baby no. 4, I knew I wanted a serene getaway to enjoy with her. Behr Sweetheart on the walls and a slew of DIY projects infused with love have made this the sweetest space… I can’t believe this little nugget turned two this summer!
This is the only bedroom for which I have a before picture… but they all pretty much started just like this. And in all the bedrooms, we actually opted to keep the ceiling fans (because, hello, Texas summers!), but we added some accent chandeliers (get the tutorial here 🙂 ) in a few.
As you can see, we jazzed up this room with a stencil accent wall (not wallpaper!). And when baby sister came along and the guest room became a nursery, we designed this room to function as the guest room when we had visitors.
Kid’s Bathroom And Guest Bathroom
Before my youngest daughter was born, we tackled the girls/guest bath, and it was such a rewarding makeover.
All new tile and counters and plumbing fixtures plus some DIY painted vanity cabinets (get the full tutorial for painting cabinets here – it’s such a budget-friendly makeover project!) made for a beautiful, modern space. I love how the new polished nickel shower faucet adds a little elegance.
Boy’s Bedroom and Playroom
This was actually a bonus room (a common design in 1990s homes), so it has served as both our playroom and my boys’ bedroom, with the unique alcoves acting as bed nooks in this large space. Paint (Behr Cameo White), wood floors, and fresh decor has made a huge difference. We also added a plank wall to one of the alcoves.
We recently added bunk beds so that one of the nooks that formally housed a twin bed could hold desks for the boys. Tutorial for these DIY desks is coming soon (UPDATE: get the tutorial here)!
Taking your time to update your home
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from our recent farmhouse remodel, there are definitely pros and cons to doing a whole house at once. It sounds so nice to get it all over with, but the truth is, it’s really hard to know exactly what you want all at once. If I’m really honest, my style and my family’s needs are ever changing, so there’s freedom in renovating in stages.
So what’s left in our 1990s home update? Our master bath currently sports all cream tile (quite a lot of which is now breaking) and a huge plastic garden tub (UPDATE: master bath makeover complete!). Oh, and the ceilings are still yellow. Ha! My boys’ bath is only halfway updated. And we plan to paint the beige/brown exterior siding… but all in good time. (UPDATE: exterior siding has been painted!)
In short, we’ve still got plans and more projects to tackle… but we’re not in any hurry. We’re enjoying the process one project at a time!
I hope this provides you with some ideas of how you can update your 1990s home (or any home!) to serve you and your family.
Don’t forget to pin this for later!