Catch Up With The Joneses: 8 Must Do Upgrades To Get Your Home Out Of The 80's

Real Estate Agent with The Lipman Group | Sotheby's International Realty #311723

Catch Up With The Joneses


8 Must Do Upgrades To Get Your Home Out Of The 80’s 


 We update our wardrobe to keep up with the latest fashions and we prefer to drive new or late model cars. So why not instill the same philosophy when it comes to your home? Don’t get me wrong the 80’s was a great era for big hair and acid wash jeans but not so much for interior design. Keeping your home updated is vital if you ever plan on putting your house on the market.  So if you’ve been putting it off it’s about time to catch up with the Jonses so your home value isn’t left behind in the real estate dust. Here are 8 desperately needed home upgrades that should be done today to get your home out of the 80’s


  1. Colored Bathrooms: The Pepto Bismal look is way out. So is the Smurf look. So get rid of those pink or blue colored tiles in the bathroom and replace the basin, tub or toilet that screams grandma and grandpa’s house. Based on many surveys woman revere the bathrooms as key selling points of a home. 

  2. Kitchen Appliances: If you can use the words avocado or mustard in any sentence when describing your kitchen then you better head to Home Depot to open a line of credit and cave into an upgrade. It’s the year 2013 – it’s all about stainless steel.

  3. Countertops: It is sooooo time to eliminate the laminate! Bite the bullet and upgrade to granite countertops. It increases your home value instantly. Every current home buyer seeks out granite countertops so it’s a must these days.

  4. Brass Chandeliers & Ceiling Fans: If you have either of these (or both) it is time to get rid of them. In fact, anything with brass on it needs to be updated. The only thing bigger in the 80’s than hair was brass. And just how brass tarnishes, so has its style. Update to bronze or nickel chandeliers and newer fans.

  5. Wood Paneling: Remove your wood paneling, throw it in the fireplace and roast some marshmallows. Wood paneling does nothing but make a room look dark and outdated. By removing the wood paneling and adding a fresh coat of paint you will convert the look of the room drastically.

  6. Red or Bright Colored Carpet: The only place you should ever see red carpet is in Hollywood and at music award ceremonies, NOT IN YOUR HOUSE! Red or bright colored carpeting is an eyesore. If your house is on the market you want to lure your prospective buyers not scare them. Opt for neutral colored carpeting.

  7. Wall Paper Borders: Unless it’s a room strictly designed as a nursery, wall paper borders should be taken down immediately and never to reappear again. It dates a room back to the 80’s and its time to head back to the future. Repaint the walls with an earth tone or neutral color.

  8. Popcorn Ceilings: Popcorn belongs in a bucket with butter and salt, not on your ceiling! This dates your home like there’s no yesterday and it reminds people of old cheap motel rooms. It’s easy to remove (just a little messy) by simply spraying warm water on it, letting it soak, and then scraping it right off. 



If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling

a Nashville Home please contact:


Emily Lowe 

The Lipman Group | Sotheby's International Realty 

Office: (615) 463-3333 / Cell: (615) 509-1753 


Re-Blogged 5 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. The Temple Team 06/07/2013 06:14 AM
  2. MichelleCherie Carr Crowe Just Call...408-252-8900 06/07/2013 08:06 AM
  3. Melanie Narducci 06/07/2013 10:41 AM
  4. Cheryl Ritchie 06/07/2013 11:37 AM
  5. Scott Fogleman 06/08/2013 08:30 PM
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Allison Bernard
Keller Williams Central Rhode Island - East Greenwich, RI
Real Estate & Relocation Services 401-533-6916

At least in the 80's formica kitchen cabinets were "In" which are easily steam cleaned.

Jun 07, 2013 01:14 PM #28
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Emily- well done!   I remember a whole neighborhood where almost every home had the old wood paneling in it.  Many people painted over it if they didn't have it in their budget to rip it out.  

Jun 07, 2013 01:14 PM #29
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Emily, you are on target! These old features are really very old! It is just 80s - and since then we have entered into new millennium!

Jun 07, 2013 02:35 PM #30
Harry F. D'Elia III
RentVest - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

Upgrading the kitchen and the bathrooms is a must in today's market in my opinion.

Jun 07, 2013 03:58 PM #31
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Clever post and right on Emily!  I had fun with it.  We have a brass chandelier in the dining room which is a family heirloom.  It's staying!  And I agree with the red - certainly Redskin colors for carpeting are appropriate, right?




Jun 07, 2013 08:21 PM #32
Scott Fogleman
New Home Team 804-573-9592 - Richmond, VA
Greater Good Group

Great advice Emily! You want a home to stand out in the right way..

Jun 07, 2013 09:14 PM #33
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I enjoyed reading the post . You described my first home. I loved the popcorn ceiling, red carpet and paneling.

Jun 07, 2013 09:29 PM #34
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

I see so many of these weird colored tubs and sinks.  It always makes me laugh.  Very good post!                                                                  

Jun 07, 2013 10:00 PM #35
Edward Gilmartin
CRE - Boston, MA

And if your seller balks and says let the buyer pick out his or her own appliances or carpet etc tell them just to get it done because any buyer if you do even get one will deduct the cost plus off the offer.

Jun 07, 2013 10:03 PM #36
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Good post on how to come current and where to start to...thank you for sharing this

Jun 08, 2013 12:05 AM #37
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Great advice!  I laughed at the first one, since I just managed to get a signed contract for my own co-op I was selling.  Most of the negative commenting about the unit had to do with the old 70s style pink and blue bathrooms.  Blech.  No one likes those.


Jun 08, 2013 12:30 AM #38
David Grbich
Realty One Group - - San Juan Capistrano, CA
Orange County Real Estate - 949-500-0484

Hi Emily - I love these houses as they are always a great buying opportunity! Easy fixes but homes like this cause many buyers to run! Regards Dave

Jun 08, 2013 12:38 AM #39
Ed & Tracy Oliva
West USA Realty - Arizona - Fountain Hills, AZ
The Oliva Team Arizona Agents

WOW!!  This is some great Info for all in the business,  keep up the good work and good luck with yours,  E

Jun 08, 2013 12:41 AM #40
Emily Lowe
The Lipman Group | Sotheby's International Realty - Nashville, TN
Nashville TN Realtor
Thank you everybody for your great comments! Now if only I could get my OWN 1950s ranch remodeled! I'm like the doctor who makes the worst patient. : )
Jun 08, 2013 01:02 AM #41
Edward & Celia Maddox
The Celtic Connection Realty - Queen Creek, AZ

We see a lot of that wood paneling in active adult homes built in the 70 and 80s.

Jun 08, 2013 01:41 AM #43
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Lend Smart Mortgage, Llc. - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Emily, come on now! All styles will make full circle. Look at MC Hammer's baggy pants in 1990. They have made a come back with Justin Bieber! The homeowners can save alot of redecorating dollars if they just wait a while! :+0

Jun 08, 2013 01:57 AM #44
Helen and Larry Prier- Re-Max Gateway - Residential Real Estate
RE-MAX Gateway- Residential Real Estate Sales - Anacortes, WA
Anacortes & surrounding Skagit & Island Counties

Emily, I agree with all of these points. However, if you are on a budget some laminate countertops look great.

Jun 08, 2013 02:03 AM #45
Joanna Cohlan
Fresh Eyes For Your Home - Chappaqua, NY
Designing, Decorating & Staging Westchester Homes

What a great post Emily and I agree with all of them.  Sometimes it is difficult to get my sellers to actually DO all of them but I chip away-the pepto bismol pink bathrooms are a definite as is any kind of colored carpeting and those fans!!!!

Jun 08, 2013 06:45 AM #46
Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease


Great list - working on removing a Pepto Bismo bathroom from a decently expensive rental as we speak...  getting out of time warp is not tough, you just need to decide to bite the bullet.

All the best, Michelle

Jun 08, 2013 11:10 AM #48
Charles Stallions Property Manager
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pace, FL
Pensacola, Pace & Gulf Breeze Property Management

OMG I am stuck in the 80's as almost all of what you show is in my home and I thought I was just cozy.

Jun 09, 2013 03:42 AM #49
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