As a home stager, one of the challenges I come across during a homeowner consultation is when the home decor feels rather dated. As the majority of home buyers these days are millennials, it's important to do whatever possible to update the look of the home in order to appeal to that demographic. It is always recommended to do any needed cosmetic updates to the home if the budget allows for it such as painting dated cabinets or adding hardwood floors, but when it isn't possible due to budget constraints, there are ways to update the feel of the home without breaking the bank:
1. WALLS: The biggest bang for your buck when selling your home is to freshen up the walls with a light, neutral paint. A safe colour to choose is a "greige" which is a warm grey, such as Sherwin Willilams "Agreeable Grey" or Benjamin Moore "Balboa Mist".
2. FLOORS: If you have worn or coloured carpet (and aren't lucky enough to have hardwood underneath), you can simply place an 8x10 light, neutral area rug in the living room which not only grounds the seating area, but it will also lighten the space and update the look of the room. You could even try placing a cow hide onto of the area rug to "hip things up" even further.
3. WINDOWS: Remove any dark / bright coloured / dated curtains with light and neutral inexpensive ones. If there's no room in the budget for that, then just keep the windows bare which will allow for more natural light to flood the room.
4. SOFAS: For worn out or dated sofas, you could either replace them with an inexpensive, gently used one found on Kijiji or Craigslist, or purchase light and neutral slip covers and place some new decorative pillows.
5. LAMPS: An inexpensive and effective way to update older lamps are to spray paint the base and/or replace pleated shades with contemporary light coloured barrel shades.
6. ART: To update traditional looking artwork, either purchase some scale appropriate canvas art at either HomeSense or Ikea, or place contemporary wallpaper in large frames or staple fabric onto large canvas.
It's recommended to invest as much as you can to upgrade your home's fixed finishes to appeal to today's millennial buyers, but when it's not an option, then some simple and cost effective updates to the decor can certainly help with the overall appeal of the home.