How to be 50: How to Update Your Decor

By Charlotte Latvala

A Pac-Man table is equally at home in formal or casual settings.

A Pac-Man table is equally at home in formal or casual settings.

If you’re 50, and you’ve lived in the same home for years, you’ve got your style down pat, even if you haven’t revised it since 1988.

Here at How to be 50, we’re not overly concerned with trends. That’s why Pinterest is confusing to us. (Not to mention, we always want to pronounce it “Pin-Interest.” We also hate crafts.)

But we at How to be 50 don’t want your hipster neighbors making fun of you. So next time you’re cruising Home Depot, think about:

  • Transforming your basement into a “retro” game room. You’ve already got your husband’s dusty old foosball table. Just add a few Breakfast Club posters and a boom box to finish the vintage look.
Guaranteed to launch a thousand boring stories from middle-aged people.

Guaranteed to launch a thousand boring stories from middle-aged guests.

  • The wallpaper border dilemma. Sure, those little roses all around the top of your living room were super-hip in the Laura Ashley era, but now they look dated and old-ladyish. You could go through the trouble of ripping them down, but why bother? Just cover the whole thing with painters’ tape, which makes you look industrious.
A thousand sins can be quickly covered with this stuff.

A thousand sins can be quickly covered with this stuff.

  • Or go all Banksy on your walls. Instead of merely pretending to paint, why not make a clever political statement with graffiti art?
  • Over-sized television dominating the living room? Throw some popcorn on the floor and start referring to your “home theater.”
Serve extra butter and your house gets rave reviews!

Serve extra butter and your house gets rave reviews!

  • Call your outdated ranch home “mid-century modern,” implying you are purposely keeping it that way. Remind guests (with a hint of condescension) that hideous avocado green accessories are “period.”
People used to pay for this color. Some still do.

People used to pay for this color. Some still do.

  • Piles of junk (books, suitcases, pizza boxes) are no longer a problem. Just plonk a lamp on top and you’re all Pinterest quirky-artsy.
This passes for imaginative decorating these days.

This passes for imaginative decorating these days.

  • Proper lighting is the secret to a fabulous room, so remove as many light bulbs as possible. (Guests can turn on iPhone flashlights if they have to find the bathroom.)
  • Hideous chair you can’t afford to replace? Make up a heart-tugging story about why you can’t part with it. (It’s where: Spouse proposed; dog expired; you decided to quit your job and become a full-time blogger one gin-and-tonic-soaked midnight last year.)
  • If all else fails, get a cat. A cute kitten distracts the eye from any awful décor.
If there's a kitten, nothing else matters.

Kitten = decorating magic.

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5 Comments

Filed under decorating, humor, middle-aged, remodeling

5 responses to “How to be 50: How to Update Your Decor

  1. Ha! I could actually pull that off, complete with a single bed with the star wars sheets that my hubby refuses to throw away!!

    • Charlotte Latvala

      That’s hilarious! Well, Star Wars is super-hot again with the new movie looming, so your husband is a trendy guy -:)

  2. Call your outdated ranch home “mid-century modern”

    Tried that. It doesn’t work.

    ME: [beaming proudly] Our new home is mid-century modern.

    MY KIDS: No dad, mid-century modern is new stuff that looks old. Not old stuff that looks really, really old.

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