Interior designers recommend updating your home’s style at least once every eight years — twice if your checkbook can handle it.

Out-of-date homes can present a challenge to buyers who may be looking at a heft investment to modernize their new digs after purchase. But some homeowners may be blissfully unaware that the icebox went the way of the dinosaur in the thirties, along with stucco-lined dining room walls and shag carpeting.

So, slip on your bell bottoms and platform shoes, because with the help of this groovy East Point, Georgia home listing, we’re going to point out 10 ways homeowners can tell if their home’s style is stuck in a time-warp or ready to list.

1. Are the appliances as old as the house?

The nearly 3,200-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bath home is billed as “custom built contemporary.” And while we won’t argue it was a custom job, describing it as contemporary is like saying, “I just bought a new station wagon!”

Photo: Mark Spain Real Estate

 The home was actually built in 1970, according to the listing, and it doesn’t appear to have received a facelift or nip-tuck since. Indeed, the most modern-looking appliances in the house are the washer and dryer, which look fresh out of the box.

Photo: Mark Spain Real Estate

Also, when was the last time you saw a wallpapered range hood?

Photo: Mark Spain Real Estate

2. Let there be light… fixtures

You can tell a lot about the age of a home from its light fixtures. Gaudy chandeliers, stained glass pendants and track lighting are considered “vintage” styles today. Edison bulbs may be making quite the comeback (thanks, hipsters), but this home’s fixtures are still drearily unappealing and out-of-style. 

Photo: Mark Spain Real Estate

The family room and wet bar featured in the listing are so retro that we half-expected to find Radio Shack’s TRS-80 “supercomputer” with four kilobytes of RAM powered up and ready for global domination — or a black and white game of chess.

Photo: Mark Spain Real Estate

The room also looks an awful lot like Stephen King’s home office from the 1980s, as seen on the cover of his memoir, On Writing. 


Lastly, don’t wallpaper your lamp shades. Like, ever.

Photo: Mark Spain Real Estate

3. “A Tale of Three Patterns” in deluxe color

A good litmus test for the walls of your home is this — does looking at them for prolonged periods of time make me want to vomit? If the answer is yes, we’re betting your walls look like something out of a Sears catalog from 1976. Time to tear down that paper and take a trip to Home Depot.

Photo: Mark Spain Real Estate

Colors, patterns and textures fall out of fashion quickly — wallpaper with sections of fuzzy material, eye-crossing patterns and psychedelic colors were all the rage in the sixties and seventies.

Photo: Mark Spain Real Estate

Mixing and matching bold, vibrant patterns was also a trend for a hot minute, but thankfully, designers have dialed it back.

4. Smoke and Mirrors

A well-placed mirror is a great way to make a small room feel instantly bigger. But dark, smoky, marble-esque mirrors — like these — were a staple in many homes and hotel rooms during the 1970s. 

Photo: Mark Spain Real Estate

Homeowners had a penchant for sticking them on bedroom ceilings and on bathroom walls for a sophisticated look. Riggghhhht.

 Today, the bathroom mirror is one of the most photographed of all home accessories, thanks to the popularity of the selfie. Today’s buyers — whether they know it or not — want their bathroom to be the ideal selfie environment, with clear mirrors and great lighting. They don’t want to look like they’re on the set of Scarface.

Photo: Mark Spain Real Estate

5. Let’s shag!

Like wall coverings, flooring reveals a lot about the age of a home. Bright colors, dizzying patterns and shag material were all big design trends back in the sixties and seventies.

Photo: Mark Spain Real Estate

And while shag is making a mini-comeback of sorts — it’s sometimes used in throw rugs, pillows and poufs — today’s buyers don’t necessarily find the material so groovy.

Photo: Mark Spain Real Estate

Bright blues, reds and greens are more apt to turn a buyer off than on. And the prospect of replacing 3,000-plus square feet of flooring may just send a buyer running back to the future in search of a new condo, packed with all the modern conveniences they’ve come to rely on.

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