If you live in an older home, you probably know that it may have been put through some atrocities of interior and exterior design during its lifespan. When you bought it, did it have radioactive orange shag rugging? What about wall paneling that was both cheap and an assault to your eyes? Are these things still there? Fix up your home by gutting the place and returning your home to a more basic setup.
If there is carpet in the house that is just too old to be any good, do not think about replacing it or cleaning it. Instead, get someone to come in and just take it out. There are likely old planks beneath it that are still just as sturdy and solid as ever. They have been protected for years, even if protected by something ugly. Refinish them and stain them for a traditional hardwood floor look and feel.
Do the same thing for the walls. Rip off any paneling that is still up, and tear down all the wallpaper. Resurface the walls in any way you can that appeals to you and matches your new floors. A new coat of paint can save almost any wall. If one wall is too damaged for a coat of paint, consider an inside brick wall or a rock mosaic for an earthy feel that matches your hardwood floors.
In addition to tearing out anything on the inside of the home's surfaces that insult your sense of style, decency and modernity, look outside too. Your older home might have vinyl siding that is just woefully outdated. Get rid of it. Treat the wood beneath, or just enjoy the bricks that hold your home together. More than that, think about new roofing and gutters and even repaving the driveway and sidewalks on your property.
Do not stop with just the physical house structure itself. Look around at the furniture and appliances you have stocked the house with. If you had to buy an older home on the cheap, your belongings within it are likely second-hand used goods that maybe were in style a decade ago. Look at your budget for replacing any of this, but also consider refinishing individual pieces for a fresh and new look.
If worst comes to worst and you just can not stand this place any more but cannot sell it, move out and rent the place. Someone is always looking for a place to live, and most would rather rent a home than an apartment. You might just be able to rent it out for more than you pay every month on the mortgage, giving you a nice little stream of income while you move into somewhere modern. It might feel strange living in a rental while you rent out a home you own, but you deserve to live in a place that does not assault your eyes.
With luck, getting your old home back down to the basic structure will be like polishing a dirty stone to find a gem. Hopefully, you will find your home is quite striking instead of a place that strikes you as utterly repulsive.