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When you hear the words “outdated ’90s home,” what images come to mind? You might envision unnecessarily elaborate architectural elements, millwork, and built-ins. That period is responsible for many of the dated homes that now lead to highly sought-after renovations. We previously spoke to Ridley Wills, founder of Nashville’s premier design-build firm, The Wills Company, about ways to renovate your tired ’90s home. Today, we’re sharing impressive before and after photos of a recent project where Ridley put these tips into action. Take a look!

Located in Nashville, this home was built in the ’90s and is still occupied by the homeowners who originally built the house. “Over the years, the house became dated, and the clients needed to freshen it up,” says Ridley. “Their children have grown and moved out of the house, and they considered moving but ultimately decided they would stay there and bring it up to date.”

BEFORE: “The gist of the project was taking this big, dated ’90s house and updating it,” says Ridley of the project’s main design goal. “It’s not super contemporary, but it’s fresh.”
AFTER: Both the kitchen and living room in this Nashville home received a major facelift, thanks to the expertise of The Wills Company. Image: Quinn Ballard

The Wills Company was tasked with renovating the kitchen, family room, and living room. Collaborating with interior designer, Roger Higgins of R. Higgins Interiors, Ridley opened up the rooms and added windows, allowing more natural light to flood the spaces. One of the homeowners works in a profession where he is in the dark for most of the day; so this design goal was fundamental. “It’s not good to have a kitchen in the dark,” says Ridley. “So, we flipped the family room and kitchen location and opened them up to each other. We got rid of the fireplace and built-ins on the exterior wall and added new windows that overlook the backyard area.”

Outdated '90s living room with fireplace and dining room table.
BEFORE: Ridley and his team flipped the original living room and kitchen locations to maximize space and light. “The whole idea was to simplify the spaces and bring more light into them,” adds Ridley.
Renovated kitchen with black marble counter island, white cabinetry, and gold hardware.
AFTER: Add more light, indeed! Thanks to the addition of windows, the new kitchen now receives more natural light and overlooks the backyard. Image: Quinn Ballard

The homeowners also collect Italian pottery; so they wanted an updated way to display their collection. Ridley’s solution was to create open cubbies at the top of the kitchen cabinets. “The home has super tall, 12-foot ceilings; and the cabinets go to the ceiling purely for style reasons,” he explains.” You’re not storing anything up there that you’re really going to use; so the cubbies were a good way to bring the pottery into the room without cluttering up the space.”

Close-up of black marble island in renovated kitchen.
AFTER: “The client has a collection of Italian pottery; so we gave her a nice place to showcase it,” says Ridley of the cutouts in the kitchen. Image: Quinn Ballard

In addition to adding more natural light, Ridley also opened the kitchen area to the living room, allowing them to flow together more seamlessly. “Before the renovation, the living room was not very well connected to the kitchen. We opened it up through a wide, paneled opening to the kitchen,” explains Ridley. “It also had these built-in bookcases … and all this heavy, elaborate woodwork over the fireplace mantel. We calmed that down and made it simpler to bring the space up to date.”

Outdate '90s living room with elaborate millwork around living room fireplace.
BEFORE: The original living room was filled with dated architectural elements — from eccentric millwork around the fireplace to unnecessary built-ins.
Updated version of the living room from Wills Company.
AFTER: By calming down the fireplace’s millwork and removing the built-ins, the living room was transformed into a bright, airy, and welcoming space. Image: Quinn Ballard
BEFORE: The original living room was home to elaborate architectural details, including the woodwork around built-in bookcases pictured here.
Renovated living room with floor-to-ceiling windows and large walkway.
AFTER: “We opened up the living room and kitchen to each other; so now the whole thing flows for entertaining much better than it did,” explains Ridley. Image: Quinn Ballard

The result is a simplified, bright, and airy living room, kitchen, and family room. “The clients built this beautiful house in the ’90s; and after 20 years, it was time to renovate,” Ridley says. “We were able to open the spaces up, simplify them, bring in more natural light, and give this family a home to enjoy for another 20 years.”

The Wills Company is located at 6606 Charlotte Pike, Ste. 201, Nashville, TN 37209. To learn more, visit or call (615) 352-1228.

This article is sponsored by The Wills Company. All photography provided by The Wills Company unless otherwise noted.

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Brianna Goebel
About the Author
Brianna Goebel

Brianna is StyleBlueprint’s Associate Editor and Sponsored Content Manager. She is an avid fan of iced coffee and spends her free time reading all things true crime.