Restore, renovate, revitalize, refurbish and renew are frequently confused but on the other hand, they can often be used interchangeably. I hope this helps you to discern the differences between the words a little better.
To Restore means to bring something that already exists back to its former state when it is not in good condition. Examples could be a statue that needs to be refinished, or a neighborhood that needs to be reconstructed, or trust in a government that needs to be regained.
To renovate means to change or to restore something to good condition, but that does not necessarily mean renovating it to its former state. Whatever is being renovated might not be in need of restoration; maybe somebody just wants a change. If we are talking about a home, that might mean to knock down a couple of walls in order to revamp the upholstery, recondition the flooring, repaint the walls, and anything else major and inconvenient.
To revitalize means to give something a new life, as in to revive and reinvigorate something, and also to reanimate something’s former vitality. In other words, it means to rejuvenate. As an example, there are a lot of hair products on the market that claim they will revitalize our hair. Or, as another example, every city has or should have programs to regularly revitalize their public parks.
To refurbish means to renovate and/or to redecorate. We often use refurbish when referring to a big project. An example could be to refurbish an old home in order to make it into a business place. In that case, the home would be renovated to make it into office space, repairs would be made, everything would be redecorated, and the grounds would be revitalized and maybe replanted.
To renew means to resume something after an interruption. It is often used for contracts, magazine or newspaper subscriptions, a relationship that is being rekindled, or stock in a store or restaurant that needs to be replenished.
Very old restaurants and historical buildings are usually to look exactly as they did originally, even if they are only repainted.
When sports stars fall out of favor with the public because of some kind of inappropriate behavior, the manufacturers that have them under advertising contracts don’t really care that much because they like their advertisement campaigns with new faces to promote their brands.
New York City’s meatpacking district, which has a long and very colorful history dating back to when the Native Americans owned it, was in the late 1990s and is now considered a very fashionable neighborhood.
Each U.S. president is allotted $100,000 to the White House but a curator must approve any changes or additions, because the White House is not only an official residence and workplace, but also an historic building.
Buckingham Palace is being and the whole project is expected to take 10 years and cost Ł370 million. It has 775 rooms and among other things, its 100 miles of electrical cables will be replaced, as well as its 20 miles of lead and cast iron pipework. The leaky bathrooms and ceilings also need work – the palace has not been redecorated since 1952.
I was born near the end of WWII and raised in a small town in New Jersey, just a little more than a 30-minute drive from NYC. It was a wonderful place to be brought up, feeding ducks and canoeing on the river that meandered through the town in the summer, and ice-skating on that same river in the winter.
My two brothers and I were privileged to be raised in a lovely town that was safe to explore on foot, but close enough to NYC to be taken there on day trips to see the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Baily B & B circus, museums, Chinatown, street fairs in the spring and Broadway shows as we grew older. But we thought nothing of it.
Later as teens, we would go into NYC to buy a couple of beers (the drinking age in New York State was 18, and 21 in New Jersey) and hang out in Greenwich Village where we saw singers such as Bob Dylan who were on the first rung of the ladder on their way to fame.
The sixties were a time of speaking out and creating change. I decided to do my part by joining the Peace Corps, an innovative cold war program established by John F. Kennedy in 1961. I arrived in Brazil at the end of 1966, and after an adaptation period, was sent to serve in Porto Nacional, in what was Goias at that time. I can’t say I changed the course of the country, especially as I was immediately called upon to teach English in the local high school.
I have been teaching ever since; high schools, college literature, college language pedagogy, financial English and everything in-between. I married a wonderful Brazilian from Rio and we had 3 boys and moved around some, as he was an engineer who worked on hydro dams. Nowadays I am a widow and live in BH with 3 cats, one of which has extraordinary powers, and I have 4 wonderful and uniquely different grandchildren nearby. Thus far, I have had an interesting life, and this new endeavor called a blog should make it even more interesting.