Mid-century Makeovers: Ideas to Steal From Stylish '60s Homes
Take a look at these clever ideas that are sympathetic to the original style of these 1960s homes
Take a look at how these designers have done it, and grab some ideas for your own home.
If you’re wondering what colour scheme to go for in your 1960s home, take inspiration from the building itself. Deborah Moor and Caroline Nicholls of Slightly Quirky, who designed the interior of this 1960s Span house, did just that.
“For the colour palette, we looked back at the hues of the 1960s – earthy tones such as olive, red and orange – for inspiration,” says Moor. “The wallpaper is seagrass, inspired by the hessian wallpapers of the era.”
Behind the scenes with a colour consultant
Another key element in the design of this Span house was the creation of an open feel. The designers took advantage of the lack of building restrictions to make some structural changes, including swapping full-height walls for half-height ones and squaring off archways.
The opening here was squared off and framed with plywood to create a clean, modern look.
If the windows in your 1960s property aren’t in good condition, or aren’t in keeping with the rest of the house, it’s worth replacing them. In this 1960s modernist home, the designers at Holt Construction replaced all the windows in the house with oak frames.
“This was probably the biggest challenge,” says designer James Holt, “as the double-glazed windows were bespoke, made to be in keeping with the modernist style and to match the other houses on the estate.”
The kitchen and dining room in the 1960s home Holt Construction redesigned were originally located either side of the hallway at the front of the property. Rather than moving the kitchen to the back of the house, the team knocked through the hallway to create an open-plan living space instead. To achieve this, they also moved the stairs from the central area to a side wall.
The redesign of this dated 1960s terrace by Studio Wolter Navarro is simple and minimal, but the wooden chevron-patterned floor adds warmth and character.
The oak floorboards are a little lighter than the original Brazilian cedar parquet (see the next photo), which gives the room a bright, airy feel.
“The owner kept every piece and sold it to someone who was going to use it in their house, which was nice,” he adds.
Some 1960s houses have a storage shed, accessed from outside, where the original owners would have stored coal. If you don’t need this area, you could make the most of it by turning it into an internal space.
The storage shed on this ex-council property, to the right of the front door, had already been converted when the current owners bought it, but it was quite narrow and had a low ceiling.
Architect Frederik Rissom of R2 Studio Architects, who owns the property with his wife, Emily, says, “It was cold and cramped, with a narrow entrance porch and a 1.9 metre ceiling height. Being almost 2 metres tall, this really didn’t work for me in particular.”
The couple got round this by enlarging the space by six square metres and extending upwards to match the ceiling height of the rest of the ground floor. They needed planning permission to do this, and they kept the design sympathetic by matching the existing concrete feature lintels on the outside.
Just as they’d reinstated the concrete lintel around their new porch, Frederik and Emily Rissom were keen to restore other features in the property.
These original 1960s open-riser stairs were “painstakingly refurbished”, while the concrete shelf above the sofa was exposed and sealed.
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