Adding character to 80s houses?

(6 Posts)
Elizabeth22 Sat 16-Feb-13 12:31:20

80s houses can have a lot of faux period detailing which can look a bit dated now unfortunately. However, I've seen lots of expensive looking American homes on pinterest that look good even though they have lots of panelling and picture rails. I think the trick is the colours they use (moody greys and blues) and avoid anything remotely fussy or twee.

However, you may find what worked in period properties such as Farrow and Ball highly pigmented paint may look a bit dull and 'muddy'.

Like other posters have said - wooden floors can make a space feel more contemporary.

Avoid net curtains - try white shutters or translucent blinds perhaps?

Avoid carpet in the bathroom!

Get a plasterer to skim artex ceilings.

Paint over any brown varnished wood (doors, banisters, window frames). Makes a huge difference.

Replace any brass light switches with contemporary ones.

In kitchens, take down some of the wall cabinets to make it look airy. Replace with open shelves.

I'm sure others will have lots of tips too.

beancounting Fri 15-Feb-13 20:23:07

Thanks all, I especially like the idea of a wood burner and think modern might be the way forward - have been googling contemporary doors and staircases and getting quite enthusiastic! I'd love one of those external renovations, some of them are amazing - but suspect that our budget might not stretch to that.

jammybean Wed 13-Feb-13 22:12:39

In a similar situation trying to buy a period house that ticks all the boxes. We've considered buying a 1960's detached house (in a great village) which isn't particularly inspiring and doing an external renovation and adding an extension downstairs. I guess the positives are higher celings, bigger rooms and open plan living. If you have a decent budget something as simple as rendering brickwork and changing windows makes a huge difference.

www.channel4.com/4homes/build-renovate/building-renovating-advice/exterior-facelifts-gallery

madcows Tue 12-Feb-13 09:41:28

This was us 2 years ago. Just like you we went for boring 1980s Barrett house as we got (a lot) more for our money. Like you I'd always imagined myself in a characterful period property. This will never be that - but there are many advantages (lots more space, detached, bigger garden, garage, parking etc etc). We've taken out all carpet and put in wooden floors, modern kitchen and bathroom. We love it. I've always liked a mix of modern and old - and a lot of our furniture is old (not valuable enough to be called antique... but has character!) We're planning to put in a wood burner next year - a friend who lives in an identical house down the road has done that, and it looks great - and definitely adds character!
Hope that helps!

survivingwinter Tue 12-Feb-13 09:01:05

Watching with interest as we have an 80s house on an estate. We still have all the original fixtures and fittings which definitely need replacing when we can afford to do it! I have no idea what will work as I have much more of a period property kind of style...

Going for a very modern look I think is the way forward but hopefully you might get someone here who has done an 80s house up!

beancounting Sun 10-Feb-13 21:52:41

We're currently looking for a new house having accepted an offer on ours before Christmas - so far our buyers have been very patient but they won't wait for ever and we're really struggling to find anything we like. We were hoping for a period property (our current house is a Victorian terrace with lots of period features) but one of the areas we really like is quite expensive and the older houses are out of budget so we've started looking at houses on a small 80`s estate there - but so far they don't seem particularly charming.

How do you make a modern property more characterful and interesting? Would it look silly to add stripped wooden doors, for example? I'm a bit lacking in imagination and experience of this age of property, and have no idea what would work and what might make it look like a theme pub - help!

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