How to decorate a 1960s house

I love my house, but not how it looks.

We bought this place because it was in the right place at the right time and was a sound investment. I love what we’re doing to the inside, but it’s hard to renovate in the way that we’re always told we should: by being true to the building.

You see, I pretty much hate the building. Built in the 1970s, it is made of sand-coloured brick and has the most awful faux-Georgian front door surround. It’s the kind of house millions of British families live in and while, like I said, I do love it despite its faults it’s not the Victorian or art deco property of my dreams.

When I saw this 1960s Leeds house on House to Home I was struck by the architectural similarities with mine and intrigued to see how the owners had decorated inside.

Leeds 1960s house tour: how to decorate a 1960s house | www.angelinthenorth.com

I must say, I wasn’t expecting to like what they’d done.

But I loved it.

It’s thoroughly modern, as a house of this era should be, but there are some traditional touches and several references to its period in wallpaper and textiles.

Some of its rooms – in particular the kitchen diner and living room – are decorated just to my taste and the internal refurbishment seems to have struck a perfect balance with the building. The 1960s are there with their print, pattern and colour but they live happily under the same roof with features from other decades.

And so it solved my dilemma. Yes, that old rule of renovating – to be true to the era in which the property was built – is sensible but that doesn’t have to mean everything from top to toe. A few touches here and there work well and can easily co-habit with design from other times.

Leeds 1960s house tour: how to decorate a 1960s house | www.angelinthenorth.com

Leeds 1960s house tour: how to decorate a 1960s house | www.angelinthenorth.com

The living room has a feature wall painted dark grey (Fired Earth ‘mercury’) and a tall fire surround found at a salvage yard and painted off-white. The insect and butterfly prints are from Rockett St George.

Leeds 1960s house tour: how to decorate a 1960s house | www.angelinthenorth.com

Leeds 1960s house tour: how to decorate a 1960s house | www.angelinthenorth.com

Leeds 1960s house tour: how to decorate a 1960s house | www.angelinthenorth.com

A wall was removed between the kitchen and old sun room to create a new kitchen diner. The white kitchen units are from Arnold Laver. The room was given an injection of personality with a blackboard panel (Johnstone’s blackboard paint) and teal subway tiles (from Fired Earth’s metropolitan range). The geometric, monochrome wallpaper is Osborne & Little ‘Triffid’ and the blind is made in Sanderson dandelion clocks fabric.

Leeds 1960s house tour: how to decorate a 1960s house | www.angelinthenorth.com

Leeds 1960s house tour: how to decorate a 1960s house | www.angelinthenorth.com

The main bedroom has a feature wall in bold floral wallpaper (Designers Guild darly indigo) and a sunburst mirror from Laura Ashley. The owners moved the stairs to make space for an en-suite bathroom, and painted the walls navy (Fired Earth ‘carbon blue’) to complement the bedroom wallpaper.

Leeds 1960s house tour: how to decorate a 1960s house | www.angelinthenorth.com

The guest bedroom has colourful, geometric bedding from John Lewis.

Leeds 1960s house tour: how to decorate a 1960s house | www.angelinthenorth.com

Leeds 1960s house tour: how to decorate a 1960s house | www.angelinthenorth.com

The office has a string shelf system from Funktion Alley and is painted in Fired Earth Indian yellow.

What do you think? Did the interior surprise you too?

PS I found out via Twitter on the day I posted that this house belongs to the lovely lady behind Cats Print Shop – do take a look at her unique silhouette prints!

 

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3 thoughts on “How to decorate a 1960s house”

  1. It’s totally gorgeous. Whilst we’re a long way off from buying a house, I am constantly browsing on Rightmove and I am a sucker for decent curb appeal. So often houses which are spacious and have great features inside look ugly from the outside (to my mind), particularly in our area but this kind of proves that it’s not the be all and end all!

  2. I agree this is a stunning place. Amazing what can be done with quite run of the mill places. We’re also moving into a “vintage” house that’s more towards the blah end of the scale, so this post offers some great inspiration.

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