Sixties/Seventies Exterior Makeover Ideas

60s/70s Exterior Makeover

There are many reasons why we bought this house. Good looks isn’t one of them. It’s the ugly duckling of the road – all the other houses are lovely Victorian houses….beautiful barge boards, smart front doors, sash windows. I pity the people opposite who have this as the view from their living room window!:

Current House

But I have plans to improve the situation! I know full well that our house is never going to match its Victorian neighbours. But I’d love it to look/feel like this instead:

Cream Clad House

Image source

Or this (I like this example because it has a shallow pitch on the roof, and I certainly can’t afford to change the pitch on my place):

Key West Home

Image source

Cottagey, basically. I feel nervous about trying to make it prettier, because a) I’m no architectural expert and b) a lot of people scoff that people shouldn’t “try to make their houses look older”. But my aim isn’t to make it look older, just a lot prettier! It seems that 60s/70s houses lend themselves well to a really modern makeover, like this one:

60s Before and After

Source: Back to Front Exterior Design

Or this one (no before picture, but you get the idea):

Modern makeover

Image source

Those places look great, but the cottagey look just makes me happy. I’d love to have many tens of thousands of ££ to throw at the exterior situation, so I could hire the geniuses at Back to Front Exterior Design, and be sure of a great outcome. But I don’t have that kind of budget, and even if I did it wouldn’t make sense as I wouldn’t recoup that kind of money if I wanted to sell the house. So here’s an idea of the changes I plan to make, spending minimal money (excuse the dodgy Photoshop job!):

Exterior Plan

Current House

Definitely doing:

  • Changing the 1st floor windows so there are 2 distinct windows, rather than one “monobrow” window
  • Replacing all windows with more attractive versions (the current windows are already falling out anyway)
  • Painting the whole place a white-ish colour of some sort (not bright white though). Cladding/render is out of budget.
  • Putting up some window boxes and trellis
  • Replacing/improving the front door
  • Changing the house number, light and doorbell
  • Screening the bins
  • Planting up the bed by the bins
  • Resurfacing the front yard, and as much of the shared driveway as possible

Hopefully doing:

  • Fitting more substantial window sills
  • Putting a pitched roof on the porch, or if that’s out of budget then…
  • Replacing the existing flat roof, building a shallow pergola over the front edge, then growing a climber over it
  • Getting the ugly telegraph pole removed
  • Growing a pretty plant up the house (it’s north facing, so will have to choose carefully)
  • Changing the front gate for a more substantial wooden one
  • Would love to have a hedge, but space is limited

Would like to do, but doubt I can afford it:

  • Swap all the upvc fascias for wooden bargeboards
  • Swap the guttering and downpipes for metal instead of plastic

From a practical standpoint, we’re also planning to be able to park a car on the front yard, so we can reclaim some of the garden at the back (currently given over to parking).

Window-wise, I’d like sash windows because they’re lovely but I have the “don’t try to make your house look old if it’s not” warnings echoing in my ears. I’m encouraged by the following makeover of a 70s house, which has sash windows and I think it looks very nice, not at all jarring:

70s Exterior Makeover


It’s scary, making changes to the front of your house using only your judgement! If it looks awful I can’t just strategically hang a picture over it to cover it up, it’ll be on show for the whole world to see…the first impression. Wish me luck, when I finally get started! :)

Until next time x

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Comments 3

  1. Jen

    I don’t know how old this blog post is as I stumbled across it while searching for ideas how to make my new build house more cottagey. But anyhow, your ideas look great and I’d love to see how it all turned out!

  2. Michelle

    Bought a house similar and it is the ugly duckling of the cul de sac . What to do modern but architects are so expensive. Good luck, would love to know how you are getting on.

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