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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