Published on June 17, 2021

Every home buyer has a favorite decade. That’s why you’ll find some people narrow their real-estate search down to just old Victorian cottages; others go for strictly mid-century modern ranches. But not all eras of houses lend themselves to a renovation. If a fixer-upper is your speed, consider shopping exclusively in the 1970s. 

According to a new report from U.K.-based radiator brand Stelrad, which looked at Pinterest search data in 2021 so far, inquiries into 1970s house renovations have increased by 82 percent (that’s more than searches for places built in the ’30s or ’60s). Turns out, people need a little inspiration to help them see past the floral-wallpapered bathrooms, bifold closet doors, wood-paneled dens, and tiled kitchen countertops. But before you go knocking out every last blast from the past, earmark these retro features as must-keeps.

Plush Wall-to-Wall Carpeting

pink bedroom carpetingPin It
Photography by Anson Smart

If it’s a little shaggy or a bold hue, consider painting the walls or fireplace a crisp white like Benjamin Moore’s Simply White to bring the soft floor covering up to speed. Modern art and pooling linen drapery will also make it look totally fresh. 

Interior Brick Walkways

retro wood living roomPin It
Photography by Yoshihiro Makino

The terracotta tones of brick flooring will actually make your space feel warm and cozy, so leave it intact and pick up on the color elsewhere with, say, a burgundy velvet sofa or cherrywood cabinetry. 

Vertical Blinds

light shining dining roomPin It
Photography by Liz Mundle; Design by The Future Perfect

Before you let your mind venture into sad corporate-office vibes, give the thin slats a second look—you might notice how they create graphic stripes on every surface when the sun hits them just right. It’s still groovy, but with a 2021 twist. 

For hands-on advice from designers and pro DIYers, plus more scrappy before-and-after transformations, subscribe to Reno. Let your in-box do all the hard work—for now.

Discussion