How to Restore a 1960's Contemporary House

Written by meg jernigan
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How to Restore a 1960's Contemporary House

Contemporary homes in the 1960s featured clean, modern lines with no added frills or ornamentation. It's easy to spot a contemporary home from the '60s. Many of them are standard, ranch-style homes, but a percentage were designed by architects and feature interesting details, such as large windows, flat roofs and a mixture of materials used on the exterior. Save and refurbish as many of the original elements as you can when you restore a 1960s contemporary house.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Paint
  • Built-ins
  • Lighting
  • Flooring

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  1. 1

    Restore the outside of the home by removing old siding and paint that was added to the house. Take off any ornamentation, such as columns, shutters and ironwork.

  2. 2

    Remove later additions to the house, such as sun rooms or porches that aren't true to the design. Repaint the house and have brickwork pointed and shingles restored or replaced.

  3. 3

    Take down interior walls that have been added. Reverse changes that were made to fireplaces by removing mantels and columns. Strip paint off brick and stone to return them to their natural state.

    How to Restore a 1960's Contemporary House
  4. 4

    Replace the flooring with carpet in bedrooms and hallways. Use slate on entryway floors and cork or wood in common areas. Put recessed lighting in common areas, such as living rooms and family rooms. Paint walls white or off-white.

    How to Restore a 1960's Contemporary House
  5. 5

    Install built-ins. 1960s era built-ins are made of light-coloured wood and are hung from walls rather than set on legs or the floor so that they appear to float. Unadorned cupboards with doors and bookcases are common additions.

    How to Restore a 1960's Contemporary House
  6. 6

    Strip kitchens of changes that were made after the house was built that reflect other styles. Contemporary homes in the '60s had plenty of counter space and a breakfast room, or informal dining room, in the kitchen. Light wood was used on cupboards, and drawer pulls were simple.

Tips and warnings

  • Check scrap yards, flea markets and antique stores for contemporary materials to refurbish the home.

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