There are plenty of cringe-worthy designs to be found on 1970s house exteriors, like mismatched shades of brown and cluttered details with too much going on, but not everything from the disco era should be thrown out when updating a 1970s house exterior. In fact, some elements are still highly sought after today and can be saved when given the right refreshManyny of these exterior elements can shine in today’s market with a simple color change or material swap, expressing modern taste and style.
Whether you’re updating a 1970s ranch house or bringing contemporary flair to a multi-level home, these five design ideas will steer you in the right direction on what to keep, what to toss, and what to change completely. Take a look!
1. Update the Lighting Fixtures
Bulky, brown carriage house lanterns were big in the ‘70s, but chances are those fixtures won’t flatter the home with today’s design trends. Some lanterns are still stylish today, but now they have more modern shapes with elegant lines. Lighting fixtures with black frames and minimalist designs are considered more appropriate for today’s exterior trends.
Swapping the lighting fixtures can be key when updating a 1970s house exterior — and it can benefit the home in more ways than one. In addition to updating the allure of the home, replacing light fixtures is a great way to increase energy efficiency and make sure that the electrical elements are still safe and up to code. Consider using cutting-edge lighting fixtures that feature dusk-to-dawn activation and other energy-saving elements.
2. Reclaim Stone Elements with More Natural Allure
Stone and brick were both popular features on 1970s house exteriors. However, many of these natural elements were presented with bright color palettes and outdated sheens. Believe it or not, painting natural stone columns orange or brown wasn’t that uncommon back in the ‘70s!
These unnatural stone colors are considered gaudy by today’s standards, and there is a preference on natural gray tones. The good news is that they’re super easy to fix! Just as reclaimed wood has seen a rise in modern design trends, reclaimed stone is considered much more desirable than stone features that have been painted over in glossy finishes. If the surface finish from the ‘70s is too difficult to remove, limewash paint can serve as a great product for restoring old stone columns to a more natural appearance — even if it’s technically an additional coat on top.
3. Add Brackets and Trim
Looking for a simple addition to rejuvenate a tired exterior from the 1970s? Add brackets and intricate trim to the porch, overhangs, and awnings for instant allure. Some exteriors may already feature these elements and simply need a refresh.
The key here is to choose either strongly contrasting colors with a neutral base, like white, or choose a maximum of two tones in the same color family. For example, brown on brown can work with a cabin-style aesthetic so long as the tones are similar and harmonious. Avoid going overboard and picking 3 or more colors from the same color family — a major faux pas from the ‘70s!
4. Refresh the Exterior with Crisp, Modern Color Contrast
Likewise, siding palettes have changed in the past few decades, and today’s homeowners prefer more modern and refreshing color combinations, like white and black or red and white. Crispness is vital, and it is achieved with contrasting exterior trim, like shutters, banisters, columns, and window trim.
If you’re updating a 1970s house exterior, the chances are that you’re dealing with inconsistent colors due to fading and sun damage. This can make repainting difficult. A good solution is to replace the exterior siding with a modern material that is resistant to sun damage. Fiber cement siding is a fine example of a modern siding material that is designed to maintain its original appearance and color consistency, even with prolonged sun exposure.
5. Similar Siding Styles, Smarter Fabrication
There are many elements of modern exterior design that express similarities with features from the 1970s. For example, board and batten siding was popular then, and it continues to be a trending siding style now. The same can be said of shake. These are features that can still be attractive today — given the right colors and materials.
A lot of shake and board and batten siding was made from wood in the 1970s, which means that it is more susceptible to water damage, fires, insect infestations, and weather damage. Replacing the siding with fiber cement is an excellent way to upgrade the home with a more durable material that won’t require nearly as much upkeep.
There are so many smart options for updating a 1970s house exterior. Contact Allura today to discover modern siding colors and styles that can bring an instant refresh to outdated homes.