Why are so many houses so similar?

(368 Posts)
PoorOldCat Sat 22-Feb-14 08:14:42

I get updates from rightmove every day and I think about 90% of the houses have really similar interiors.

Everyone seems to have laminate floor, brown leather sofas, the ubiquitous 'feature wall' in some awful oversized floral pattern, steel and black framed things and huge tellys. And the kitchens and bathrooms all seem to be the P shaped shower bath and the varying shades of beige tiles.

I don't understand why, it's like looking at a display in B&Q over and over again. It's so ugly. But most of all it's so dull.

Do people like this stuff or is it just fashion, which no one really likes aside from the fact it makes your house look identical to other people's?

Finding a house to be proper nosey at, that has some sort of identity of its own is hard work.

I'm not sure what I'm trying to do or why it pisses me off so much, and I certainly don't want to offend anyone who does like their house this way...all the agents seem to say these are beautifully presented and will be very popular, so maybe it is just me who hates it, in which case, I'll take the flack smile

But why is it so popular to have your house like this? Because I just don't understand.

MoreBeta Sat 22-Feb-14 08:21:16

Are these houses that are new build or that have been 'done up' for resale. If so, that is why they look so similar.

They are decorated to be inoffensive to all tastes to maximise their appeal. You can paint when you move in.

Houses have always been decorated to fashions. Ours hasn't been updated since the 1970's (kitchen is original 1950's) so we have plenty of brown and orange walls and clashing carpets.

PoorOldCat Sat 22-Feb-14 08:50:09

Morebeta, most of them are older properties that have been 'done up' apparently to maximise appeal but to me it's a 'nope..nope...no...' as I go through them closing the tabs.

It isn't as simple as paint when you move in - it's that they have removed any trace of character by taking out any fireplaces, changing the windows to UPVC, laminating over floorboards, putting in hideous tiles and modern kitchens (I don't mean really nice, proper stylish modern but just standard issue B&Q)

and painting everything white, with the nasty wallpaper on one wall.

It's so horrible.

I like your house already, NoArmani!

PoorOldCat Sat 22-Feb-14 08:51:21

and who advises people to do this anyway? Is it from watching 'sell your house' type programmes? I think they need to be banned.

<possibly unreasonable>

MairzyDoats Sat 22-Feb-14 08:53:04

Oh god, I know, it completely puts you off going to look at them doesn't it?

noddyholder Sat 22-Feb-14 08:54:49

I never understand it I see them all over rightmove but irl never. I am an interior designer and have never been asked for any of that ever!

PoorOldCat Sat 22-Feb-14 08:56:17

Are you Nodders? How cool smile

I think a lot of it is DIY. I think people see the B&Q ads and think 'yea I can do that' and the trouble is B&Q is totally themed, you get one style to choose from, and that is it.

So everyone does the same.

DownstairsMixUp Sat 22-Feb-14 08:56:25

I agree, I find it really difficult imagining how I want it to look when I see it like that. I really detest wood flooring and spotlights but it seems to be in all the new houses. When we moved here we asked LL straight away to re carpet and change the lights so that's what we do! I'm partial to a fairy light but hate the floral wall/twigs/pebbly stuff. I like the "cottagy" look and woodburners always get me interested!

PoorOldCat Sat 22-Feb-14 08:58:30

Yes I am a sucker for an original fireplace - even better, an untouched kitchen and bathroom from roughly 1930. I fall in love with that every time (not that it happens often - we just missed one in fact and I must have rung the agents about 5 times to ask if it was all going ahead with the other buyers blush)

Lagoonablue Sat 22-Feb-14 09:04:05

Just a fashion. You can change it all when you move on and restore features if you want. We just moved to a 30s house and while the bathroom and kitchen are modernised a bit how you describe, new handles, work tops and nice paint have made the kitchen much nicer.

Luckily for us they left the old fireplaces, doors and picture rails so there are some original features. Unfortunately the upvc front door has to go!

MomentForLife Sat 22-Feb-14 09:05:26

It's the whole right, I like that brown and teal wallpaper, so I'll also buy the teal cushion, the coordinating fluffy rug, the teal artificial pebbles and fake flowers.

littlecrystal Sat 22-Feb-14 09:06:03

Oh dear, I am one of them. My house may be not exactly that, but when I am looking at Rightmove I am drawn to brown sofas, feature walls, beige tiles and P bath tubs. This seriously gives me a thought to think twice when I plan my own interior <now scrolling through green sofas on ebay>

PoorOldCat Sat 22-Feb-14 09:07:34

Yes - I know you can technically restore things but there is something about the original stuff that is different...trying to find a match on ebay for example, to a door that was once there, and especially a fireplace, is a total nightmare and can take years of searching.

It's never the same. For example, the place we're hopefully buying has an original fireplace, and to remove that would mean literally taking the plaster off the walls either side, to remove the cast iron lugs, then replastering, etc - so fitting one would be the same process again but backwards. Then you have got the original way they built it to be part of the heating system, trying to replicate that is not going to be easy or straightforward.

So it isn't just a case of buy a new fire. I think people underestimate the damage they are doing when they 'update' stuff. It makes me really sad actually.

jonicomelately Sat 22-Feb-14 09:08:33

I agree it's a ubiquitous look and it's dreadful. It doesn't even suit our climate either. I prefer cosy interiors to be honest.

PoorOldCat Sat 22-Feb-14 09:10:51

Moment - maybe - I seriously wonder if people 'like' this stuff because it's what they are told they should like?

I don't know. I'm the same with clothes though, I don't really get a lot of the 'fashion' thing - if I like something it's because of what it is, 80% of the time, and I might eventually start to like something if it's in fashion for long enough!

The original features of a 1930's house are lovely. But our 1950/60s house doesn't have nice original features. There are some decades that style forgot.

PoorOldCat Sat 22-Feb-14 09:12:15

I really am starting to think it's B&Q's fault.

Try going in there and buying ANYTHING that isn't neutral (apart from a feature cushion or wallpaper).

You seriously can't get anything at all that doesn't fit that particular style. Homebase is the same too.

ithaka Sat 22-Feb-14 09:12:21

Sadly, some of don't have original features to restore, as market forces mean we have to live in little modern boxes.

You do sound a bit snooty about people who don't have lovely fireplaces and floorboards. Everyone loves a period property, but mot everyone can afford them.

Everything else you describe is just cosmetic decoration & furniture and presumably you wouldn't be buying a house fully furnished but would move your own (non brown leather) settees in.

PoorOldCat Sat 22-Feb-14 09:13:04

NoArmani - my folks love 60s houses, I can't do it, having grown up in one.

It had almost zero character sad

PoorOldCat Sat 22-Feb-14 09:15:32

'You do sound a bit snooty about people who don't have lovely fireplaces and floorboards. Everyone loves a period property, but mot everyone can afford them.'

NOOOOO seriously it isnt that. It's people chucking them out deliberately, or replacing perfectly nice older stuff with ugly, incongruous (expensive) stuff from a chain store.

That is what I am snooty about. I think it's so sad. It's not a case of thinking people in boring houses, that were always boring, are less good than those who have interesting houses.

Not at all, I'm not that horrible.

It's the deliberate boringifying of houses that used to be nice.

Maybe I am snooty about people having no individuality in this, or no imagination, and obviously that isn't their fault so point taken.

But I hope that makes sense.

LizLemonaid Sat 22-Feb-14 09:16:30

I like they layout , but yeh, i have a horror of my house looking like the next catalogue!

Ive a feeling that wont happen though. :-)

TunipTheUnconquerable Sat 22-Feb-14 09:16:44

'But our 1950/60s house doesn't have nice original features. There are some decades that style forgot.'

I disagree that style forgot those decades; there are some lovely houses from then. It's all in the simplicity, the nice proportions, the big windows (which can still be ruined with over-chunky UPVC frames). The trouble is because they're plain it's easy to make them look dreary when people overdo the neutrals.

noddyholder Sat 22-Feb-14 09:17:29

I am not precious about original features unless a building is listed or conservation or very beautiful. If the design needs them to go I rip them out. Most of the time I do restore as that is my 'look' but sometimes you can achieve more without having to consider them. It's what you do after that matters. I do think the current fashion for cheap quick fixes is a mistake though it never lasts and looks a bit samey.

I didn't have a choice, it was the only house we could afford.

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