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.

PoorOldCat Sat 22-Feb-14 09:17:39

It isn't about money either.

Have you seen the prices of this stuff in Next, or B&Q?

I feel sad that people are advised, or think it's necessary, to have that style even if it isn't them, or they don't really like it.

Most of our stuff was cheap from ebay, it's all tatty, all second hand without exception. But I like it. It's not there because someone else dictated that's how houses have to be.

noddyholder Sat 22-Feb-14 09:18:17

I love 60s houses

LizLemonaid Sat 22-Feb-14 09:18:31

Houses like u describe, they're what people wanted at the time though. No readon to assume that our cjildren wont wince and shudder at the hug car sales show rooms built on the back of every semi!

PoorOldCat Sat 22-Feb-14 09:19:29

Oh I am precious about original features. I think that's why I couldn't be a designer - you would have to follow client orders! It makes me cry to see a fireplace being ripped out blush

jonicomelately Sat 22-Feb-14 09:20:55

Whether a house is period or not makes no difference IMO. I've been in loads of period houses with awful interiors and lots of new houses with lovely, inviting interiors. Money isn't the issue either. Imagination costs nothing.

LizLemonaid Sat 22-Feb-14 09:21:04

So do i! My parents live in one. Space & light amazing. Cold tho.

I think it is no less susceptible to fashion thab jeans! Slower thats all.

LizLemonaid Sat 22-Feb-14 09:21:58

Would it make u cry to rip out a hatch?

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

That q to poor old cat.

noddyholder Sat 22-Feb-14 09:23:51

But if they are not needed or used and there is a need for space etc then it is better they go. They always get re used. They also don't always fit the design. Most designers and renovators aren't as precious as those on tv. When I remove fireplaces the finished design is such that it was never obvious there was one there. Eg bedrooms without chimney breasts are easier to furnish and storage is simpler which is how we live now. 60s houses have their own character usually in the light and space,you get.

Bluestocking Sat 22-Feb-14 09:23:54

I love 1960s houses. We live in one now (rented, sadly, I wish it was our own) and it has almost no wasted space. Our own house is from the 1900s and is charming in many ways but so badly laid out!

LizLemonaid Sat 22-Feb-14 09:25:04

And...... if u do rip out an old fireplace just sell it. No massive biggie imo. Somebody else can put it in.

As for the hatch that used to be between small kitchens and dining rooms, that just happens not to b fadhionable. Nobody cares about losing features that arent fashionable!!! So, are we better than previous generations??

most things that are particularly fashionable will look dated in time.

my house is a little terraced cottage and while the previous owner added some lovely modern things that work, the front door is a hideous PVC mock-wood monstrosity. however, it is secure, insulated and draught-free, so we will keep it for the time being as replacing it isn't a priority while we have a loft to convert. it will come to the end of it's life at some point and then we will look at replacing it with something more in keeping

I thought serving hatches were coming back in. We've been in 2 minds whether to keep ours

TunipTheUnconquerable Sat 22-Feb-14 09:34:20

For me, the continuity of it being the same fireplace in the same place for centuries is a link with previous inhabitants, and I value it far more than a fireplace that has been moved from somewhere else.

Hence me preferring listed buildings despite all the annoying paperwork, but I don't expect everyone to share my obsession.

noddyholder Sat 22-Feb-14 09:34:39

Where I live some of the period houses that have clung to the features just for the sake of it all look very samey. It was fashion in the 80s until about 2006 ish to keep them no matter what but a cleaner less cluttered look has made people less bothered. Every style can look great if the finish is good and the materials are quality.

Llareggub Sat 22-Feb-14 09:46:14

I have a serving hatch. It's very handy. My DCs play shops with it.

I have a 1930s house with all sorts of period features. The house was lived in by the same woman from new build to around 10 years ago and she added bits over the years. The fireplaces are the original, as are the picture rails and part of the kitchen. The cupboard under the stairs still has the original wallpaper and hooks. My neighbours still have the bell for the maid!

However there is a really grim 1960s garage, UPVC windows and doors and various hideous additi

Llareggub Sat 22-Feb-14 09:48:14

Bugger. Pressed send to early.

I like the way my house has grown over the years. It may not be stylish but I like seeing the impact of the years.

Bunbaker Sat 22-Feb-14 09:52:26

"it's all tatty, all second hand without exception. But I like it."

And I don't. I grew up in an Edwardian house and it was dark, dusty, full of antiques and tatty furniture. How I longed to live in a clean, light and airy 1960s box with a modern kitchen. The next house was a Victorian terrace with a feature stone fireplace and hideous 1970s decor, most of which I painted over.

The next two houses had feature stone fireplaces, and the next house also. By that time we were sick of the sight of them. This one wasn't an original feature, being a 1976 extension on a 200 year old house, so we had the fireplace and feature stone wall and ledge ripped out and plastered over, to give us a lovely light and airy room.

I have lived in old and new houses and, while the 200 year old house was beautiful it had so many ongoing problems - damp, subsidence, woodworm etc, and cost a fortune to heat so we moved into a solidly built 1990s house which has ticked more of the right boxes than any house we have lived in.

I don't "do" hideous wallpaper feature walls, or leather sofas. Our house is a comfortable family home with all the mod cons, and that is how I like it. And I expect you would find it rather boring, but I don't care for quirky decor.

LizLemonaid Sat 22-Feb-14 09:53:39

Well , i have a 70s stone clad fire place and im keeping it.

sebsmummy1 Sat 22-Feb-14 09:54:52

I have to say im not looking at interior decoration. I'm looking at size of rooms, size of garden, parking, area, schooling. Feature walls and brown sofas that will disappear with the vendors are the least of my concerns when buying a house.

noddyholder Sat 22-Feb-14 09:57:32

I agree I never would look at the other people's stuff. Space light general condition of structure

TunipTheUnconquerable Sat 22-Feb-14 10:00:23

I asked my estate agent if I should replace my horrible living room curtains (after reading all those threads on Mumsnet about making a house neutral to sell it) and she laughed and said people can see through that stuff.

missmargot Sat 22-Feb-14 10:02:42

noddy I would imagine the reason you never get asked to do an interior like that is because it takes zero imagination to go into B&Q or Next and buying a matching set of everything therefore anyone wanting that look wouldn't need an interior designer. Out of interest, what do you get asked for the most?

I hate the bland, matching look and completely agree on ripped out interior features. We live in a very old, draughty, high maintenance listed building that will always be a little scruffy but it's worth it to us because of the character that comes with it. That said, many people that visit and are polite about our interior style (Abigail Ahern inspired, mis-matched with dark colours) probably hate our look as much as we hate theirs.

littlecrystal Sat 22-Feb-14 10:03:23

Love Bunbaker's post. That's would be my approach, too.

sebsmummy1 Sat 22-Feb-14 10:06:59

I think on the whole people can see past some stuff. HOWEVER if it's screaming purple carpet and wallpaper in every room then that costs money to correct immediately and I would expect a reduction in the value of the house to reflect that.

Similarly when we were buying recently the vendor very proudly told us about how much 'work' he had done on the house. Well my god. The DIY bodginess of every room was horrifying. The cheapest laminate with beading stuck around every edge. Wonky tiling, bad bathroom fitting, bad kitchen fitting, artex, as you look around pound signs were appearing as to how much it would cost to undo what this lovely man total idiot had done to a perfectly defenceless house.

I'm sure Sarah Beeney always tried to bang home how imperative a good finish was in her various Property Ladder type programs. I have to concur. The only reason we took on the house we eventually bought is because we knocked the guy down 30k.

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