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.

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.

It's not necessarily the current owners who ripped everything out. There was a huge trend in the 60s and 70s to take out fireplaces, doors and so on. There was some TV DIY celeb who showed everyone how to cover up panels on doors and board up bannisters to get what they considered a clean, modern look.

My mother lives in a Victorian cottage but someone in the 70s or 80s ripped out all the doors and fireplaces. I live in a 1970s house and while some people might like the straight, plain walls with no coving, it is also the decade where building standards and asthetics were incredibly low. My neighbours applied for an extension that could be seen from the front and it was turned down. The planning officer said 'the street scene benefits from blandness'. grin What a put down! But he was right, it is fecking bland.

RudyMentary Sat 22-Feb-14 10:10:53

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

Perhaps that's why - they are looking for buyers and not nosey time wasters

truelymadlysleepy Sat 22-Feb-14 10:11:47

The trouble is some of us me have no idea of what looks great and buying a prescriptive idea takes away the stress of getting it very wrong.
I'd love to be able to know what works but can't afford an interior designer.
I do ask MN a lot.

Bunbaker Sat 22-Feb-14 10:12:55

I don't have an "eye" for design. I am too practical. I can't design houses and gardens as I don't have the vision to do so, but I have green fingers and can grow things. I am handy with a paintbrush and I'm an imaginative cook. That is why my house would look boring to an interior designer, but it is homely and welcoming. (and I have boring, conservative taste)

Sneezecakesmum Sat 22-Feb-14 10:14:26

You forgot the oak furniture!!

We have all the above and I accept its boring but my choice of mismatched furniture and cutesy shabby chic would probably be a no no as well grin

Bunbaker Sat 22-Feb-14 10:16:26

I really like oak furniture. I have just bought a solid oak dining suite to replace the old teak one and it fits perfectly size and colour wise in my small dining room. 20 years ago it was all pine.

RudyMentary Sat 22-Feb-14 10:17:27

Also, not everyone is actually interested.
It's where your interests are but others may prefer to focus on other things like gardens, clothes, sport, baking etc.

They may have a boring house but produce amazing wedding cakes etc

RandomMess Sat 22-Feb-14 10:18:13

We have a classic 60's house, I would love to have the money to decorate it in true 60's style sad

Personally I have most of the above, except oak and slate flooring.
I just pointed and clicked on the Next site. Some of us really don't give a shit about what other people deem naff. I love my 70s house smile

Bunbaker Sat 22-Feb-14 10:22:39

I didn't know that oak furniture was on the list of household items to sneer at.

Well said Rudy

Nessalina Sat 22-Feb-14 10:26:00

Our house is 1930s but it's changed hands so much since then that there's not a chance of an original feature! We've just done quite a bit to it, the previous owner was a DIYer and it showed hmm We've tried to add a bit more personality, but not too much because we want to be able to sell it ourselves in 3-4yrs time! I loathed all the laminate that was in, I'm thoroughly enjoying our snuggley new carpet! grin

LizLemonaid Sat 22-Feb-14 10:28:29

Me neither! Im not that interested either. So i would err towards some neutral bland decisions so that all the other stuff i cant afford to replace doesnt make the overall look too busy!

noddyholder Sat 22-Feb-14 10:35:42

I mostly do whole houses start to finish but in terms of rooms most people are after something simple and fairly plain with good storage and lighting and a feeling of space. Somewhere they can put their things not a finished 'look'. I have never deviated from natural materials and solid finish in 15 years and it always has worked. Wood/slate/plaster/glass/linen/etc. One decent painting can bring a room alive I don't see any need for wasting money on endless accessories. I have just finished a flat it is very grey but I know it will sell I am living in it though and its not my favourite!

Fannydabbydozey Sat 22-Feb-14 10:40:33

I love sixties and seventies houses - usually so much light in them with big windows. Plus I'm partial to the eames/modernist fifties and sixties space age look which goes so well in those houses. I'm desperate of a Perspex hanging chair with a fluffy cushion inside.

Sadly mine was built in 1980 and from the outside is everything that is wrong with houses of that decade - red brick and totally fucking dull. At least it still has the big windows but they are those hideous squared panels jobs. I think they might be pre mock Georgian. I dream of a nice clean expanse of glass.

My first ever house was an 80's Laing starter home. Really that was the decade of bad house taste. It had a lemon bathroom suite. Lemon! And a tiny kitchen with cheap, mdf units and crap work tops that the puppy chewed through. When I think of eighties architecture I just think of endless estates with small roomed, small garden houses.

My house isn't conventional- it has things from the sixties and seventies plus furniture from the Middle East and then modernist quirky pieces. My living room is black, white, red and orange with some acid yellow thrown in. I love it. But I have had other people come in and look bemused or nose wrinkle at certain bits. Taste is such a personal thing isn't it?

noddyholder Sat 22-Feb-14 10:42:01

I love when people have done their own thing.

AnnoyingOrange Sat 22-Feb-14 10:44:25

Tastes do change over time

I loved stencilling, borders, two tone walls. Our house was a riot of colour twenty years ago

Then it got tiring and plain walls and neutral tones looked clean, fresh and new

I'm not feeling the love to go back to feature walls, so I'm whiting this one out

Lagoonablue Sat 22-Feb-14 10:52:27

I love houses of all decades tbh. There was a fab 70s house near us for sale. Big stone chimney on the outside of house. Massive windows. Lots of open plan. Lime green kitchen,parquet floors. Lovely.

I like to stick to the decade the house is built in design wise, but not too slavishly. FWIW in think conservatories are on the way out, if not gone and open plan will look dated in the next 10 years and we will all be putting our dividing walls back in!

singleandfabulous Sat 22-Feb-14 11:01:22

My house was like this (1930s semi). When I asked the builder I bought it from why he'd removed all original features, he said "that's what they all do isn't it." "'Cos it's easier to maintain with UPVC windows & doors and without fires." So style and historical reference are pushed aside for fashion and easy living. A tragedy in my opinion. I covet the one next door which hasn't been touched. They covet mine. I might swap!

Fannydabbydozey Sat 22-Feb-14 11:04:37

Lagoon I want that house! There are never any houses like that for sale near me.

I get what you are saying about times and houses but .... I can't do eighties pre- mock Georgian. And does anyone remember sponging? I was massively into stencils at one point, stencilling ivy all over my fucking stair well. There were stencils in every room.

I used to be an all white girl but since I got back from living abroad I've had a colour thing. Loving my peacock blue walls and dove grey unit kitchen. It's not for everyone though as my daughter's friend pointed out one day by saying "my mummy would hate your house"

Manchesterhistorygirl Sat 22-Feb-14 11:08:29

My house that I'm in the middle of selling has a lovely purple and grey living room. The couple,who are buying it love it, but one viewer said "who on earth paints a house like this!" So there's your answer, people with no imagination like beige interiors.

The house we've just moved into is magnolia central, but I'm actually happy with that because I'm looking forward to putting my stamp all over it.

Starting with the bathroom. Not a p shaped bath either!

noddyholder Sat 22-Feb-14 11:11:01

In about 2000 I had an old handyman repairing some doors for me in a house that I had made open plan and he said he had taken down walls in houses first time round and had returned to put them back in teh same house! I am living in one of my developments atm and it isn't open plan first time I have had a separate kitchen like this in years. And I do like it! I think its because my ds is 19 and at uni and I don't need that any more. When he is home with all his mates and they cook etc I can leave the mess there and not see it. I am hoping to buy a home for myself this year and will be having a separate kitchen this time.

singleandfabulous Sat 22-Feb-14 11:15:05

When I was selling my last house (1990s semi) a lot of feedback was that viewers were disappointed that the house had wooden windows and doors and not UPVC. Strangely, they went into raptures about the bog standard white B&Q bathroom.

notso Sat 22-Feb-14 11:25:33

I know this isn't AIBU but I think you are.
You do sound snooty about other peoples homes. We should all decorate to your tastes and keep original things that might not be practical so you can nosy round our houses!
You like tatty second hand stuff. Good for you. Other people don't and they get to choose what they do like.
My first home was full of tatty second hand, donated stuff because DH and I were really skint. I hated it!
It had no bathroom, just a toilet in an outbuilding, that had been attached to the house. There was a bracket for a washing up bowl you had to fill in the kitchen to wash in. It was original and quirky but funnily we shoehorned a bathroom in. It was tiny and we wanted a shower and a bath so we put a cheap B&Q P shaped bath in. You might think it boring and ugly but it was functional for our family.

Many original features were taken out years ago, not just in this decade.
I would love to have an original fireplace in my current Victorian house for the look of it but I can't afford to buy one and if I could I don't know if I want to have a coal fire. Coal is expensive and not very efficient.

Bunbaker Sat 22-Feb-14 11:35:42

"My living room is black, white, red and orange with some acid yellow thrown in."

I wouldn't be able to relax in that colour scheme.

You would hate my living room - aqua blue and very, very pale grey. I like plain walls so that I can display my pictures on them. I have lived in houses with wooden window frames and they are a PITA to maintain (they need repainting/revarnishing regularly). UPC for me every time.

"So there's your answer, people with no imagination like beige interiors."

Or people who don't like bright colour schemes? Our house was magnolia throughout when we bought it. I find that boring, but it is liveable with until I have time to paint. Every room in our house is a different colour, but they are all pastel colours.

TeWiSavesTheDay Sat 22-Feb-14 12:04:03

It's bot fair to judge a modern 80s/90s/00s house by previous decades style standards. Period for those houses IS neutral with artex ceilings - would you really call it a good choice to keep those things because they're 'period features' even though the owners don't like them/find them impractical?

It's the same with earlier houses. People took the features out (probably much earlier than the current feature wall brigade) because they thought they were impractical or didn't like them. People who move in now are just making the best of what is left, and the most accessible/easy things to do are often the most popular.

notso Sat 22-Feb-14 12:08:04

The more I think about this the more annoying I find it.
SIL and her husband bought a house in a conservation area. It had been empty for a long time and was badly trashed.
There was no front door or downstairs windows. The first thing they did was to put them in, with what they liked within their budget.
The door was a wooden one they painted a pale sagey green.
They had a letter from the conservation people, saying the colour of the door was not approved and they had to change it.
Then they put up a fence in the front garden behind the original wall to give some privacy. The house is on the main road with a bus stop outside the house. People waiting for the bus would stare into the house and garden and the bus stop was used at night by drug addicts who throw needles into the garden.
Another letter came saying a neighbour had complained because she wanted to see into the garden she had lived there all her life and none of the houses had had private gardens. The conservation people agreed, the fence had to be moved as people from the past would never have put a fence up.
So it was fine for the house to be falling down and ugly because it was an originial eyesore but try and make it nice to look at and you can't because it's not original.

senua Sat 22-Feb-14 12:10:31

Can I throw in a rant about Kevin McCloud. On Grand Designs he used to feature beautiful, individual homes. Now every house is an assortment of white boxes with acres of glass. It doesn't matter where it is located, it's the same open-plan blandness every time which he raves about.
I've lost all respect for his architectural viewpoint.

Lunaballoon Sat 22-Feb-14 12:18:33

I'm a closet fan of Homes Under The Hammer and they all seem to go for the blandest looks possible, which I guess is ok if they're aiming for the rental market. What I really hate though are the wall mounted, metal surround fireplaces they often seem to fit, replacing perfectly good originals. Urgh! Why?

senua Sat 22-Feb-14 12:31:27

I think that's the problem. Houses used to be places where we lived the way we wanted, that were (as a by-product) an expression of our lives. Now they are investments, decorated to other people's taste (the rental market, the next purchaser) to be as 'inoffensive' as possible.
A friend has a wicked name for this sort of decor: dentist's waiting room.grin

Fannydabbydozey Sat 22-Feb-14 12:43:07

Now I'm worried that my colourful black/white/red/orange living room sounds like a circus to everyone! It's not. It's actually quite minimalist - white walls, black sofas, red cow hide rug, sixties white dining table, two clear transparent chairs, two orange transparent chairs, yellow, red and orange vases and a damn gorgeous drawer unit where the chunky drawers are different colours with a black surround. It's probably not restful but it's quite simple.

I don't mind pastels and I love teal - toyed with a teal wall in the kitchen instead of peacock blue but the stronger blue went better with the grey and silver I have in there. I don't think my furniture goes with pastels on the whole.

I'm having a bit of grey love at the moment. I painted my hall a dark bluey grey and bought a pale grey for the living room to replace the white. Suddenly there's a world of greys and I'm rather enchanted with them all. There's a dark purpley grey I covet but have no idea where I'd put it. I need one of those dramatic period homes with huge ceilings.

Taffeta Sat 22-Feb-14 13:36:34

Surely it depends on whether you buy it as an investment a step on the ladder or a home to live in and grow old in?

We bought our 1950s house 10 years ago from DHs grandparents who had lived in it for 40plus years. It was all swirly pub carpets orange and brown wallpaper, bamboo arches and eeny windows masking the great views.

We saved and waited 4 years and then modernised it. I always thought I'd live in a Victorian house, period features yada yada but that's not what we ended up with. It was for us a question of making it ours (we don't intend moving ) and making it useful and workable for our family life. We extended refurbished redesigned and DH has over the past 5 years made a lot of the fittings, MDF desks, hall storage thingy, bookcases that actually fit, sideboard thing that fits the length of the living area, so it works. We reused all the elm that was on the front of the house and got a local joiner to make some kitchen cupboard fronts, a big kitchen table and a coffee table which we designed. So we have some history from how it was, but there is no faux period stuff which I despise.

But it's definitely modern, it's our taste but no doubt will date. We have the ubiquitous glass floor to ceiling stuff as we have great views and it's the way to maximise them. But lots of other places have them, too. Heyho, it works for us.

We have some grey, interestingly when we did it 5 years ago, grey was hard to find. It's everywhere now. It's fashion innit?

The only thing we stick by really is that we wouldn't spend a lot of money on anything we are likely to want to update in the future, eg we spent a lot of money on the floor, doors and windows but have some Ikea in the kitchen etc. We made sure the flooring went down first in the kitchen before the island was put in so we can change the layout easily in the future.

I lost respect for Kevin McCloud when every other sentence was "maintain the architectural integrity of the building". DH and I used to play architectural integrity bingo watching Grand Designs.

TheGreatHunt Sat 22-Feb-14 13:42:15

We've got some original features and some have gone but we didn't remove them. They were taken out probably in the 80s. We do have a horrendous tiled fireplace (the surround and mantle are tiled!!! Anyone know the decade?)

Decor has colour but to sell we'll make it blandee as want the max price, not to wait around for someone who might like our taste.

RedHelenB Sat 22-Feb-14 13:44:45

Why do you want original fire places unless you want original coal/wood fires? Don't get it myself. I will have my brown leather sofa & laminate floors for as long as I have messy kids living at home - they are hugely practical! I will not have those white tiles that seem to be the rage that remind me of the underground or public toilets!! Likewise the floral wallpapers/stripy carpets that are too 70's for my taste!

BackforGood Sat 22-Feb-14 13:45:37

Part of the issue is the lack of choice available in the mainstream shops, for things like bathrooms, or carpets and so forth.
If you go into your local carpet shop, you can only get beige carpet or laminate - there just isn't choice. If you go into your local DIY store, then ALL the bathrooms are white - again, no choice. Yes, if you have a flair for design and lots of time and money, you can source stuff from other places, but for the average man/woman in the street, you just want to choose something functional and get it fitted, which means a trip to your local High Street / Retail park, where there is no choice.

Taffeta Sat 22-Feb-14 13:51:27

BackForGood - exactly right IMO. I was a SAHM when we had the work done so had some time to research stuff and yes certain things I wanted were like hens teeth - grey carpets, certain sinks, the light we have above the kitchen table, the door knocker, the list is endless.

The entire kitchen design is based on one I fell in love with in a Poggenpohl brochure. Reinventing it for a fraction of the price took many many hours of research. You have to have the time and inclination to do it, lots of people I know just CBA.

Preciousbane Sat 22-Feb-14 13:53:00

DH grandparents house, we found it on rightmove and everything has been ripped out apparently the entire downstairs had oak panelling.

We put a fireplace back in to our house an Art Deco one which fitted in well as someone had removed it.

We have been looking to move for a few months. We went to view a really lovely looking Victorian house, good grief it was ruined by the developer. It could have been any house inside plus they had done a cheap job.

I think people like to play it safe.

noddyholder Sat 22-Feb-14 13:59:10

I have never done a bland blank canvas box when i refurb a house. I always try and do a 'home' It is easier to sell and always worth more. Cheap flimsy make over is an insult to the buyer I always think

stardusty5 Sat 22-Feb-14 14:11:42

I'm just painting over some delightful 'Changing Rooms' style stencilling in our bathroom.

Painting it grey smile.

I'm sure at the time, stencilling was quite fashionable and stylish but not now.

I don't think many people nowadays tear out original doors and fireplaces, but maybe our grandchildren will again. Or our original wet rooms!

laregina Sat 22-Feb-14 14:14:47

Our house was built in 1920 something. When we moved in everything was cream and probably very tasteful bland. Over the years ive added more and more colour - in a good way I think - an example is when i pulled up the hallway carpet to find the original red/patterned tiled floor underneath - so I painted the magnolia walls a rusty red to go with it. We don't have any magnolia rooms left now and if the previous owners came back they would probably cry! I love it though smile

Bunbaker Sat 22-Feb-14 14:24:08

"If you go into your local carpet shop, you can only get beige carpet or laminate"

That's so depressing. I want some blue carpets for two bedrooms. It's as rare as hen's teeth round here. The carpet shop owner told me that no-one wants blue.

Incidentally I like white bathroom suites. I don't think they date quite as much as the pink/avocado/yellow bathrooms that were all the rage in the 1970s.

We took out an avocado and a chocolate brown shock bathroom in our old house and replaced them both with white.

Oblomov Sat 22-Feb-14 14:24:23

I find OP quite snooty, despite her added posts.
Our house has no character. No features.
Our walls are painted white. Throughout. No feature walls. Plain white. I like it. It doesn't matter if no one else does.

noddyholder Sat 22-Feb-14 14:28:20

I love white.

LizLemonaid Sat 22-Feb-14 14:38:01

So do i. White makes my stuff look good. Warm. Quirky. Coliured walls would be all too much. And i need my stuff!

Noddy, my 70s fireplace is not in the middle. The recess i mean. It' s off centrw. If i put a picture or mirror above it do i put it in the middle regardless, or on the left to balance the recess on the right.
Is this at all comprehensible??
I thought a sun mirror would be nice but they r too fashionable now so have ruled that udea out

notso Sat 22-Feb-14 14:46:33

I have to agree Bunbaker I love colour but I cannot imagine ever liking a coloured bathroom suite.

My Dad used to make bathroom suites in the late 80's early 90's, he used to bring bits and bobs home before delivering. Once he made a bright red suite for a customer, it was horrendous.

LtEveDallas Sat 22-Feb-14 14:47:12

I can't wait to move into my own house. It will be boring, bland and beige. I like boring bland and beige. It suits me. It looks clean. I don't like houses that look cluttered or dirty or cobwebby. I hate 'shabby chic' sofas and tapestries. I can't stand mismatched furniture or furniture 'with character' - it looks messy and scruffy to me.

The kitchen in my new house is ace. The cupboards are cream, the floor is cream marble-ish, the worktops are pale oak. The kitchen table is pale oak. The Aga is electric blue! It looks clean, it looks light, it looks bright and I can't wait until it's mine.

My 'stuff' will give my house character. I have photos and paintings. A collection of blue glass. Books and pets. The house is just a shell I live in, it's not me.

noddyholder Sat 22-Feb-14 15:02:58

liz does it have 2 different size recesses?

VeryStressedMum Sat 22-Feb-14 15:06:39

I would hate to live in a house that was carpeted, with the original kitchen and bathroom from 1940 and a mish mash of second hand furniture and with brightly coloured walls. But if others like it I don't really care as I don't have to live in their houses.
I like my (semi solid not laminate) wood floors, oak doors, Brown leather sofa and mag walls. My house is about 20 years old so no original fireplace but we have an open fire and the house has a cosy feel to it.

The bathrooms are tiled in a browny creamy tile because that's what I chose, because that's what I like.
I don't care that some people think it's boring and I wouldn't decorate my house so other people will think I'm creative if that's not me.

Some houses may not have what you call an identity but most houses have the identities of the people that live there. The point is to find a house that you like and put your own identity on it.

noddyholder Sat 22-Feb-14 15:08:11

these are beautiful imo of course!

Bunbaker Sat 22-Feb-14 15:40:27

I think they are hideous noddy.

LtEveDallas it sounds like we have very similar taste. I grew up in the type of house you and I both dislike. I just want light, clean and airy.

RudyMentary Sat 22-Feb-14 15:49:41

I grew up in a 1960s beige floral box.
My DM still lives there

I live in a listed barn conversion. Think high ceilings, wood, beams, slate, flint stone walls, wood burner etc

I have never commented on DMs home. DM hates mine - she's says its " the last place in the world " she would want to live.

hmm worse then the slums of Mumbai? grin

We all have different tastes.

Stevie77 Sat 22-Feb-14 15:55:46

Because most people have no personslity and taste. How many houses have bare walls?

The most you see is blown up cheesy wedding photos, horrid baby-in-a-studio set and if you're lucky some prints from IKEA. No art, nothing of any personality or taste. THAT'S why people's houses look bland.

KarenBrockman Sat 22-Feb-14 16:11:11

People's houses are bland because there are too many people judging and offering their opinion when not asked grin

noddyholder Sat 22-Feb-14 16:15:09

To you they are hideous to me beige is hideous grin. You can have light and airy and stylish with things in it and character.

expatinscotland Sat 22-Feb-14 16:15:34

So don't buy a house like that.

Bunbaker Sat 22-Feb-14 16:18:42

Exactly KarenBrockman. There is a lot of sneering on here. We are all different. I am not arty, I have no vision or concept of how to "dress" a house, I loathe clutter and am not keen on shabby chic. When OH and I were first married all of our furniture except the bed and suite in the lounge were hand me downs or second hand - hideous dark wood mostly.

Now that I can afford to furnish my house with furniture to my taste I choose to go for light coloured furnishings with simple lines.

My walls are covered with original paintings BTW because both my grandmother and uncle were artistic. I also have several paintings by local artists.

noddyholder Sat 22-Feb-14 16:26:49

Bunbaker your house sounds lovely Dressing a house is the problem I think. Its a notion dreamt up by tv people that bears no relation to how people really live and assumes everyone starts from scratch.

KarenBrockman Sat 22-Feb-14 16:30:37

That is a good point Noddy.

I am going to start mixing cream with some grey and blue. I have seen that palate in Laura Ashley fabrics so can see it works.

Badvoc Sat 22-Feb-14 16:34:13

I have a feature wall and brown leather sofas smile
The sofas are leather due to ease of cleaning with the dc and the feature wall is because I like it. No other reason. I didn't buy the coordinating throw cushions or rug or other stuff that matched.
I don't like things to be too matchy personally.
Just getting some new carpet fitted - beige smile
And getting a new kitchen fitted - white with walnut worktop smile
I am sure they are both very naff from a home and gardens pov, but I like them.
Oh! And I have twigs and pebbly shut!
<leave mn forthwith>

PoorOldCat Sat 22-Feb-14 16:44:41

I think my viewpoint is more perplexed and a bit disappointed than snooty.

I certainly don't judge people by their homes. I'm just judging the homes themselves and can't get why they are so often so similar.

The thing about original fireplaces and so on (if they are actually nice - and that's subjective) is that they were often created as a proper work of art. Proper craftsmanship, real beauty in the tiles that were painted by hand, you know, they are a work of art quite often.

Ripping one of those out of a house it was made for, with beautiful proportions and so on - it seems to me like pissing on a Picasso.

it's like painting over a Rembrandt in white emulsion.

That's what makes me sad.

The other issue about houses all looking the same is just that. Not a judgment on the owners, not a judgment on their character, or imagination, or worth - but on the way they have done their house to be an identikit of all the other houses in the street.

It seems bizarre to me, but then yes I do take pleasure in visual things, I'm a painter (not walls, portraits) and so it matters to me more than it probably matters to someone else.

But it just seems a bit of a shame to me when you have so many colours and styles just to go for something so similar to everyone else.

TheGreatHunt Sat 22-Feb-14 16:45:45

If you go into your local carpet shop, you can only get beige carpet or laminate

Not in my local shops. There's plenty of choice!

PoorOldCat Sat 22-Feb-14 16:46:53

some of it is naff, some of it isn't, but the overall impression is 'Oh it's just like the other 15 houses I just looked at.'

And fwiw I was being tongue in cheek about being nosey. What I meant was interested. We are serious buyers. But I actually bypass all the ones that have been newly done up as actually, it would seem wrong to rip THAT out seeing as it was all just done.

It seems wasteful. And it isn't my taste I suppose so I would feel bad buying it then ripping it all out.

Bunbaker Sat 22-Feb-14 16:47:10

Thank you noddy

PoorOldCat Sat 22-Feb-14 16:48:18

Also if you can't stand original features, why buy a house with them only to take them and put them on a skip?

Why not leave them in place for someone who really appreciates them to buy along with the house?

There are so many modern houses with none of that to worry about.

Back to the painting over a Rembrandt thing I suppose.

VeryStressedMum Sat 22-Feb-14 16:51:31

I think that if you judge the house that I have decorated then you probably are judging me on my taste.

Varya Sat 22-Feb-14 16:51:31

Mine is homely note fashionable, not been decorated, no leather sofas but it has an open fire and lovely picture rails plus a long garden leading to a stream. There will not be another house like this within miles!

Bunbaker Sat 22-Feb-14 16:52:43

"Also if you can't stand original features, why buy a house with them only to take them and put them on a skip?"

Location, location, location

The hideous features that we removed from our last house weren't original, but everything else about the house ticked the right boxes. Also, we couldn't sell out previous house so the owner took ours in part ex.

We did actually keep the original features as the house was about 200 years old and part of the charm was its character. We just removed some of the 1970s additions.

PoorOldCat Sat 22-Feb-14 16:53:33

Judging your house doesn't mean judging you. Maybe your taste - but if it's yours then be proud of it.

I think many people would judge my house as particularly dreadful, but I don't care because I like it.

And I wouldn't want to be changing it because I was told it wasn't fashionable.

Bunbaker Sat 22-Feb-14 16:54:11

I'm not in the least bit fashionable. That is why I can't buy any carpet right now grin

PoorOldCat Sat 22-Feb-14 16:54:30

Bun grin

LoveIsTheDrug Sat 22-Feb-14 16:55:23

Interiors are such personal thing.

I dislike a lot of things that are currently in style and I'm sure that a lot of people would feel that my taste was a bit pedestrian, safe and/or traditional (though not beige). You probably wouldn't find my taste on the pages of LivingEtc, but generally the things in my house are of a good quality (there's the odd bit of temporary, mediocre furniture waiting to be replaced when I find the 'perfect' thing).

Live with what you like! not with what you think will sell if/when you decide to flog it.

trixymalixy Sat 22-Feb-14 16:58:01

Totally agree with you about original features. If you want a modern box then buy a modern box, don't destroy something that other people would appreciate. It can't be put back particularly easily.

trixymalixy Sat 22-Feb-14 16:59:57

In fact I still sob when I pass my old house where they removed the original Victorian stained glass and replaced it with UPVC. It was lovely, all bluebells and swallows.

I bet they're warmer, but I bet that have also wiped thousands off the value of the house. It's practically criminal IMO.

alemci Sat 22-Feb-14 17:01:43

our 50s house had hideous crittle windows, give me upvc anyday, 70s swirly carpet, brown and green kitchen, stone fireplace with dodgy gas fire, sun king bathroom,

so sad they have all been replaced.

Badvoc Sat 22-Feb-14 17:01:44

Ideally, I would love an Art Deco house/apartment.
I have 2 young dc and no money...ain't gonna happen sad
I shall watch poirot and wallow instead smile

PoorOldCat Sat 22-Feb-14 17:06:52

Hugs Trixy

That's gutting. Hope they at least sold the glass to someone who could reuse it.

Houses are built cheaply these days, no love or care goes into them, they are just boxes.

In the old days (probably until about the 50s really) they were built with a lot of love and grace and craftsmanship.

I don't feel so sad about someone ripping out original features if no one took the time to make them beautiful in the first instance.

KarenBrockman Sat 22-Feb-14 17:07:47

You know what I can't find is a decent light fitting for my living room, I want to update as I don't like the dust trap crystals. Lighting seems very stuck right now. I keep finding dangling crystals lighting that I already have or JC/spaceship style.

alemci Sat 22-Feb-14 17:08:34

also OP when people sell a house the idea is to depersonalise it so it looks bland. when you view lots of houses they can all become similar.

PoorOldCat Sat 22-Feb-14 17:09:35

Karen look at BTC (if you don't mind £££ - too much for my budget! but lovely)

ikwym about lighting though. I hate fake chandeliers and hate modern shiny chrome space age stuff.

here is a good example of what I was on about on this thread. If anyone cares.

LoveIsTheDrug Sat 22-Feb-14 17:14:01

Sorry stupid !

LoveIsTheDrug Sat 22-Feb-14 17:15:56

I agree re lighting, even with a generous budget it's a tricky area to get right

TunipTheUnconquerable Sat 22-Feb-14 17:19:43

I think Senua has hit the nail on the head when she says it's because they're no longer just homes, they're investments.
Obviously that's not true for everyone, but the general consciousness of what a house has to look like to sell has had an impact on the interior deco we're exposed to on tv and in magazines (eg those Grand Designs people who always claim to be building for themselves but it's amazing how often it pops up on the market a few years later).

PoorOldCat Sat 22-Feb-14 17:22:54

Good point, yes, I had an idea it might be something to do with the buy to let thing as well.

It's a sort of a thing, this way of depersonalising, isn't it. Like saying in the 1980s, a fitted kitchen will improve the value of your home. And a nice avocado bathroom suite.

This is the thing. It's a fashion and as such I think I have very little faith in it.

In another 20 years folk will be ripping out and deriding as 'so 2010s' the neutral tiles and the laminate. And for this, so many houses have been a little bit more destroyed.

LizLemonaid Sat 22-Feb-14 17:25:52

Noddy, it's like the stone cladding rectangular part sticks out of the wall, and the actually fireplace is nit in the middle of the surround. It's to the right. !

LizLemonaid Sat 22-Feb-14 17:28:54

Karen, i like tiffany style lamps. I have no idea if they are fashionable or not but i like them. Ihate boring lights! Although "boring" walls are fine!

VeryStressedMum Sat 22-Feb-14 17:38:21

Everyone should just be able to decorate the way they want. Some people don't have flair for it so look in magazines and follow what happens to be in fashion if they like the look of it.
I'd probably judge your taste just as you'd judge mine and neither of us would care what the other thought.

If I bought a period house with original features I'd never rip them out I'd just decorate to my taste and the style of the house. Just because you have a 1930's house doesn't mean you have to decorate it like it actually is 1930.
But if you like that style then you can do what you like.

Unfortunately, or fortunately which ever way you want to look at it, many houses have been thrown up with no love or care but it means more affordable housing. I'd love to live in a beautiful old cottage but I can't afford to.

Viviennemary Sat 22-Feb-14 17:45:11

Because it's the in thing. Like stencilling and those awful wallpaper borders than I made DH put up only his kept falling down. I don't bother with following trends. And those totally hideous 70's/80's style brick fireplaces. They are the ugliest things ever.

TunipTheUnconquerable Sat 22-Feb-14 17:47:28

My MIL's 70s house has one of those brick fireplaces and I actually rather like it; it's nicely designed and built, and fits the room.
How long till we start to appreciate them?

KarenBrockman Sat 22-Feb-14 17:49:15

I think 70's period features will be appreciated in the future if they were works of art or good quality items. Plastic baths/kitchen units are something I can't see ever being appreciated by future generations.

ApocalypticBlackHorseman Sat 22-Feb-14 17:49:39

I do get a bit fed up with all the laminate flooring and leather sofas everywhere. We've had it for years due to numerous allergies but everybody who comes to visit thinks we're following the fashion. We have bright, vivid walls though smile

TeWiSavesTheDay Sat 22-Feb-14 17:50:35

My Parents have one of those fireplaces. It's vile.

I doubt it will put many people off when it comes time to sell because that house also has massive rooms.

We all compromise a bit on houses, and most of us change the things we don't like.

AngryFeet Sat 22-Feb-14 17:53:25

I hate magnolia. Houses have no personality anymore. Everyone does the same thing and it is so boring. Yes it looks clean and simple but not cosy and homely. I am adding texture and colour and interest to my home. I spend a lot of time choosing the right things for us although practicality is very important to me. I guess people just choose the same as everyone else as they have no imagination. Or they like that sort of thing. Each to their own. I'm sure lots of people will hate my sense of style in interiors grin.

AngryFeet Sat 22-Feb-14 17:55:56

Yes that is true tunip. We are planning on staying here longterm so are decorating to our taste not to sell on.

GeorginaWorsley Sat 22-Feb-14 17:56:04

I remember in the 1970s my mum hankered after a 'through room'
Ie a lounge/ diner.
My first house in the 1980s had one,with a tiny kitchen and a pink and grey bathroom.
We bought our current house in 1999,double doors separated our 'through' room and the kitchen was a'breakfast' kitchen,the bathrooms (three in a five bed house) cream or white but with wooden bath panels.
Times change,people have differing tastes.
We have now a very large 'living' kitchen with sofas,wooden floor,granite work tops etc,which no doubt will all be very dated shortly!

diamondlizard Sat 22-Feb-14 17:57:46

op i know what you mean, theres nothing to nosy at

noddy im not suprised your a designer ive always thought you had great taste

LizLemonaid Sat 22-Feb-14 18:01:59

I look at that house u linked to oldcat, and i see potential to make it nicer very easily. It doesnt appal me

miffybun73 Sat 22-Feb-14 18:02:47

I hate laminate floors, feature walls and beige tiles, but we do have brown leather sofas smile

Our new neighbours have done exactly that. We live in a Victorian terrace and they have spent £££££ renovating it. The builders have just left after 10 months. He invited me round for a nosey as we chat over the garden wall whilst we smoke smile

It is awful. Exactly as you describe (obvs no furniture yet) all original features gone, laminate flooring, cream bog standard kitchen and pastel walls everywhere. I know it needed a lot of work but the end result actually made me sad.

puffylovett Sat 22-Feb-14 18:32:01

I hate watching homes under the hammer for exactly
This reason. I usually wind up shouting at the telly. So builders not understand that original features on good condition are actually desirable??

Bunbaker Sat 22-Feb-14 19:04:22

I like watching Homes Under The Hammer. The problem is that you see and empty property. It could easily be personalised by the addition of carpets, furniture, pictures, soft furnishings etc. I would describe the finished result as a blank canvas.

Piscivorus Sat 22-Feb-14 20:47:39

I think it's a combination of houses being investments, high street stores following fashion and stocking a particular "look" and our disposable society. Older furniture was solid and intended to last a lifetime (or more!) where stuff now is intended to be used then replaced when fashion changes.
It is far more expensive to keep old features than to modernise though. We had our stained glass repaired, encapsulated and sealed into double glazed units which cost way more than ordinary modern windows. Not everyone could or would pay that, a developer almost certainly wouldn't.

It is each to their own though. One of my best friends has a modern house and has redecorated it quite a bit as she keeps up with home fashions. Another friend has an Edwardian house and has it very true to the period (floorboards, coal fires, wooden window frames, antique furniture, etc). My house is also Edwardian but fits somewhere between the two, we have gone with the mod cons where it suits us but tried to observe the house's character where we can. Ours is not fashionable but is a kind of modern version of traditional, bit battered but not stylish enough to be shabby chic but it is a lovely family home which is what matters to us.

Amethyst24 Sat 22-Feb-14 20:49:56

I detest brown interiors. What makes me cross is looking at houses that have clearly recently had thousands of pounds spend on blandifying them, and knowing that if one were to buy, one would a. be paying a premium for the last person's lack of taste, and b. have to rip it all out, which is environmentally horrendous as well as a waste of money.

fresh Sat 22-Feb-14 21:00:05

And yet... Laurence Llewellyn Bowen's house is up for sale at the moment, and someone posted a link to it. It is chock full of personality, absolutely to his taste and I personally think it's fantastic.

Loads of posters came on and said they hated it and wouldn't it be better if it was toned down a bit, with some plain walls.

People like bland stuff out of fear, I think. Some people try and overcome that by doing the whole 'plain walls but with a pop of colour in the accessories' which I think is even worse. But to a certain section of the market, bland is what sells. So that's what people do when they're selling!

VeryStressedMum Sat 22-Feb-14 21:02:59

So how exactly should it be decorated which would be tasteful and inviting then?

ClotheMeNow Sat 22-Feb-14 21:41:30

If ever you need home inspiration, have a look at http://www.shootfactory.co.uk

Cheaper than magazines, this website shows people's homes that are for rent for photographic shoots. A guilty pleasure, but free!

RnB Sat 22-Feb-14 22:07:44

<waves to Noddy>

OP I call this the Argos Look. So boring

TheGreatHunt Sat 22-Feb-14 22:13:21

People dont like bland out of fear hmm they just like it ! I have to say, I find magnolia puts me on edge (literally - we had to paint when we moved in as I couldn't stand all cream) but I don't like fussy stuff either.

Bunbaker Sat 22-Feb-14 22:24:29

"People like bland stuff out of fear, I think."

I don't like clutter and fuss. It makes me feel claustrophobic. I like a look that creates space and calm.

I don't sneer at people who like fussy decor so why should those that do sneer at those who prefer more plain decor?

For some people a house is a home, not a extension of their personality. They just want somewhere that is warm, comfortable and practical and don't find it imperative to get just the right cushion or the exact shade of tartan for a chair cover.

fresh Sat 22-Feb-14 23:32:32

I wasn't sneering. But I've read enough posters agonising over the exact shade of neutral to put on their walls to see that some people do worry that they will be judged for having the 'wrong' type of decor. And as a result they go for the safe option.

I like 'calm' rooms as much as more vibrant ones. But there's a difference between 'calm' and 'dead', and the ones the OP is talking about are the latter. No personality, identikit.

VeryStressedMum I think 'tasteful' and 'inviting' can sometimes be opposite attributes. Kelly Hoppen's interiors are 'tasteful' but not 'inviting'. I wouldn't feel comfortable sitting on a sofa where the gaps between the cushions has been measured. A room can be outdated as Instant Whip but still inviting if it's comfortable and relaxed.

I don't think its at all judgmental to be sad when old period features are ripped out. It's just that, every time an old house is "modernised" by ripping out period features, something has been lost that can never be brought back again. Whereas any number of modern Houses can be built. In our area there's no real price difference between old and modern. It's just down to personal preferences I suppose.

Funny about how the feeling of "space and calm" comes from different things to different people. When DH and I walked into the Victorian house that we offered on with its original tiled fire, ceiling rose, oak floors etc I said to him "I feel so calm in this room". I guess part of that comes from the fact that I had an unhappy childhood which played out in a 1960s house. I need something completely different from that to feel okay. And, coming from North America, perhaps I crave a feeling of continuity with the past as not much in my country is old.

It has been interesting to read that many people don't like period features for similar reasons, i.e. that they had to put up with them as children and always wanted something different. Fair enough. And it's all very well saying that the period features are like pieces of art as no one wants to live in a museum! I suppose people who rip out period features to replace with modern stuff that isn't built to last will want something different again in 10 years. Nothing wrong with wanting something new.

I can only hope that enough people think like me that period features in some houses will be preserved so we'll have somewhere to buy when we move. But that's not enough of a reason why others should have to put up with period features and feel stuck with them.

Here's an example of a house that, while in a great location for us at a decent price, we would never consider due to (to us) overzealous modernisation www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-28782720.html

BOFtastic Sun 23-Feb-14 02:32:44

I think what you are missing is that many people who have, say, a chrome wall-mounted modern living flame fireplace, aren't guilty of ripping out an original Victorian fireplace, but replacing old sins of previous owners.

I put a Victorian fireplace back into my house, but it was expensive. There was a crappy 70s gas fire there when I moved in. I can well understand why somebody would prefer to spend £200 on a generic modern equivalent rather than about a grand to restore a real fireplace.

imme Sun 23-Feb-14 04:31:17

I watch Homes Under the Hammer religiously and I am also an avid reader of Rightmove even though we are no longer house hunting. I think it's mainly developers who rip out period features and they do it for a quick turnaround and profit! They are the same ones who put in the beige unimaginative bathrooms and shiny kitchens to appeal to the masses. I once watched an episode about a beautiful enormous Victorian house in Wimbledon that had the most beautiful period features. They ripped them all out :-(
I think if people had bought the house to live in themselves they probably would have tried to restore them.
Our 1920s home had also fallen victim to the fashion of boarded up panelling and ripping out period features. We slowly but surely put a lot of them back in. Picture rails are very cheap and we also picked up a fireplace on a reclamation yard. DH painstakingly restored every single one of the original doors and we bought a period front door on eBay for little over 20 quid. It's been a lot of work but lots fun!
It annoys me that so many housing shows on TV all seem to be about selling the houses on and making profit out of them.

Lagoonablue Sun 23-Feb-14 07:46:36

BOF I agree. I bet even the house linked to above wasn't a case of ripping out original feature but an update of bad 80s and 90s stuff. I think most people would leave fireplaces these days.

Re bathrooms and kitchens. Yes they do look a bit generic but with different paint on walls and your own stuff you can make them nice.

FWIW I could live in a house as in above posts. It is a well finished looking house and the kitchen and bathroom are entirely functional. I might add a reclaimed fireplace in the lounge and strip the floors maybe.

noddyholder Sun 23-Feb-14 08:34:55

Am always stunned by homes under the hammer. Shoddy unimaginable workmanship and they don't really make much money. I agree they rip everything out without really thinking. If you do remove things it needs to be either to re jig layout to replace with something better. And PVC windows in an old house always look wrong not snobbery btw as I am all about insulation but the recesses never look right. They are the tooth veneers of houses.

noddyholder Sun 23-Feb-14 08:38:24

Notjustacigar I agree that house while 'done' is style less and tbh would be old fashioned looking before you even got a picture up. I have a plumber friend who does the odd refurb in that style and he takes ages to sell them and not much profit. He is always amazed that I make more with a completely different look as he hates what I do! Horses for courses

Agreed that it might not have been the current owners who started a house on a modernisation merry go round. But whoever started it, a house that has had its period features removed in favour of the fashions of the day will always need to be remodelled every ten years or so to stay current with fashions - unless someone is willing to go through a painstaking and usually expensive process of restoration. While a house that keeps its features can remain a timeless classic.

Badvoc Sun 23-Feb-14 08:46:33

But the home I have now will not be the Home I have when my dc pack up and leave home.
I will have my Art Deco theme then. I will source lovely things or renovate them myself.
I don't have the time or money now and I want my kids to grow up in a house where they feel comfortable and where it doesn't really matter If they spill blackcurrant squash on the carpet.
I have a horror of homes where he dc "aren't allowed" to eat or drink in certain areas or have to keep their toys in certain rooms.
Wrt homes under the hammer I agree with noddy...they are not renovated with a view to creating something lovely, they are done with a view to making a quick £.
However, I really dislike grand designs too! The homes on there are so pretentious usually and - despite what the owners say - often end up on the market a few years later.
Forever home my arse.

Noddy yes I'm always surprised that people think "magnolia and beige sells" without doing even some basic research to test their theory!

We are getting a good price on a house with loads of Victorian period features because the daft EA didn't even bother to photograph them for the rightmove advert. We only viewed the house because it was right near another one we were seeing and figured we would be in the neighbourhood anyway. We were stunned at what was there. Some people, even inexperienced EAs apparently, are so into modern new stuff they think no one wants that old second hand used stuff anymore.

noddyholder Sun 23-Feb-14 09:11:14

Grand designs is stuck in a big flash new build thing. I preferred it years ago smaller budget and individual. 2 out if 3 don't stay in them. I think living in a big build is a huge anti climax

LtEveDallas Sun 23-Feb-14 09:15:01

We looked at a number of older houses when we were still searching. The problem was that, whilst lovely (and no, I wouldn't rip out a Victorian fireplace) we wouldn't be able to afford to heat it, or to replace gappy windows with reclaimed/restored ones.

MIL lives in a beautiful double fronted 1904 house. It has generous proportions and lovely high ceilings, but her heating bill is ridiculous. She has blocked all the upstairs fireplaces and her downstairs ones have been taken out and gas fires installed. Her windows are desperate for replacement, but the government will only help (she is disabled and seriously ill) with UPVC. Her gas bill alone is something like £200 a month and she only uses 3 of her 8 available rooms.

We've ended up buying a 1950s house that we can install a log burner in and be able to afford our heating (even with an Aga going). We have to be practical.

Traditional is lovely to look at, but people have to be able to live in them as well. It would be a shame to sneer at someone for their non traditional UPVC windows if it meant it was the only reason they didn't freeze in the winter.

PoorOldCat Sun 23-Feb-14 09:17:58

'I think what you are missing is that many people who have, say, a chrome wall-mounted modern living flame fireplace, aren't guilty of ripping out an original Victorian fireplace, but replacing old sins of previous owners.'

Of course Bof - sorry, I thought that went without saying. I think I'm talking about a dichotomy here - on one hand the absence and removal of period features, which can be done by present 'renovators' or previous ones - and on the other, the emotionless brownism that is creeping through the nation's homes on the back of certain TV-promoted trends.

They are two different things but related I guess.

NotaCigar makes a very good point that something original to the building will be able to stay put forever, while something replaced will need replacing again and again as it just doesn't really fit with, or relate to its building.

That awful Formby link is a classic example. It's horrifying.

Ilanthe Sun 23-Feb-14 09:19:43

Lots of the 30s period features were ripped out in this house, we've put some of them back. But it was definitely more expensive than bog standard stuff, £1k on the stained glass round the front door and the best part of £2k on a tiled fireplace. We also chucked a lot of money at the kitchen and bathroom to get the best we could afford. And replaced the clay tiles on the roof with clay, not concrete. We're lucky enough to be able to do that.

And we have one purple, one terracotta, one green and one red carpet. Oh and a beige one (to keep DH quiet, as he grew up in the land of beige). When we moved in it was all shit laminate and filthy cream carpets. I do have feature walls though unusual wallpaper - but that was a compromise with DH who again would have painted everything magnolia.

I don't really give a shit if someone else doesn't like it (though we have only ever had positive comments from visitors) as I live here and my house is very much an extension of my personality. I would be gutted if when we sell the new owners rip out what we have lovingly put back though...

LizLemonaid Sun 23-Feb-14 09:19:45

Yeh. It is just every xtension now!

Does nobody ever extend out just.... say 6 feet now?? I would likecto because i dontvwant the upstairs and downstairs to be out of proportion ( hugely)

Btw , anybody seen naomi cleaver on tv? She takes white to sterile soulless new heights!! So neutral is not the same as bland, and bland can be terrifying! Id be afraid of naomi cleaver's look yeh.

Im going to get a wood stool for ikwa and paint it bright orange. That would look dreadful with wallpaper or coloured wallls.

PoorOldCat Sun 23-Feb-14 09:26:40

'Some people, even inexperienced EAs apparently, are so into modern new stuff they think no one wants that old second hand used stuff anymore.' Yes. Very true - 'needs modernisation throughout' is like a siren to me.

LtEve I am sorry for your MIL. Old houses can be a money pit. OTOH they aren't always. We rent a huge old Victorian flat atm and I'm always surprised by how reasonably it holds the heat.

We have 15 rads and our bill is 78 a month - I keep it on about 18 most of the winter, then it's usually off in summer. Our ceilings are 10-11ft high in most of the rooms, we have single glazed enormous original sash windows/French doors to the ceiling.

Heavy curtains help a lot. I'm not sure why it stays so warm - maybe more insulation in the roof would be an option?

I don't like to 'sneer' at people anyway - and I am sorry if my OP came across that way. I have definite preferences in design, obviously, and I think that has offended and I apologise.

We went to see a repossession a few weeks back and the outside was a lovely Victorian building, but inside it had an aluminium back door, new stainless/brown kitchen, downlighters etc, new plastic bathroom.

Walls had been knocked through which looked so ugly. The feeling was of overwhelming sadness and despair - the work it would take to try and resuscitate this home was just mind blowing. I could never have afforded the time, money or energy - that house was just dead really.

Totally totally ruined. It's like when someone has been sick on a pillow and you just bin it rather than try and wash it off. Poor house sad It went for well below the asking - if it's even gone that is. They kept lowering it and lowering it.

diamondlizard Sun 23-Feb-14 09:28:38

noddy, do you do new builds and modern house too or just period builds?

PoorOldCat Sun 23-Feb-14 09:31:16

Old listing

It's now up for auction at 85k..

LtEveDallas Sun 23-Feb-14 09:33:24

No, it's OK PoorOldCat, I think I'm just a bit sensitive, not for me - I don't really care what people think about me! But for MIL who lives somewhere that you would probably be horrified with, but for her is a 'no choice' deal.

LizLemonaid Sun 23-Feb-14 09:37:43

My parents like how their house is. Theyve been thru more fashion turnarounds than u or i an wouldnt give a moment's consideration to somebody that disapproved of their carpets or pvc windows!! They'd be thinking (but would never say) well we own this carpeted bunker-( outright)

PoorOldCat Sun 23-Feb-14 09:40:49

I think a lot of people have very little choice. It's when they do, and they choose to update in this way that it bothers me. Maybe it is mostly about maximising profit. I don't think someone like your MIL has anything to feel guilty about.

Fwiw I am compromising with our new house, because of what we can afford. It has some laminate (just one room), some UPVC - one day I might remove that and put in older style wooden windows, but tbh, once the origila glass is gone, you can never replicate it. It's never quite as smooth as modern glass. So I may not bother.

But out of about 14 windows there are only 3 that are PVC and the rest are old - most don't work though apparently grin

Does anyone know how easy it is to take up laminate btw? I think I'm going to leave it for now as the woman downstairs might appreciate the noise insulation properties...but one day I will want to rip it out.

AngelsWithSilverWings Sun 23-Feb-14 10:14:14

I have a 30's house which I always feel I have to defend against other peoples ideas of what I should do with it.

Apparently my original parquet just had to go - a new oak floor would look so much nicer ( according to my DM) . I had it renovated instead and although it still looks a little rough around the edges I love the fact that it is the original floor.

When are we gong to knock through the kitchen and back room? As if it is now compulsory to have the huge kitchen/family room with a massive island in the middle.

I quite like the feel of those types of rooms but why would we need to do it? The kitchen is quite big already ( enough room for a table and chairs) and I like having a separate dining room.

I do have to defend brown leather sofas though. With two cats and two kids and a regular canine house guest there really is no alternative unless we had enough money to replace the sofas every couple of years. Our brown leather ones are now almost ten years old and although the springs are going they still look new.

Greenrememberedhills Sun 23-Feb-14 10:18:28

OP you are not wrong.

I used to buy Living etc, but got sick of it after two years of countless articles on " my wonderfully original white minimalist house"!

That said, a great deal of my house is magnolia, which is how it was painted when we moved in a year ago.

We have a few larger persian rugs everywhere, which are brilliant with kids and really practical.

I am a paint chart bore, and love Fired Earth ranges- they have three or four. Kevin Mccloud is really good on why certain colours don't work well in the northern countries, such as the UK.

If anyone wants a shocking shade for an office, I can recommend that dark inky blue by Fired Earth.

noddyholder Sun 23-Feb-14 10:19:28

I have never done a new build. Mostly period houses and flats. Poor old you can get that old glass if you really like it

Bunbaker Sun 23-Feb-14 10:19:45

Far too much brown in that house you linked to PoorOldCat. I dislike brown as a colour anyway, but I wouldn't buy that house because the first expense would be to replace all the carpets.

I really like modern kitchens. I have had enough of period/impractical kitchens, so it is modern all the way for me. I am the same with bathrooms. I do like period features in other rooms, but loathe dusting so picture rails and dado rails would be out.

I really like the tiled Victorian hallways - so spacious and so practical for dealing with muddy footwear. But something like that would look very out of place in my 1990s house.

"And PVC windows in an old house always look wrong"

If the building is listed they wouldn't be allowed. One of my friends lives in a 17th century old schoolhouse and she needed planning permission to replace her old rotten windows. One of the stipulations being that they had to have wood frames.

trixymalixy Sun 23-Feb-14 10:20:09

That over developed totally soulless look really puts us off houses too. I find it quite sad really and part of what's wrong with the property market in the UK. Houses should be homes that people can afford to live in, rather than investment opportunities.

trixymalixy Sun 23-Feb-14 10:23:46

Green, I went off Livingetc for that exact reason. So unimaginative to paint everything white and plonk some design classics in! I remember having a massive rant about it once.

Living etc has got a bit better recently, but I can see grey being the new white and becoming overdone .

Badvoc Sun 23-Feb-14 10:25:58

I like the idea of barn conversions. Quite a few nice ones round here.
But the reality makes me feel panicky and worried.
I am not cut out for open plan living! I like being able to shut the door of a room I am on.
And the heating bills are astronomical.
Ditto cottages...love the idea of them. But the reality is often small, dark, cramped rooms and tiny windows and not child friendly.
I would adore a Victorian or Georgian period home.
I really would.
Will never happen sad

LizLemonaid Sun 23-Feb-14 10:30:58

Angelswithsilverwings, i know exactly what u mean! My hoyse 70s but it is as though certain improvements compulsory and u have to defend not making them!

MuttonCadet Sun 23-Feb-14 10:42:54

Our home was built in 1540, I'm glad it doesn't have all the original features.
(We do however have a grade 2 listing which limits any future "improvements")
What we do still have is huge fireplaces, mullion windows (single glazed), oak beams.
Improvements include carpets throughout (can't understand why people want bare floorboards), electricity grin(but no gas), and a Coalbrookdale stove.

RudyMentary Sun 23-Feb-14 10:49:12

I live in a barn conversion. We have rooms! They're not all open plan. It's also a lot warmer than the housing estate home we moved from with UPVC windows. We've hardly needed the heating on this winter - just a couple of hours morning and late afternoon. We use the log burner in the evenings.
I love it smile

Greenrememberedhills Sun 23-Feb-14 10:55:27

Grey IS the new white. I had new carpets in January and the sales teams in two shops say that everyone is asking for it! It has replaced beige, apparently!

That said, I can understand why those low muted colours like beige, off white and grey are used as a backdrop. I often use them myself, as they are so easy on the eye. But not as a "scheme".

Re kitchens, the best one I ever had (she weeps), and the most practical, was not "modern". It was wood, hand built and topped with speckled brown and black granite in my last house. It was designed to work and enable finding things. I never lost a spice hat and my shelves came our in runners. It cost £7000 plus the oven, and that included painting. The ikea one I had in the 2000s and the modern one I have in this house are not a patch on it.

clam Sun 23-Feb-14 10:56:44

I don't think it's just about colour or current fads. I think that some people have a knack of making a room 'work' and feel inviting, and others just don't. That can be as simple as how the furniture is arranged or use of lamps as opposed to harsh overhead lighting in a sitting room and so on. I suppose it's feng shui really.

There are some houses I visit, or see online, and I'm inwardly twitching to move a double bed away from the wall, add a valance to hide a divan base or shift the sofas in a sitting room away from the walls a bit so it doesn't resemble a waiting room and people can see each other to chat.

My current bug-bear is not so much about laminate/hard flooring in houses, but how many people don't bother to "warm it up" by adding rugs here and there. The house just looks and feels cold and echoe-y.

Youwillalwaysbemybaby Sun 23-Feb-14 11:01:40

I love original features (my house is rented but there are loads of little bits that I would restore properly if I owned it and if I ever get to buy I would choose a house like this) BUT isn't the advice to make it look as plain as possible so it will sell?

clam Sun 23-Feb-14 11:05:38

"BUT isn't the advice to make it look as plain as possible so it will sell?"
No, that's not the advice, but it's what people have heard and are slavishly following. It's a good idea to de-clutter and stream-line, but people often take it too far and end up with an empty shell that isn't very appealing.

Youwillalwaysbemybaby Sun 23-Feb-14 11:06:13

I love terraced houses. The proper old fashioned ones. I sometimes feel like I'm in some kind of house share when I can hear the neighbours talking, but it is a good, warm, sturdy home, for a good price (rent is about £500 pcm on a 3 bed, they sell for about £90,000, and that is walking distance of the small city, university and big train station)

trixymalixy Sun 23-Feb-14 11:07:03

Not by removing original features! Original features add value,it baffles me that people remove them.

noddyholder Sun 23-Feb-14 11:21:56

I am so fed up with grey Def the new magnolia and actually not that nice to live with afetr a while.

LizLemonaid Sun 23-Feb-14 11:27:42

Clam i dont want a rug . Ihave laminate wood floor.. bone white walls. It still looks busy imo

LizLemonaid Sun 23-Feb-14 11:29:12

Dont want grey in sitting room but i am thinking qbout grey kitchen cupboards

noddyholder Sun 23-Feb-14 11:37:36

90% of new kitchens are grey. I do think its starting to look cheap even though it can be beautiful.

TeWiSavesTheDay Sun 23-Feb-14 11:40:07

I got rid of our rugs because they slipped around on the lamination floors wink

I'm not going to hold up our house as a bastion of style because we haven't done anything to it except de-magnolia the walls, we haven't got the money yet.

We''ve got a wall of Ikea cupboards in the front room for the same reason. There was never a fireplace and there is bugger all storage so needed something cheap and efficient.

It's going to be awesome in a few years time when we've got the builders in, and not at all original 1994 style.

clam Sun 23-Feb-14 11:43:06

this is what I mean Picture 3

As I said, cold and uninviting. It's not about "busy-ness." How could you sit in this room and have a cosy chat with someone on a different sofa. Apart from with a megaphone.

But this Picture 2, is even worse, for totally different reasons.

And don't get me started on the prices.

noddyholder Sun 23-Feb-14 11:44:10

clam i agree just nothingy

LizLemonaid Sun 23-Feb-14 11:47:01

How do they find sheets to fit that round bed in pic one??!

MuttonCadet Sun 23-Feb-14 11:52:43

Clam that first house is hideous!

clam Sun 23-Feb-14 11:55:24
LizLemonaid Sun 23-Feb-14 11:59:39

Id put sofas (coloured ones) near the fire and chuck out that rug! That house is nice !

trixymalixy Sun 23-Feb-14 12:10:41

I have to say that I'm not good at arranging furniture, I don't seem to have an eye for what works. I can see in that house that having the sofas round the walls doesn't work. What would work in a room that size?

noddyholder Sun 23-Feb-14 12:14:14

That room is too big to be intimate. needs sofas grouped and a large rug Big artworks and maybe some huge plants etc. A sign of life would be good! I hate those houses though

clam Sun 23-Feb-14 12:22:21

And a big square coffee table. If you were having coffee after dinner in that room, where on earth would you put the tray? Or individual cups?

fresh Sun 23-Feb-14 12:23:04

And that room is out of proportion, ceiling too low. Not much you can do structurally, but the down lights make it worse. It needs Wall lights, or lamps on a 5-amp circuit. Agree with noddy, group the furniture, pull it together with a rug. And lose the utterly vile fireplace.

For a house which someone's tried to make contemporary, what are they doing with that staircase?

Rant over.

senua Sun 23-Feb-14 12:24:27

I'm no interior designer but don't you create areas within the room. So some sofas grouped together then a separate comfy chair with reading lamp, or a writing desk with pictures.

KarenBrockman Sun 23-Feb-14 12:31:47

How many pictures of the three children do they need?

I agree group the sofa's together in the biggest house, why on earth are they all up against the walls?

Greenrememberedhills Sun 23-Feb-14 12:33:36

I know of a period house where the builders have marvelled to me about the amount of labour which went I to the two year restoration. No expense was spared, on anything.

It is soul- less. Admittedly the restored floors are beautiful, but there isn't a throw, rug or cushion anywhere. Not even in one room.

By the way, there is a product called super-foxi which makes rugs stick to anything without slipping- hard floors and carpet. It saved my sanity.

senua Sun 23-Feb-14 12:35:47

I think that part of the problem is that we are looking at an unrepresentative sample. By definition, we are looking at houses that people want to move on from, that are transitory. There aren't many where people have lived for years, and are still living there.

This is going to sound very snobby but these houses look very parvenu; decorated last week out of some catalogue. In my house I have a chest of drawers from my parents, a table from DH's parents, a linen chest and various clocks from my grandparents and a writing desk from DH's grandparents. These houses don't seem to have any identity or family history. They are put together like Lego, there is no organic growth.

noddyholder Sun 23-Feb-14 12:36:32

I have a largeish room atm and its nowhere near that size 20' x 20 and I have way more in it!

Lagoonablue Sun 23-Feb-14 12:37:04

Ugh that house! Footballer style. Awful.

clam Sun 23-Feb-14 12:40:47

I agree, senua, but I wonder if people hear "organic growth" and think of this and so discard the idea?

noddyholder Sun 23-Feb-14 12:45:54

Clam I love that house

Viviennemary Sun 23-Feb-14 12:48:11

It's dire. You'd need a megaphone to speak to each other in that sitting room. That might be a good thing though. grin I wouldn't mind a bit more space but not empty and impersonal.

clam Sun 23-Feb-14 12:49:35

Candlewick bedspreads! Can you even get them anymore? grin

KarenBrockman Sun 23-Feb-14 12:51:41

Are you having a laugh? The living room carpet, the sofa's that need recovering and the three different walls, one with brick, one with 70's wallpaper and one with wood panelling?

senua Sun 23-Feb-14 12:58:30

yy clam, that 'organic' house is not a good advertisement for the cause.grin However, it does have something that I have just realised that the others are missing - books. Where are the books? Philistines!

fresh Sun 23-Feb-14 13:09:21

The panelling etc in the 'organic' house is just another period feature really! I love houses like that because they make great projects; you can reconfigure the space to make it work for a family's changing needs and you don't have to worry about preserving cornices.

(Disclaimer: in an older house I would keep good cornices)

Greenrememberedhills Sun 23-Feb-14 13:52:41

I would love a sneaky "pick" at the threads on a cradle wick bedspread! It would remind me of my childhood. They are horrid, though.

The thing is, most of us can have periods of show home loveliness, of sorts, but it never lasts, does it?

Of my five kids, I have three at home, all teenagers. It doesn't matter how much storage, how many shoe solutions or whatever, they just discard stuff everywhere.

I've actually had to lock a key entrance door for a month, to their annoyance, to train them not to trudge over the new carpet in shoes.

And they acquire it. For example, I'm looking at an old silver candlestick with two white candles in it. Where did the third go? What happened to the white vase next to it?

LondonGirl83 Sun 23-Feb-14 14:07:48

Why doesn't the OP share some examples of her own personal style with us. I'm sure you can find one example of something online that reflects your taste.

Bunbaker Sun 23-Feb-14 15:50:18

"In my house I have a chest of drawers from my parents, a table from DH's parents, a linen chest and various clocks from my grandparents and a writing desk from DH's grandparents."

We had furniture like that in our first house. It was hideous. When we moved house we managed to sell most of it.

We lived in three houses with fireplace surrounds like the one in Ashtree Way. I couldn't wait to live in a house with something far more minimal. We now have an Adam style fireplace and it feels right for the room.

PoorOldCat Sun 23-Feb-14 16:09:27

LondonGirl83, because that's not the point of the thread. No one is interested in my personal taste. And I'm not interested in demonstrating it, even if they are.

If I was trying to sell my house, you would be free to gawp at my furnishings all you liked.

senua Sun 23-Feb-14 16:23:33

We had furniture like that in our first house. It was hideous.

Excuse me! My furniture is not hideous. It's proper antique well, some of it. grin

MuttonCadet Sun 23-Feb-14 16:28:06

We have a lot of inherited furniture as well senua, I'm sure some people would think it was hideous, but it has memories of family life with great grandparents, grandparents and parents.

We love it!

MinesAPintOfTea Sun 23-Feb-14 16:35:10

The thing is OP that if you want a house that is 80+ years old it is very likely that at some stage someone has been faced with having to change something on a tight budget to make it more comfortable to live in. Its not always as extreme as an 80 year old person with disabilities but its not exactly rare for there to have been someone living in a house an unable to afford all their central heating to waft up a chimney.

Houses are for living in, not preserving the fashions of the decade they were built in. If it works for you that's good, but if not then change it. Especially houses that have hundreds of thousands of near-clones.

noddyholder Sun 23-Feb-14 16:51:15

I see Adams fireplaces a lot in houses they aren't supposed to be in! They are lovely in teh right setting though

LondonGirl83 Sun 23-Feb-14 17:45:55

OP you say you don't like modern beige interiors that are very popular at the moment and you don't understand why people find them appealing. What do you think should appeal to people (whether you have it or not)?

I personally don't have any beige in my house but I can't say I am surprised that other people do. People like neutrals both in interiors and in clothes etc. Also, most people are relatively skint and their aspirations are mostly to have something new and functional when they replace big ticket items like kitchens and bathrooms.

Personally I like these houses though I think they certainly wouldn't appeal to lots of people-- when I see houses on Rightmove I like I keep a copy of them as inspiration.


MuttonCadet Sun 23-Feb-14 17:57:56

Noddy I had to google "adams fireplace" to me, that's just a fire surround.

What am I missing?

PoorOldCat Sun 23-Feb-14 18:17:29

I like those, Londongirl. Very much.

It isn't about what I think is nicer, or what most people think is nicer though.

It's about it being the same in so many houses. Not the style itself but how ubiquitous many elements of it seem to be.

That's the question - and I think to be fair it's been pretty much answered in a combination of telly programmes, what B&Q and Next have on their shelves, and an idea that things need to be bland and neutral to appeal to the biggest proportion of potential buyers.

The one in Stoke is lovely isn't it.

PoorOldCat Sun 23-Feb-14 18:20:46

Minesapint - that's true and I understand what you are saying.

Things have to fit a lifestyle. I wish people wouldn't just copy what they are told by big business that they ought to like though, whether or not they actually like it.

I think that's what I feel strongly about.

Things are never going to be 'perfect', and neither should they be.

I love those houses you posted, LondonGirl83, thanks for he links which I've bookmarked too for inspiration.

LondonGirl83 Sun 23-Feb-14 18:33:30

I always love homes were people are taking a risk and expressing themselves. However, I get why many people don't: its time consuming to source things that aren't available on the high street. Also, people tend to like what they are exposed to most. My husband is a great example of this. A really cool modern timber-clad building was developed near us in East Dulwich. Initially he hated it but after seeing it over and over again on our walks around the area he's grown to actually really love it. And he actually has pretty broad tastes naturally. Most people initially don't like things they aren't used to seeing and they see modern beige interiors a lot smile

Bunbaker Sun 23-Feb-14 18:50:25

I like those houses as well. What I like about them is that they look light and airy, probably because they are painted white. I don't like some of the furnishings, but that is just personal taste.

LondonGirl83 Sun 23-Feb-14 19:18:32

I don't love all the furnishings either though I like some of them. What I really use as inspiration is the general composition-- balance of the size of furniture, mix of colours, interesting contrasts etc. There is a great book for that if you are into interiors called The Iconic Interior: 1900 to Present. By looking at a series of famous and popular interiors over more than 100 years it transcends specific fads and you can really start to understand what makes a room interesting and well balanced. Regardless of specific furniture or period, I realised that there are certain rooms I just am drawn to because the balance of these elements is right for my own personal preferences.

PoorOldCat Sun 23-Feb-14 19:20:43

Oh I know Dulwich a bit. It's got some lovely architecture though I haven't been there recently. smile

My friends had a flat there, once.

alemci Sun 23-Feb-14 21:54:53

good points london girl and pints of tea.

houses have to be functional and what is affordable and practical.

diamondlizard Sun 23-Feb-14 22:49:18

WHat do you think to the kelly hoppen style interiors?

noddyholder Sun 23-Feb-14 22:53:22

I really hate Kelly hoppen althoughnsevhas made an amazing business out of beige and tacky accessories so good luck to her but it's very footballers wives loose women they seemto love it. It is te tkmaxx of interiors ad a formula

Greenrememberedhills Sun 23-Feb-14 23:21:05

I liked the first house.

I've saved a huge amount of money on sofas and chairs by buying fancy brands second hand on ebay, or in an auction ( including a really old one for £10 in blue velvet) or by buying a good brand for pennies and having it stripped and recovered.

MairzyDoats Sun 23-Feb-14 23:30:02

Noddy, do you have a pinterest board? I'd really love to see some of your interiors.

noddyholder Sun 23-Feb-14 23:34:47

I have a pinterest and have nothing on it! Have never had time but my sister has been on my case so am going to upload this next week or 2 I have so many photos!

MairzyDoats Sun 23-Feb-14 23:36:35

Excellent, pm me when you do and I'll stalk follow you!

Fannydabbydozey Sun 23-Feb-14 23:58:01

I filmed with Kelly hoppen years ago. Her home (at that time) was beautful, and not beige at all... Her favourite colour is taupe (or it was). She had a gigantic Buddha in her living room window. It was incredible - had bits of gold still on it. But it was very, very clinical because it was so, so neat. Mind you we were filming it and if anyone pointed a large camera in my house it would be bloody immaculate too. The cushions were just so and arranged in sizes, three on every seat cushion. There was even an artistic display of limes and artichokes in the kitchen which didn't look wanky. She had interesting ideas and I have remembered some of them (don't line up everything to match on a windowsill/mantelpiece - make interesting groups of things instead. That one does make things look more designed and less matchy macthy) my favourite of her ideas was to have a scent journey as you go through the house and I actually do that in my own home. She had a lot of very beautiful furniture (and shoes, I peeked in her closet)

I have furniture from where I've lived in other countries and stuff that reminds me if my wacky seventies childhood. I'm well aware my home isn't to everyone's taste but I'm happy it's unique for me. It's not safe in any way - I do love a bit of a risk and I like things I can't find anywhere else. I once got some incredible lime driade chairs on ebay for a song as someone listed them badly, same with my white seventies dining table. I think the problem is that there's so little real choice in your usual furniture places: the ubiquitous brown leather, statement cushion etc. Even colours go in cycles in mainstream shops and you're buggered if you want acid yellow or purple when it's not in that season's scheme.

I draw the line at magnolia paint. It's almost a non colour. It sucks the life out of a room. They should ban it.

BiscuitMillionaire Mon 24-Feb-14 00:12:11

I do think we will look back and say, 'Remember the 2010-15s, when everyone painted everything grey? Yes, it was horrible, like prison walls, what were we thinking?'

HanSolo Mon 24-Feb-14 00:14:18

londongirl- love the rodwell rd house!

Fannydabbydozey Mon 24-Feb-14 00:14:54

But have you SEEN all the different greys? Amazing tonal range. From almost black to aubergine grey to navy grey to a kind of mauve grey, dove grey....

Ain't no prisons painted like my hall...

EF2012 Mon 24-Feb-14 00:22:12

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

goodasitgets Mon 24-Feb-14 00:45:15

My place is a new build but I like to think it's welcoming and not like every other house! I can't go mad with the vintage stuff as it wouldn't look right. On the other hand the walls aren't magnolia, yes there's a feature wall but there's also antique mirrors and things to look at. I like people to wander and pick things up. Some pics


Living room (hides from feature wall haters) grin

EF2012 Mon 24-Feb-14 01:10:41

Hi goodasitgets, I really agree with what others are saying, I think the most important thing is to be comfortable in the space you live in but no matter what we have in our homes we can always improve how the space feels. one trick is to give each object it's space. For example try pulling your sofa few inches away from the wall and see the effect. Let me know what u think about my comment smile

WhatWillSantaBring Mon 24-Feb-14 10:53:25

Really interesting thread... And watching HUTH this morning really sims it up- developer doing up the lovely Victorian terrace rips out the beautiful original cornicing and fireplaces and bannister, and the f****g EA are gushing over it. It's vandalism....!! I think you can retain period features and make properties neutral enough to rent or sell.

Someone cleverer than me will I'm sure correct me, but I understand that Victorian era properties are generally well built, but Georgian properties were not. More than that, there was a big view in the post war period the Georgian properties were bland boxes not worthy of saving! I think the same feeling now goes for Victorian properties- they're not old enough to warrant the special protection that Georgian properties do (ie lisiting status), but come with similar flaws (poorly insulated, expensive to maintain?)

I had an interesting comment on my house from my niece - who lives in exactly the sort of house the OP was talking about (magnolia, beige, leather sofas, looking like something straight out of the Next at home catalogue). My house is full of dark wood furniture (mostly inherited), mismatches sofas, fabrics and carpets sourced directly from the Middle East and India... Anyway, she said "what's amazing Auntie Santa, is that although nothing matches, it all goes". It was a total revelation to her --as the entire family lives in indentikit bland Next At Home boxes.

Mine is a bland 80s box, but I have tried to do something a bit more classic/original inside if you ignore the greige walls, granite ŵorktops and shaker island kitchen

Owllady Mon 24-Feb-14 10:56:52

My house says
Father Ted eat your heart out

KarenBrockman Mon 24-Feb-14 14:30:47

I saw the tail end of HUTH, I saw the 1930's house where the fireplace, lovely wood as well was removed.

ouryve Mon 24-Feb-14 14:43:22

Our 1940s NCB terrace (built to the same internal layout as the council properties down the road) doesn't have period features to restore or be sensitive to. That said, it suits a slightly cottagey IKEA meets Laura Ashley look just fine. I agree that there does appear to be a rather unimaginative standard look to so many houses, but for a lot of people, that is what's affordable and easy to source. Not everyone has £25,000 to spend on a kitchen. I certainly wouldn't spend that on ours, as it would be about 40% of the value of the house. When we change the kitchen, it will be a simple B&Q jobby for a few thousand. We've kept hold of the old 1980s kitchen for the decade we've been here as the old fashioned oak doors are beautiful, but the base units are rotten and it's not well laid out, so we do need to change it.

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Mon 24-Feb-14 15:10:51

We have a tiny 1980s ex housing association box.

historic and interesting just doesn't look right. We've got odd bits of inherited furniture r instead of looking Classic and understated they just look old and out of place.

I think the house you start with makes a difference. Tiny 1980s bland box shape suits ikea style furniture it seems. I'd love a large country cottage like relatives that I could really explore style with but I'm limited h house and budget wise.

Badvoc Mon 24-Feb-14 15:32:30

Agree goodness.
Our house was built in 1985 and has had a conservatory and garage conversion so lots of living space, but the furniture and styles I like (Art Deco) would not look right at all.
Our oak ikea furniture does look right, however.

Piscivorus Mon 24-Feb-14 17:18:07

To me, the whole point about a home is just that... it is a home. That means it should reflect the personalities and the needs of the people who live in it.

I'm sure a lot of people would turn their noses up at our house, particularly at the uPVC windows, but it is warm, welcoming and comfortable. As long as you are happy in your home then nobody else's opinion should matter

Devora Mon 24-Feb-14 18:02:13

OP, I think a few people on this thread have taken you as saying that everyone should conform to your taste. But I get that you're saying the opposite: that it's a shame so many people feel that to protect the resale value of their home they should magnolia-and-beige it, even if that's not what they actually like.

I don't have any more artistic flair than the next person, and my house is not beautiful or original. (Though I do have an impressive list of probably quite irrational decor hates, including spotlights, breakfast bars, kitchen islands, standalone baths, wall-hung TVs, dining suites and most especially those fabric covers you get for dining chairs.) But I do enjoy a bit of diversity, a bit of being able to read something about the owners from their home.

clam, I actually like your 3rd house - you could really do something with that! The 1st one gave me the heebie-jeebies. Looks like vampires live there.

Piscivorus Mon 24-Feb-14 18:24:57

Devora I don't think it's the OP's posts that give those impressions but those of other posters agreeing with each other which imply there is some kind of style rules like brown leather sofas, uPVC windows, modernised homes, etc are always naff.

Bunbaker Mon 24-Feb-14 18:32:56

What is wrong with a dining suite Devora?

I have just replaced ours and it looks so much better than our old teak table and chairs. The colour goes better with the room as well - yellow walls, blue patterned curtains and light oak laminate flooring (yes I know, but it was there when we moved in and I don't hate laminate floors)

Where do you eat your dinner?

PoorOldCat Mon 24-Feb-14 18:46:13

Thanks Devora - and Piscivorus, I agree with you too about a home being just that. It's the only place you can have how you want - if you are fortunate enough to have the opportunity/finances/etc to do so.

I have a brown leather sofa. But in a different sort of context - it's not on a background of mag walls and an acrylic rug and some 'wall art' from Argos, and teal striped curtains from Dunelm mill. More like dodgy anaglypta from 1985, (but we're renting) grin

I don't think brown sofas are naff at all. I think the fashion for certain things is naff - but that is indeed more about the ubiquity of them than the objects themselves.

Devora Mon 24-Feb-14 18:48:29

I DID say it was probably irrational, Bunbaker - I'm not expecting anyone to agree with me grin. Same goes for kitchen islands - I'm sure there's a million reasons why they're a great thing, but they still give me the creeps.

I eat my dinner off mismatched chairs (�5 from local restaurant clear-out) and a nasty orangey pine table that came with the house. I've painted the lot with chalk paint and thrown a tablecloth over. I can't wait till I can afford to do up my kitchen - your dining suite is undoubtedly far nicer smile

Bunbaker Mon 24-Feb-14 18:50:40

That set up would just look awful in my tiny dining room in my 1996 built house.

PoorOldCat Mon 24-Feb-14 18:51:41

We don't have a dining table. I had one for years and never used it - it's now my computer desk, which I am sitting at eating my dinner from a dish with a spoon next to the keyboard grin

My children seem to manage fine eating on their laps in the living room...yikes, parenting fail blush

Bunbaker Mon 24-Feb-14 18:53:03

I hate eating from a plate on my lap. It gives me a stomach ache to eat hunched over my food.

We eat as a family round the dining table. We often have friends over for a meal as well.

PoorOldCat Mon 24-Feb-14 18:54:10

Different lives, different homes.

LtEveDallas Mon 24-Feb-14 19:04:19

My dining room table is currently upside down being used as a den...

At least in the new house DD will have a playroom and I can eat my dinner in the kitchen!

Badvoc Mon 24-Feb-14 19:14:07

I have only just got my dining table back!
It's been home to a huge papier mâché brachiosaurus over half term
thanks ds1s science teacher

Badvoc Mon 24-Feb-14 19:18:42

Isn't it funny?
In our last house we did loads of work and extended and made a huge dining kitchen. Range oven, wooden worktops the works.
I hated it!
The Belfast sink didn't keep the heat of the water in and I smashed loads of stuff in it.
The range oven was a nightmare to clean and I rarely used all the hobs and never used the grill.
The wooden worktop looks fab, by its so impractical.
And I really disliked eating surrounded by the detritus and smells of cooking (although tbf I am a very messy cook)
I have a much smaller kitchen now and prefer it. I like eating away from all the mess.
I also hate kitchen islands but can't really explain why.

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Mon 24-Feb-14 19:27:42

Tell me about painting chairs... I have mismatched ones. Do I need to sand first... Just paint? That chalk paint... Do I need to wax?

They look awful at the moment!

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Mon 24-Feb-14 19:28:43

I wouldn't manage without a table. What do you do if you have guests for dinner? We've a tiny house but I couldn't not have a table to easy from.

Devora Mon 24-Feb-14 19:34:31

Thing is, it takes resources to make your house beautiful. Money really helps, but if you don't have that then time, DIY skills or just unswerving dedication. I do admire people who make their homes truly their own, even if I don't share their taste.

Same with fashion. I know a beautiful outfit when I see it, but I don't give any priority to it for myself. My wardrobe is the equivalent of brown leather sofas and laminate flooring. I don't feel defensive about that, and it doesn't stop me admiring those who choose to be more stylish.

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Mon 24-Feb-14 19:57:59

Yes I agree. We would have a very different house if we had the money to replace things, or buy some pretty rugs etc etc. Ii'd love some original artwork (some lovely non expensive local artists) I'd love to do the "lego table" that is going around on facebook. Lots and lots of ideas, but without any resources we can't do them!

PoorOldCat Mon 24-Feb-14 20:02:59

I don't have people over for dinner - actually I don't have people over at all really.

I think it's just no one likes me very much grin

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Mon 24-Feb-14 20:05:41

I'm sure that's not the case - you certainly would have a more stylish house than mine! (When my in-law from Australia came over she could "name" most of my sitting room furntiture. It was quite funny. Nearly everything had a Swedish inspired name...)

notso Mon 24-Feb-14 20:06:26

I cannot imagine not having a table and chairs. I would go as far as saying I would rather have a table and chairs than any other furniture if I had to choose.

We have two proper dining tables.
Tonight I ate my supper off my lap watching Judge Judy.

MinesAPintOfTea Mon 24-Feb-14 20:42:31

I'm astounded at someone who judges other people's houses not having a dining table. In this house the dining table is where life is discussed, meals are eaten, "art" is done and board/card games are played. We spend far more time there than in the lounge.

When I'm working from home I might eat at my desk on the computer, but not if there's anyone else in the house.

Its also easier to read over breakfast when you have a table supporting your bowl and book grin

PoorOldCat Mon 24-Feb-14 21:09:02

I might judge people's houses but not their lifestyles.. we have two lovely tables, but neither is used to sit round, because we interact in a different way, and none of us really likes sitting at a table to eat/interact.

It's not a very formal household I suppose. I can see the potential uses of a table but we use the floor, the sofa, etc - and we rarely eat together.

I would feel entirely stupid sitting eating at the table by myself, without doing something else at the same time anyway. The children would just leave asap and go and eat in front of the TV.

TheBuskersDog Mon 24-Feb-14 21:34:11

Goodness, what is the lego table?

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Mon 24-Feb-14 21:38:34

Oh it's ace. Two of those plastic sets of drawers with a plank across the top with green lego boards on. Lego goes in the drawers.

ithaka Mon 24-Feb-14 21:39:53

I can understand brown leather sofas and greige far more than I can understand not having a dining table - I consider that an integral part of a family home.

I live in a modern box (because it is all we could afford) and lovely old furniture often does not fit into modern mingy rooms. That is why Ikea is so popular - it makes furniture on a smaller scale to fit teeny houses.

Piscivorus Mon 24-Feb-14 22:26:34

I am the opposite ithaka. Our house is older and modern furniture is always just a bit too small. I end up having to trawl around second hand shops for old stuff.

CalamitouslyWrong Mon 24-Feb-14 22:44:53

I always find it amusing how people fetishise features from certain periods (usually longer ago) but not those from others. The serving hatch is probably old enough now that people have started thinking of it as a 'feature' rather than an embarrassment. I suspect that our grandchildren will be reinstating the artex ceilings and walls in houses and muttering about 'vandalism' in relation to those who eradicated them.

trixymalixy Mon 24-Feb-14 22:45:35

goodness when I sold my last flat one viewer went round pointing at all the furniture and naming it with its product name. I thought he was a bit of a dick. and vowed to buy no more from ikea or habitat

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Mon 24-Feb-14 22:49:33

Ha - id think so too in that context!

I think my in law just had a lot of e same... I don't think I'd realised how much ikea we'd collected until then though!

namechangeagain434 Mon 24-Feb-14 23:39:49

My current bugbear are those weird modern, pared back and geometric gardens which are very fashionable for modernised expensive homes. They seem so bare and uninviting. Will link if no one knows what I mean as might just be round here (lots in our local glossy property mag).

Fannydabbydozey Mon 24-Feb-14 23:40:33

But you don't need lots of money to buy non standard/non ikea furniture. Time and lots of patience maybe. Since I've had my kids I've had bugger all money (and I had no furniture before them!) except for a few heady months abroad when I finally earned a lovely salary. Ebay is excellent for great buys - my dining table, bed, six occasional chairs, sofas, hide rug, allessi bathroom toilet and sink , cloakroom marble basin, travertine tiles travertine mosaics all came from ebay. Nothing was more than £250 on their own.

I bought tons of stuff when i lived abroad as there were hidden bargains everywhere. Especially from expats leaving who weren't taking their furniture.

I have two Philippe Stark dining chairs bought from a local paper for pennies. I got Conrad lights from TK Maxx for £20! It's taken YEARS - I bought my first bit of furniture 11 years ago - but slowly the ikea/argos got replaced by more eclectic stuff, stuff I'm going to keep for the rest of my life.

Again, it's not everybody's taste and for some it would be a total faff but I find searching out bargains an absolute joy. It means almost everything I own has a story, which I love.

Ikea for the kids though. They don't respect furniture...

MyCatIsFat Mon 24-Feb-14 23:43:48

Mid century modern here - with furniture acquired 30 years ago and now fashionable again.

Yes, keep original features. No, to large teal/poppy red flowered feature walls.

I hate all chintz, embellishment and unnecessary affectation. So plain white bare walls, white ceiling, wooden floors, wooden furniture. Very calming, very relaxing. Will not date.

If I want colour I can obtain it from the soft furnishings I add to a room.

ithaka Tue 25-Feb-14 07:35:23

Well, one thing that has emerged on this thread is thaat everyone thinks that their taste is the right taste wink

How about we all enjoy our own homes and stop wrinkling up our noses at other peoples - or is that no fun?

PoorOldCat Tue 25-Feb-14 08:04:48

That's not the case Ithaka. Of course everyone has preferences. I thought I made it clear it wasn't about that. But that wouldn't be any fun, would it? smile

PoorOldCat Tue 25-Feb-14 08:14:54

Calamitous, I don't see why it's amusing to admire stuff that was made with artistry and care over stuff that was put together in a factory from MDF.

I explained this below (above for those reading upside down) - if you have a Victorian hand painted tiled forged fireplace, and you have a modern, veneered, plastic-coal electric fire, which is nicer from the point of view of care taken, skill involved and longevity?

What took more work to create?

That's the difference. Serving hatches are neither here nor there - good if they are integral to the building and the artistry that came into designing it. Not so good if they aren't.

But they are only a bit of moulding and a plywood door usually.

The main reason older furniture doesn't always look so great in a modern house is proportion.

Victorian (or older) houses were designed to look beautiful, using a mathematical principle quite often which gave a pleasing effect.

The furniture was also designed to fit with this and to be attractive as well as functional.

So if you put it in a room built in 1970 with a 90" ceiling and square windows, it will look a bit stupid.

Like Fanny, most of our stuff has come from ebay, or skips, or second hand shops...it saves money, often you can get something far more solid for the same price as something that will fall apart in a few years, it also reuses stuff which I think is good for the environment, and it looks better too imo (not in everyone's obvs).

We are buying a house which is old and will suit the furniture we have, it's not expensive, there are far more modern houses out there that would cost far more.

PoorOldCat Tue 25-Feb-14 08:17:14

Oh and we will have room for a table at the new house - finally - but I very much doubt anyone will eat at it!

WholeLottaRosie Tue 25-Feb-14 09:42:25

I've actually just stopped buying interiors magazines, because the people featured seem obsessed with pointing out how eclectic their houses are. They've all lived/ travelled extensively in the Far East and had furniture shipped back "It was hand-carved by artisan monkeys so it's totally unique".

PoorOldCat Tue 25-Feb-14 09:45:58

No I agree that's depressing. I think somewhere in the middle is Ok though. I don't care about the people who own these beautiful homes at all really - but I want to look at them as they are often very lovely. (the interiors - not the people!)

WholeLottaRosie Tue 25-Feb-14 10:17:28

I'm quite old-fashioned I think, in that I'd quite like to go back to when a house was a place where you lived, you had furniture that suited your needs, and nothing really had to be a style-statement.

It's almost like the more choice we have, the more TV programmes are dedicated to it, the worse it gets.
I honestly can't remember my parents/ grandparents generation getting in such a tizzy over the latest shade of battleship charcoal.

Fannydabbydozey Tue 25-Feb-14 13:38:42

When was that Rosie? My grandparents put a lot of thought into their house and styled it to their taste. They were as poor as mice but damn they loved swirly wallpaper and patterns! And very bright paint. Very. (Their bathroom was Granny Smith Apple Green and their kitchen a shade of pink I have never seen before or since)

People have always decorated their homes in a style they liked and were proud of their taste. Maybe not back when they had mud huts... But actually who says that's the case? A house is just a house until you make it your home. Part of doing that involves creating an ambiance and decorating according to your taste. Even the poorest of people will often try to decorate their tiny shack to make it as welcoming as possible. IM think ing of my sister in law's cleaner who lives in a slum (they're in India) and the inside of her hut is painted magenta and blue. Who only has furniture they need? shakers?

Fannydabbydozey Tue 25-Feb-14 13:43:47

Rosie there are tons of shops in the Middle East that sell furniture that looks really ancient and artisan. Except it isn't! Sort of faux boho chic. Some of the stuff was ubiquitous - like the "ancient door with a glass top" dining table which you would see in so many expat homes. Or ancient carved coffee table (made to look old by an geezer round the back with a paintbrush and some stains)

Those people in those interiors magazines have been robbed!

noddyholder Tue 25-Feb-14 17:38:05

Some friends have just built their own house and I went there friday night It is gorgeous very minimal but he is an antique dealer and painter and they have old pieces in the big white space and it looks great. I generally renovate and re design old period houses but always very modern kitchens and about 80% contemporary furniture and art. The contrast looks great. It is about colour and proportion.

Greenrememberedhills Tue 25-Feb-14 17:41:58

I don't buy house magazines anyone and criticised a couple upthread. But one, The World of Interiors, was good. Really good. I don't know whether it still exists though.

Not that you could afford anything in it, if you could even find it. It showed homes from heaps of countries in heaps of styles with lots of colour and creativity. I had it on order for two years in the later noughties and wish I'd kept the back copies.

I don't think money is much of a pre requisite to style. Time and energy are, plus willingness to " keep at it", plus some creativity.

I think you also need to develop a bit of an " eye" to spot cheap stuff, and look at ebay etc.

yes yes to time and energy. we have been looking for the right sideboard at right price for months and months

ithaka Tue 25-Feb-14 17:56:04

It is funny how people with laminate & brown leather sofas are sheep in identikit houses following the crowd. But people with period features and old furniture are so original & creative.

Get real, you are all following the crowd, it is just you have chosen different crowds to follow. World of Interiors v Real Homes magazine, if you will.

WholeLottaRosie Tue 25-Feb-14 17:58:27

When was that Rosie?

It was just after the war, in fact during the war my grandparents house was bombed and they were left homeless with absolutely nothing to their name.
I can remember my grandmother using food colouring in a tin of white paint because that was the cheapest way to have an actual colour, she couldn't afford the ready-made greens or blues. So I agree with what you say that even if you live in a slum you can make it homely.

We had it drilled into us that to criticise someone else's taste in house/ furnishings was the height of bad manners because people had what they could afford or, if they were lucky, what they liked.
I just feel that now we have a sort of competitiveness that perhaps wasn't there a couple of decades or so ago.

One of the magazines I used to buy recently had a "We are much more eclectic than you" couple featured. The woman was going to great pains to explain that actually they had had their tripod lamp for many years and so they hadn't just followed the recent trend, ditto some Scandi-style something or other.
It made me wonder who was the biggest fool; her for saying it or me for buying the magazine with her in it? grin.

PoorOldCat Tue 25-Feb-14 18:06:53

I don't agree Ithaka.

Some of us aren't actually following any 'crowd' - whereas the popular style you find in many homes is just that, it's a crowd thing, a fashion and a lot of people want to be like everyone else I think.

Some people are very determined to be 'edgy' and 'different' and 'unique' - I kind of fall between those I think. I like the stuff I like, whether or not it's 'in' at the moment.

I don't think that is really following any particular crowd. Not that it matters...as I said, some people value similarity to other folk and some don't.

PoorOldCat Tue 25-Feb-14 18:07:30

But it does make looking at house after house after house that's been decorated in that way, a bit dull after a while.

It's all wank that will be replaced by other wank in 6 months time. Decorate your house how you want and stop using your supposed taste to sneer at others. That only shows you up as the pretentious twat you so clearly are.
There endeth the sermon wink

Bunbaker Tue 25-Feb-14 18:41:24

I don't follow interior design "fashion". I am not interested. I just want something that is practical and looks nice. Interior design magazines and sections in other magazines devoted to interior design bore me rigid.

I don't like brown, I don't like laminate floors for living areas and I loathe beige. And having grown up in a house that looked like a museum I hate antiques.

What does that make me?

VeryStressedMum Tue 25-Feb-14 18:44:07

If you decorate your house in an edgy, different or unique style because that's your personality and your own sense of style then that's fine. But anyone decorating their house like that in an attempt to be seen to be unique and edgy is just a dick.
There can't be that many people living in houses decorated by the next catalogue who absolutely hate the way they've decorated it, so they must like it. And if they like it how can it be wrong?

Bunbaker Tue 25-Feb-14 18:52:17

I have two Next settees.

Am I banned from mumsnet? grin

Disclaimer: I bought them because I didn't like any of the other settees around and they were a better fit in my living room - and they offer a really wide range of colours. Oh, and I don't have anything else from Next other than a T-shirt and a pair of trousers.

Don't apologise Bun, why should you?
If I had the kind of friends that judged me for my sofa, I'd get new friends.

Bunbaker Tue 25-Feb-14 19:11:33

Actually, my friends love my settees. They go with the colour scheme (not grey, brown or beige grin)

PoorOldCat Tue 25-Feb-14 19:11:44

Uh, thanks Katie.

noddyholder Tue 25-Feb-14 19:13:28

Fashion is just that I have been redesigning since 1999 and the basic shell and style has remained unchanged. Then fill it with things you love.

higgle Tue 25-Feb-14 19:14:52

I think it depends where you live. In this bit of Gloucestershire "the look" is all shabby chic, farrow and ball, stupid clocks without surrounds and bloody bunting everywhere.It all looks so twee and now very dated but the locals seem to love it.

Bunbaker Tue 25-Feb-14 19:22:02

I have never used Farrow and Ball paint. What is so special about it? I only ever hear about it on here. In RL people just use Dulux or Crown (like I do).

PoorOldCat Tue 25-Feb-14 19:25:19

According to ds's father who is a tosser tosher, it has layers to it, like a sort of ephemeral effect, like the light goes through it. Sort of thing.

Because of how it is made? I guess. He said it's like the difference between real wood and laminate, or something like that anyway.

I don't use it - I have a couple of old second hand bashed tins I might try out at our new house that cost a fiver.

Dead mouse and Old rope

PoorOldCat Tue 25-Feb-14 19:26:22

I hate the fakey clocks. Can I say that without being a pretentious twat?

CalamitouslyWrong Tue 25-Feb-14 19:29:00

Bunbaker: I think the most important thing with sofas is night what they look like but whether they are comfy!

Our living room boasts two mid-1980s behemoths in navy leather (my parents bought them when I was a kid). They're seriously ugly and a bit tatty one but super comfy. In the past, friends have asked if I would donate them to them should I ever buy new ones because they are so comfy. They obviously don't care that they aren't 'stylish'. We'll probably keep them so long they'll come back into fashion. grin

Greenrememberedhills Tue 25-Feb-14 19:34:35

I don't like F and B much- it's very grey. I used Dulux and home brands for years and year.

But I do like Fired Earth now I have found it, and really weirdly, it actually feels different, but to use, and when dry.

WhatWillSantaBring Tue 25-Feb-14 19:38:40

Think some people are missing the point of this thread... It's not sneering or judging peoples taste, it's just commenting that there are a couple very popular looks that are so ubiquitous that it makes some houses seem identikit.

Some of the looks that I see and find quite unoriginal are: shabby chic ("farmhouse" kitchen, distressed painted furniture, fucking bunting everywhere), scandi chic (it's all white and so very calming and relaxing) and next at home (beige carpets, brown leather sofas, mass produced prints of views that you've never been too). Personally I find any of these looks really boring and unoriginal, but I would never judge anyone for them, unless they proudly proclaimed "look at my interior design cleverness". If you like it, that's fabulous, but don't pretend you came up with the idea yourself!

Greenrememberedhills Tue 25-Feb-14 19:39:11

Ithaca, when I was reading W of I, it wasn't all period houses. At all.

I think you have a point though about chasing the period look being crowd following. Even though you were a bit rude.

sherbetpips Tue 25-Feb-14 19:46:21

Fired earth paint is just a sheer joy to paint with, it's like putting silk on the wall.

I live in a 60's house and it is difficult to avoid the boring trap, I have achieved it in some rooms but in others I just didn't have the budget and frankly next/b&q is the only option. Those rooms are bloody boring though.

PoorOldCat Tue 25-Feb-14 19:49:58

Thank you, What - I appreciate that. I think sometimes people read what they want to read to enable them to have a pop at the perceived enemy.

It doesn't matter. I'm not great at understanding the bigger picture. Wish people didn't resort to name calling though.

SteeleyeStan Tue 25-Feb-14 19:56:49

We had two very close contenders when chosing which house to buy. Obviously decor wasn't among the more important things we were looking at, but since the houses were very similar in location, size, condition etc it did end up playing a bit of a role.

One house was very colourful and not at all to our taste (think vivid purples, turqoise and big patterns), and I wouldn't have remotely at home in there until we redecorated thoroughly. The other was probably very boring, very much like the OP original description. Not my ideal taste either, by any means, but I could easily live with the beige and change things gradually. So at least for our sellers in this case it was worth selling neutral.

Greenrememberedhills Tue 25-Feb-14 20:31:30

Pooroldcat, well said.

ithaka Tue 25-Feb-14 20:49:50

Well, I haven't resorted to name calling, just been amused by the motes and beams on this thread (I hope you appreciate the appropriateness of the analogy wink)

OP's contention is that other people's houses are derivative. Of course this begs the question - what makes you think yours isn't? (apart from the lack of dining table, which we have established smile).

I am honestly not meaning to have a go, it just all seems a bit self deluding to me.

truelymadlysleepy Tue 25-Feb-14 21:06:51

But isn't most of this just fashion?

Elephants breathe and reclaimed oak floors, skinny jeans and fancy scarves. They'll all be out of fashion at some point and some of us suit them more than others.
The difference really comes down to cost. Most of us can't afford to completely change our homes every couple of years.

We'll all be lusting over avocado bathrooms again soon.

VeryStressedMum Tue 25-Feb-14 21:51:09

PoorOldCat, just because you don't like that style doesn't mean that it's crap. Your idea of a dream house would be one with the original 1930s kitchen and bathroom and filled with second hand furniture...this would be my idea of house hell!
However a house is decorated there'll be some people that love it and some that hate it. You just have to please yourself.
If lots of houses look the same it means that lots of people like that look.
Anyway, I don't think looking at rightmove is the right place to look for houses with identity as a lot of people strip their own identities from their houses before they sell.

alemci Tue 25-Feb-14 22:02:45

yes you want to make your own house as saleable as possible so others can visualise themselves living there.

PoorOldCat Wed 26-Feb-14 07:58:51

VSM I didn't say it was crap. See what I mean about reading stuff that isn't there?

Truely, a lot of these things aren't cheap. So I don't think it's about cost, most of the houses have been changed very recently - 'much improved by the current owners' is a common phrase that springs to mind.

Alemci, I find it a lot harder to see the bones of a house when it is all neutral/brown/laminated. Maybe other people can, but I can't.

Ithaka no, I really don't get your post - what are motes? If you don't mind explaining.

As for derivative, I don't think that's exactly the same as 'fashion' - well maybe this fashion is an extreme version of derivation.

Of course there are elements of derivation in my house, and in everyone's. It's just perhaps a bit less evident and a lot less (seemingly)deliberate.

LondonGirl83 Wed 26-Feb-14 08:13:10

PoorOldCat, while some people have been a bit harsh with you, you can't claim you weren't suggesting the style is "crap" and that people are reading things into your post that weren't there.

The tone of your post makes it clear but more importantly you said it pretty explicitly when you called the style "so ugly". In addition you said the style "pisses you off", you "hate it" and its "dull".

PoorOldCat Wed 26-Feb-14 08:14:53

That's true, I do find it ugly and I said so - I also said it doesn't make me right and that people's tastes vary.

I think the other quoted expressions are regarding the ubiquity of the style rather than the actual style.

PoorOldCat Wed 26-Feb-14 08:17:13

'But it does make looking at house after house after house that's been decorated in that way, a bit dull after a while.'

I did say I hate it but that doesn't mean it's crap.

There is a difference.

PoorOldCat Wed 26-Feb-14 08:20:36

I would not be arguing this if my intention was to insult - I think it is about intention and about meaning, and my meaning is not 'this is a crap style', and if it was, then that would only be an opinion anyway and not relevant.

I might have expressed myself poorly but hoped I had clarified somewhat within the thread.

Anyway I might leave this now as it isn't helping anyone.

Happymother77 Wed 26-Feb-14 08:24:23

I quite agree with you! To my mind it happens because people are always looking for interior ideas in the Internet! Or because everyone thinks that it should be so. It is only stereotypes. I think that people should be different and have their own taste and style! People are trying to be like someone is. It’s not right. In my opinion, if you want to have comfort in your house, place and create all according to YOUR OWN taste! And of course, fashion trends play a big role in forming personality. As for me, I am fed up! I decorated my home as I wanted and now I feel comfort and peace.

ithaka Wed 26-Feb-14 09:23:03

PoorOldCat to explain my analogy, the phrase is: "why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?"

It is from the sermon on the mount and it is one of Jesus' proverbs about judging not, lest ye be judged.

I am not religious (however the above makes me sound), I consider 'motes and beams' to be a fairly commonly adopted phrase about not judging other people as you aren't perfect yourself. And it seemed a nice pun in a thread about houses.

But I suspect if we all lived by it, there would be no Mumsnet, so feel free to ignore grin

MairzyDoats Wed 26-Feb-14 09:33:07

Incidentally, yy to above post about Fired Earth paint - it really is a dream to use!

noddyholder Wed 26-Feb-14 09:37:59

fired earth lovely and little Greene.

echt Wed 26-Feb-14 11:50:27

I think the OP has been unreasonably trashed.

possibly by those whose homes fit her OP

I see her point. After a while, the sea of neutrality is as defeating as a house full of overstuffed bedizened shite. It is just as hard to look at and see the possibilities. Come to Australia for a vista of polished wood floors, open planned, concrete garden hell. Same thing.

The jolt of individualism is refreshing, even when it's appalling.

OP, this is not IABU, but YANBU.

RudyMentary Wed 26-Feb-14 13:47:57

I don't like carpet
I don't like curtains

VeryStressedMum Wed 26-Feb-14 19:02:28

PoorOldCat we'd walk into each other's houses and think it was crap but we'd be far too polite to say anything, we'd just say ooh isn't this luvverly grin

IShouldBeDoingSomethingElse Wed 26-Feb-14 20:54:28

ithacka good post. i hope you get to use it again. seriously.

I think the OP got the roasting that was exactly proportionate to what she deserved! I didn't care either way but Londongirl83 summed it up perfectly. My house was 70s and ugly when I moved in so any DIY I've done has been to neutralise. I prefer it now.

oldboiler Wed 26-Feb-14 23:04:53

It's not just the magnolia walls and laminate floor blandness that bothers me. Its the naff mass produced accessories that seem to be 'uniform' that people with no imagination seem to think makes a house a home. All this wicker heart crap and signs with cheesy sayings on. Then theres those awful canvas pictures with flowers on, floral metalic feature walls, and don't even get me started on those picture frames that say things like 'love' and 'family'. Do people really like these things or are they made to think they should because the shops are full of them?

Bunbaker Wed 26-Feb-14 23:11:57

I wish you would stop banging on about people with no imagination. It comes across as very sneery.

I don't have much imagination when it comes to creating a home. I just can't think that way. I can't envisage how a room would look when "dressed".

That said, my house doesn't have any beige, brown, magnolia or mass produced prints. Each room is a different colour. The "extras" in my house are paintings (original), photos and books. My house doesn't look "put together", but quite frankly I would rather spend more time in the kitchen knocking a delicious meal together than spend hours designing my living room.

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Wed 26-Feb-14 23:14:13

Well shops sell that kind of thing. If I was currently to update I'd probably go to wilkos, range etc as that's my current price bracket, so I'm limited by what they sell.
In my head I have a large roomy house,, room for inherited furniture and money to experiment withauction buys.

In reality older stuff looks wrong and cramped and even grungy and dirty in a tiny modern host.

My aspirations and reality don't match. I'd love to travel and bring back nick nacks etc.

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Wed 26-Feb-14 23:15:42

Oh I'd love original paintings!

It just feels sneery at low income. Ive a m/c background and taste but not at all the reality.

Bunbaker Wed 26-Feb-14 23:23:05

My original paintings aren't exactly upmarket though. Just by local artists and a couple of artistic family members.

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Wed 26-Feb-14 23:31:04

That sounds lovely smile Webber not got artistic family but we live in a pretty part of the world so there is local work about. It's still 50 (+) quid we don't have (yet). We often window shop.

Bunbaker Wed 26-Feb-14 23:37:12

It's pretty round here as well, so plenty of scope for local artists.

PoorOldCat Thu 27-Feb-14 09:59:36

Low incomes? How is it about that?

I'm on a pretty low income. Just so you know.

The people doing up these houses (often in a short space of time, it appears, in order to sell on for a profit) are probably far better off than me.

The Range is for people in my income bracket I imagine but it doesn't mean I have to buy their awful tat.

SteeleyeStan Thu 27-Feb-14 10:08:04

About the budget - I think at least some of it depends on your circumstances of getting the furniture, not just your basic level of income.

Back in the days of rented furnished student flats and similar, we had the "luxury" of picking out the odd nice (but cheap) piece from charity shops and second hand stores, basically whenever we happened to see something we really liked and could afford. It's a whole different situation if you're suddenly having to buy several major bits of furniture to your home. You won't be guaranteed to find the things you need used in a price and location that's convenient.

And that's how you end up with all these very common £10 Ikea bookshelves etc. just because you really needed a bookshelf quick and didn't have the time and money to hunt for a more individual piece.

Bunbaker Thu 27-Feb-14 10:15:23

I love The Range. But I go there for the kitchen stuff and the arts and crafts. I never look at their home furnishings.

PoorOldCat Thu 27-Feb-14 10:17:07

I've often bought something temporary only to let it go later when i find something that's better made, or looks nicer etc.

Nothing wrong with Ikea anyway smile

When I think about it more, it isn't the people who don't have time, don't really care too much about decor, or don't have any choice that I am even talking about (though that may not have been clear, because it wasn't clear to me to begin with)

It's the people who HAVE got the funds, and the choice, and are going in there deliberately to 'improve' a house so they can sell it on for more money, often very quickly.

Often I think they just ruin it. There is a LOT of it round here as it's a vast student town and so buy to let has become almost the biggest use of homes locally. It's really sad.

I will try and find the link to my parents' old house which they sold on to a student landlord a few years back - they wouldn't have, but they had very little choice because he already owned houses all around them, and so no one else wanted to live there.

What he did to it is insane.

here you go

PoorOldCat Thu 27-Feb-14 10:20:24

By the way that was a 3 bed semi once upon a time. he's turned the living room into a vast fitted kitchen, and what the actual Jeff are the stairs doing going into the ceiling?

Bunbaker Thu 27-Feb-14 10:23:18

It's all a bit beige and isn't to my taste either, but for student let it looks very practical. I can't understand why you are getting your knockers in a twist over that.

I don't think a student would really care that much about the internal decor as long as the place was warm, dry and clean (although I'm not sure some are even bothered about that grin).

I have been in some hideous student digs and that house is luxurious compared to most I have seen.

Rooners Thu 27-Feb-14 10:28:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

i think that's ok for a student let, and tbh it's the sort of thing most students expect these days

that room with the half-stairs and the shower IN the bedroom is weird though - that's the LL squeezing as many people in as possible and being able to say all the rooms have en suites

Rooners Thu 27-Feb-14 10:30:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bunbaker Thu 27-Feb-14 10:34:54

The room with a shower doesn't have a loo though.

The details haven't been proof read as it states 4 bedroom in the features and 6 bedroom in the description.

sassytheFIRST Thu 27-Feb-14 10:34:59

Unusual bookcase in that one bedroom!

It's fine for students. Clean, practical - that will rent really easily. No character of course, but does what it says on the tin.

My house is a 70s job, we've just completed a major refurb and it's a bit barn like at the mo. Big rooms, massive windows (no curtains in some), needs more furniture etc.

noddyholder Thu 27-Feb-14 11:53:24

Not everyone who renovates houses does a job like that!

JaneBabez2014 Thu 27-Feb-14 15:22:44

I didn't really look for a nicely decorated house, me and my husband just looked for a house that had the right amount of space and shapes of room, along with a good front and back garden. We mostly thought of how we could decorate it our selves, because like to decorate it to our own personal taste rather than trying to find a house that is already to our taste (which would take far too long as everyone has different tastes).

VeryStressedMum Thu 27-Feb-14 15:25:55

The whole house is apricot. But he's done that for a student let, most people when they decorate tend not to make their houses look like that, unless of course they like that look.

IShouldBeDoingSomethingElse Thu 27-Feb-14 22:13:29

OP, don't miss Amanda Lamb, Tuesdays on more 4. whole series about making houses neutral for sale. enjoy! smile