The 1960s is known as the era of bell-bottoms and lava lamps. But the distinctive home and architecture trends that made their mark on that decade have lasted far longer than those fads. This groovy decade was a turning point for home architecture and interior design, and iconic elements are still revered today. Midcentury Modern brings nature in via its walls of windows. It’s a refreshing way to live, harmoniously with the outdoors. The clean lines of Midcentury Modern architecture also allow the eye and mind to relax — leading to expansive thoughts. If you’re searching for a home built in the 1960s — or a newer one inspired by the decade — here are some features to look for as you check out different listings.
Single-story Ranch style
Single-story Ranch homes reached their heyday in the 1960s. Especially on the West Coast, this distinctive style is known for its low rooflines. These homes were an evolution of the classic Bungalow style that had grown in popularity from the turn of the century through the 1930s. Most Ranch homes had open living spaces and attached garages, to adapt to the suburban lifestyles that so many families began to adopt. Many original Ranch homes from this era remain, and it still ranks as Americans’ second-favorite style, falling only behind Craftsman homes.
The 1960s marked a shift in how families interacted with their homes. As suburban living became more common, creating enjoyable outdoor spaces also became a priority. As a result, landscaping was taken off the back burner and put front and center, to make backyards the perfect backdrop for gatherings such as barbecues, picnics and children’s playdates. Having a lush green lawn became a status symbol and lawn care became a priority. Similarly, creating outdoor living spaces with patio furniture, swing sets and other yard accessories was a priority for many families. This emphasis on outdoor space set the foundation for how we live today, and many of the original outdoor entertaining spaces still exist in one form or another.
Vertical wood paneling
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, wood paneling was a must-have in almost any home. The rich hue of the wood paired nicely with the bright and bold color palettes that were popular in the era. The affordable paneling was also easy to install, making it a fast and simple way for homeowners to add a trendy touch without blowing their budgets. As a result, this distinctive style became synonymous with the decade and is still a lasting detail found in many homes built around that time. Though wood paneling fell out of fashion for many years, it has recently again become a sought-after design feature. Whether painted over in a bold color or stripped down to its original finish, paneling is popular again — and homeowners are eager to find spaces with these original details, perhaps to add their modern touch and create a space that blends the best of old and new.
With their flat and/or vaulted roofs, large plate-glass windows, open floor plans and a feeling of the inside and outside blurred into one, Midcentury Modern homes are those built between the late 1930s and the mid-1970s — with the zenith being in the ’50s and ’60s. This distinctive style has made a strong comeback in recent years, with furniture trends and color palettes tapping into this iconic design aesthetic. As a result, Midcentury homes are incredibly sought-after, thanks to their unique point of view. While the materials used in Midcentury construction, such as steel, aluminum and stucco, may need to be updated in older Midcentury homes, they typically require just simple restorations to maintain the original look and feel of the home. That way, new homeowners can still enjoy the home’s original finishes — not to mention its original, forward-thinking architecture.
Ready to find the 1960s-inspired home of your dreams? Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty always has a wide range of homes in North Texas, with many in the Midcentury style. Explore the latest listings and reach out to one of our agents today.