Homes Built in the 1960s

So, you just LOVE the 1960s, huh? Are you looking for a house that’s got all that ‘60s charm? Like any other era, specific styles will vary, depending on the location. There are, however, a few features that were commonly found in homes of this era. Here’s what to expect:

Exterior Features in a 1960s-Built Home

  • Emphasis on landscaping and working within the landscape/environment
  • Post-Modern era styles in luxury homes
  • Ranch houses
  • Cape Cod style homes
  • Split-level Mediterranean style homes
  • Screened porches
  • Patios
  • Attached garages (for one or more cars)
  • Single-pane windows
  • Slab-on-grade foundations
  • Roofs of low-slope and flat (gravel) construction, as well as gable and hip roofs
  • Brick, wood and asbestos shingle siding

Interior Features in a 1960s Era Home

  • Lathe and plaster walls
  • Galvanized steel pipes for incoming water supply and cast iron drain pipe
  • Circuit breakers (usually 100 amp) and grounded plugs
  • At least two bedrooms (often three or four)
  • Formica countertops in kitchens
  • Forced air heating
  • Lead paint/asbestos (tiles, pipe insulation, ceiling tiles)
  • Cabinets made of Formica, walnut, oak, cherry
  • Under-cabinet and hidden soft lighting
  • Kitchen cabinet hardware using magnetic catches, nylon drawer rollers, and ball-bearing drawer glides
  • Living rooms/family rooms outfitted with comfortable seating and used daily
  • Bedrooms had closets
  • Many homes had a dressing room and/or wardrobe space
  • Bathrooms equipped with both a shower and a bathtub

Decorative Trends

  • Nylon carpeting, and later shag rugs, were often found in living areas and bedrooms
  • Vinyl-coated wallpaper was introduced
  • Mod-pile fuzzy covers for the toilet tank, toilet seat, and bathroom scale, plus rugs beside the tub and in front of the toilet, and to cover a tissue box
  • Pole lamps; adjustable pole shelving
  • Pendant lamps/Lava Lamps
  • Starburst clocks
  • Danish modern furniture styles
  • Papered walls
  • Popular appliance and bathroom colors: white, Coppertone, turquoise, pink, and yellow – with Harvest Gold and Avocado coming on in the later years
  • Bean bags and space pod seating
  • Flowers/stripes/woven cane prints/busy patterns/bold black-and-white patterns/paisley prints

Design Features and Influences (Interiors)

  • Colonial
  • Venetian
  • Provincial
  • Riviera
  • Mediterranean

1960s Appliances

  • Modern kitchens:
    • Stove (four burners, often with a second oven overhead, and a broiler rack below the bottom oven)
    • Refrigerator (often side-by-side styles)
    • Dishwasher (portable and built-in models)
  • Washer/dryer combos (matching sets)
  • Black-and-white television in most living rooms, replaced by color at the end of the decade, plus “entertainment” center consoles, which included a phonograph player for 45-RPMs and LP vinyl records, and a television
  • Stereos went hi-fi, and portable phonographs and television sets (black-and-white only) were introduced
  • Electric skillet
  • Upright vacuum cleaners

1960s homes were usually insulated, but not to current standards, and typically have single-pane windows. These homes had electrical plugs (but not enough for modern use) and phone jacks in most rooms.

Concerns for the modern buyer of a 1960s-built house include the electric service (if it hasn’t been upgraded), incoming steel water pipes/steel drain pipes (if they haven’t been replaced), and the use of lead-based paints and asbestos products.