Advice On Remodeling a Colonial Home From The 1970's

Remodeling an older Colonial home.

1970's Colonial Home Remodeling

One of the most popular home styles of the 1970's was the traditional colonial home. This style of is defined by its center entry hallway with stairs, two rooms to the left and two to the right making up the main living space. The rooms are typically about the same size, compartmentalized and some variation of an eat in kitchen and formal dining room on one side and a formal living room and family room on the other.

The problem with these homes today is that they no longer fit the way most families live. The kitchen and family room are used everyday, with the two rooms at the front of the house -  the formal living and dining rooms, being used only for special occasions rather than on a daily basis. That means that half of the main living space ia underutilized.

If you currently live in a 1970's colonial home or are thinking of buying one, a good design-build firm can help you to tranform this dated style into the perfect living space for today's family. And the best news is that whether you take on a few smaller projects, or a complete renovation – you can make your 1970's colonial home into a space that fosters the way you live today.

Here are some examples of practical changes you can make, no matter what you budget, that can transform your 1970's colonial into your dream home!

While this colonial home could not have its loadbearing wall removed completely, it was opened wider to connect the formal living room to the kitchen. A non-loadbearing wall was removed to enlarge the kitchen, combining it with the dining room and connecting it to the family room.

Rethink Your Colonial Home's Floor Plan

Think about how you use your home now, and how you can improve the floorplan to make it better fit your lifestyle. Typically, many families today only use the formal dining room for holiday gatherings rather than everyday dinners. The same is true of the formal living room.

Consider changing the functionality of your home by converting the main living space into an open concept with two large areas – combining the living and family rooms to create a single great room perfect for entertaining and opening up the wall between the kitchen and dining room to create a large open kitchen space. By removing a few walls to combine the formal living and family room, and taking down a wall between the kitchen and dining area, you can open up the space making it more functional for the way you live today.

A major loadbearing wall removal in this colonial home opened the space to make a larger kitchen with a usable dining room.

Sometimes small changes can make a big difference. Removing a wall is way of improving the flow and functionality of your home.

Other small changes that can make a big difference include improving access to the main space from the garage. Many colonial homes lack easy access to the garage space. By creating a door from the garage into the family room/kitchen for example, can make getting the kids and groceries from the car into the house convenient and well worth the minimal expense involved. Your designer will have even more suggestions for improving functionality!

Open Your Colonial Home Up To Light

Large windows - preferably multiple units together - can make all the difference in how a home feels.

Lighting can make your home feel warm and inviting. Shifting your interior lighting by eliminating floor and table lamps can declutter your space. Consider installing recessed lighting and rethinking your lighting plan to incorporate general, task and ambient lighting to create warmth and ambiance.

Many colonial homes have smaller windows that are widely spaced. While this can create a symetrical exterior, by combining windows, or installing larger windows you can allow more natural light inside making your home feel larger.

Another technique for creating the illusion of more space is to get rid of the slider from the family room to the outdoor space and replacing it with French doors flanked on either side by large floor to ceiling windows. One of our favorite products is the Andersen 4-panel patio door, creating a grand connection and bringing in much light. It's a great strategy that can trick the eye by giving the illusion of more space – giving you a bigger home without having to add an addition or change its footprint!

Work With A Professional Design-Build Firm!

Whether it's simple affordable fixes like replacing your windows or removing walls, or more ambitious projects like remodeling and expanding the kitchen to include an island or adding an addition for additional square footage, your 1970's colonial home can be updated to create the space you need and the floorplan you want.

The best solution is to work with a design-build firm to design a more functional use of the space. They will sit with you and gain an understanding of how you live and use your space and then offer solutions to improve flow and functionality. They can evaluate loadbearing and non-loadbearing walls to help direct you to the solution that fits your lifestyle and budget.

This article was updated on 1/23/2019.

If you're considering the purchase of a 1970's colonial home in the Madison, Wisconsin area, or you're currently living in one, schedule a call with the experts at Degnan Design-Build-Remodel. We have the experience, expertise and creative approach to help you redesign your colonial to create a space that is more fitting of your lifestyle. Whether it's opening up some space, or adding a new addition, no job is too big or to small. Give us a call, we're always ready to help you create your dream home!