Today’s Home vs. the 70’s TV-Show Ideal – What’s Changed?

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Did you watch “A Very Brady Renovation” recently on HGTV? For many of us who grew up in the 70s and 80s as fans of the family sitcom in syndication, the episodes that featured the transformation of the beloved Brady home were a nostalgic trip down memory lane. In the end, the house we recognized from the outside looked on the inside exactly like the famous TV studio set, complete with the 1970s colors, furniture and decor we remember.

This got us thinking about what has changed about American homes since then, in style and layout. Founded in 1964, LaMontagne Builders has been building homes in New Hampshire since before Mike and Carol Brady got their six kids together in 1969. In all that time, we’ve seen many home styles come and go, and some return again.

While the Bradys’ California-based home was very large for its time at 2,477 square feet, the average size of a 1970s house in America was just over 1,500 square feet. Today, the median size has expanded to more than 2,200 square feet. Most twenty-first century homes have at least two stories. There also are more bedrooms: 41% of homes built in 2012 and later have four or more bedrooms, compared to the two or three in the homes built four decades ago. There was a time ranch and split-level houses were popular styles – in recent years, we’re seeing ranches make a big comeback as many see the benefits of single-floor living for accessibility reasons, or simply prefer having fewer spaces to clean.

Rooms in today’s homes are more likely to serve multiple purposes. Home offices are more popular in this age of working remotely. Homeowners are less likely to seek out formal dining or living rooms, and family spaces are more often used for anything from media rooms to playrooms, or even workout rooms, based on their needs.

Aside from the size and layout of the house itself, a lot has changed in how we live in our homes. Remember when central air conditioning was once a rare luxury? Generations of New England families before us grew up in homes that were nearly unbearable in the summer season, using fans and portable air conditioner units to cool off, and they didn’t always cover the whole house. Year-round climate control is now more common than ever.

American families have also streamlined their decorating preferences. Gone are the days of bulky furniture, china cabinets, and shelves full of knick-knacks. No more television consoles and cabinet stereo systems, either. Now, electronics can be hung on the wall, and TVs are slimmer, taking up much less space.

Interested in seeing what we have to offer? Check out our communities in southern New Hampshire and call us for a model home tour to help you find your dream house!

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