Photos: Check Out This Retro-Cool 1970s Home Reno

A 40-year-old house gets a funky fresh renovation.

March 23, 2017

By Mitchell Parker, Houzz / Photo: Ema Peter, original photo on Houzz

In partnership with 

Hey, the 1970s weren’t all bad. That’s the spirited approach this father and his three kids took with a 40-year-old house on the outskirts of Vancouver. Though nothing inside the house had changed since disco music topped the charts, everything had been superbly maintained. All it needed was a little refresher.

Interior designer Sarah Gallop stepped in to update the home’s function by opening the compartmentalized rooms, but she maintained the hustle-dance vibe by preserving the original fireplace and wood paneling in the living room. “We wanted to keep the home in that era, because the client is a little funky,” Gallop says.

(Photo: Ema Peter, original photo on Houzz.)

At a Glance

Location: Delta
Who lives here: A father in the media business and his three kids, ages 10 to 13
General contractor: Best Builders
Size: 2,120 square-feet; 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms


The front door originally led downstairs and into the kitchen, which was closed off with three walls and a flat, dropped ceiling. “I walked in and immediately thought, ‘This is not the right spot for this room,’” Gallop says.

BEFORE: Wood paneling and a brick fireplace anchored the home in the disco era. (Original photo on Houzz.) 
AFTER: Gallop and the homeowner kept these elements but refinished them. They then worked together to source furnishings that made sense for the style. (Photo: Ema Peter, original photo on Houzz.)
BEFORE: The small dining spot lacked a connection to the other spaces. Gallop used this area to expand the new kitchen. (Original photo on Houzz.)
AFTER: A live-edge bar top sits at a lowered height so the dining area chairs can be pulled back and forth between the two areas for more flexibility. (Photo: Ema Peter, original photo on Houzz.)

Lots of wood mixes with pops of lime green and retro furniture to create the throwback aesthetic. “We wanted it to feel natural, comfortable and inviting with that mid-century vibe,” the designer says. “The materials and things we used are what we would expect with that era of house.”

To add contrast to all the wood, she incorporated white framework on the storage and display pieces.

BEFORE: A darkened den area was redundant space for the new homeowner. (Original photo on Houzz.)
AFTER: Gallop and the homeowner turned the room into a home office and homework area for the kids. (Photo: Ema Peter, original photo on Houzz.)
BEFORE: The original recreation room had a corner fireplace that made furniture placement awkward. (Original photo on Houzz.)
AFTER: Gallop made the fireplace flush with the wall and updated the surround.The new rec room is more “loungey rather than basement-y,” she says, and establishes a better connection to the backyard and the master suite. (Photo: Ema Peter, original photo on Houzz.)
(Photo: Ema Peter, original photo on Houzz.)

Gallop allocated space from the former ground-floor den, guest room and bathroom to create the bright and airy new master suite.


More from Houzz

How to Use Beadboard

Furniture to Transform a Den Into a Home Office

Refresh an Old Fireplace With a Contemporary Screen


Get the Newsletter

Own your city with Vancouver’s thrice-weekly scoop on the latest restaurant news, must-shop hotspots and can’t miss events. Rest assured your email is safe with us.