Couple takes home back to 1950 with prints, posters, and orange tiles: "The whites and creams are uninspiring"

Amy Christie

Gemma Burton and Dean, her husband, are both 42, and they've just renovated their three-bedroom house. The couple worked together to give it a mid-century look since they are both fans of the 1950s era.

Their project was about getting rid of the plain and drab items they already had inside and making the whole house reflect their personalities so it would truly feel like a cozy place to be together.

What are the details?

Gemma and Dean live in Higham Ferrers, Northamptonshire, England, and they've spent three years on their DIY project that would set their house back into the 1950s. The pair had gathered 200 prints from that time, and they used them to decorate the home from floor to ceiling.

They also added James Bond posters, jewelry display cases, a pinup wallpaper, and other unique items from the 1950s.

Gemma works as a hairdresser, and her husband is a railway engineer. They've left no room untouched in their quest to renovate every part of their house. Even the front of their house has changed since the couple decorated it using hexagonal tiles in bright orange.

"We have lived 15 years in the same house. The whites and creams are uninspiring. We ended up revamping all of it, from the doors to the bathroom and kitchen, and we added a bar to the garage. We had to hire people for the windows and bathroom, but we've done it ourselves for everything else," Burton shared with The Epoch Times.

Gemma and Dean looked items up on Etsy or eBay, and they visited car boot sales and several charity shops to try and find the right artworks that would fit the theme they wished to create for their living space.

"We've probably spent about $6,100 to $7,400 on decorations, paint, and prints. We wanted to make the house as colorful as possible and used greys, oranges, greens, and blacks to create contrast alongside the printed wallpaper. We did all the decoration ourselves, so we probably saved by not hiring someone to paint and paper the house," Gemma explained.

When the garage had to be updated, the pair wanted to make a bar out of it.

"We also transformed our garage into a bar that cost about $2,400 because we made the mini bar from scratch, added lighting, a pool table, and a karaoke machine. The garage roof had to be replaced and the doors to make the bar more authentic," Gemma said.

The most costly part of the whole DIY endeavor turned out to be the windows and the bathroom because they needed extra help to make it happen and completely redesign them.

"Having our bathroom and windows done was probably the most expensive part as we had to hire workmen; combined, that was about $24,600," Gemma added.

One of the bedrooms that went through the makeover is her absolute favorite. It's now become the woman's dressing room. All four walls feature picture girl magazines paperwork from the 1950s. The other spare bedroom is dedicated to James Bond and has lots of posters that Dean collected.

"We both like anything a bit different and adore mid-century themes, so we've tried to match those passions with our home, which was built in 1969," Gemma said.

And they didn't stop at prints, wall decorations, and art. The couple also got furniture to go with the new atmosphere inside their home. They managed to find several pieces that looked true to the era.

"We got a tan couch with a vintage look for the living room plus some vintage furniture such as the sideboards and the coffee table, which cost about $1,200, and added plants to fill the room. I got clear black cabinets to display my fifties hair clips, bags, and accessories in the spare room, and they work amazingly in front of the backdrop of the women's magazines wallpaper," she shared.

The woman and her husband don't just like the 1950s for the furniture and the decor; they're also fascinated by the clothes worn back then and the popular styles.

"Dean and I love going to '50s events and dressing up in styles from the era. That's why we needed somewhere to display my petticoats, circle skirts, hairpins, and Dean's Hawaiian shirts, so we remade one of the rooms into a dressing room with clothes rails," she shared.

The woman also recalls that they were worried about how the neighbors would react to seeing the orange tiles on their house. However, all they got was compliments, and someone living across the street from them went ahead and followed their example.

"We've had a positive reaction from all our followers on social media too, but many have joked that they wouldn't want to be the ones dusting because of our maximalist nature of collecting and displaying items," Gemma concluded.


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Amy Christie is a passionate writer and journalist, always striving to bring out the positive and create meaningful connections.

Dallas, TX

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