As you now surely have heard, the property known affectionately as “The Brady Bunch House” to fans all over the world, was on the market recently for the first time in decades.
Lance Bass from NSYNC put in an offer on the home and even thought his offer had been accepted, but at the last minute had the shag carpet pulled out from under him when he found out that a Hollywood studio with deep pockets scooped up the house from under him (for twice the asking price, or over $3.5 million). That’s right: The house went “Bye Bye Bye.”
Within no time, we find out that HGTV is the lucky new owner of this classic, 70s split level. HGTV ‘s parent company, Discovery, implied that HGTV is going to restore the home to its former 70s glory.
Which brings us to the question on everybody’s mind: Errr, what exactly does this mean?
The Real Brady Bunch House
[pullquote class=”left”]When HGTV said that it was going to restore the home to its 1970s glory, there were practically dozens of ways that statement could be interpreted.[/pullquote]
The real Brady Bunch home is a three-bedroom three-bath home in Studio City spanning 2,477 feet. It was built in 1959 and sit on an acre. Here’s the kicker: The only part of the home used for the Brady Bunch was the exterior of the home. The interior shots of the show were shot on a Hollywood sound stage.
One thing the real home shares with the TV home is the decor. It’s as if the inside of the house froze in 1973, was covered in Saran Wrap and preserved until today; and judging by the awesomely retro decor, that’s exactly what happened. The home has retained an almost museum-quality 70s allure. Carpet, vinyl, parquet and linoleum are all there. A MusicCall intercom system awaits a puritanical romantic message from Carol to Mike or a holler from Alice summoning the kids to dinner. A stone fireplace serves as the perfect backdrop for whining by certain family members, while the lush backyard is more than ready for friendly games of toss the football.
Imagining HGTV’s Brady Bunch House Remodel
When HGTV said that it was going to restore the home to its 1970s glory, there were practically dozens of ways that statement could be interpreted. The good news is that this restoration is coming at a time when the interior design world is obsessed with 70s decor. According to the LA Times, there is a renewed interest in the decor of a decade that many people who actually lived through it declared dead and buried for good. The trick is to make 70s decor work for modern families.
So what are some of the ways that designers may update the famous Brady Bunch house?
Utilize Transitional Decor
Transitional decor is the perfect blend of retro or classic and contemporary design styles. It’s the seamless blend of new and old. In order for the updated, restored Brady Bunch house to look good to today’s picky viewers, elements of the 70s should meld with elements of today. How can that happen? If the studio is intent on using 70s modular seating like the Harvey Probber Deep Tuft sofa, it would look a million times better on updated flooring chosen by today’s discerning 70s TV-home buyers. Rich, mahogany wide-plank flooring would make the bright colors and textures of 1970s accessories and furnishings really stand out.
Capitalize on the open layout
You know how everyone on every HGTV show says that they’d love a home with an “open layout?” You know how that phrase is appealing to some while grating on the ears to others? In homes built for the job, an open layout can be extraordinarily beautiful and immensely useful. The real Brady Bunch house already has an open layout just waiting for some 21st century loving. Stripping away the dated flooring and wall coverings would be the first order of business.
Embrace Wood Paneling
Before you throw your coffee at your monitor, hear us out. Wood paneling today is not the wood paneling of 1970s nightmare basement decor. Today’s wood paneling is beautiful, authentic and compliments everything else in the room. You may be thinking, “Wood paneling is just today’s shiplap!”, which you believe is overplayed as well. Imagine a gorgeous home studio. Stained bamboo wood paneling is laid horizontally across the walls, creating a cocoon of modern warmth. Paired with rich flooring, colorful throws, a Venini Crystal Rod Spudnik chandelier (or a more affordable copy) and big glass windows, and you’ll be left with a room that you’ll never want to leave.
Use 70s Accessories Wisely
It’s easy to go overboard when it comes 70s decor and accessories, and fabulous Bohemian design fabulistas like Justina Blakeney would probably argue that you can never have too much 70s decor. It’s true – sometimes more is more, but more the wrong way will end up looking fetishy. Sometimes walking through a house and seeing a couple of macrame planters over here, and few tulip chairs over there can fill you with nostalgia for visits to your grandmother’s house. Without making everything 70s oriented, you’re getting the feel of the decade without it feeling cheap, tacky and theme-parkish. Know when to go bold and when to use a light touch.
Embrace Color in a Big Way
The HGTV team can inject rich, jewel and earth tones into the home. 70s homes were often about entertaining and warmth, and color played an important role in making people feel welcome. Embracing color doesn’t mean that you have to choose paint that will turn your walls a psychedelic mood board. It means introducing color via the use of elements like textures, textiles, pillows and rugs.
At the end of the day, HGTV is going to go big. We know this. It’s exciting to see where they’ll net out. Oh, and in a final twist to this madcap story (because this is Hollywood after all), when Lance Bass conceded defeat in this drama, HGTV replied that they he’ll always be family! And THEN, Property Brother Jonathan Scott reached out to Bass via Instagram and said that they’d love to work with him on restoring the house!
You can’t make this stuff up.