The Evolution of the Home in 50 years

From the Swinging Sixties to the Twenty-Tens

To mark Anglian Home Improvements celebrating 50 years in business, we have undertaken some research to find out how British homes have evolved over the last five decades.

Our study has generated some fascinating results, painting a portrait of just how much the way we use our homes has changed since the Swinging Sixties and identifying which home innovations of the last 50 years have changed our lives the most.

Surprisingly it wasn’t the television or the refrigerator, or even the internet, that came top in our poll, but inventions that keep us comfortable through the long British winters. Warmth comes top for the majority of home owners, with seven out of ten of us ranking central heating as the most positive change to our homes in the last 50 years, followed by indoor toilets, hot running water and better insulated windows.

A home fitted with Dark woodgrain Anglian windows

Our survey also identified the most loathed and most loved home improvements over the past five decades. Top of the list of those we loathe are the once popular trends of crazy paving, pebble dashing and coloured bathroom suites. Among the home improvements we love the most are separate dining rooms, underfloor heating, wet rooms and bringing the outside in with bi-fold doors and conservatories.

As well as changing tastes in renovation trends, the results revealed that technological advancements have played a big part in how our houses have transformed over the years. Our homes have now adapted to become multi-purpose spaces used not only for shelter, but also for work and play with more than four out of ten of us aspiring to having a state-of-the-art TV and cinema room.

The survey revealed we predict our homes will become smarter and more energy efficient over the next 50 years. Among the innovations we think will become top of homeowners’ wish lists are robot cleaners, fridges that automatically do the weekly shop, ‘smart walls’ to conserve energy and self-cleaning glass.

Read more about the survey findings here.

Anglian’s ambassador, Philippa Forrester, gives her expert opinion on the results, drawing on her experience of presenting popular BBC series Tomorrow’s World, which first appeared on our screens 50 years ago.

To illustrate how the figures stack up, we have created the helpful infographic below to show how the home has changed over the last 50 years and give a sneak peek into what it might look like in the future.

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