Hot Houses: 1970s House

17/02/2011 18:49 | Updated 22 May 2015

If you're a fan of the 1970s you're in for a treat. Even if you've never really given a second thought to the style of the decade that taste arguably forgot, you're still in for a treat. Unique, authentic and frankly the kind of party house of which a girl can only dream, Gillian Milner's 6,000 sq ft home, complete with pool and disco room, is anything but dull. Hugely in demand for fashion and tv shoots, we take a peak inside the house and a step back in time.

Gillian works in marketing and shares her 1970s pad with her husband Richard, a book publisher, and their children Jack (6) and Lola (4).

Congratulations on your amazing home. Can you please tell us when you bought it and what drew you to it.

We bought the house in 2005 and had been looking to move somewhere which could be used as a shoot location. Initially, it was the space that we liked as it was perfect for doing shoots in. We also liked the 1970s interior as it gives us a unique positioning.

What was the interior like when you moved in and what work have you done to the house?

The interior was very 1970s and we have tried to retain the original features as well as updating the house so that it became our family house. When we moved in, the interior was very dark as lots of the big cantilevered windows were frosted over, and the rear roof over the swimming pool was collapsing.

We spent the first six months demolishing the back of the house and rebuilding it, together with the swimming pool. As part of the work we installed a large iroko hardwood roof deck on top, which is accessed from the main living room. There was also a large glass divider between the kitchen and living room which we had removed for both aesthetic and safety reasons.

Do you have a design or styling background?

No professional background, but a few friends are stylists so they helped me hone the look and feel of the house, as well as recommending good places to source 1970s décor.

Have you always loved 1970s/wanted to create a 1970s style interior for your home or were you inspired by the property itself?

Neither my husband nor I had a predilection for the 1970s before moving here, but the house has really inspired us to embrace the decade. We've also had lots of friends who since coming to visit have offered us pieces from their parents' or grandparents' houses. My husband's childhood bedroom curtains hang in one of the bathrooms!

The look feels very authentic. Was that tricky to achieve?

We were fortunate in that the previous owner agreed to leave a lot of the original furniture, as well as many fittings which have been in the house since it was built. We sourced the wallpaper ourselves, from a bespoke Scandinavian website, and are always on the look-out for pieces which will suit the space. I am also quite strict on what goes up on the walls, what pieces of furniture we have so that we try and keep it as authentic as possible.

Do you have a favourite space in the house?

I love being in the main living area, ideally on a sunny day with all the doors open. I can (ideally...) sit and read the paper, watch the children play and my husband cook – but it doesn't really work out that way!

What do your family and friends think of the house?

Even if they don't like the 1970s décor, everyone can't believe how much space we've got and all our friends with young children find the house really relaxing, despite the loud wallpaper. It's also a great party house.

Where did you source the furnishings to achieve the look? Do you have a list of "go-to" shops and websites?

Most of the furnishings were left in the house – which I know is not that helpful. We have sourced wallpaper from and there are lots of retro shops around London.

As well as it being your home, the house is also on the books of jjlocations as a shoot location. Has the house been used as the location for anything we might have seen?

It was used by the BBC for their adaptation of Martin Amis's Money, as well as the 1970s episode of The Supersizers Go ... series. It's been in Will Young and KT Tunstall music videos and lots of commercials such as Yakult and Genius Bread. It's also popular with fashion shoots.

What do you love most about your home?

I love the space, the slightly mad décor, the fact that I have an avocado bathroom, and I have a disco room.

If you were ever to move and start again, would you stick with the 1970s look or go for something different?

I think the important thing with a shoot location is that you need a point of uniqueness that not too many people have, so yes, I probably would stick with the 1970s.,feedConfig,localizationConfig,entry&id=982897&pid=982896&uts=1297766597

1970s house

The disco room: Unashamedly and authentically 1970s – loving the built-in music system.

1970s house

Still very much the 1970s, but with fabulous light courtesy of modern floor to ceiling glass.

1970s house

I would be expecting Findus crispy pancakes followed by Angel Delight.

1970s house

A cooler, more pared-down style for the kitchen – super-chic 70s breakfast bar stools.

1970s house

For a moment you might not call it a 1970s house...but let's take a look at the bathroom...

1970s house

Ok, there we go – marigold, egg yolk – call it what you will, it's definitively 70s.

1970s house

Definitely a bath built for two: two brave souls confident in their fabulously retro style choices.

1970s house

It doesn't get much more 70s than that wallpaper.

1970s house

A modern addition, but the Abigail's Party furniture guarantees that it stays in-keeping.

1970s house

An amazing pool, whatever the era.

1970s house


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