Friday, 3 May 2013

Vintage Architecture: Guess the House Era

One of my favourite games is 'guess when that house was built'.  You can play this anywhere, whether you're on foot or travelling by car. 

Would you like to play?  I'm giving you photos of 6 houses, scroll down and see how many you can pin an era on!  These lovely homes for sale are all available in Cardiff (photos all from Rightmove) at the present time, though I think the cheapest is at half a million, so don't get too excited!

To help you, I'm including an interior shot that might...or might not...hold an extra clue.

House #1 Exterior
Edwardian house Cardiff
House #1 Interior
Edwardian house Cardiff

House #2 Exterior
1950's house Cardiff
House #2 Interior
1950's house Cardiff

House #3 Exterior
Victorian house Cardiff
House #3 Interior
Victorian house Cardiff

House #4 Exterior
1930's house Cardiff
House #4 Interior
1930s House Cardiff

House #5 Exterior
1930s house Cardiff
House #5 Interior
1930s house Cardiff

If you're ready for the answers, here they are:

House #1  Edwardian elegance, with beautiful tiling in the hallway.
House #2  1958.  It's starting to look very 1960s with the traditional red brick and functional windows (no bay windows here!), but the doorway is a bit fancy and is a nod to the earlier Mock Tudor trend.  The parquet flooring is a throw back to the 1930s.  All in all, an odd one, I hope it didn't catch you out too much!
House #3  Probably Edwardian, could be late Victorian.  The tiling under the eaves on the exterior is fairly typical, as is the lovely tiling in the hallway.  I bet the porch is tiled beautifully also.
House #4  !920s to 1930s - 'Mock Tudor' with the destinctive black and white is a big hint, as is the parquet flooring, which was popular at the time.  As it has a garage, it's more likely to be heading in to the 1930s than 1920s.
House #5  Classic 1930's semi-detached design.  The bay windows are a giveaway, as is that amazing original fireplace.

I hope you enjoyed this little guessing game!


  1. Number two is just like the houses we used to live in on various R.A.F camps (though ours were definitely not as big!) Those dated from the 1940's to the 60's and were a standard design for military camps called G Plan houses, the furniture and everything was included, I remember it was formica throughout! The later houses looked the same from the outside but had central heating rather than coal fires which made such a difference I can tell you.

    I love number 4 I'd happily live there

    1. It's funny how house styles lasted over quite a few decades isn't it? My parent's house isn't dissimilar in style with the red brick, but is 1960s, and the other day I found someone on a forum talking about a house they'd bought that had been built in 1935, but with a Victorian style on the interior! So it had tiles rather than parquet etc, and completely threw them in terms of dating it until they found the documents stating the year.

      If you do decide to purchase number 4 let me know ;)

  2. What a thoroughly fun game! I was spot on with some and fairly close with a couple of the other (I'd have pegged the one from 1958 to be a touch earlier, for example, but mind you I'm more familiar with North American design than British). I like all of these charming, classic homes, but I think numbers 1, 2 and 4 (from the outside) are my very favourites.

    ♥ Jessica

    1. There are definitely major differences between North American design and British - I've found dating houses really difficult whenever I've visited the States, there's much more of a European (German?) influence with a lot of the construction, for example.

      I think we're lucky in the UK to have such a lot of older homes, when they're modernised in keeping with the character they can be stunning. Unfortunately a lot of people rip up Victorian tiles and put down laminate flooring, why?!

      P x

  3. I love playing that game when I'm out for a walk! I found your list a little tricky (I guessed 3/5 correctly, but was only off by a decade or so on the other ones) just because I am much more familiar with Canadian architecture. It is interesting seeing the differences between British and Canadian buildings built in the same era :)

  4. Aaah, I want house number 4!

    I'd have guessed house number one was later, probably because it's been tidied up so much on the exterior.


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