13 scenes from an estate sale time capsule


hallmack-toothbrush-holderTHE ESTATE SALE on Saturday was wonderful. A very classic, brick Cape Cod home, single owner, great quality. Loved. The only things changed out were the kitchen appliances and floor.  Above: Vintage “linen laminate” from the kitchen countertop. Grace Jeffers, the historian who restored the Wilson House, told me that linen patterns were the #1 most popular of the postwar era. Yes, even more so than the gold sparkle speckles we all love so much. At the left: That’s me with the first shot of a reader favorite, the Hall-Mack revolving disappearing toothbrush holder. Click on through for 11 more photos. estate-sale-houses

Photo #3 (above): The Hallmack toothbrush holder starts its rotation.


#4: Voila: Open and ready for the daily business.


#5: Fabulous marbleized Church toilet seats in both bathrooms. I MUST have one of these! (See the Church palette here.)


#6: Vintage Simmons sleeper sofa, origional upholstery. Oh those tufts! Lovely scale, too. Diminutive. $100.


#7: Oh yes, a chair to match. $50.


#8: These short pinch-pleat curtains in the pine-paneled basement were just perfect. Every single room had pinch pleats, of course. I’ll show more later this week.


#9: The house had lovely lights. Again, diminutive. This was in the hall.


#10: In the foyer. Also small.


#11: In the sun porch.


#12: A sweetheart of a doorbell.


#13: And a very very wonderful mill-finish screen door out front. I believe that when you bought these, you specified the insert on the front, it screws on. You occasionally see them with surname initials. I love those best.


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  1. Cindy says

    Pam, you have such a great eye. What a gem of a house….hopefully the new owners will appreciate that era and retain it.

  2. says

    Great tour, Pam! The lighting fixtures are very special. I wish we had more of this era home in Portland – I’d definitely make it to more estate sales!

  3. nancy says

    Pam- We have that same laminate in our little bar area. The paper work we found with the house called the color Lipstick Red! I love it!! Wish I had it in the kitchen!

  4. Kristin says

    This home exemplifies the Colonial Acres/Sea Isle midcentury home in Memphis! I love the toilet seat and light fixtures…speaking of, where can I find a good, small hallway sconce light fixture or even just a more modern glass shade?

    They replaced it with one of those frilly ye olden ones…if I brought the shade to a shade shop, do they typically have replacement shades like this so I don’t have to replace the entire fixture?

  5. says

    Thank you for lovingly capturing the details — I love the small foyer lamp! We have one of those revolving holders in our bathroom as well. Too small to hold today’s toothbrushes and soap, so I stick a snow globe in there as a nice surprise for curious guests.

  6. tailfin says

    Re: Kristin sconce question – is there a Habitat for Humanity ReStore in your city? Or a non-profit ReUse store – or even an antique store that specializes in architectural antiques or in mid-century decor? Sometimes even retail lighting stores – especially ones that have been around forever – have old stock. I occasionally see mid-century sconces at estate sales here in Buffalo. Also, place a “wanted” ad on Craigslist.

  7. Amy says

    oh my! I love all of those, the toilet is pretty and the toothbrush holder? awesome! I’m sure it was one of those revolutionary things of it’s time.

  8. Monki says

    I can’t believe my eyes! I have that toothbrush holder in my bathroom. this is the first time I saw a picture of it and identified it. thanks so much Pam, I always knew it was a special feature.

  9. says

    What a wonderful home! I love the toothbrush holder. And a big thank you for finally putting a name to that aluminum screen door! I’ve been wanting one of these forever and can’t find any and can’t ask because I didn’t know what it was called. Yay! These are popular in the Midwest, but here in SoCal not so much. If you have a source, please list it. Thanks again.

  10. Alison says

    I grew up with that exact toothbrush holder. My parents have slowly striped all the mid-mod elements from their 1959 home. (My mom says it’s dated.) At least they still have the toothbrush holder and the built in wall bathroom heater.

  11. says

    Those hidden toothbrush holders are just fantastic! We have two at the warehouse. We have a papertowel holder as well. I just LOVE them!

  12. says

    I have been trying to look everywhere for a screen door like that, only with a letter inserted like you mention. Do you have any idea regarding search terms that I should be using, or sources for screen doors like this? Ideally, I’d like a white painted aluminum one, and the guy at Home Depot suggested Larson Doors to me, but their website doesn’t show anything similar.

    • pam kueber says

      Hi Karrey, this is something that I began researching a long time ago, but then set aside. My reco: Go to a big lumber-hardware-type store/company that supplies local construction guys. There are catalogs, and I am pretty sure my memory is correct in that I saw old-timey doors like this. However, I was looking for “mill finish” like in the photo here. That is the *authentic* finish. Not sure if you can get it in white. Alternatively, I have two such doors in my basement, which I picked up at estate sales. I pick up everything. If you are in the area, come buy one from me!

      Meanwhile, this is still on my list to do official research on… along with lots of other stuff, so I don’t know when I will get to it…

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