14 time capsule wallpapers & floors


More photos from the weekend’s fabulous time capsule house estate sale — today focusing on floors and walls. To start — this typical 50s slate porch or foyer flooring. I adore this type of flooring, and it is still available today at a reasonable cost, because it’s so old-fashioned.


Yowza, here is the downstairs powder room. You know that I love it. It has very 70s wallpaper — on the walls, the closet doors and the ceiling. It’s kind of interesting to see the mod wallpaper and toilet paired with the classic American Standard 50s sink.


Grey Kentile asphalt tiles in an upstairs half bath. I love how the tile is ‘coved’ to work its way up into a baseboard. I am pretty sure this is Kentile because there was an old brochure in the kitchen. I noticed that even though the brochure called this “asphalt tile” it also mentioned “asbestos fillers” — so be cognizant of this issue in your own homes, readers. Get informed, consult with a professional, and decide how you will handle this tile.


More of the fabulous fabulous kitchen floor.


And more.


The upstairs kitchen again, with a better look at how the “two floors” meet. As I took this picture I was standing here:


The upstairs kitchen dining area. Notice the simple pull-shades on the windows, which themselves are classic picture windows flanked by casements.


A downstairs bedroom / reading room. Mod orange wallpaper with wood trimmed in harvest gold paint. The lighting fixture was all swirly orange-and-yellow-and-white. I have to dig further to see if any of my shots really captured it properly, drats.


Lovely wallpaper in an upstairs bedroom. The color — so pleasing. Perfect feng shui color for a bedroom.


Peek a boo. This featured flat panel mirrors in many, many places. I heard that a fancy New York decorator was involved. Yes, to flat panel mirrors! Outside the door on the right is a porch with gorgeous views. There were lots of porches everywhere, too.


Wallpapered ceiling in the big yellow tile bedroom. Fabulous detail. The graphic mix is perfect, too — the angularity of the tiles countered by the simple floral in the wallpaper. I have been reading my feng shui book again, closely. Trick to achieving harmony: Pairing opposites. As evidenced here.


This garden trellis wallpaper was used on the walls and ceiling of the main stairway.


Last but certainly not least – the blue and gray bathroom downstairs. Ha! Many of you are sick of hearing me say “wallpaper your bathroom walls.” Now I add to the litany: “…and the ceiling, too!” This wallpaper is particularly gorgeous – so light and airy but with just enough metallic gravitas to punctuate the gray tile and royal (navy?) blue trim. The tile, by the way, appears to be old…maybe a kind of rubber…that was later painted. Like, this is the original 50s bathroom – they just repainted the tile and added the wallpaper in the 70s. I guess I’d better show the floor, too:


More Kentile – this time, blue. More of those classique American Standard fixtures. And I must say, I love this color combo. It’s one I haven’t seen yet, and it’s quite pleasing.

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  1. says

    I love the bold use of wallpaper and colors. The orange kitchen floor and especially the bathroom — love the color and graphics. Are they both in the downstairs? It seems by the pics, they went a little softer upstairs. I’m with you on the coved tile in the bathroom, it adds a nice finish (and easier to clean!) Thanks for taking the time to get some great pictures. Did the exterior have the same aesthetic?

  2. MidCent Keith says

    What a fabulous find Pam. Wish I were there with you .. especially with that upstairs kitchen (I can just imagine your excitement). It’s nice to see that the homeowners really seemed to love, and have some fun with their house. I hope the next owners will be thoughtful curators, and build on what was done, rather than “update” everything thoughtlessly. I would leave that plaid bathroom as is – it’s just so over the top, how could it be better!

  3. Mick says

    If my family Lived there, Pretty Sure id spend ALL of my time in the Upstairs Kitchen! I just cant get over how great it is, and I really hope when they sell the house that the new people who movie in dont gut it…. And all the Picture Windows! How wonderful, My parents and Grandmother have them in their houses… but the both face a feild of Telephone poles and an abandon Trailer Park… (When they built their houses none of that was there)

    Canit wait to See More Pictures Pam!

  4. Tera says

    WOW! I run into very few time capsules in Austin, TX. They are so into gutting homes from the 1940’s-60’s. It’s ashame.

  5. tailfin says

    What a split personality this interior has! And what great photos too! Do you have any exterior shots, Pam? I’m curious to see what the outside looks like. And what about the furnishings themselves? Were they of the period too? I love the chrome chair on the tile floor as well as the breakfast room set pictured.

  6. MaryDeluxe says

    Wow!!! Holy crap that place is AMAZING! I would think that even without all the high doses of cold medication I’m on right now! :)

  7. Russell says

    Kentile asphalt tile, I think you finally solved my kitchen tile mystery Pam. My family and I love the tile because its soft and has a bit of a “cushionie” feel to it. It is great to walk on with bare feet. We have a few leftovers from the original construction and they are still pliable. I could see how they could be turned up the wall just like in this bathroom. New VCT and old asbestos tile are very hard on the feet not to mention babies heads. I think there great for rumpus rooms but I’d love to find a new product that had the same feel as the asphalt tile and anywhere near the the durability. By the way, Love the house.

    • pam kueber says

      Russell — please do see my note within this post that this old Kentile apparently does have asbestos in it. Please take note, do your homework, consult with a pro, and determine how you are going to handle it.

  8. Helen says

    My house was entirely done in that tile, directly to the subfloor. I called it “schoolhouse tile” because it’s what most public schools used for decades.

  9. Caffeinated Katie says

    My grandfather worked for Kentile for many years and their tiles definitely have asbestos in them. There was a class-action lawsuit many years ago against Kentile on behalf of the workers, including my grandfather, because of the asbestos and how sick the workers became when they got older.

  10. ulysses101 says

    *sigh* – your post reminds me of all the wonderful quirky things I loved about my grandparents house growing up – seafoam bathroom tiles and all :)

  11. pam kueber says

    Several readers have asked about the exterior of the house. As I think I mentioned yesterday, part of what made this so interesting was that the house was an old Victorian. Like, 1900 or so, I’d say. Parts of it still showed the Victoriana — the entire exterior, for example. And then there were crown moldings, gorgeous wood floors, turned balusters and of course, all the little rooms going off this way and that. Then – the house was renovated in 1952, I think that’s when the owners finally selling the house and holding the estate sale moved in. So, the two kitchens and bathrooms were done then… Then, in the late 60s or early 70s there seems to have been another update. That’s when so much of that groovy wallpaper and the downstairs kitchen floor went in. So, it was a big mash-up really.

  12. says

    What a trip! Thanks for the fab photos, Pam. I desperately love that orange bathroom: I’d love to do something so over the top like that in mine!

    Keep retro reconning and passing the great photos along!

  13. Virginia says

    It’s official, this is my inspiration house. Every detail is so perfect, and the overall look is so balanced.

    Either the owners had impeccable taste or they used a very good designer. Either way, the flawless execution is just stunning.

    Also official: The wallpaper love is infectious. Used to hate it, but Pam has made me a believer.

    • pam kueber says

      Hi Brad, as mentioned above, this old flooring can have asbestos in it. We don’t make reco’s here on how to handle the issue — please consult an expert / pro and make your own decisions. Also, if you look on the Fast & Easy pages, such as Flooring, on the New/Start Here page in the Navigation bar, or on the Terms of Use page at the bottom, you can see I also list some EPA websites that you can use in doing your research.

  14. Maggie says

    Lovin’ all these rooms, but I also must compliment you on your photography, Pam. Your camera skills have gotten so good over the years of this blog — these shots are quite wonderful, esp. the bathroom pix, and I know those are difficult because you’re in such a small space. Kudos!

    • pam kueber says

      Thank you, Maggie! If I had more time, I’d study photography or at least, work at it even harder. It’s fun. Fortunately, my husband bought me a pretty good camera – for Mother’s Day last year. For once, I “needed” something. Well, as much as you can “need” such a thing….

  15. Matthew says

    When we bought our c. 1940 Colonial Revival, the entryway had a slate floor exactly like the one shown in this post. When one of the tiles popped lose, we discovered the original hardwood was still underneath, so we ripped up the slate and restored the wood.

  16. Gail Witham says

    I’ve never seen wallpaper on the ceiling before. We just bought a 1965 house with radiant heat in the ceilings, so wallpapering them would not be possible. And I would NEVER cover my livingroom ceiling! It’s got that neat swirl design that they don’t bother doing nowadays. I absolutely love your site, I’m a big fan of retro, especially 50’s stuff!!

  17. Jacque says

    The first picture with the vintage blue/red slate tile is exactly what I have in my 1950s ranch home foyer. Just a shot in the dark, but any thoughts on where I could buy more? I’m taking out the built-in planter and need to patch it…would hate to have to replace it all!
    Let me know if you have any ideas.

    • Panzyzz says

      I have the same blue/gray/red slate tile in my foyer and it needs to be repaired. The pieces that are loose have broken edges. I found some at a local outlet store a couple years ago and didn’t buy it because they wouldn’t let me get less than a full box. Now, I can’t easily find it online although I’ve heard it can be had. The problem is….where?

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