1965 time capsule house with basement beauty parlor, Reading, Penn.

1965 with beauty parlor in the basementWhat a fabulous week it’s been — topped off last night with a great phone call with Pennsylvania real estate agent Jeffrey Hogue, who gave me permission to feature his photos from his listing of this fabulous 1965 time capsule house. Yes, complete with a professional beauty parlor in the basement. Thank you, Jeffrey. Snaps, too, to reader Jamie, who sent me this tip. Luv.

basement bar in 1965 time capsule houseThis fun and fabulous in-home bar makes it on to the homepage, too. Golly, did I just use the word “fabulous” a third time? I guess I’m excited by the orange-and-brown (wood?) stripes … the tic-tac-toe wine bottle holder … the scalloped indoor awning designed to hold can lights … those yellow shelves behind orange arches. Who thought this space up? They were fabulous.

Above: Setting the scene before I further amaze you with…

… the kitchen. Are those authentic Saarinen tulip chairs, do ya think?

 The ceiling in this kitchen has pushed me over the top: I neeeeeeed to wallpaper a ceiling, stat. I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna.

The living room is sedate, by comparison. Love the chartreuse upholstery. S0 1965. So 2012. And the window treatments: Please, new owners, don’t change them! Fortunately, Jeffrey says that houses like this — retro time capsules with style — usually find appreciative buyers. This house is in Reading, Pa, about 50 miles outside Philadelphia. I was so pleased to talk to Jeffrey, who said he tells sellers of houses like this not to change anything. Buyers either want completely renovated — or completely original; no middle ground, he said, because a house can’t be half-one and half-the-other. It just does not compute. Love the house you’re in. Sell the house you’ve loved.

Original 1965 George Nelson bubble light — on a pulley? Any experts out there to confirm?

The green chairs! Swanky!

You know what else Jeffrey said that made me really happy? He said that very typically, the owners of these older homes … original or longtime owners … almost always took care of the houses, impeccably. “If anything broke, they fixed it right away.” Theirs was not a disposable, “oh if it breaks, I’ll just get a new one” generation. Stuff was made to last if you took care of it, and they took care of it.

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  1. gsciencechick says

    Thank you for this early morning eye candy! I love it all!

    It was not uncommon to have salons in their basements in the northeast.

  2. Tina says

    FABULOUS! I want that bar. The house also shows you how much you miss when you just see a home from the front.

    Oh, also… Reading is more like 50 miles outside of Philadelphia.

  3. says

    That is absolutely a beautiful house! Perfect down to the last detail. It makes me want to move to Reading!

    I would also like to meet the owners. I bet they are fun!

  4. Allen says

    The Saarinen chairs are not Knoll. They are most likely either Burke or Contemporary Shells brand. Still super nice and I would snap that up in a heartbeat if I lived there!!

  5. says

    Such a dream home! I would keep almost everything the way it is. The beauty parlor in the basement is to die for!!! I think I would spend all my time in there. The perfect “lady cave.”

  6. Betty Crafter says

    The bar has blown my mind. It’s perfect. And I’m so glad there are real estate agents out there who aren’t telling sellers of retro homes to update everything first!

  7. says

    Oh My Goodness! LOVE the dining set and hanging light in the last pic. Looks like it’s in the basement of the house maybe? Ahhh just amazing!!

  8. Jon Hunt says

    Oh my god: GORGEOUS. And so reasonably priced!! Heck, I paid more for my house that’s less than the size and only about 1/18th as fabulous, and with NO beauty parlor in my basement.


  9. says

    I saw Jamie post that link too, and have positively gone head over heels for that bar! Reading is an interesting old city, with the Peanut Bar and even a Pagoda on the top of a hill (I’ve covered both for Retro Roadmap) – but just to let folks know, it’s closer to 60 miles outside of Philly proper, not 15.

    But where this fab house is is close to home of Tom Sturgis pretzel factory, and less than 10 miles north of Adamstown, PA – a great place for antiquing, with a diner, brewery and great roadside icecream stand.

    We live about 30 miles away in Phoenixville, home of The Blob, and would love to have more Retro Renovation Readers in our neck of the woods, so come on down!

    • Jamie D says

      ::waves at Phoenixville::

      Just to add to what you’ve said, even though Reading is about 50ish miles from Philly, the location of that particular house would make a commute to Philly pretty easy because it’s located close to 176, the PA turnpike, and not too far from 422.

      Our housing is so cheap here compared to the Philly area that some people are willing to do the commute.

      Now if we only had a train…

  10. Kristen says

    My grandma (just turned 89!) still has her beauty salon in the basement of her house – with those cool dryer chairs! I love the salon but always hated the straight razor haircuts she gave me :) She has not done hair in a long time, and she still has gobs of vintage supplies NOS. I poke around occasionally and grab stuff for display on my mid-mod bathroom shelves :)

  11. Laura says

    WOW… all this glorious retro 60’s goodness – and so close to home! I am loving that bar! I would be painting my bar to mimic that one if mine weren’t a glorious knotty pine number with original stools and a scalloped overhang.

    Mod Betty is right… It’s a fun area with lots to offer. I am sure this house will find an appreciative new owner.


  12. Christa says

    Oh, how delightful. Each photo is more fantastic than the last. It makes me want to move to Reading and get my cosmetology license!

  13. Jason says

    My Mommom had a beauty salon built onto her homes. She has her last house since having to retire, but kept doing hair for certain people out of her new home for some years after that. But, this brings back memories! The hussle and bussle of the ladies in and out all day – it was a great time for her and always fun for the rest of us!

  14. Mike says

    Reading is about 50 miles outside of Philly, not 15 (unfortunately for me, because this house is amazing.)

  15. Passerby says

    My favorite time capsule house of late. Built in 1950, La Mesa, CA. Someone remodeled the kitchen, but the rest is intact and amazing. Check out the knotty pine bar with a built in television and reel to reel!

  16. tammyCA says

    Oh, how I love old beauty shops…spent a lot of time going to them when my mom would get her hair done in the 60s. The warmth & white noise of the big hair dryer lulling you to relaxation. I still remember the old photos on the wall of women with pink, blue & lavender tinted hair. Sometimes, we went to the neighbor’s beauty shop she had set up in her breezeway. For years I would tease (pun maybe intended) my sister about us finding an old time beauty shop to get the treatment…we’d come out with boufants and beehives. lol.

  17. says

    Hello all. This is Jeffrey C Hogue. It is an honor for one of my home listings to be featured to such an appreciative crowd. As I told Pam last evening I am listing a home this weekend that is straight out of 1956. The original owner still lives there and she is a sprite 90 years old. Wait until you see the custom 1960’s s curved couch. It will be a headline maker! I list many homes like this and always tell the sellers to leave them alone! I take special pride in the photography which I do myself and hope you all enjoy it.

    • says

      The pix are lovely, and the house is to die for. I want that bar! Caught me just as I was getting ready to design a bar in my basement.

      I did have a question, do you know what is up with that fireplace in the living room? It looks like they put an alternative fuel fireplace on the hearth in front of the original one.

    • Jamie D says

      Thank you so much for telling people to leave these houses alone rather than updating! My husband and I recently moved into a Whitman split with a lot of original features from the 1950s and we love it. We looked specifically for a home that hadn’t been renovated, which was a bit more of a challenge than we expected. My husband’s 90 year old grandfather used to live in the neighborhood, and several of our neighbors are still the original residents. I like to talk to them and get the history of the houses.

      We have so many mid-century gems in Berks County but it seems like most people here want a more traditional country look, so these great homes often get stripped down and painted beige and lose all their fun character.

      I’m looking forward to seeing your listing for the 1956 house!

  18. Jamie K. RD says

    Wow, memories! My mom had a ist cousin who had a beauty shop in her Tri or Bi Level home in the country, Monroeville, IN. R.I.P. Both Mom and her cuzs, Marcele, Margaret and Aunt Bessie! Always wanted a home like hers and this, could you transplant it here, in Indiana?

    • pam kueber says

      michael, this is not a DIY site in the sense of your question. Consult with a properly licensed professional… Good luck.

  19. Jenn C says

    I live less than 2 miles from this house and it is so awesome! I swear I stalk the website at least three times a week and drive by the house at least twice a week on purpose. Despite showing my husband this house (repeatedly) and explaining to him how awesomely cool it is, he does not grasp the concept and love of kitsch.

    I do think it should come furnished. I wish I could just move right in….and invite the Ropers over. 😉

  20. Carolyn says

    I am 95% sure I bought something off craigslist from the sellers of this home a few years ago. I think it was a trio of Lane Acclaim tables? hmmm, trying to think of what else it could have been, but I definitely purchased a piece of vintage furniture from a home in Reading with that beauty parlor in the basement- sadly I did not get to see the rest of the home!

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