Mid century modern Portland time capsule house — beautiful details — 16 photos

dining-room-retro-time-capsule-houseTour-a-Time-CapsuleClean lines, geometric repetition, open spaces and easy living — that’s what’s in store for the new buyer of this lovely 1951 time capsule home, currently for sale in Portland, Oregon. We found this house thanks to a tip from reader AlyStar. With permission to share the photos of this gorgeous home from realtor Eleonore Reiter and her photographer, Michelle from RealtyImaging.com — we can all tour this four-bedroom, three-bathroom 2,800 sq. ft. beauty. What a spacious and inviting mid century modern house!

View-from-street-midcentury-houseThe tour of this thoughtful home begins with the view from the street. You can see that the designer of this house has paid careful attention to detail — notice the windows appear in odd-numbered groups. Most anything grouped in “three” is so pleasing.

living-room-retro-time-capsule-houseThe attention to detail continues on the inside of the home. The living room is filled with geometric lines — the windows, the trim, the fireplace, the soffits — all of them work together to create design harmony through repetition. The soffits are a particularly nice mid century design element — often times soffits like these hide tracks for drapery or hidden lighting. The warm butterscotch leather sofas really want to make you hang around a while, don’t they?

living-room-mid-century-time-capsule-houseIf you look carefully in the upper left portion of the photo above, you can just make out some sort of geometric room divider with decorative glass panels — yet another thoughtful design element. The wall of windows and doors behind the chairs leads to a charming brick patio.

back-patio-midcentury-houseWhat I wouldn’t give to relax in this inviting space for an afternoon.

dining-room-retro-time-capsule-houseBack inside, the tour continues into the dining room — another inviting space. Continuing the geometric lines the trim has been painted black to outline the angles of the wall and carry the window trim throughout the room. If you look carefully you can catch another peek of the geometric room divider in the doorway towards the living room. Looks like there might also be a built-in brick planter on the right side of the doorway.

Note: We do wonder whether the tile flooring throughout the house is original — we’re guessing not. And, we would also guess that the paneling and brick also were originally unfinished. Even so, the painted walls look great, and the tiled floors are pretty timeless.

dining-room-mid-centuryThis really is a dining room with a view. Imagine enjoying a casual lunch here — soaking in the natural light from outside and watching the world go by. Another view that shouldn’t be missed is that beautiful danish credenza.

eat-in-kitchen-mid-centuryThere’s still more geometric beauty waiting for us in the kitchen. The black trim continues — outlining the space — and complementing the black streamlined cabinets — which Eleonore tells me are are high end German Poggenphol cabinets.

time-capsule-kitchen-black-and-white-midcenturyEven the ceiling continues the geometric design throughout the room. This kitchen is minimally designed with clean lines and a simple — very edited — color palette. The pop of red in the chair cushions adds interest and sophistication to the otherwise monochromatic kitchen.

time-capsule-kitchen-with-tile-countersEven the tile counter tops continue the geometric and clean design. More large windows blur the line between inside and outside — plus — who doesn’t want a huge group of windows over their kitchen sink?

reading-room-mid-century-time-capsuleA pass through from the kitchen, leads into this bright and cheery den. Natural light streams in and bounces off the gleaming hardwood floors. On the ceiling, decorative beams lend yet another repetition of the geometric, thoughtful design of this house. Is that grass cloth on the walls above the paneling wainscot?

den-mid-century-time-capsuleNear the door to the back covered porch another streamlined soffit strategically hides the tops of the pinch pleat drapery.

pink-bathroom-retroJust when you thought you’d seen all the good stuff, prepare to be astounded again. The pink and black mid century bathroom is big on space and on style. At first glance, it difficult to get your bearings — the wall of mirrors over the sink reflect the other half of the room — creating the illusion of more space recessed behind the mirrors. It is just another thoughtful design element to repeat the room’s geometric patterns and create a sense of open space. There looks to be several concealed compartments built into the mirror that possibly hide toothbrushes and soap. The row of windows along the top of the room allow copious amounts of light to stream in — and since they are far above eye level — there is no need to cover them with light blocking drapery. The drop ceiling likely conceals another source of lighting and a fabulous built in with loads of space for towels and other necessities can be seen in the mirror’s reflection. Does my eye even spy a pink shower curtain rod? What a fabulous bathroom.

bedroom-mid-century-time-capsuleThis bedroom — possibly the master — is spacious and luxurious. Soffits hide the built-in lighting — even wrapping around a cozy corner fireplace. The sliding glass doors provide another access point to the covered porch.

back-porch-midcenty-houseWhen you enter the back porch of this home, it is almost like entering a different era. The floor tile, arched openings, ironwork and stucco all suggest a more southwestern theme — one that introduces gentle curves into the mid century house’s geometric lines. Despite the design differences — this huge covered porch would be a favorite place to spend an evening relaxing. Is that a fireplace at the end of the space?

back-yard-midcentury-houseEven the back yard of this house is well kept, well edited and inviting — leaving no doubt in my mind that this mid century beauty would be a place where one could live with ease.

Mega thanks to Realtor Eleonore Reiter from Hasson Company Realtors – Northwest Portland for allowing us to share these photos of this fabulous house with you and to Michelle from RealtyImaging.com for taking such great photos. For more information about this property, check out Eleonore’s listing.


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  1. MikeD says


    I have like a lot of the houses you feature, but this one is just about perfect and almost exactly how I have pictured my dream home in my head.

    I bow down to that bathroom

  2. JKM says

    Although I’m confused by the pendant light over the table and recessed can light above the sink, I’m wondering if the kitchen ceiling is (or was at one time) a luminous one like in the master bathroom. The kitchen in the 1964 home I grew up in had a ceiling comprised of backlit translucent white panels in an irregular framework of thin wooden strips – sort of a mondrian pattern without the color. When you flipped the switch the entire ceiling glowed, illuminating the whole room. This is a beautiful home and I’m loving the charcoal and pink master bath.

  3. Gerry says

    What a wonderful house! The kitchen ceilings are so cool. The house is so bright and cheerful. My folks lived in Vista Hills for 30 + years and it is a great neighborhood. I remember walking by this house. The area also has lots of traditional ranches built in the 1950’s.

  4. Janice says

    Wow. That’s just about THE perfect house. The bathroom is absolutely stunning. I truly hope the new owners love the house as much as the current owners clearly did. What a time capsule jewel!

  5. Jay says

    WOW! I am always amazed at the size of these houses. Such detail with the finishes and materials. Pristine condition to boot. I have always thought entry halls to be classy no matter what the architectural style. You come in my front door and get dumped right into the living room. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Robin, NV says

      I was thinking the same thing about the tiles. In some ways, the house seems like it would be more at home in Florida than in the Pacific Northwest.

      I totally dig the ceilings in the kitchen, how unusual and striking! The house is certainly high end mid mod.

  6. tammyCA says

    It might not be my style but it is nice to see the house had a designer involved that didn’t turn it into another ubiquitous granite HD remuddle.

  7. Robin, NV says

    It’s a lovely house but I prefer a nice granny ranch. This house is beautiful but it feels decorated rather than lived in. Or maybe I’m just revealing my modest roots!

    Kate – you may want to expand your search for time capsule houses to Spokane, Washington. I’ve seen some great examples from there.

      • TappanTrailerTami says

        This is a GREAT house Pam, and so is the one Gerry posted. Makes me jones for the northwest greenery a lot – grew up there, and one of the things I miss most being in CA.

        As for the time capsule comment – well, there is another blog post for you: how much has to remain in order for a house to be considered a time capsule? Original architecture? Original decor? Original mechanicals? Maybe we need a second category for houses that have been updated with RESPECT to their time period and architecture, as this one has. It could be called a “Time Caplet” vs. full blown Capsule 🙂

  8. says

    *sigh* A great house in a great city. Even the yard is fabulous! I’ll add it to my list of things to do when I win the lottery: buy this house in Portland.

  9. says

    The house is amazing, and I’m drooling over the art collection and the credenza and china cabinet.

    I love mashups of styles current to when the home was built. But I’m also fond of things like fifties additions to Victorians.

  10. says

    Pam, I like your analysis accompanying the walk through!

    One thing I noticed in the furnishing and decoration of this house is that while it perhaps could have been done with more period type furnishings, it also was not overdone. So often, I see retro modern overdone, where the furnishings and remodeling is over the top, rendering something “not found in nature,” that is, something that is not really retro but a modern, kitschy over the top rendition of a style that was originally more perhaps more subtle.

    This house is original, and has that subtlety that is difficult to re-enact.

    That said, it would have been nice had the wood paneling in the kitchen not been painted, and if the tile had been original. A few Herman Miller furniture pieces or a art deco lamp or something would really set the place off.

    Still a beautiful house as your excellent analysis points out.

  11. Doris Waddell says

    I bought the exact same dining set as the one withe the white covered chairs at a yard sale several years ago. Can anyone tell me anything about it? It has been sitting in my garage since I bought it.

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