1956 time capsule ranch house — original owner mid century modern Glenbrook Houston home

Frigidaire-flip-out-stove-topTour-a-Time-CapsuleThis latest time capsule house — from friend-of-the-blog real estate agent Robert Searcy — is a mid century modest jewel box of a house at just under 1,400 sq. ft. Listed at a mere $110,000 — this Houston, Texas time capsule home is a sight for sore eyes. Impeccably kept by its original owner — this house is chock full of glowing wood paneling, stunning tile work, original window treatments and retro cool appliances — like the fold-down electric burners, above. Let’s step inside…

mid-century-ranch-house-exteriorWhat a lovely exterior — note the three cut-outs in the brick masonry sheltering the front door… and how about the long low planter built under the bedroom windows to the left. This is a small, “simple” house — but the detailing is wonderful.

From the listing:

Meticulously maintained mid-century modern ranch designed by Herbert Caldwell & custom built by current owner. Open flowing layout with staggered living areas and open dining with oversize sliders to expansive deck & lavishly landscaped backyard. Loaded with cool period details such as bullet lamps, unusual vintage flip down cook tops, pristine original tile baths & hardwoods under carpet in BRs. An architect designed quality home with character in an up & coming close in historic district for less than rent!

  • Price: $110,000
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Baths: 2 full
  • Garage: 2 car attached
  • Year built: 1956
  • Square footage: 1,375
  • In Glenbrook Golf Course Community
  • Other amenities: dishwasher, disposal, microwave, electric range and oven, electric washer/dryer, gas heating, A/C, fenced back yard, deck, brick veneer exterior.

mid-century-wood-kitchen-cabinetsOur tour begins in the kitchen — which is light, airy and welcoming. This galley kitchen makes practical use of every bit of space — and comes complete with warm wood cabinets and a fabulous vintage laminate pattern that doesn’t stop at the counter top, but stretches up the wall as a back splash, as well.

mid-century-kitchen-wood-paneled-wallsOn to the dining area of the kitchen, where one can eat their meals bathed in natural light from the generous patio door and enveloped by the warm wood paneling. Such a cozy place for a cup of coffee, don’t you think? Start paying attention to all the darling shutters used throughout this house.

wood-paneled-walls-walnut-retroJust past the eating area, is the family room. The floor plan of this house is wonderfully open and spacious looking for its modest size.

mid-century-wood-paneling-living-roomAqua-living-room-retro-mid-centuryThe formal living room — painted a cheery soft aqua — continues the house’s theme of open space with large windows allowing natural light to pour in.

Notice also, there is not an excess of color in the interior design of this house. The lovely woods are the starts, accented by soft whites and blues, for the most part. It’s “less is more” — but still very cozy.

Mid-century-bedroom-with-louvered-shuttersOn taller windows, the charming louvered shutters are stacked.

mid-century-bedroom-with-pinch-pleat-drapesThe double bullet sconce lighting is consistent room-to-room, although the sconces are black in the living areas (against the wood walls) and brushed brass in the bedrooms.

Mid-century-blue-bedroomDay beds put together at 90-degree angles — mid century interior design and decorating versatility at is best. And yum: Ethan Allen Custom Room Plan furniture.

Mid-century-brown-tiled-bathroomThe bathroom is filled with lovely tile work, original features and even a vintage shower curtain and towel set. A beautiful space.

mid-cenutry-bathroom-with-built-in-cabinetWe don’t get to see much of the second bath, but it also looks to have impressive built-ins and decorative tile work.

mid-century-house-back-yardThe exterior and plantings also look like they were lovingly maintained. The tree — with the deck designed around it — is terrific.

Retro-Ranch-back-yardWe sure hope that this mid century modest gem of a house will be discovered by someone who will cherish all of these wonderful original details — and continue to take care of them — preserving them for another 50-60 years.

To buy this house…

Thanks again to Robert and to TK Images Real Estate Photography for permission to feature these photos here on Retro Renovation.

Our other stories from Robert Searcy and his time capsule listing — YUM:

See the images for today’ 1956 ranch house again in our gallery — where they are uploaded to show twice as largeTips to view slide show: Click on first image… it will enlarge and you can also read my captions… move forward or back via arrows below the photo… you can start or stop at any image:

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  1. John says

    Wow, gorgeous home and unbelievably looking brand new!!! I can’t believe it didn’t get bought up the day it went to market. It’s the same size as my three bedroom ranch and I have plenty of room!! It’s a perfect size for one or two people.


    • Patty says

      It is beautiful and the price is great – even cheaper than my affordable area. It does say “up and coming neighborhood” on the listing – so I’m not sure what that means and may mean to the price. Awesome home.

  2. Janet in CT says

    WHAT? Two baths and three bedrooms for $110,000?! It would be twice that here in New England! What a beautiful home and kudos to them for keeping so much of it original!

          • Michele says

            Dear Pyrexmaniac: same situation here on Long Island, NY. this would be considered a tear down because nobody here seems to get this retro bug. Wish it would catch on here. about to list our house (taxes outrageous) and already hearing from the Realtors that the kitchen is outdated. It’s fab! so sad.

  3. lynda says

    Just a note– those large overhangs on the house have really protected the windows and doors of the home over the years. Most houses today just are not built with the large overhangs. Such a pride of ownership shows in this lovely home. Many, many years of good maintenance certainly pays off!

    • Robin, NV says

      My house has really wide eaves, which I appreciate in the middle of summer when the temperatures get over 100. Sadly my front door has taken a beating over the past 51 years, despite the eaves. It’s just so darn dry here and the sun really beats down on us. But I look forward to the day when I can replace it with a Crestview.

      Also – just as an aside. A lot of homes from the 1940s didn’t have eaves or had really close eaves. I think it may have been a way to economize on building costs.

    • says

      My eaves are at least two feet deep in my 1956 house. I love them, and can sometimes walk around the house in the rain without getting wet by hugging the walls. I don’t have air conditioning, and I’m sure they help in summer, whereas in winter the sun is lower and can hit the walls.

      Land in Texas is cheaper. A contractor friend who lived there for a while, warns that their quality of construction can be iffy (compared to California and our over-regulated but earthquake helpful codes). I’m sure having a mid-century architect was a good move.

      • says

        Same here Sandra! I have 2 feet overhangs all around. Mine is 1959. I can let my dogs out in the rain and not get wet. I LOVE it. I have no central air so in the summer, this REALLY helps keep my home cooler. I can also leave windows open with no chance of rain coming in.

        • Robin, NV says

          Me too! I love that I can walk down my front walkway without getting wet. We don’t have central air either. We only miss AC in July and August when the daytime temperatures are 100+. Living in the high desert, we generally get 40-50 degree temperature drops at night but there’s always a couple of weeks toward the end of summer where the temperature only drops 20 degrees at night. Boy howdy, it gets warm in the house! I have ceiling fans in nearly every room – not very mid century but truly necessary.

  4. Kelly Wittenauer says

    Amazing condition! Those dining chairs And that credenza in the living room are wonderful. And Lynda is right about those wide overhangs – great protection & beauty as well. We have 2′ deep overhangs on our house & they often keep the ground next to the house dry during rains.

    • Sarah g (roundhouse) says

      It’s Houston… It’s very rare that houses in the south have basements… I live 2 hours away and I’ve never ever even seen or been to or heard of a house that has a basement. If I dig 10-15 ft in my backyard I’ve hit the water table and that’s just a big soggy mess!

  5. mary Tatum says

    Houston was THE place for the mid-century rancher! I was raised in one. Sadly, many are being scraped for McMansions. :-(

  6. Annie B. says

    What a jewel, Kate. I can only hope there is a Glenbrook Community Historic Preservation Committee who can help save these time capsules. Wish I could magically transport this house from Houston to my neighborhood. It’s my dream-style house.

    The furniture in this house is lovely – the sofas and the livingroom credenza, especially. Love the warm woods and the interior colors, too. It’s heartening to see how liveable, functional, and beautiful 1400 square feet can be.

  7. Janice says

    The house is a true beauty and what I find amazing is the owners not only left it alone all these years and didn’t “upgrade” it as some point in its life, but I also assume, kept the same furniture throughout the years. No one does that anymore. I fell in love with that dining set and then it just got better as I looked at more pictures. Sure wish I lived in Houston….and what a fabulous price!

  8. Maryanna says

    I’d just assumed that was wonderful staging, but yea, it probably is the owner’s furniture. I absolutely LOVE the aqua and wood combo.

  9. Jay says

    Nice simple home that exudes a timeless charm. The MCM furnishings of sturdy wood with clean lines give a quiet shout out of quality. I would hope the excellent condition of this home would be a deterrent to any buyer intent on gutting the place upon moving in.

  10. Maryanna says

    Do y’all think the window shutters are original/vintage? That screams “contemporary” to me, but maybe I’m wrong.

    • Janice says

      I have a 1950’s Better Homes and Gardens decorating book and I remember seeing shutters in some of the rooms they featured so I would guess they are original.

          • tammyCA says

            Shutters have been around for a very long time…thankfully, they seem to never go out of style. ‘Tho some people don’t like them & complain about dust…duh, dust is everywhere anyway (now, vinyl blinds is another thing…had them for years ‘cuz ha, I loved that ’40s film noir look, but ugh, the weird grime they attracted!)

    • Leslie says

      I do think they are original to the home. My mother had the little shutters in 3 bedrooms, our house was built in 1963 and she was a decorating trend setter!

  11. Robin, NV says

    I’d almost move to Houston for this beauty. Love the architectural details and the decor is warm and beautiful. As I plan my remodel, my mantra is “it may not be everyone’s style but quality materials and workmanship appeal to everyone.” Let’s hope the new owners appreciate everything this home has to offer.

    My house is about the same size with the same number of rooms and I paid pretty close to that price in 2009. But I live in a small town in Nevada.

  12. Lauren G says

    Here’s a message to the new owners, whoever they might be:
    If you don’t want that kitchen table, get it up on eBay… I’d love to take it off your hands!!

  13. robin allen says

    WOW this is a TRUE treasure… I would buy it in a heartbeat…but I live in Kansas and am not planning to move….It is perfect is so many ways and a rare gem that has been so well loved and maintained and not ‘remodeled’ to upgrade it….It will not last long….

    • Janice says

      Robin, where in Kansas are you? I’m happy to see another person from the Sunflower state following this blog! I’m in Wichita.

  14. Diane in CO says

    Kate, you note the partial wall with the 3 cut-out squares at the front entry — I think that is a very nicely done detail too!

  15. says

    Oh what a beautiful, beautiful home!! It is super stunning all the way around from the gorgeous walls, to that soft aqua paint. Ohhhhh, I could move in as is!!!! Someone in the household must have been a painter as I noticed lots of brushes in the Ethan Allen bedroom. Perfect place for a craft room! I surely hope the people that do buy it keep it as is and appreciate everything that’s there. It’s a jewel! Love all of the furniture, too! My love of pink would fit right in! LOL :)

  16. JKaye says

    This is just about the best time capsule house yet. The landscaping is nicely done, the backyard is attractive and private, and the interior seems tasteful as well as comfortable. Some of the decorative touches seem more from the 80s or 90s, maybe, but well executed. The price makes it a real steal.

  17. JKaye says

    I’ll clarify that to me it’s the best time capsule yet because it is slightly bigger than our ’59 ranch. It would move us up from 1.5 baths to 2 full baths, and from a one-car garage to a two car garage, and give us a couple hundred more square feet. And, a privacy fence. And it’s in better shape. At a price a few thousand less than our house. Too bad it’s four states away.

  18. Gracie says

    I think this price reflects how close it is to Houston Hobby airport… I bet it can get loud… although I wouldn’t mind at all! This is the proper way to do paneling! Too bad “The 70’s” never got the clue!!!

  19. tammyCA says

    Lovely! This house feels like a warm hug to me…the glowing warmth of the wood countered with the accents of aqua is gorgeous. This home was loved and I hope the new owners will love & preserve it to. Gosh, I love wood shutters and have a small stash in the garage I found at a thrift store for “someday”.

  20. TappanTrailerTami says

    SWOON! I agree – this is one of the BEST yet! In case anyone here is a vintage travel trailer lover – if you can’t or don’t own one of those, this house is the next best thing with all that glowy birch cabinetry and glowy birch wall panels! I’m a huge knotty pine fan, but immaculate vintage birch is just as good, and I think under appreciated.

    • tammyCA says

      I love vintage trailers! Never had one, I don’t even recall being in one, but have always loved them…especially the ones with the warm birch wood interiors (didn’t even know what the wood was ’til now). I still have a Huell Howser VHS tape of the teardrop trailers and there was one 1930s one that I fell head over heels in love with…again, the warm wood. Now, I wonder if there is a connection to the memory of my dad’s old boat that I absolutely loved, with all the smooth glowy warm wood!

  21. Javier says

    I currently live in the Houston area and would love to live in this house. I’ve been looking for a good mid century home at the right price, found one but the deal fell through. I may be forced to buy new (10 years old or so) and am wondering if anybody on here has renovated a new house to look MCM. any thoughts or ideas on where to begin? I don’t mind new on the outside but walking into the 1960s once they hit the front door. perhaps that’s the next trend….

  22. Kat says

    I am intrigued by the bullet lights pointing at the ceiling. Does anyone have a similar setup, and do you have photos with natural light (the photog here obviously used a light setup for these pics)? I’d like to see if the effect is too diffuse, or if it’s nice and warm.

  23. Connie says

    LOVE this ranch and all it’s orginality! The owners did “right” by this home. Hubby and I have looked at a 1965 Ranch very similar in style to buy. He and I will have disagreements…he will want to upgrade and I want to leave it as it is….especially the pink bathroom!

  24. erin moureau valdez says

    This is a beautiful home!!! I lived in this neighborhood as a small child. In my opinion the neighborhood is fine, however, there are other neighborhoods, apartments and shopping centers nearby that aren’t so great. Also, the schools are not very desirable. With that being said, I am still surprised to find a house so close to downtown for that price.

  25. Chaucea says

    I saw a house on Zillow (http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/6828-A-St-Tacoma-WA-98408/49298240_zpid/) today that just went on the market. I am so in love with this little place!

    Its a cute and unremuddled 1960s home located in Tacoma (and for the location, its fairly inexpensive.)

    Very simple and clean-lined with so many original features (and still all in good shape).

    Its so hard to find places that remain unmolested (read: “updated”), so seeing this little house made me smile. :-)

    • Robin, NV says

      Nice find! If I still lived in the Seattle area, I’d totally want to buy this one. I love that the ad says it was last sold in 1979 – 2 long time owners in its history and obviously they both loved the place. The yellow range in the kitchen is great. I just can’t get over the condition of everything!

  26. Lindel says

    Okay, who can fill me in on those fabulous flip down burners? They’re awesome. I’d love to find some of those for my home. Super space saving.

    • Jim A says

      We had those exact burners in our ’50 mid-century modern. We had to replace them, but still have them. They would need work (modern wiring) and one burner on each wasn’t working. They are cool, we had to replace them when we re-did the kitchen. If you’re interested (or anyone else) shoot me an email (ex11b90@yahoo.com) I can send you some pics. They are Frigidaire, the knobs are slightly different, I suppose because ours are 6 years older. Have had them sitting around for 7 years, would love to see them go to a good home!

  27. Laura Jinkins says

    It is a lovely home, but I am not surprised by the pricing, given the location. Over the years, the area between I-45 and Telephone Road has been rather dicey. In fact, you can read about Telephone Road here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone_Road

    I grew up in Alvin, Texas — roughly 20 miles from this home and this was not a part of Houston that we went to unless absolutely necessary. :(

  28. Gloria Manucia says

    This house seems so tiny to me when it’s described as 1400 sq ft, but it seems as spacious and welcoming as a home could be. The furniture that matches the walls so well is to die for. I have liked previous capsule homes, but this one blows them all out of the water–especially given the price!

    After Katrina, I considering relocating to Houston; had this home been available, I very likely would have done so!

  29. Scott says

    Oh, those cut-outs! Drool!

    I also love how they painted the trim to match the walls in the living room, I think that’s one of the easiest ways to make a room look more Mid-Century than Martha. And it really helps showcase your furniture and accessories too as a montone backdrop let’s those strong shapes and detailing really stand when you eliminate the contrasting baseboards and door frames.

    Of course I’m a little prejudiced as that’s what I did in my living room too, and darn near the same color. :-)

  30. Elizabeth says

    The Frigidaire “flip-out-stove-top”… does anyone know the actual product name for this item? I simply MUST find one to purchase and I am not having any luck with my search… thanks :)

  31. John Kent says

    What a cool, unmolested MCM! Jewels like this are being scraped off their lots in our 1950s Fort Worth neighborhood and are being replaced by artless, pretentious, gigantic McMansions with no redeeming architectural qualities. Sad, sad, sad.

  32. cherilyn says

    I have the exact same fold down frigidaire RBW84 cooktop. Would love to buy yours or know who repairs it and where you get parts.

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