Classy 1958 mid-century modern time capsule ranch house in Houston — 18 photos

“A great example…Leave the period finishes … clean things up and update systems … and avoid the latest flavor-of-the-month cosmetic updates — then you can have a showstopper house with a lot of market appeal.”

Set on a sizable lot, this mid-century ranch house — a little bit “modern”, a little bit “modest” was recently listed for sale in Houston, Texas by one of our favorite retro realtors, Robert Searcy. The home was designed by architect Lucian Hood to have an open floor plan, making its 1,900 square feet live large and stylish. Many of the home’s key features — kitchen cabinets and tile backsplash, bathrooms, living room — are still original. Some of the home’s features need a little TLC, but once a little restoration work is complete, it is the kind of mid-century home that — at the same time — can be both spectacular and comfortable and easy to live in. There’s lots to see thanks to photos courtesy of TK Images, so come on in and take a look, won’t you?

mid-century-kitchen-cabinetsA short while after Robert emailed us the photos of this charming home, we discovered it was already under contract, which led us to ask Robert to give us an idea of what the market for mid-century time capsule homes in the Houston area is like. Robert replied:

The whole real estate market in Houston is red hot right now, but for more unique, interesting properties, it can be a real feeding frenzy! We had five offers in 36 hours. Bidding went far above list price.

This one is a great example of how when people renovate, if they leave the period finishes and just clean things up and update systems, like the electrical, and avoid the latest flavor of the month cosmetic updates, then you can have a showstopper house with a lot of market appeal.

Good to hear, Robert! Yes: Avoid flavor of the month cosmetic updates, Retro Renovators! Here’s an important story to read if you are considering selling a house like this:

From the listing:

  • Price: $225,000
  • Year built: 1958
  • Square footage: 1,893
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Bathrooms: 2

Stunning mid-century modern designed by prominent architect Lucian Hood. Huge 18k+Sq Ft shaded lot w/pool. Vintage mod character preserved w/original cabinetry, cool mod light fixtures, lots of floor to ceiling glass, pecky cypress siding, int brick accent walls & original paneling. Recent updates include roof, elec upgrades & wood flooring. Open layout w/den + study. Great natural light. RARE find for mod enthusiast seeking vintage cosmetic character intact yet w/some system/structural updates.

mid-century-fireplaceYowza — look at that awesome vintage orange sectional. It goes very nicely with the beautiful, warm wood paneling. I’m also digging the display shelves on the brick fireplace.

mid-century-living-roomThe exposed brick wall really amps up the textural interest in the space, too. With so many neutral surfaces — wood floor, wood paneling, brick wall — bold furniture like the orange sofa sectional works well in this space.

broyhill-brasilia-bedroom-setThe bedroom above is a great size and a blank canvas for the new owners. Did anyone else notice that vintage Broyhill Brasilia bedroom set right away? We wonder if the buyers will work the furniture into the deal?

mid-century-car-portThe home’s car port is especially cool because of the beamed ceiling and the secret, fenced-in garden space — complete with palm tree.

Mega thanks to retro realtor Robert Searcy for sharing this property with us and to TK Images for taking such great photos of the property.

Check out our other stories from Robert Searcy and his time capsule listings – you’re gonna love ’em!:

Tips 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. lynda davis says

    Nice house and it looks like 3 little ones share the nursery! Light fixture over kitchen table is very interesting and practical–moves where you need the light. Lots of offers on this house. I wonder if it is because of the house style or a certain neighborhood that attracts the interest?

  2. midmichigan says

    Beautiful home and lot. Is that the same pool from picture 16 to 18? It looks a different shape to me.

    • Jacki Anderson says

      Yes it is the same pool. If you look carefully there is an additional slight curve to the left of the pool steps. It isn’t very noticeable looking across the pool (towards the steps) because the photo is head on to that additional curve.

  3. Robin, NV says

    I love the tile backsplash in the kitchen – great pattern and color. I would snap this house up in a second and do a little retro-refreshing, which is all it needs.

  4. Mary Elizabeth says

    Love, love, love. No one noticed that the flooring in the living room is laid on the bias, not straight to the walls? What a great effect! It gives the impression of more floor space. The fireplace is modern and yet with a nod to the traditional fireplace mantel and display area.

    Thanks for posting the link to the “how to sell your midcentury modern house” article. A great reminder to those of us who love our houses but might be forced to sell because we are transferred, etc. One of the things that “AlyStar” pointed out was that sellers should spend their money on fixing the mechanicals and structural elements–such as roofs and septic systems–rather than waste money on so-called updates that buyers might not want. When we bought our 1959 ranch, the daughter of the original owners kept fighting the real estate agents, who wanted her to “update” the knotty pine kitchen and the pink tub. She and her husband chose instead to put on a new roof, new plumbing, new septic, and all that kind of thing. We told her when we offered her asking price that she had done everything right, only fixing what needed to be fixed, and the house was the most solid one for the price we’d seen in the area. She told us, “You have no idea how hard I had to fight to keep the kitchen as it was.” We don’t plan to have that problem, as DH says, because we think we can stay here until we are carried out in a [knotty] pine box.

    • pam kueber says

      Well said. Yes, I will be carried out in a knotty pine box, too! I think I’ll stipulate scalloped moldings, too!

      • Ranger Smith says

        I think you’ve hit on your next discussion topic: design your own mid century coffin! I’ll go for turquoise boomerang laminate with an orange barkcloth interior.

        • Hunter says

          I don’t know if I’ll need a coffin, my daughter asked if I want to be buried or cremated…. I told her to surprise me.

  5. Nate says

    I knew that layout looked familiar! That house is located just north of my neighborhood. I’ve been to estate sales over there a few times. Love driving around that area. This is a great example of one of the few gems Houston has left to offer. Too many teardowns and gut jobs, unfortunately.

  6. Sam R says

    That swimming pool is pretty much exactly what I’d like to put in the backyard of my new-to-me ’54 ranch someday.

  7. tammyCA says

    Right on about fixing the major things, like roof, electrical, etc. and leaving the cosmetic alone (except freshening up already painted walls)…I’ve seen way too many houses “fixed up” but they are really just “covering up & hiding” the problems! Good thing there are inspectors.
    I did notice the bias laid wood floor – that’s cool. Not sure if original since it says “recent updated wood floor”, but neat nonetheless. It’s good to stage these MCM houses with the period enhances the house’s original features.

  8. ali says

    I’m in love with this kitchen. In my dreams I imagine that my cabinets were just like this before my home’s previous owners ripped them out and replaced them.

  9. lisa in Seattle says

    This is so great — kudos to the realtor for staging that is congruent with the retro design but not alienating to buyers who have perhaps never considered that original features need not be dumped or covered over. I bet he opens some eyes!

  10. Rick S says

    I love the house but love the carport even more. I can imagine a huge party out there with the palm trees and a tiki bar set up. The house doesn’t need to be any bigger with space like this.

  11. Robert S says

    To reply to some of the responses, the hardwoods are not original, the current owners added those. It is also all their furniture, no staging on my part, can’t take credit for that! The house is under contract, we had multiple offers. As is often the case, you get some people through that just want X number of square feet in a certain area, and then we got some people who were drawn in by what I will call “the architectural component.” Ultimately the buyers seem to be in the latter category and want to preserve the look.

    • Jonny says

      Great to hear the new buyers want to preserve the house! Especially since that is not always the case.

      Side note, I don’t like to swim, but I’d have that pool anyway, just for lookin’-at!

  12. Marilyn says

    Nice house..hope the new owners love living in it. I noticed that the kitchen has the same floor Armstrong Striations as Robert & Caroline’s home….I do believe it is ok to up date interiors…however staying true to the time period… is just not possible to keep everything original. Looks like the pool takes up most of the back yard…not too keen on that…but it is a nice home.

  13. Cynthia says

    Oh this is a really good one…I love everything shown in the photos. The light fixture over the breakfast table (photo 5) is so utterly fabulous, I cannot believe my eyes. Congratulations to the buyer, on condition that they keep this house intact or only make changes that are in keeping with the era of this wonderful home!

  14. cc says

    Put this house in California and it would be 1M plus… I love it and so retro
    The price is hard for me to believe , being from So Cal… It just so cool and the furnishing make it… thanks for sharing.

  15. Dan T. says

    Pretty sure that is an original O’Keefe and Merritt cooktop and wall oven! Not every day you see those.

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