1980 time capsule house — impeccable & fabulous in Shorewood, Minn. — 47 photos

1980s retro time capsule houseTour-a-Time-CapsuleThoughtful, colorful, harmonious, exuberant, impeccable — today’s time capsule — a 1980 ranch house in Shorewood, Minnesota, listed for sale by realtor Diana Davis — is absolutely stunning. This is one of The Most Beautiful time capsules we’ve ever shown — all the more so, because it appears to be in immaculate condition, as if the finishing touches were completed last month, not 34 years ago. Prepare your eyeballs, you are going to be amazed.

Built on the cusp of the 1980s, this home’s decor straddles the funky 1970s and glitzy 1980s effortlessly. We are reminded of interiors from American Hustle. In fact, we bet this story makes it to all the most retro-conscious set decorators in Hollywood, who will go gaga for this beautifully decorated and maintained time capsule house. Hi, Hollywood!  Hire us to be consultants, will ya? Thanks to the fabulous photography — 47 photos! — by Nathan Treanor via the team from SpaceCrafting, we can all take in and learn from the many impressive design details in this stunning 1980 home. 

80s-retro-kitchen-skylightFrom the listing:

  • Price: $648,900
  • Year Built: 1980
  • Square Feet: 5,470
  • Total Bedrooms: 5
  • Full Bathrooms: 2
  • 3/4 Bathrooms: 1
  • 1/2 Baths: 2

One of the largest court yard homes in Amesbury. Gorgeous 5 Bedroom/5Bath luxury home with main floor master suite, sauna, den, and amusement room. End unit with Cul-de-sac with pond. New upgrades and remodeling.

1980s-entryway-hall-wallpaperretro-mushroom-lampIf I had to venture a guess, I’d say this home was decorated with the help of a very skilled interior designer. The house employs an analogous color scheme over all — analogous, referring to colors that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel. White paint and lacquered pieces punctuate the scheme throughout the house.

flower-chandelier-70sMost of the house is decorated in a green/yellow analogous scheme, with the two taking turns playing the lead role. In some rooms though, like the dining room above, the designer used just one of the colors monochromatically. Think you can’t mix patterns? This designer did — to stunning effect. This green shade reminds us of our 2013 color of the year, Broyhill Premier Chapter One Rich Lime Green. This color was also popularly matched with white lacquer paint.

70s-den-retroThe color scheme in other rooms shifts slightly away from either the green or yellow towards orange or blue instead. These slight shifts add interest while still feeling a part of the greater plan. One such room is the study above. The wood adds a warmth to this room that isn’t present in the rest of the home’s stark white furniture and walls. Instead of having the green and yellow analogous color scheme in this room, the designer shifted slightly on the color wheel to make a blue and green analogous palette. The study has a slight 70s vibe, but also exhibits some trademark decor choices of the 1980s — such as the collection of 29+ ducks sprinkled around the room — a characteristic of 1980s decor discussed in our post 1980s design and decorating trends.

80s-white-and-green-living-roomThe presence of the green carpeting and repetition of shapes in patterns and furniture combined with the harmonious color theory used throughout the house allow the home’s decor to all feel related, creating a pleasing effect.

retro-carpeted-spiral-staircasePam and I chatted at length about this property and decided on some of our favorite design elements. First off, is this fabulous spiral staircase covered in orange carpeting.

spiral-staircase-retro-carpetedYes, even the walls are carpeted. Amazing.

round-bathtub-hollywood-regencyThe circular bathtub in the master dressing room is gloriously over the top. Not only is this a round tub with a very cool faucet (that looks to be similar to this atomic faucet I recently spotted on Ebay), but holey cow — those mirrored tiles, that chandelier, the candles.

flower-power-wallpapered-bathroomThen there is the wallpaper in this bathroom. Hippy dippy flower power acid trip — in the 1980s. Pam is in love, which does not surprise me as I suspect she is a flower child at heart. Also of note: Is that a mid century jewelry Christmas tree on the wall? waaaaant

70s-swing-chair-retroAnother fun detail — the iron hanging swing chair in this bedroom. Sweet!

retro-courtyard-patioWho doesn’t love an enclosed courtyard — a feature typical of California ranch homes — in Minnesota. The central garden area would be the perfect spot for a vegetable or herb garden. No bunnies or deer would be able to stop by for a snack and the location right off the kitchen is optimal for picking fresh herbs to add to dinner. This is one feature I’d love to have at my house [just make sure you plan for proper drainage off those three rooflines all pouring into one u-shaped area, Pragmatic Pam warns.]

Link love:

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. Kkmk says

    An amazing house and furniture! I wonder if the seller would consider selling the furniture alone with the house.

    Thanks for the primer on analogous color schemes.

  2. Mary Elizabeth says

    What a happy Friday sort of house! Don’t you think you could end your work week by coming home to such a place? Love how the green plays off different colors in different rooms.

    Hmm, how many months of the year can one use a courtyard like that in Minnesota, though?

    Great story, Kate. The only thing I disagree about is that the ducks have any relationship to the 1980s decor ducks. They look to me to be an extensive high quality collection of decoys and wood sculpture waterfowl that could comprise an individual’s collection over many decades. Somebody who loves the lakes and waterfowl in Minnesota displayed these, not a decorator. The 1980s ubiquitous “country ducks and geese” we more like folk art and would appear in wallpaper borders, cookie jars, wall plaques, etc. This is the kind of stuff I’m talking about:



    We don’t see anything like that in this house!

  3. Steve says

    Just amazing! It’s funny because so many people still like to denigrate that era (late 70’s-early 80’s) in home design, and yet look at how absolutley beautiful this home is. Being that’s sheltered, I think you could easily get six months of use out of the courtyard. Minnesota isn’t Siberia (although you would never know from this past winter).

  4. virginia says

    Crazy! Brilliant use of the color orange amongst all the greens and blues. The rooms look very spacious and open. Would have to be to withstand the color assault — say that in a good way.

  5. JP says

    I’m a fan of green carpet. It always makes me think of summers on the grass–which makes me so happy during long winters. It works so well with the sunny yellow rooms and pops of white.

  6. Sara says

    I turned 6 in 1980, so this house really reminds me of my childhood! Of course no one we knew had a house anywhere near this fabulous, but the overall feel of the place reminds me of my childhood home and the homes of some of my little kid friends. I love the bathroom wallpaper! And the entry. Really pretty house and a great way to start my Friday morning!

  7. ann says

    This place is simply amazing! I could look at the pictures all day. Remember that shade of green…not easy but they did it perfectly. Wow! It just blows me away. Sure hope buyer appreciates it. Thanks for posting.

  8. Robin, NV says

    I’m imagining that the original owners were from California and wanted an exuberantly colorful house to combat the long, dreary Minnesota winters.

    My favorite thing has to be that light fixture in the kitchen (over the island). But the master suite – gah!! How awesome would that be to wake up to? I love every room in this house AND it has a sauna!

  9. Mollye says

    THIS HOUSE IS AMAZING! I love the decor and the use of color. One interesting thing I noticed was the window in slide 19 is the roll out kind made by Pella Windows. My childhood home (built in 1975) had those kind of windows throughout. My mom always talked about how they were high quality. I just remember that the handle would always fall off mid roll and you would have to stick it back on to finish opening the window.

    • lynda davis says

      I think the windows look like Pella casement windows too. Lots of sliding doors and fixed glass windows too–that was also popular in the 80’s.
      The architecture of the home and the wood siding were also popular in the custom home market in our area.

  10. Jennifer says

    You can tell that the owners decorated the house to their taste – they love green and yellow and they went for it! How could you not be happy living in those colors?

  11. Ranger Smith says

    Ok, I’m keeping this story up on my computer today and at that inevitable point when my day becomes stressed, I’m going to click back over here and look at that room with the white rattan chairs and just go: “ahhhhhh”.

    Thank you

  12. Valerie C. says

    Fantastic furniture and artwork and COLOR! Such a cool home and I have to mention the yellow swatch clock on the wall in the twin bed room – takes me back to my childhood! ^_^

  13. lynda davis says

    I did not know of any house quite this colorful in the 80’s. Early to mid 70’s homes had a lot of color like this house. The kitchen is very 80’s to me. Our house was built in 1977 and we have the exact same white cabinets with the hinges showing. Some of the Euro cabinets in the 70’s had the hidden hinges. Looks like the counters are Corian, which was also popular at the time. Getting all those bright colors to work was tricky indeed and I would say a designer or a very talented home owner decorated this home. Amazing the home is still so pristine. Again, a very fun house to see.

    • pam kueber says

      Yes, it is PERFECTLY done! I think this is my favorite time capsule house EVER. But I always say that!

      • lynda davis says

        I think it really looks like a newly built house that someone was just trying to make it look retro. Maybe that is why you like it so much. Light, bright, colorful, and new looking–what is not to like?? You do wonder how people resist the “urge” to not update over the years. Do it right the first time and love the house you are in.

  14. Sebastian says

    Love it. You can just tell either this place was built as a retirement home, maybe the “kids rooms” were for grandkids? Or perhaps the kids were off at boarding school while the parents traveled? The place certainly has “warmth” but doesn’t look lived in after 34 years.

    Love the sauna. The only thing I didn’t dig was the bathroom with the round tub & the red metal beds in the children’s rooms. I would turn that into an (albeit small) indoor pool!

  15. Cynthia says

    Oh how wonderful! So well laid out, so well decorated for a gracious and happy life. I agree, décor is late 70s anticipating 80s. Rust color carpet and upholstered pieces are very 70s; color would have called burnt orange or rust in those days. Shade of green is perfect. Round tub is a bit too Liberace-like. Only things I’d change are the mirrors behind that tub, and remove carpet in bathrooms, replace with tile.

    • CarolK says

      I’m not a fan of carpet in the bathroom either and to have it around the toilet just seems gross. I hope the men in that family had good aim! I’d replace the carpet with tile with perhaps an underlay of radiant heat. You’d get warm floors without the carpet.

  16. Scott says

    Although not my favorite era, this house is impeccably well done.

    In fact I’d go so far as to say its so cohesive that it almost has to have been done by a single interior designer or firm and for the most part all at approximately the same time.

  17. Dan T says

    I’m going to be the odd man out and say I really like the quiet, simple kitchen — particularly the light fixture. I am not usually a fan of white-on-white kitchens, but here it works well to highlight the color accents elsewhere. And the greenhouse niche looks like such a lovely place to sit.

    I was about to interject that the Corian countertops were probably a later addition — but apparently it was first introduced in 1971! I don’t remember seeing any myself until the late ’80s or early ’90s. Part of me does wonder if there was originally laminate in some vivid hue.

  18. ali says

    I am surprised by how much I love this house! The 80’s house I grew up in wasn’t nearly this cool 😉 I can’t believe how clean that carpet looks, and did you notice the wallpaper that matches the shower curtain and the drapes? So cute! I hope this adorable home survives the next owner, and I second the motion to keep the furniture with the house– nothing else would work quite as well here.

  19. tammyCA says

    It’s terrific! All the fresh citrusy lemon, lime, tangerine colors and light ..feels very comfortable and fun. To me it looks more in the 1960s, early ’70s decor before the earth tones took over. I sure wouldn’t change anything. It reminds me of my fave time capsule here..the dance teacher in Ohio with the kind of Hollywood regency decor.

  20. Casey says

    That master bath is bigger than every bedroom I’ve ever had. Although I’m not a fan of carpet in bathrooms, I wouldn’thave the heart to change a thing about it. Too fabulous.

  21. Manon Fournier says

    Wow! Even though the 80’s are not my favourite time era, this house is amazing! I particularly how well lighted it is – naturally and electrically! Many memories were brought back, espacially with the copper boat in slide 12 . My mom still has one just like it and she asked me recently if I wanted it! Do you have any information about that kind of art?
    Thanks! I love your site.

  22. Carrie W. says

    Ok, I am loving the banana fruit bowl in the kitchen, and the carpeted walls lining the staircase. I can see running my hands across that every time I go up or down! Yumm.

  23. virginia says

    I’ve been thinking about this house ever since. And keep hearing the Foo Fighters doing Evermore. It is totally awesome, the house, but I keep thinking about how I’d want to hang my art collection. Could be done and love would find a way. But, like a Frank Lloyd Wright house, it comes with certain significant restrictions — in the name of integrity and just common sense in terms of visuals. Those could be tossed to the wind but still …

    I’m torn in thinking about the house because I lovz but can’t find a real way to bring my world into it in a way that makes sense. And bringing one’s world into a house is what it’s all about.

  24. virginia says

    I lie! The first views of the extended, horizontally , foyer are to die for! So in love with the striped wall paper and the Roman Key rug. Love love love. Curse you, Pam, except it’s Sunday! What did Oscar Wilde say? One always kills what one loves? I want this house … gone. Or mine. Or gone. Penny Dreadful love.

  25. Linda says

    The crazy wall paper in the bathroom reminds me of Peter Max. This is definitely one of the better decorated 80’s offerings. There was some ugly furniture in the 80’s. I know from which I speak, as I had some of the ugliest.

  26. Susan says

    I LOVE this house. Thank you for sharing. There’s no doubt I would purchase if I lived anywhere in Minnesota. Pictures are a great resource for future projects though.

  27. Barb S. says

    OH! That bathtub! I’m gonna cry!!! Snif~

    That mirror at the top of the orange staircase… Am I the only one who read that in a Billy Crystal voice? Maahvelous!!

  28. Pat says

    I don’t remember many of those “trends”. I guess it’s because I never go with any trends, I have always gone vintage!

  29. John Fachy says

    How could anyone possibly be in a bad mood in a house with colors and furnishings so upbeat and colorful? Just as sweet looking outside as it is in, amazing! Love this, thanks for posting!

  30. Andrew Wall says

    The faucet over the mirrored masterpiece of a tub is a Kohler Bravura faucet. Looks like a phaser from Star Trek, but I purchased a NOS Roman tub faucet like this at a Habitat store in the late 1990’s I think.

    Very cool. . . ..

  31. Vori Kriaris says

    Straight out of Dynasty….all it needs is Joan Collins in big shoulders..very well done..The 80’s saw the reintroduction of period classics mixed with contemporary unlike the 60’s and 70’s that generally tried to achieve a completely “modern” look. The color schemes are the over riding attempt to make the nascent eclectic use of furnishings work together. The size of the rooms makes it possible to mix patterns and still look somewhat serene. Carpeted walls were still in vogue a hold over from the 70’s and are better forgotten, not my favorite thing. The mirrored bath cove is so over the top that it still works, albeit campy. This home is a perfect example of the transition from strict modernist to the eclectic drama we saw in develop through the 80’s and into the 90’s.

  32. JKM says

    I feel like I’m looking at someone’s happy, hardly-used beach house. The carpeting looks like it’s never been walked on. Wow. WOW!

  33. Karen says

    What a stunning interior! The colors are superb, everything balanced and, yes, peaceful as someone else mentioned. Been a long time since I saw carpet that plush–it would be easy to fall asleep on:)

  34. Kathy says

    Wow! That looks more Florida than Minnesota to me! I see my Dad’s white leather couches, crazy chrome light fixtures, abstract bathroom wallpaper (not the Peter Max one) and painted rattan furniture. And my Mom’s foil backed wallpaper (used in a bathroom, not the dining room).Some great art too. So does the place come with all the furniture?

    I figured sooner or later, 70s and 80s would become retro and vintage rather than ick, maybe 20-40 years after the fashions and music are revived, and this shows that if done right, it can be a lot of fun. Still not a fan of carpet in the bathroom though. Maybe that can be changed to white tile! On the wall I can live with, especially just in the spiral staircase.

  35. BrennyC says

    This house is definitely a “happy house”. Vibrant, immaculate and fresh. Love! Reminds me of Christy Brinkley, Cheryl Tiegs & Farrah Fawcett all rolled into one place. Fabulous!

  36. Moe Moe says

    I am constantly amazed at all the awesomeness MN has to offer! There is so much here and we tend to get glazed over by the bright lights of Chicago. Thanks for another awesome MN feature!

  37. Moe Moe says

    Oh, and I live 5 miles from this home! Grew up here and love it here! Lake Minnetonka is an awesome place and the real estate market is great here!

  38. Miriam says

    I remember many of the exact design elements featured in this house from growing up around around that time! Some of the houses my friends lived in had pieces of the furniture and the wallpaper, (but in a more downmarket way ) They never looked as good back then as they do here! This just really shows you that the bones , i.e. the layout and architectural features of the house determine what you can pull off. I’m loving that psychedelic wallpapered bathroom and that tub is so boss! I can see myself relaxing in a bubble bath with a cigar in my mouth like scarface!

  39. Andrew says

    The master bath whirlpool tub faucet is a Kohler Bravura. Very Star Trek. Bought a NOS one for $25 about 15 years ago, but it has since left the building.

    What a great house!

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