Better Homes & Gardens ‘1958 Idea House of the Year’ by Omer Mithun

1958 midcentury idea housetime capsuleBack in the day, actual house plans were widely promoted in the nation’s largest shelter magazines. Today: A time capsule house for sale that was originally featured in Better Homes & Gardens as one of Six Idea Homes of the Year for 1958. And yes, it’s quite a beauty — inside and out!

This beautiful home — a 1960 time capsule home listed for sale in Keene, Texas is fresh on the market from our Retro Realtor friend Ed Murchison. And look at that price: Just $95,000.

We love this one: Despite its modest size, this home lives large — boasting floor-to-ceiling picture windows in the living room that look out over a huge patio — creating a feeling of spaciousness and a blurred line between indoors and out. And, the interior finishes — they look so well made, like they were built just yesterday!

better-homes-and-gardens-idea-homes-of-the-year2Ed actually had the 1958 Better Homes & Gardens magazine cover to share with us. This house for sale is the model directly under the magazine’s masthead.

From the property listing:

  • Price: $95,000
  • Year built: 1960
  • Square footage: 1,466
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Bathrooms: 2

A rare opportunity to own a 1958 Idea Home of the Year!!!  Built in 1960 from Omer Mithun plans, as presented in the 1958, September issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine.  This gem of a little house packs lots of architectural interest into its smart, compact design.  Set on a large lot, the home opens out to a generous patio and side yard…a perfect place for entertaining.  Step through the front door and into the living room featuring vaulted ceilings exposed beams, cozy fireplace and a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows affording views out to the patio and lawn.  The kitchen retains the original cabinets with a cool floating upper storage cabinet.  The dining room,  just off the kitchen also features a wall of sliding glass providing easy access for outdoor dining.  There is spacious master bedroom with its own bath plus two additional bedrooms and a second bath.  The carport has been conveyed to a game room or would make a perfect home office.  What a great piece of Mid-century Modern history in the quiet, small town of Keene which is a quick 45 minute drive from Fort Worth thanks to the new Chisholm Trail Parkway.

1958 midcentury idea house

This particular model Idea Home was the smallest one of the bunch at 1,218 sq. ft., but you’d never know it because of the smart layout, handy storage and the large windows, which help to let in the outdoors — and loads of light. In addition, prior owners of the home converted the carport into a finished living space, adding 248 sq. ft. to the home.

1958 midcentury idea houseYou can see how large the living area feels because of the wall of windows as soon as you enter the home.

1958 midcentury idea houseIn a warm climate like Texas, I bet a nice large patio like this would see a lot of use almost year round.

1958 midcentury idea house1958 midcentury idea houseThe home is full of lovely midcentury design elements — like the exposed beams that pass through the clerestory windows in the main living room — wow! And how about that gorgeous fireplace!

1958 midcentury idea houseThe home’s kitchen and dining area is also very open, light and bright. Notice the supersized picture window over the sink. Don’t you just love those floating, sliding door cabinets? And the wood used in the cabinets themselves — gorgeous, still today. 

1958 midcentury idea houseThe tall pony wall (should we call a “tall pony wall” a “horse wall”?) between the kitchen and dining area is nice — anyone working in the kitchen can hear and see what’s going on in the dining room, but when the family sits down to dinner, they don’t have to see the mess made from cooking.

Note, it looks like this house got some decorating updates in the 1980s — the window treatments all have telltale shades of peachy-mauve. Even so, we’d be tempted to keep them a long long time — like the rest of this house, they appear high quality — very expensive to replicate today. If they are goodies: Love the curtains you get!

1958 midcentury idea house

bathroom floor

Wilson House pin bathroom — see our complete story here

Of course, there’s even a pink bathroom! This laminate really reminds of the pink laminate used in The Wilson House. Considering Wilsonart was based in Texas, we bet it’s the same.

Mega thanks to Realtor Ed Murchison for sharing this property with us and for Shoot2Sell Photography for giving us permission to feature these photos.

Link Love:

Tips to view slide show: Click on first image… it will enlarge and you can also read any captions… click anywhere to move forward and look for previous and next buttons within photo to move back or forth… you can start or stop at any image:


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  1. Lisa Compo says

    I am in love,too. I always love the full glass walls that blend the out doors and inside. Imagine how many hours the OCD person (me) would spend out there with Windex and a squeegee!!! But….I always wonder how you place your furniture without blocking the view, and having the sun bleach out the back of your couch. I don’t know where to put stuff when there aren’t walls. LOL I love this little gem, always enjoy the time capsules. I, like the other poster, would adore seeing new neighborhoods of these pop up.

  2. Roseana Auten says

    I noticed the bedroom windows are fairly “high” on the wall. You wouldn’t get away with replacing them as they are. They don’t meet current building code. 🙁

    • Leslie says

      @roseana auten
      I am in the process of buying a home very similar to this one about an hour north of Dallas. My realtor said the windows aren’t code but would be “grandfathered” in to pass inspection. Can’t imagine they’d make you re-place them!

  3. says

    I’m gaga over this house!! It gives me such a warm, nostalgic feeling! 🙂

    I grew up in a MCM house in a neighborhood full of MCM homes in suburban Detroit (Southfield). I would love to see that neighborhood receive some sort of historical acknowledgement as the homes having been built in the 1950s are still alive and well there!

    Thanks so much for making my day…again, Pam! 🙂

  4. Gail Witham says

    I love the whole house, but did anyone else notice there’s no oven in the kitchen? Or did I just miss seeing it?

  5. carolyn says

    #1. I think anyone’s face would just light up walking in to this house – and not because of all the windows! I know mine would!
    So…did they play basketball in that master bedroom?! It is HUGE! Would they have had the requisite furniture (bed, twin nightstands, chester drawers – yes, I know it’s “chest of drawers”) plus a sitting area, maybe?

  6. says

    This is a beautiful and pristine home. So many beautiful features, inside and out. The kitchen cabinetry is stunning and timeless. I love that pony wall and the suspended cabinets. What an elegant design. I can’t believe people ripped these out.

  7. mike evans says

    nice can only be original once ,glad some one didnt k mark /home depot, ika remodeled, this in palm springs would be $625,000

  8. Bella says

    Beautiful house at a phenomenal price. The first think I would do is switch out the door from the living room to the patio. All those panes of glass look so wrong. No way that door is original. The large yard is wonderful!

      • pam kueber says

        hmmm… I think the door could well be original. They may have kept the pinch pleats closed, and did not want to stare at a solid glass door smack dab in the middle of closed draperies. In fact, the door also looks like it has a shade on it.

  9. peggaann says

    this “flat” design is a dream to me, as I age and lose my balance by the day! I would quickly change that french door in the living room back to a solid wooden one like the magazine picture shows!

    wondering how the rest of you feel about the built in dresser in the master? for me, if anything, it would have been better on the back wall beside that added on horizontal window. but mostly. I love my mid century b.r. suite and wouldn’t need/want it in there.

  10. Scott says

    Swoon, this would be the style of my dream home, except I’d have to revert the garage/studio back to a carport, or find one of the rare ones that hadn’t been converted. Swoon I say. 🙂

  11. lee says

    No mention yet of the early, way-ahead-of-its-time induction cooktop! Also like the laundry machines right in the kitchen area.

    These look almost like 50 year old photos taken when the house was new.

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