Portland Amy wrote to ask about paint colors and I requested more info — so that we can all continue our 50s voyeurism. Amy writes:

Here is the story on our house; it was custom built in 1953 in Portland, Oregon. We are fortunate enough to have the original blueprints. The man who had it designed is rumored to have been a builder at the time and the craftsmanship is impeccable. You can definitely see that in the gorgeous open beam ceiling. The pictures do not do it justice. When we found it it had been repossessed and was vacant. Apparently the previous owner was a recluse and lived in the basement so nothing had been touched in years. I am still in shock at the amount of original details. Yes, the gold wallpaper in the kitchen is original! We haven’t touched a thing and don’t plan on it either! I will send photos of the bedrooms soon, too. The master bedroom has a wonderful built-in vanity and original silk wallpaper with a hand painted cherry blossom mural. Seriously, it is a gem. I am so happy to share it with you and fellow RetroReno readers who are in the process of getting their homes back to their original post-war glory.

The dining room has a textured ceiling that is painted gold. It’s original so I’m not touching it. It looks hideous at certain times of the day, but is absolutely stunning at night. I was considering the coral color [Amy and I were thinking alike, both looking at the Sherwin Williams Caribbean Coral for its potential in her space] in the dining room as it would compliment the ceiling beautifully and would pull out the color in the TV trays. 🙂 …Did you notice the horse figurines on the bookcase? I would have passed them up at the estate sale had you not posted your equestrian blog that very week. Thank you! We’ve just recently realized that living room was originally grasscloth that was painted over in white. I can’t afford to replace it just yet, but am considering a muted gold/green and doing a brushed finish that might mimic the original. I just don’t want it to look too faux finished.

We love the basement floor too! There is enough room to add another bedroom, bathroom and kitchenette down there. Once we get started on that major project I will definitely be keeping my eyes peeled for some steel beauties!

  1. Bill Steele says:

    Very cool indeed. I love the houses in Portland. There’s some neat ones in parts of Eugene, too, that I love. Oregon is paradise! Good luck with the house.

  2. Kitschy Kimberly says:

    What a cool house! Thank you Amy and Pam for sharing it with us. I love so many features but I have to say that gold paper in the kitchen is probably my favorite.

  3. amysue says:

    Thanks for posting this Pam. What a great little Internet birthday surprise! So happy to share it with all of you. Oh and the gold wallpaper in the kitchen is my favorite too.

  4. Palm Springs Stephan says:

    Fab house! Love the period accessory details that presumably you have added. That floor in front of the fireplace is superb! Is it asphalt tile? I’m torn between the carefully patterned and textured metallic gold ceiling (I have not seen troweled pattern work like that in years!) and the Bambi shower doors, though. They are an even draw for “Camp as Christmas”! But at least the gold metallic ceiling makes me feel better about having done a gold metallic ceiling in my bedroom!

  5. jen says:

    i’m so happy that –
    a – my friend amy’s house made her favorite blog
    b – i have a new blog to add to my bloglines collection!


  6. Pingback:Retro Renovation » Happy Birthday, Amy!

  7. Bonnie says:


    Thanks so much for sharing your home with us. Is there anyway you could post a closer look at your kitchen counters? They look like something I’m looking for for my 1955 rambler. Thanks.

  8. Alice says:

    What a great find! That gold wallpaper in the kitchen is awesome! How does it look in person with the silver colored trim on your appliances and silver accents? Also, in the photo, the paper appears textured…is it?

  9. amysue says:

    Stephan, the hearth is just brick. I’ve never really paid much attention to it before, thanks for pointing it out.

    Bonnie, here are some close-up photos of my countertop.

    Alice, at first I really thought the gold and silver was an odd combination and I was worried about bringing in more silver accents with the aluminum canisters, stainless fridge and chrome appliances, but somehow it all works. I think it is because the gold wallpaper is so reflective that all the other colors bounce off it and the kitchen just glows. I love it!

  10. Palm Springs Stephan says:

    Actually, I meant the flooring in the room with what looks like a brick fireplace that has been painted white, a green vertically striped sofa facing the fireplace, and an empty florescent light fixture on the ceiling. Is that floor asphalt tile, or something else? It looks very interesting.

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