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. retroppo says:

    Wow! that’s all I can say…it’s all fabulous! I especially like the grey wall in the living room with the big window that is framed with lovely curtains & pelmet. This room has a wonderful feeling to it! Is the grey on the wall wallpaper or some sort of faux wood panelling? Thanks for sharing, a great sneek peek into the past x

  2. amysue says:

    Ahhh….I believe they are vct tiles on the basement floor. We just had them stripped and waxed and they look brand new!

    The living fireplace wall is whitewashed wood paneling. My friends dad was over the other night and he used to work for a wood paneling company in Portland many years ago and he had never seen anything like them. We are so lucky to have so many original and custom details and I love sharing it with all of you.

    As far as living room colors go, I have swatches of burma jade, caribbean coral and plymouth green on every wall except the window wall in the living room which is all coral and looks phenomenal. You were sooooo right, thanks Pam!

  3. Pingback:Retro Renovation » Vintage barkcloth pinch-pleats: Very desirable for your postwar retro renovation!

  4. Pingback:Retro Renovation » Sunday retro renovation photo gallery

  5. GiNie' says:

    Love the bathroom! Where or how can I find the sink like the one you have? What kind of bathroom lighting is that? Thanks!

  6. John says:

    We have a blue hood vent and want to do-over our kitchen – with blue appliances. Do you know the best way to do this? Of course, the color palette available today is not even close to the color that we need for the fridge, dishwasher and range.

    Thank you, your site is truly inspiring!


  7. Barbara says:

    I love seeing an original 1953 kitchen. Our house was also built in ’53 and I’ve often wondered if our countertops were original. I’m seeing now that they are nearly identical to yours which is awesome.

    Gorgeous house!

  8. Vdog In Pink says:

    Does anyone know where to get those knobs that are on your kitchen cabinets?

    I have been looking for those for my 1955 ranch without any luck.

    Gorgeous house! I also adore that chaise lounge by the fireplace!

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