Russell’s brand new (old) time capsule home — built by Seabees — in North Attleboro, Mass.

We start year two of RetroRenovation.com with a perfect time capsule. But this one’s not for sale.

In fact, Russell is closing on it today (if all goes right)! Yoo haah, Russell, congratulations — fantastic house!

Don’t dare tear out the pink bathrooms, or those living room pinch pleats. And – the fish wallpaper – it’s AWESOME!

On the blog every day for four months, you say? We’ll, you are sucked in, for sure — and know that owning such a treasure now binds you to our retro renovator’s code starting with, “Don’t rip ANYTHING out ’til you are 100% positive you won’t regret it later!”   Evil laugh ha ha ha ha.

Will he get to keep the pink bathroom? Or will she win, and rip it out? (Horrors!) Plus – GREAT kitchen — read on!

Dear Pam,

My wife and I are moments away from being able to call this one owner custom time capsule our home. It was love at first sight, and this is coming from someone who at the time had no appreciation at all for mid-century ranches. So of course I had to go straight to the computer and do some homework. It didn’t take long to find your site. You have been a tremendous resource. I now fully understand how lucky I am to come across such a gem. Thank You. More about the house…

The house was built by the owner and his buddies who were all Seabees in WWII. The Seabees are the Construction Battalions of the United States Navy. They were all engineers and builders. The house is really a testament to their skillful hands. Everything about the house is solid and well built. They were obviously also very in tune with the trends in house architecture at the time. Radiant heating (check), coral skylark laminate (check), Nutone food center and hood (check), retractable fixture (check), pink bathroom (check), cedar closet (check). I could go on and on. My absolute favorite detail is the stylized attic vents that mimics the slope of the roof. In addition, according the owners son the wood siding is all original. Not one shake has ever been replaced! Apparently the wife hand dipped each and every one. WOW

…. Yes, I have been to your other site [SaveThePinkBathrooms.com]. I have been going to retrorenovation-com-staging.enwf9w61-liquidwebsites.com everyday for the last four months.  Some of the things I have noted about the bathroom include: The custom cabinets slope back just like in the kitchen, The wallpaper has a underwater theme with fish swimming around pink treasure chests, the built-in next to the toilet has magazine racks and also gives access to the bath plumbing, the wall tile continues between the closet and the door (what attention to detail), there is a cup/toothbrush/soap holder on both ends. Given the condition of the wallpaper I think it has to go. Saving the pink bathroom is a battle that has already started between my wife and I. Yep, the man wants to keep the pink, she thinks it has got to go. I’m making progress!

One more story…..Also attached a photo of the Nutone food center. When we first saw the house I asked the realtor what it was. He told me it was a built-in blender and that it still worked. When I laughed and said “but what about the parts” he opened a kitchen cabinet, and there were all the original parts and attachments including the manual/cookbook. All in perfect condition.

We are glad you like the house. Thank you again for your wonderful site and I will keep you updated on some of the renovations we plan to do in the coming months.


Thank you, Russell. You are so fortunate to have this home – and it sounds so fortunate to have you. I am for sure going to come visit soon!

  1. Rita says:

    Just found this site and all I can say is how come I couldn’t find any people like those that visit here when I was selling my mother’s house – where I literally grew up – in West Toledo / Sylvania Ohio this past year.

    Gorgeous maple kitchen cabinet doors / drawer fronts – the frames were painted white enamel to set them off. By the way, having been built in 1955, the cabinets naturally went all the way to the ceiling. None of this “gap” stuff between the tops of the cabinets and the ceilings like in newer construction.

    First floor bath had all the original (and beautiful) tiling (all the way around the bathroom) including the requisite herringbone pattern in the floor.

    BIG sliding door closets.

    Great house, mechanicals and structure were all right up to date, and oh, by the way, the kitchen had a 1965 Frigidaire Imperial Range (aka the “Elvis” stove)!

    Great neighborhood – all mature oaks (and an original Lustron home a few streets over)

    So, as a consequence of my sister and I both living out of town we sadly had to sell the house. Took over a year and a half and at a price down by a third over what it would have gone for just a few years earlier – Thanks Wall Street for helping to crush home values!

    Worst part was getting the comments back from the realtor from showings that the kitchen was “dated.” Aughghghgh the Philistines amongst us! I would have moved back home in a heartbeat if my work had been back there!

    Anyway, finding this site has renewed my faith that there are still people of taste out there.

    By the way, if any of you are thinking of relocating, my mother’s all brick, 1800 square foot, gorgeous home ultimately sold for $124k. Some of the lowest costs of living in the country (and by the way, Toledo is a lovely place to live).

  2. Sumac Sue says:

    Just catching up on my retro reno reading, and am delighted to see this great house. So crisp and tidy! I am all for keeping that pink bathroom too – the thought of those Seabees, a bunch of Popeye the Sailor Man types, building such a cheerful bathroom for the little missus, well, how could you do away with such a testament of love? It just shouts optimism! Congratulations on your wonderful new home.

  3. Femme1 says:

    Great house! I’d love to see a close-up of those bathroom tiles. And I’ll put my two cents in for saving the pink bathroom…just send your wife here to RetroReno and we’ll convince her!! Pam may have to make a bathroom intervention call to your house. :>

  4. sleepingbee says:

    What a fabulous find Russell! Your home is going to be so much fun! I love those frosted sliding doors on the cabinet over the peninsula. Also, I must echo everyone’s plea…save the pink bathroom. From experience I will tell you that a honking, luxurious shower head can make almost any objection regarding the bathroom go away! The tiles on the bathroom floor are divine. Have fun making it yours!

  5. Fan-flipping-tastic! What a wonderful house!
    Please, please, please …. KEEP that pink bathroom! I know a man wants to keep his wife happy, but buy her some nice chotksy as a bribe to keep the bathroom!
    And those kitchen cabinets are fab-u-lous!
    My only suggestion (purest that I am) would be to take out the modern black range top and oven and replace them with period originals … one by O’Keefe and Merritt, or Chambers, or Wedgewood, or Western Holly.
    Congratulations on a great purchase, and best of luck in your new home!

  6. BSMet94 says:

    I remember when I was a kid (1980s), my aunt and uncle in Montana had a perfect 1950s ranch (and they actually lived on a ranch, no less). They had that exact Nu-Tone thingy in the kitchen counter top where there was a pass-through under the cabinets to the dining room. The cabinet hardware and Nu-Tone thingy (I don’t remember what it was for) were copper plated. I saw that (copper hardware on birch, or knotty pine cabinets) a lot as a kid in Montana, but I simply thought it was because we had copper mines nearby.

  7. DanaMc says:

    What a beautiful house!
    And, in such excellent condition!

    As for the pink bathroom…you can just call me “Dana – Destroyer of 3 vintage ’59 bathrooms.” (I wasn’t retro savy yet. And, I miss every build-in soap holder.)


    Head to your local blind of fabric shop and borrow a fabric book. Even if you don’t love any patterns – drag two chars in that pink bath – and page through the book. Sooner or later you will find some color that both of you agree will work with the pink.

    Gray, blue, while, black…who knows. But, *together* you can find something to build on. Then, you can find a retro style *together* using your chosen palette.

    What an awesome find!
    Dana in Chicagoland
    A/K/A “Dana – recovering….Destroyer of Vintage Bathrooms”

  8. VacationBarbie says:

    Wow. I’m jealous too! It’s so clean and crisp looking. I’m happy to see the built-in fireplace tool set, the house I’m in escrow on has this feature as well. But, mine are not shiny like these…is it okay to polish them? I’m also keeping my fingers crossed that the hardwood floors under the carpet look like Russel’s too.

  9. nancyb says:

    Congratualtions to you and your wife, Russel. How exciting… I’m jealous! I want a pink bathroom with double sinks, a screened-in patio, and a pass-through from the kitchen. I’d divorce my spouse before I’d take out that bathroom! Don’t give in, stand strong – ha, ha!

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