1964 split level time capsule – great midcentury mailbox and kitchen

THE ESTATE SALE ON FRIDAY was a jackpot — the 1964, single-owner split level house was in gorgeous condition. What I really liked about it was that it was a very middle class, unpretentious house – but it had features that were clearly chosen for their high quality and craftsmanship. It was timeless in the true sense that everything about the house can endure. Oh lordy, I hope that the new owners understand what they have in hand! Today, two slide shows: The first of an awesome midcentury mailbox, recessed into the roman marble brick of the exterior. I know lots of readers will be so envious of this feature, I’ve never seen anything like it yet. And second, a fabulous time capsule kitchen — it includes two-tone cabinetry, a great little breakfast counter with original stools, and yellow GE appliances with gorgeous design features. One of my new favorites ever — like this house. 27 photos in all.

To start: Here’s the mailbox. Fabulous! Click on the first image to enlarge, then proceed through the slide show.

And here is the kitchen. I wish I’d taken more photos of the GE dishwasher. Like the built-in yellow oven and range top exhaust fan, it is a real beauty. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous! The fridge is a replacement, of course, the harvest gold is a bit off the yellow, but still an uber-cool refrigerator. And notice how the wall cabinets above the breakfast counter are in a different material (darker laminate), with glass on the dining room side, and suspended. This house is all about the details! More photos to come, tomorrow. 

  1. pam kueber says:

    Hmmm. St. Christopher, I have been thinking about your comments. Regarding the darker finish on the end of the kitchen – I think it’s a really interesting concept…Why did they do it? I think: To differentiate/transition the space heading into the more formal, adjacent, yet still open-concept dining room.

    Regarding the color combo, I agree – not as matchy matchy as we are perhaps used to. But that yellow and green are very close to each other on the color wheel. The wallpaper ties it together. And the photo doesn’t do the whole thing justice – in person it was really quite sweet.

    The kitchen certainly gets my thumbs up for its originality and attention to detail – even though some could argue it’s not their cup o’ tea!

  2. Femme1 says:

    Did you pass up that portrait of Pope Paul VI that was for sale?? It’d be a nice retro touch for a good Catholic home!

  3. pam kueber says:

    Holyoke Cindy – I thought of you the very minute I saw that mailbox, I knew that you would love it!

    Femme1, nope, I passed on the pope.

    But Mindy, for sure I did nab some stuff. My pride of the day: A 1955 Hoover Constellation vacuum, used but still with its original box and paperwork. Mr. RetroRenovation was not pleased with the size … but he thought the vacuum was pretty cool. I’ll try and get a picture up at some point. I also bought some other knick knacks. There was some great Heywood Wakefield modern furniture including a bedroom set with kingsized headboard (hard to find). The prices were great. Sigh.

  4. jane says:

    I was just surfing and found your incredible website. I have always been crazy for mid century design and have photos and old magazine pages galore to share. I am ten years into my retro renovation of a 60s ranch and I just love it. My heart races when I see lamps in thrift stores, etc etc. and I could cry when I see people ripping out cool kitchens and bathrooms to “update”. Again, I am thrilled to find others with am obcession for kitsch,and I will check back later, but I have to get back to work.

  5. Maryanna says:

    Wow! I do hope you got photos of the rest of the house. I’m dying to see more of that brick accent wall and the bathrooms!

  6. John Korolow says:

    This kitchen is really beautiful. If the new owners of the house don’t appreciate the original 1960s appliances then someone should go and save them – they can probably bought for a song of the new owners change this place into a 2009 kitchen (of course, I hope they don’t). I think the GE range with the overhead heat controls really unique and really attractive, nothing like it is made anymore. The colors of the apliances may not be an exact match but they are all still very representative of the 1960s (the harvest gold refrigerator may even be from the 1970s as harvest gold could still be purchased into the 1977 season of major appliances even though nasty almond and plain white began to take over by 1977/78). I also like the use of the dark walnut laminate for the breakfast counter as that woodtone color breaks up the lighter colors used elsewhere in the whole scheme.

  7. Sarah says:

    I love the backsplash of this kitchen. I am doing a remodel and wanted to include a backsplash like this in jadite. Does anyone know where I can find a tile company with jadite tile or a company that will customize a tile color based on a sample (ie of paint)?
    Please help – I will have to make my tile choices soon!!

      1. Sarah says:

        thanks Pam,
        I researched the tile companys further and found a glazed ceramic tile that matches the color of Fire-King Jadite that I hoping to find. It is “40 W green” made by the B&W tile company. Your website has been invaluable to planning the retro design of various rooms included in my remodel. Even though the remodel has just begun I have been doing research and planning for months. I will definitely share photos and details when it is complete.

  8. Sarah says:

    Hi Pam,

    With the green tile backsplash in this kitchen I would guess the grout size to be 1/8th. Do you agree? Was 1/8 the standard grout size you see in the old kitchens and bathrooms of yesteryear?

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