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1957 Minnesota time capsule house — Shoji screens, chinoiserie lighting and more mid century modern Asian inspired details

mid-century-entry-with-slate-floorsTour-a-Time-CapsulePam and I were thrilled when reader Joan tipped us off to this gorgeous 1957 mid century home in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. Featured for sale by Edina Realty, this original-owner home appears to have a strong Asian influence — with warm walnut paneling on the walls and ceilings… shoji screens and chinoiserie lighting. And: Peek at that front door. This house is detailed to the nines. There’s also a vintage St. Charles kitchen with original Thermador appliances. We’d love to know more about the architect. This home also has had 15 minutes of Hollywood fame — read on for the details and for 17 lovely photos of this time capsule house.

mid-century-ranch-house-built-into-hillThe house is sited on on a spacious, wooded lot set into a hillside. This allows the garage to be tucked under the main part of the house — making it much less obtrusive. The driveway is edged with a stone wall — adding to the mid century curb appeal — as well as holding back the hill. Pam came up with the term “unassuming” to describe the exterior. Very nice — but not much indication of the fabulosity going on inside. We find this to be true with many mid century modest houses.

back-of-mid-century-house-with-deckAround the back, we can see the lower level is exposed — creating a walk-out basement with room for many windows to bring in natural light.

deck-on-mid-century-houseAbove the walk-out basement, a long deck with angled railing stretches half the length of the back of the house — the perfect place to sit and take in the view. This angled railing style was used pretty commonly on mid century ranch houses, we think — although we *think* we tend to see thicker rails.

back-yard-of-mid-century-houseland-around-houseJust beyond the wooded yard sits a golf course. Wow — nice view indeed!

mid-century-entry-with-slate-floorsThe the walnut wood paneling on the walls and ceilings looks to be of spectacular quality — and makes the home feel so  inviting.

And, of course the shoji screens — fantastic! We’re not sure we see these too often in midcentury houses so far inland.

mid-century-home mid-century-hallway-with-slate-floorsThe stone (slate?) flooring in the entry way is just beautiful — and it complements the walnut paneling so well. Also of particular interest is the railing around the stairs to the basement — with rails that look to match those outside — and with an overall design that also elegantly mirrors the lines on the shoji doors. And: Note the ceiling fixtures — they appear to be chinoiserie, also reflecting the oriental inspirations throughout this house.

mid-century-living-room-wood-wallsThe main living area features breathtaking high walnut ceilings, large open expanses of space, oodles of light pouring in from the walls of windows, a view of the wooded lot — all coming together to create mid century at its best. Again, we see attention to detail that is extraordinary — see the wood soffits/beams with hidden up lighting?

mid-century-living-room-wood-ceilingwood-built-in-shelves-and-desk-retroEven though they have books and decorative pieces on them — these lovely built in shelves still look streamlined and minimalistic. The medium tone of the walnut wood shelves — and the fact that they match the walls — seems to camouflage the items that are arranged on them. Magic de-cluttering perhaps?

mid-century-fireplace-denThe home has several fireplaces — the one above is even set up to use for cooking.

white-mid-century-kitchen

But why would you want to cook in the fireplace when you could do your cooking in this wonderful St. Charles metal kitchen? Two built-in ovens! Thermador?

White-retro-mid-century-kitchenI spy several pull out cutting boards, a corner sink, an extra long range hood that stretches the entire length of the sitting area, and a set of warming drawers!

mid-century-fireplace-brickHere are some shots of the light-filled lower level — complete with turquoise pinch pleat draperies. (Note how they extend just below the sash/trim — this is one of the classic ways “to do” pinch pleats.  The brick fireplace that stretches the entire length of one side of the room must be a favorite place to gather on chilly evenings

mid-century-living-room-windowsIt looks like a lighter wood was chosen for the lower level paneling — oak perhaps? Could those large floor tiles be terrazzo?  Hopefully whoever buys this home will be able to keep the curved sofa — it fits so nicely into this space.

Alas — we asked, but no photos of the bathrooms were taken. There are two full baths, two 3/4 baths (does that mean with just showers, not tubs?) and a half bath. Usually, we have found that when there are no bathroom photos, it’s because they are “dated” — and you know that for us, that is a Good Thing!

The listing mentions that this home was recently featured in the film “Thin Ice.” After watching the trailer, I saw a few glimpses of what could be the shoji screens in the upper level of the house. What an interesting bit of history on this beautiful home.

From the listing:

Original owner, mid-century modern home situated on Minneapolis Golf Course. Fab, retro thru-out. St. Charles kit, walnut paneling, shoji doors, amazing work, classic modern details… Fantastic views, quiet setting.

  • Price: $569,000
  • Lot size: 1 Acre
  • Year built: 1957
  • Square Footage (approx): 2,655 Sq. Ft. Above Ground\1,966 Sq. Ft. Below Ground
  • Appliances: Range, Cooktop, Wall Oven, Indoor Grill, Exhaust Fan/Hood, Dishwasher, Refrigerator, Washer, Dryer, Water Softener – Owned, Disposal
  • Flooring: Tile
  • Cooling: Central Air
  • Heating: Gas Heat, Forced Air
  • Basement: Walkout, Full
  • Fireplaces: 3, Living Room, Family Room, Amusement Room, Wood Burning
  • Beds: 7
  • Baths: 2 Full/2 Three-Qtr/1 Half
  • Additional Interior Features: Natural Woodwork, Sauna, Vaulted Ceiling(s), Security System, Main Floor Bedroom, 3 BR on One Level, 4 BR on One Level
  • Additional Room Information
  • Family Room: Main Level, Lower Level
  • Laundry: Main Floor Laundry
  • Bath Description: Main Floor Full Bath, Main Floor 3/4 Bath, Main Floor 1/2 Bath, Private Master, 3/4 Master
  • The home sits on the edge of a golf course

For further information contact: Sheri Fine at Edina Realty
(612) 720-2442

Special thanks goes out to listing agent Sheri Fine from Edina Realty for allowing us to feature this home and to Kyle Chiodo from 20/20 Home Photography for allowing us to use his beautiful photos in this story.

See our complete archive of Time Capsule Houses here.

  1. Rob says:

    Simply amazing, this house is just a few doors down the street from us and I never would have guessed how incredible the interior is based on the view from the street. Great find!

  2. Steve says:

    I have one similar to the listing. 2700 sq ft. Reno costs. 200000. More square footage. Means. More fun. Means more money. 🙂

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