1956 time capsule ranch house — original owner mid century modern Glenbrook Houston home

Photos by TK Images Real Estate Photography

Tour-a-Time-CapsuleThis latest time capsule house — from friend-of-the-blog real estate agent Robert Searcy — is a mid century modest jewel box of a house at just under 1,400 sq. ft. Listed at a mere $110,000 — this Houston, Texas time capsule home is a sight for sore eyes. Impeccably kept by its original owner — this house is chock full of glowing wood paneling, stunning tile work, original window treatments and retro cool appliances — like the fold-down electric burners, above. Let’s step inside…

Photos by TK Images Real Estate Photography

What a lovely exterior — note the three cut-outs in the brick masonry sheltering the front door… and how about the long low planter built under the bedroom windows to the left. This is a small, “simple” house — but the detailing is wonderful.

From the listing:

Meticulously maintained mid-century modern ranch designed by Herbert Caldwell & custom built by current owner. Open flowing layout with staggered living areas and open dining with oversize sliders to expansive deck & lavishly landscaped backyard. Loaded with cool period details such as bullet lamps, unusual vintage flip down cook tops, pristine original tile baths & hardwoods under carpet in BRs. An architect designed quality home with character in an up & coming close in historic district for less than rent!

  • Price: $110,000
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Baths: 2 full
  • Garage: 2 car attached
  • Year built: 1956
  • Square footage: 1,375
  • In Glenbrook Golf Course Community
  • Other amenities: dishwasher, disposal, microwave, electric range and oven, electric washer/dryer, gas heating, A/C, fenced back yard, deck, brick veneer exterior.
Photos by TK Images Real Estate Photography

Our tour begins in the kitchen — which is light, airy and welcoming. This galley kitchen makes practical use of every bit of space — and comes complete with warm wood cabinets and a fabulous vintage laminate pattern that doesn’t stop at the counter top, but stretches up the wall as a back splash, as well.

Photos by TK Images Real Estate Photography

On to the dining area of the kitchen, where one can eat their meals bathed in natural light from the generous patio door and enveloped by the warm wood paneling. Such a cozy place for a cup of coffee, don’t you think? Start paying attention to all the darling shutters used throughout this house.

Photos by TK Images Real Estate Photography

Just past the eating area, is the family room. The floor plan of this house is wonderfully open and spacious looking for its modest size.

Photos by TK Images Real Estate Photography
Photos by TK Images Real Estate Photography

The formal living room — painted a cheery soft aqua — continues the house’s theme of open space with large windows allowing natural light to pour in.

Notice also, there is not an excess of color in the interior design of this house. The lovely woods are the starts, accented by soft whites and blues, for the most part. It’s “less is more” — but still very cozy.

Photos by TK Images Real Estate Photography

On taller windows, the charming louvered shutters are stacked.

Photos by TK Images Real Estate Photography

The double bullet sconce lighting is consistent room-to-room, although the sconces are black in the living areas (against the wood walls) and brushed brass in the bedrooms.

Photos by TK Images Real Estate Photography

Day beds put together at 90-degree angles — mid century interior design and decorating versatility at is best. And yum: Ethan Allen Custom Room Plan furniture.

Photos by TK Images Real Estate Photography

The bathroom is filled with lovely tile work, original features and even a vintage shower curtain and towel set. A beautiful space.

Photos by TK Images Real Estate Photography

We don’t get to see much of the second bath, but it also looks to have impressive built-ins and decorative tile work.

Photos by TK Images Real Estate Photography

The exterior and plantings also look like they were lovingly maintained. The tree — with the deck designed around it — is terrific.

Photos by TK Images Real Estate Photography

We sure hope that this mid century modest gem of a house will be discovered by someone who will cherish all of these wonderful original details — and continue to take care of them — preserving them for another 50-60 years.

To buy this house…

Thanks again to Robert and to TK Images Real Estate Photography for permission to feature these photos here on Retro Renovation.

Our other stories from Robert Searcy and his time capsule listing — YUM:


  1. Robin, NV says:

    Me too! I love that I can walk down my front walkway without getting wet. We don’t have central air either. We only miss AC in July and August when the daytime temperatures are 100+. Living in the high desert, we generally get 40-50 degree temperature drops at night but there’s always a couple of weeks toward the end of summer where the temperature only drops 20 degrees at night. Boy howdy, it gets warm in the house! I have ceiling fans in nearly every room – not very mid century but truly necessary.

  2. Jim A says:

    We had those exact burners in our ’50 mid-century modern. We had to replace them, but still have them. They would need work (modern wiring) and one burner on each wasn’t working. They are cool, we had to replace them when we re-did the kitchen. If you’re interested (or anyone else) shoot me an email (ex11b90@yahoo.com) I can send you some pics. They are Frigidaire, the knobs are slightly different, I suppose because ours are 6 years older. Have had them sitting around for 7 years, would love to see them go to a good home!

  3. Scott says:

    Oh, those cut-outs! Drool!

    I also love how they painted the trim to match the walls in the living room, I think that’s one of the easiest ways to make a room look more Mid-Century than Martha. And it really helps showcase your furniture and accessories too as a montone backdrop let’s those strong shapes and detailing really stand when you eliminate the contrasting baseboards and door frames.

    Of course I’m a little prejudiced as that’s what I did in my living room too, and darn near the same color. 🙂

  4. Elizabeth says:

    The Frigidaire “flip-out-stove-top”… does anyone know the actual product name for this item? I simply MUST find one to purchase and I am not having any luck with my search… thanks 🙂

  5. Michele says:

    Dear Pyrexmaniac: same situation here on Long Island, NY. this would be considered a tear down because nobody here seems to get this retro bug. Wish it would catch on here. about to list our house (taxes outrageous) and already hearing from the Realtors that the kitchen is outdated. It’s fab! so sad.

  6. John Kent says:

    What a cool, unmolested MCM! Jewels like this are being scraped off their lots in our 1950s Fort Worth neighborhood and are being replaced by artless, pretentious, gigantic McMansions with no redeeming architectural qualities. Sad, sad, sad.

  7. cherilyn says:

    I have the exact same fold down frigidaire RBW84 cooktop. Would love to buy yours or know who repairs it and where you get parts.

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