Same owners for 70+ years, this 1940 Seattle time capsule house has the most amazing basement ever — 24 photos

vintage-woodwork-knotty-pineTour-a-Time-CapsuleImagine living in one home for more than 70 years. The original owners of this charming 1940 time capsule in Seattle, Washington — listed by Realtor Lynly Callaway did just that. Over the years they thoughtfully decorated, loved and cared for every square inch — evident by the many unique custom details — from the adorable vintage kitchen to the extraordinary nautical-themed knotty pine basement. A home this charismatic was sure to go fast, and is already under contract. The hopefully soon-to-be new owners undoubtedly also fell in love with the original charm found in this house. Thanks to reader Kim for pointing us in the property’s direction and photographer Miguel Edwards from Vista Estate Imaging, for allowing us to feature his photos of this very special listing. 


Mid-century-house-exteriorFrom the listing:

  • Year built: 1940
  • Price: $569,000
  • Sq. Ft.: 2,150
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Bathrooms: 1.75

Classic and timeless, this home is located on a wonderful “Sound-view” street in the heart of Sunset Hill! Lovingly maintained, and loaded with character and charm, this 1-story with basement home boasts custom crafted elements and gracious living spaces. Gorgeous main-floor hardwood flooring, a spacious & bright family room, & an expansive basement area are just a few highlights of this home. Excellent proximity to restaurants, the Ballard Locks, Shilshole Marina, & popular Golden Gardens Park!

vintage-white-and-red-kitchenThis adorable vintage kitchen is filled with fun accents — the matching red and white enamel table and chairs, the half circle built-in shelving, and a cozy corner sink.

vintage-red-and-white-kitchenTaking a closer look — we can see that the sink area takes full advantage of the view provided by the corner windows. Every bit of space is utilized in this modest kitchen, including the cupboards in the soffit over the sink. Decorative scalloped moulding and tile accents add to the kitchen’s coordinated look. Do I spy Hall-Mack recessed soap dishes on either side of the wall mounted faucet?

Hollywood-Regency-vintage-bathroomThe home’s main bathroom — by contrast to the kitchen — feels very lavish. Its Hollywood Regency accents, metallic wallpaper and extravagant chandelier make this bathroom feel like a dressing room for the stars.

vintage-knotty-pine-basementThe upstairs is a total dream, but wait: The out-of-this-world magic of this home can be found in the basement. Descending the stairs is like boarding a ship — nautical details are everywhere.

vintage-knotty-pine-basement-rec-room knotty-pine-utility-room-vintageThe wood work alone is the stuff dreams are made of — from the cut outs on the railing to the scalloped trim. Every space was optimized for maximum storage, with many closets and cupboards hidden by glowing wood doors. Even the utilitarian laundry area was made to feel special with matching storage cabinets, window treatments and a linoleum area rug pattern tiled directly into the floor. And, of course, it all looks to have been impeccably maintained.

vintage-knotty-pine-bar-basementThe bar area must have been home to many good times. The lowered ceiling in this area of the basement helps the bar feel like a separate, defined space and the round table and banquette seating make clever use of what must be a hidden support column.

mid-century-basement-barMirrors behind the seating reflect the fireplace and living area on the opposite side of the room — and make the space feel larger and brighter by reflecting the natural light from the basement windows.


vintage-Nautical-Themed-BasementOn the other side of the basement sits a living area that acts as a guest bedroom and office. This part of the basement boasts one of the seller’s favorite original features. According to listing agent Lynly Callaway:

One of the coolest features of the basement wasn’t ready by the time we did our original photo shoot. In keeping with the nautical-theme of the basement, two of the walls (bottom half) were “wrapped” in a custom canvas with grommets and rope secured to the chair rail to emulate being on a boat.

Lynly and photographer Miguel Edwards were kind enough to take time to return to the home (even after it was under contract) to make sure this fun original detail was captured for our story.

Nautical-Themed-Basement-vintageMega thanks to Realtor Lynly Callaway for going above and beyond to get permission for us to feature this home from the sellers and the buyers and for working with photographer Miguel Edwards from Vista Estate Imaging to return to the property and capture the additional details of this home’s fabulous nautical themed basement just for our story. We LOVE this house, and wish the new owners many happy years in it!

To see all of the charming details in this vintage home, view our slideshow:

Tips to view slide show: Click on first image… it will enlarge and you can also read my captions… move forward or back via arrows below the photo… you can start or stop at any image:

  1. Pat says:

    The perfect kitchen, I love it and I love knotty pine basements! I especially like the red trim on the cupboards, my favorite kitchen color.

  2. JeffK says:

    Hah! My Seattle basement is almost the same – paneling, ceiling, and just a more beige floor tile. Mine just needs the kitsch!

  3. Nicole says:

    I was curious about the square footage of the basement (total)–it looks positively enormous! And just think what that was like back in 1940, when most people had much smaller homes.Wow! I love the layout and feel of the basement, and was wondering how big it was (I know the total sq ft of the house, but just the basement is what I need), as I am looking to incorporate something similiar in my design for my dream home. Any info/ideas would be greatly appreciated. 🙂

    1. Lynly Callaway says:

      Hi Nicole!
      This is Lynly, the listing agent. Sorry I’m just now seeing your post – a month later… According to the tax records, the square footage of the basement is abound 1200sf. I’m thinking that may be including the 1-car garage as well, as while it is a ‘spacious’ basement, I’m not sure it’s THAT big. : ) Hope that helps a little…

  4. Trish says:

    Just now saw the posting for this house. I live in Tacoma about 30 miles away. This neighborhood (the larger area of Seattle this is located in) is called Ballard and traditionally many Scandinavian immigrants and more particularly fishermen lived in this part of town. In fact if anyone has ever watched the TV show “Deadliest Catch” this neighborhood is where captain Sig Hansen and his brothers are from, I think they may live in the suburbs now but there are still lots of fishing boats here including theirs when it’s not out fishing. Maybe some others on the show are here too. Anyway this might explain the ultra cool nautical basement. Maybe the original owner was a fisherman?

  5. GabrielDug says:

    Hi, just joined to and looking to play a part in the future of this forum – looking to bring some of my ideas to the table!

  6. david russell says:

    Streamline Moderne – I wonder if the basement decor was influenced by the Queen Mary and the Normandie?

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