Impeccable 1972 time capsule house in San Antonio — 33 photos

1971 time capsule houseSnaps to reader Deanna, who tipped me off this this house — our first time capsule of 2014. This 1972 contemporary style home is in San Antonio, Texas. It has been with the original owners since they built it — and it appears to have been impeccably maintained… clearly, it was carefully decorated, totally beloved. Deanna wrote, “This house looks like it hasn’t been touched since it was built in 1971. I love everything about it!” Me, too! This house needs an appreciative buyer, fast! Mega thanks to listing agent Diana Gonzalez and real estate marketing firm CirclePix and photographer Matthew Wingate for permission to feature the photos. Let’s take a look. 

1970s time capsule house

From the listing:

Park-like setting in Castle Hills! Enjoy large covered patio with mature trees in this one story 3 bedrooms/2 bathrooms home on 0.43 acres with a flex room that has a full bath that can be used an a study/office, mother in law suite or a maid’s quarters. Oversized family room with fireplace is great for family gatherings and a separate formal living allows for privacy. Close to the Medical Center, airport and shopping. Listing price is #335,000.

1970s kitchen

Above: The kitchen has laminate-covered cabinets in a bleached out wood grain — so far in all my years of blogging, I haven’t seen many (any?) quite like this. Notice the radius edge — that is a fancy touch. We get to see Brady Bunch bittersweet orange laminate counter tops…

vintage sub zero refrigerator… I spy a vintage Sub-Zero refrigerator…

Hardwick Starline oven… I cropped the original Hardwick Starline oven from Matthew Wingate’s lovely photo. Note, he told me he stitched together vertical shots to create the wide panoramas, that’s why you’re seeing the little alignment mis-match in this photo and in some of the other photos. Beautiful graphics on the Starline. AND: I love the placement of this bar sink — brilliant if you have the space for it!

1970s-time-capsule-house-19… The pantry wall of the kitchen…

home intercom vintage… Yes: An intercom!

quilted diamond backsplash… And above: Note the quilted diamond satin-finish stainless steel rangetop backsplash — nicely done, esspecially in that it is repeated in the drainboard sink, the island top, and the exhaust fan. I think that stainless steel range/oven backsplashes  can be tricky to pull off successfully. You don’t want them to “scream.” This one seems to work because, overall, the kitchen is low-chroma, that is: Not a  lot of strong colors — the tonality of all the features is about the same.

laminate wall panelsThis house makes extensive use of laminate. It makes me wonder if the original owners were friends of Ralph Wilson, head of Wilsonart and creator of the Ralph & Sunny Wilson house o’ laminate in Temple, Texas. Matthew told me that the walls of this great room/living room are all laminate. Look at the wall on the right side of the photo — that is laminate inset and edged in radiating rectangles…

1971 time capsule house… now look to the left to see the other side of the wall: In the center of the radiating rectangles is a mirror, also edged. To the right and left of the fireplace, these are triptychs of tall narrow mirrors — again, brilliant design!

terrazzo floorsAll the floors in this space and into the kitchen — look to be terrazzo to me.

door screensAbove: Heading back to the front of the house… I suspect that the purpose of these iron filigree screens is purely decorative.

mid century front door1970s-front-door-1To be sure, the front door is fabulous. The escutcheon (the piece behind the doorknob) appears to be original Schlage.

painted grasscloth wallpaperAbove: This sitting room is beautiful. I would say that’s hand-painted grasscloth along the back wall — lovely!

1970s denLooking at this room from the vantage of the grasscloth wall…

swag light 1970s… Matthew’s favorite feature was the swag light that looks like a fountain (I guess) and seems to have been designed right into its own bricked nook. While setting up photo permissions, I had just the best time talking to photographer Matthew Wingate about this house. Of course, he is highly visual — like us — so it sounds like he really enjoyed discovering, then photographing, the very special touches throughout this house. I am going to guess that the family selling the house also will be so happy to have these wonderful memories of their home. I’m so grateful to both Diana and Matthew for permission to archive these images here — wonderful design inspiration.

And fingers crossed: That it finds an appreciative buyer(s), who won’t change too much. This is exceptional example of beautiful early 1970s interior design and craftsmanship.

Link love:

Be sure to check out the slide show — more photos — rendered big! — including of the bathrooms, more of the bedrooms, and the exterior. Tips to using the slide show: Click on any image, it will enlarge… use the arrows below the photo to move forward or back… you can start or stop at any image.

  1. Ann B says:

    Pam, are you sure the grass cloth is painted? Maybe my eyesight is worse than I thought but I wondered if it was a metal sculpture of a lotus tree? They were popular back then. The petals were painted sort of a creamy white but the rest was the natural brass maybe with some antiquing in the crevices of the branches. They were so cool.

    1. pam kueber says:

      hmmmmm…. I am not sure. I will take a closer look at the high-res images that Matthew sent me and report back…

    2. pam kueber says:

      I cropped the image to provide a better look at the wallpaper — it clearly is painted grass cloth. I think it’s now #12 in the slide show.

      1. Ann B says:

        The more I look at this house, the more I love it. We’re in the process of rehabbing an early 1960’s era high rise co-op apartment. Can’t afford to put all of it back to original but are doing what we reasonably can. I’ll submit pictures when it’s done. Your site has been very helpful as I decide what to do.

  2. Deanna says:

    Hi, I am so glad you featured this home! I want it even more now! I work near Castle Hills and we would love to own a home in that area.

    I’m not sure that I agree that those are mirrors on the side of the fireplace because it looks like decorative items are placed in the bottom of the opening. It’s most obvious on the one on the right (as you face the fireplace).

    What do you think?

    1. pam kueber says:

      hmmmm…. I will ask the agent. I am pretty sure Matthew told me they were mirrors. Maybe they are mirrored recessed shelves — and we are both right!

  3. Scott says:

    I’m not a fireplace person but that fireplace with those flanking walls with triple openings is incredible. And a house my size with an intercom would be ridiculous but I’m not going to say I will never have one. Perhaps my favorite element is all-the-clutter-out-of-view pantry.

    And me three, four, eight, love the Venus, goddess of oil lamp, partly because they are so crazy and partly because (i’ll admit it) I have no idea how they work. Everytime I spot a working example at an antique mall I am mesmerized.

  4. Libby says:

    That “fountain” is a ’70’s era oil lamp. Those are actually beads of oil dripping down wires around the figurine to give it a fountain effect. There was one at the local Italian restaurant we frequented as a child. I remember being fascinated by it….touched it one time thinking it was water LOL

  5. tammyCA says:

    ‘tho the ’70s era isn’t my favorite that house is quite amazing and stylish and I wouldn’t say no to it. I do remember the oil hanging lamps..my brother had one in his apt. In the ’70s..cool to look at but also collected the dust. 🙂

  6. Pam says:

    I grew up in Arizona and we used to go to the Tri-City Mall in Mesa which was built in 1968. It had a huge (35ft) ‘rain fountain’ in the lobby area that was like one of those oil lamps on steroids. It had something like 1,500 strings for the oil to drip down. I could stare at that thing for hours! Sadly the mall was torn down in 1998, and the fountain was probably long gone before that. The memories linger, though!

  7. Nora Stengrim says:

    The only thing wrong with this house that I can see is that it’s not in my area with my name on the deed. This is amazing. I love that type of pantry in the kitchen instead of the walk in ones. Also, the built in drawers and storage in the master. And the closets or cupboards down the hallway. Perfect. And the outside patio area. And the curb appeal from the front. And…..

  8. suz b says:

    WOW, IF I didn’t have the perfect job in CA and a recently remodeled kitchen with perfectly powder coated St. Charles cabinets and boomerang Formica and wall box, I’d put an offer in on this house. What a gem!

  9. Richard S says:

    GROOVYtoDIEfor. Reminds me of the Decker’s house (set) from “Swingtown” just w/o the 70s hyper-mod decor. Very classy home: I would totally buy this house in a heartbeat. Here’s to hoping the new owner doesn’t scrape it; Too much of that going on here in Denver with immaculate time-capsule homes from the 70s. 🙁

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