1952 time capsule house with luscious, original terracotta floors and attached greenhouse

brick floors

Tour-a-Time-CapsuleWhen we feature time capsule houses here on Retro Renovation, we are fundamentally looking to examine original details that give us clues to how we could remodel and decorate our own vintage homes. With that goal in mind, let’s take a look inside this lovely 1952 time capsule home in Evanston, Illinois — listed for sale by Broker Jeri Schmidt.  In particular, we were intrigued by (1) the stunning glazed terracotta floors and (2) the attached greenhouse. Yes, the house is not a “true” time capsule — the kitchen and bathrooms appear to have updates; but, they did them very nicely! Thanks to the tip from Reader Brty and photos courtesy of VHT Photography, let’s take a tour of this lovely house.

mid-century-modern-ranch-housemid-century-living-room-fireplaceFrom the listing:

Price: $600,000 Year built: 1952 Square footage: 3,000 Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 2 Full, 1 Partial Mid century modern stunning 3000 sq.ft. home in great neighborhood. Heated stone floors, space pac air conditioning, fireplace, updated gourmet kitchen & breakfast room with high end appliances, spacious & bright family room, 3 first floor bedrooms, gallery & attached greenhouse. 2nd floor offers a spacious master bedroom suite with walk in closet & master bath with onyx floors, double sinks, granite countertops, soaking tub & separate shower. Large LG steam front loading washer & dryer. High tech heating system & tankless water heater. Nicely landscaped yard & patio for outside enjoyment. Attached 2+ car garage.

mid-century-modern-kitchen-tiled-floorThe home’s original stone floors are gorgeous — and are unlike any flooring we’ve seen so far in our time capsule coverage. I asked Jeri, the listing agent, if these floors are truly stone, or if they are ceramic, brick or some other material. Her reply:

The stone flooring in the hall, living room, back bedroom & kitchen. According to the owner it should just be called stone. It does not appear to be ceramic because there are absolutely no chips and I don’t think it is brick.

But you know what: Pam says a reader on Facebook says that the floors are glazed terracotta. She says this makes more sense to her. So we’re sayin’: Glazed terracotta — at least for some of them.

And yes — you don’t see them featured very often here on Retro Renovation — but, granite counter tops. They were very well selected — harmonizing beautifully with the original stone/ceramic floors. mid-century-living-roomThe den has an interesting array of vintage lighting — large, rectangular recessed lights, a huge vintage fixture in the center of the room, and what look to be eyeball recessed lights and a track for additional lights. Another favorite feature in the room are the cheery yellow wall panels and exposed brick. mid-century-modern-bathroomThis spacious bathroom blends new updates with the charming yellow (harvest gold?) mid century fixtures and tile. Though the onyx floor tiles in this bathroom are not original, Jeri says they are also not new, but are in great shape. One thing is for sure — we like them. mid-century-porch-fountainOne of the most intriguing features of the home is the attached greenhouse and porch combination that boasts what appears to be a rather large, stone water feature. How I’d love to have something like this at my house. Mega thanks to Broker Jeri Schmidt for allowing us to feature this wonderful home, and to VHT Photography for taking such great photos for us to share with you. For more information about this property, contact Jeri Schmidt at jeri.schmidt@cbexchange.com or (847) 866-8200. 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. Delaine Zody says:

      Wow. Just looked at this listing. Cannot believe the price or the others listed on the page. So low in comparison to our prices. However, property taxes blew me away. Those are really high. Guess it all evens out.

  1. Delaine Zody says:

    So much of this house makes me happy as I see many pieces of my own furniture throughout the house. I had never seen another rocking horse like ours. The house really does need to be in California.

  2. Jonny says:

    I agree that any “updates” that were made all look like they fit well with the original design. I don’t think I’d have to change a thing to the house itself, and that’s rare.

    With the right furniture and appliances moved in, it’d be perfect.

    I love that wall of windows in front with the blue soffits! At first glance, it looks small, but use that front door to give it some scale, that wall must be huge!

  3. Anastasia says:

    Whatever was done, was done with love for the original structure & original intent of the house. Beautiful!

  4. AH says:

    When I was a kid, when that house would have been built, the attached greenhouse would have been called a “conservatory,”

  5. miyapiya says:

    Love this house! So surprised to see that it is in suburban Chicago, it looks so much like a California Eichler. I live 2 hours away and it is a very unusual house, inside and out, for this area. They did some good updating without completely ruining the midcentury feel.

  6. Maryanna says:

    I’m curious about the flooring that appears to be light colored wood. Is that original? Or is it a new laminate?
    I love the stone floors, and of course the windows and ceilings are to die for!

  7. Robin, NV says:

    I agree with Mary Elizabeth – the updates throughout are very tastefully done and honor the original decor and design elements wonderfully. I never thought I’d say this but I do like the granite countertops. The owners clearly tried hard to match it to the floor. Speaking of which does anyone know what the floors are made of?

  8. Mary Elizabeth says:

    True, Jay, it looks like this wonderful house was updated about on the schedule you mentioned. But I agree the updates keep the original feel of the house. The kitchen still looks mid-century, even with the granite. The bathroom is amazing–the mirrored cabinets above the vanity, the vanity itself, the yellow tub with a new surround. All gorgeous and tasteful, with good use of color and natural light.

    I was looking at the “eyeball” pot lights on the ceiling, and thought about the article discussing atomic light fixtures and the latest about replacement bulbs and energy laws. So I thought I would let you all know that LED replacements are available for pot lights/recessed lights. We have installed them in our kitchen and over the shower in the old bath. They don’t get hot, so they don’t heat up the insulation or cast heat into the room. Some designs are less deep than the original pot lights, so you can use them as replacements or as new installations. They are also dimmable. And they last a long, long time before needing to be replaced, so for those of you that have cathedral ceilings, etc. you don’t have to get out a big ladder to replace them for another 20 years or so.

    1. Kelly Wittenauer says:

      Mary Elizabeth,
      Do your LED bulbs cause radio interference? We used several LED recessed lights when we built our new home year before last. With the supposed phase out of incandescents, and our dislike of the warmup time required for CFLs to achieve brightness, we thought it a good choice. Trouble is, we have to turn them off to listen to the radio. They cause static like some old florescent tubes do. I haven’t yet tried any of the LED replacement bulbs, for fear that they will as well.

      1. Robin, NV says:

        I just asked one of our electricians what the LED light/radio interference is all about. He said it’s because your lights and your radio are sharing a ground. To eliminate the buzzing, you need a dedicated ground for your electrical outlets (seperate from the lights). It’s not necessarily an LED issue, it could happen with all kinds of electrical devices. Another co-worker says he has that problem with the speakers for his electric guitar. When he turns on the ceiling fan, he can hear it pulsing through the speakers.

        1. pam kueber says:

          Sounds like Kelly should talk to her own properly licensed professional on this…. ‘grounds’ relate to safety, I think!

            1. Mary Elizabeth says:

              1) Yes, get a licensed electrician to look at the ground problem.

              2) No, LEDs don’t cause any interference with our radio, TV, or other appliances. They do have separate grounds, because we fixed all the electrical oddities in the house before adding these lights.

  9. Jay says:

    When I glanced at the post quickly and saw the living room below the heading I assumed the year was 1972 and upon reading realized it was 1952. Looks like there were updates roughly every 20 years.
    Ok, add “attached greenhouse” to the list for the dreamhouse in my next life. Nice earthy house – full of natural materials.

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