Charming 1930 Tudor Revival time capsule house — with upholstered dining room walls!

upholstered walls 1940sTour-a-Time-CapsuleYowza — aren’t these the most delicious red velvet upholstered dining room walls that you’ve ever seen before? Or, that you have ever seen ever?! Thanks to a tip from reader Elisabeth, we discovered this gorgeously decadent dining room tucked inside an equally charming 1930 Romantic Revival Tudor home — owned by the son of a Milwaukee beer baron — for sale in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. 

upholstered walls 1940s

Yes, as Elisabeth said when she called this to our attention: “UPHOLSTERED DINING ROOM WALLS.” We will guess that they date to the 1940s — ala Lana Turner. However, it appears that much of this house was redecorated in the late 60s — so they could be a Hollywood Regency thing. What do you think? To be sure, upholstered walls probably help insulate this dining room from the cold Wisconsin winters!


From the listing:

  • Price: $599,900
  • Year built: 1930
  • Square footage: 2,259
  • Bedrooms: 4
  • Bathrooms: 2 full/2 half

4614 N Murray Ave, Whitefish Bay WI 53211-1258 – Bring your ideas to this home once built for the son of one of Milwaukee’s Beer Barons. Lovely Tudor located on one of Whitefish Bay’s most beautiful streets near the Shorewood border. The character in this home is endless, enhanced by the natural fireplaces, crown molding, leaded windows with stained glass, ornate columns, custom woodwork, copper gutters and classic slate roof. This home is full of potential and perfect for the buyer with an eye for design.

Tudor home exteriorIsn’t this house positively charming? Looking through all the photos, it appears to made super solidly, too. Copper gutters! A little copper eyebrow on the front faceade! Lots of curved doorways and such. Real craftsmanship, 1930s Milwaukee style.

late 60s kitchen wallpaperI love the kitchen — with its warm, sunny vibe, cheery vintage wallpaper, yellow countertops (maybe they sparkle?) and faux brick flooring.

late 60s kitchen wallpaperAnother interesting feature in the kitchen is the way the stove is recessed into the wall. We’ll guess that is original tile all around — creating a ‘grease splattering zone’ — much easier to scrub ceramic tile than vintage wallpaper!

knotty pineAnother notable feature — the knotty pine basement rec room with a custom made, built-in bar for serving Milwaukee’s finest beer.

knotty pineAnd hey — are those ceilings covered with squares of Weldtex plywood?

vintage glass tile bathroomWe also spotted some vintage glass tiles on the wall in one of the home’s bathrooms — this could be vintage Pittsburgh Plate Glass, Vitrolite or maybe even Sani Onyx as shown in this catalog from 1926. It is super cool to see these tiles out in ‘the wild — they are absolutely gorgeous — and we ADORE the buttercream + jadeite color combination!

Mega thanks to reader Elisabeth for the tip and to Realtor Jack Smith and WiSign Photo for allowing us to feature this fabulous property.

Link Love:

Tips to view slide show: Click on first image… it will enlarge and you can also read my captions… click on the right of the photo to move forward, the left, to move back… you can start or stop at any image:

  1. Tudorlicious says:

    I grew up in a Tudor revival in the 60s in the famous neighborhood of Shaker Heights, Ohio. This house is fantastic! I hope the buyers love it as-is–it’s made it nearly a century without a remuddler.

    As for the red velvet walls, there was tons of that, mostly in foyers & hallways, in Tudors I visited in the 60s, but it was flocked wallpaper. Maybe velvet wall upholstery was what they were emulating.

    If only this Wisconsin house came with a tropical winter getaway condo, I’d buy it!

    1. Mary Elizabeth says:

      When I visit my brother in Cleveland, we like to walk around Shaker Heights and look at the architecture. Such wonderful homes with all kinds of original exterior features!

  2. Debbie says:

    I am mentally peeling off wallpaper and removing the laminate in that kitchen—carefully, of course, so that I can pass the laminate along to a fellow Retro Renovator. I am picturing this kitchen going back to its 1930’s glory, featuring ceramic tiles and box cap trim from B&W.

    1. Mary Elizabeth says:

      How interesting! I can totally see that now. How would they have been painted in the original house? Faux stone?

      1. Robin, NV says:

        Faux stone was my thought too. It’s the only thing I can think of to explain the irregular shape. I’ve seen tile used to frame fireplaces in a similar pattern but I think stone makes more sense for an archway.

    1. Elisabeth says:

      It might be built in. The blueprints for our Tudor show a built-in vanity in the master bedroom. You can see the marks in the plaster where it used to be. 🙁

  3. Jackie says:

    Wow, this is a lot like houses in St. Louis, especially in the St. Louis Hills neighborhood. Here, that would definitely be an elaborate plaster treatment mimicking stonework. There could be either hardwood or tile mosaic under the carpet in the foyer area.

    Definitely a fan in the kitchen–I had one just like it here in St. Louis. These are typically placed close to a stove, but not directly over it. I would bet the tile in the stove alcove is not original, as that sort of ombre effect was not common in the 1930s.

    Love the bathroom–one of my favorite color combinations, and the glass tile is terrific!

  4. tammyCA says:

    Such a beautiful house..I’d love it. The jadeite & buttercream bath is also a favorite vintage color combo that I’ve seen in kitchens from that era (goes great with depression jadeite dinnerware). I do like the kitchen wallpaper & cabinets but I think it would also be neat to bring it back to a more ’30s look, definitely with color, not black/white.
    I love velvet but maybe not so much on walls..it might start to feel like a funeral parlor.

    1. Mary Elizabeth says:

      A funeral parlor is only one of the possible public establishments it brings to mind. 🙂 It would be interesting to see what the new owners do with this room. If they are retro-renovators, they might show it to us when finished. Did you ever do a story like that, Pam, where a featured time capsule house is bought and then the owners want to show it to us?

      I looked again at the dining room photos and noticed some things the upholstered walls distracted me from before. There are two lovely built in corner china cabinets, like the Victorian house I grew up in. There is room to store and display your collection of good dishes in the glass part, and then behind the wood doors you can store board games, stuff you sweep up and hide when company is coming, etc. Also, there is a lovely ceiling medallion from which the chandelier is hung.

  5. Cynthia says:

    Love the exterior details and the inside “bones” are good too. Wonder what’s beneath the carpeting? The rec room with tiki bar has so many possibilities!

  6. Justin says:

    I love this house. I so want. Only a couple of things I would change on it.
    1. That one room where it appears it has damage near the window, I’d fix that.
    2. Remove all the carpet from the whole place and pray that the hardwood floor underneath it, is still in good shape.
    3. Paint the walls in the bedrooms and living room. Needs some color.
    4. Install period appliances in the kitchen.
    5. Replace those new toilets with original 1930’s toilets.
    6. Fill that bar up with lots of alcohol.

Leave a Reply

Commenting: Information

All comments are moderated, generally within 24 hours. By using this website you are agreeing to the site's >> Terms of Service, << which include commenting policies, and our >> Privacy Notice. << Before participating, read them in full.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.