Midcentury masterpiece 1955 time capsule “tile house” in Minneapolis — every room full of exquisite tile designs — 69 photos

1955 midcentury modern time capsule house Now added to my list of top-10 time capsule houses of all time: This mind-blowingly exquisite 1955 midcentury modern home in Minneapolis — the William and Irma Dale/Victor House –designed by acclaimed architect Carl Graffunder for his sister and family, who were owners of a local tile shop. And their tile shop must have been something indeed, because for this home, they created some of the most beautiful tile installations I have ever seen. Tile is featured in every room — beautifully — complemented by glowing woodwork, including loads of pecky cypress. This house is going on the market today — co-listed by Scott Acker and Bruce Erickson of Coldwell Banker Burnet. It’s not even on the MLS quite yet! AND: Thanks to our wonderful friends at Spacecrafting, we have 69 photos to show you. Get ready — this one is amaaaazing!

  • PHOTO VIEWING TIP: You can click on any photos in this story and they should double in size on screen. Keep clicking on the photo you have enlarged and all the photos should play like a slide show.

From the listing for this midcentury modern marvel:
1955 midcentury modern time capsule house

The William and Irma Dale/Victor House

Significant mid-century modern jewel by acclaimed architect Carl Graffunder, designed for his sister and family – owners of a local tile shop. This case study home is a one-of-a-kind property that’s available for sale to the public for the first time in history. Exquisite period details, extraordinary tile work – including vintage mosaics and integrated shuffle board court, walls of glass, post & beam wood ceiling, cantilevered tile wrapped fireplace, hand crafted built-in’s and sweeping views of Diamond Lake. Listed in the AIA Guide to the Twin Cities, this centrally located, meticulous architectural home seamlessly blends the indoors with the outdoors and offers a Zen-like lifestyle.


The house is on the market for $719,000.

1955 midcentury modern kitchen1955 midcentury modern kitchen1955 midcentury modern kitchen 1955 midcentury modern kitchenAbove: I hereby predict that these kitchen photos will inspire hundreds of kitchen designs across American in months to come!

And remember: This was 1955! Such a forward thinking home!

1955 midcentury modern time capsule house in MinneapolisAbove: We can’t even imagine how expensive it would be to replicate a fireplace like this today.

1955 midcentury modern time capsule house in Minneapolis1955 midcentury modern time capsule house in MinneapolisAnd those ceilings! Not only beautiful, but all that tile could be quite loud — the wood everywhere else soaks up the sound. Tile: also cold. Wood: warm.

1955 midcentury modern time capsule house in MinneapolisYikes! This is a two story wall of tile flanking the staircase! Can you imagine the patience that would have been required to install this wall of tile!

micentury modern tile staircaseAbove: Here’s the staircase where that two-story wall of mosaics sits!

mosaic-shuffleboard-floorAbove; Again, note the two-story mosaic tile wall (on the left, heading downstairs.) And YES: That is a mosaic tile shuffleboard!

1955 midcentury modern time bedroomWow: We love how the accent wall of small mosaics — it reads like a headboard in this bedroom.

midcentury tile hausYes, we’d love to see the floor plan. It looks like much of the storage is built in — lovely! 

Midcentury modern time bathroomThis bathroom: It sure inspires me. Lookie that colorful mosaic in the loo!

1955 midcentury modern time capsule house in MinneapolisAbove: Okay, now we are downstairs. I’ll shut up now.

1955 midcentury modern time capsule house in Minneapolis

Link love:

Hey, remember this Minneapolis midcentury marvel time capsule house from a few years ago? Photos also by Spacecrafting. So far, it has been our most popular time capsule house ever! Big question: Will this tile house masterpiece beat it??

We have 69 photos in all! View the slide show:

Tips to view slide show: Click on first image… it will enlarge and you can also read my captions… click anywhere to move forward and look for previous and next buttons within photo to move back or forth… you can start or stop at any image:

  1. Neil says:

    Yes, all that wonderful tile they went-to-town with is pretty spectacular, though, in truth, from an overall design standpoint it doesn’t really add up to a coherent whole. But…never mind! It’s too delightfully madcap for words.
    But my very favorite tile vision in the house is that incredible tile in the watercloset. That one is timeless.

  2. Joe Felice says:

    I think you’re right. There’s a Realtor team here in Denver that has a designation and they specialize in MCM homes. Of course, nothing I would be able to afford. Those homes fly off the shelf here, as I suppose they do everywhere, which is a testament to the popularity of the style. Google “Arapahoe Acres Denver” for one of the first mid-century neighborhoods that is actually covenant-controlled, inside & out, and the covenants are still enforced, so a drive through the community is like stepping back in time, as every change or addition has to be certified as authentic for the period, including the landscaping.

  3. Joe Felice says:

    Mother of Pearl! It is beautiful, but not sure it’s the best ever. I don’t generally use superlatives, because just when you think you’ve found the best, something comes along to top it. No matter how beautiful you are, there’s always someone more beautiful. Yet and still, I love it when a fine period home is kept in as-new condition over the decades. Same with cars. We all remember Nora’s home and how it has been lovingly maintained for 60 years. Few are able to do that, and that is something to be admired, for sure. There is a boat-load of different tile in the house. The builder must have personally subsidized World of Tile for years! And the wood. . . I hope whoever gets this house is deserving.

  4. Lee says:

    I am closing on a 1955 mid mod ranch in a few weeks, and the kitchen dining and hallway have that same tile that is on the floor all through this house. I am struggling with keeping it vs changing it out. On one hand it is very functional, and in perfect condition. On the other, it is super boring beige tile! The house I am getting is a single owner who died recently so I can’t pick her brain about anything in the house. They are clearly original tile to the house, and I am trying to keep as much as possible original, but they aren’t anything that I would think of as quintessential mid century. Like a terrazzo floor in good shape would be worth keeping.

  5. Zoe says:

    I think “original” is occasionally over-rated. If it’s original but boring, and you’d rather have something else that’s equally appropriate to the style of the house, but that will make you happy, GO FOR IT!

    I personally love slate in a kitchen and hallway, but it can be cold; hardwood or cork would probably be best unless you can spring for radiant floor heating.

  6. Barbara Buckles says:

    Sigh…my personal favorite! Does anyone know the name of the tile company and if they are still around? I LOVE the bathroom tiles and haven’t been able to find anything similar.

  7. Carol says:

    I saw them and my first thought was beach mats? I then scrolled through the pics looking for more and found the closets have the same type of material which I originally thought were vinyl folding doors. I might try the beach mats with a new heavy twill border if I can find some wide enough for the window length. Beach mats are so cheap they are practically free. I have always loved this look for window shades, but the mechanisms for raising and lowering are a pain. Pecky cypress, white outdoor chairs on the entry landing, cabinets, headboard wall etc. just beautiful.

  8. Dawn says:

    Oh my God Pam! Thank you so much for sharing this because I did not see it when it was originally posted. As a designer, I am drooling… The creative use of space is wonderful, and two of the items in the kitchen I am going to steal from my own personal kitchen remodel that will start soon. Using a dresser under one end of the peninsula or even two for a large island are fantastic ideas. A way to add utility while doing something creative. Also a way to reuse materials, save money, and be more environmentally conscious. I also love the upper wall of cabinets with sliding glass fronts. Maybe it will be the new “open shelving” ! Let’s bring it back!

  9. jacque says:

    I wonder if the people that bought this house updated it or kept it in it’s beautiful condition? So many people buy mid century beauties only to destroy them by updating them. This house is a true master piece and I love everything about it.

  10. Ann-Marie Kirkhus says:

    Oh, such a beauty! A true Mid-Mod with subtle room partitions complimenting each other with the rich wood tones and soft blue/grey accents tying it all together organically. Lines become blurred in defining indoor/outdoor separation. Beautiful tilework showcasing the owner’s skill and talent. Why didn’t they just keep building these works of art? This is where I wouldn’t mind being quarantined. I wouldn’t mind at all.

  11. Jason Foster says:

    My wife and I live in a mid-century home in Illinois, we really liked the kitchen wavy tile backsplash. Any idea if there is anything similar to that existing today?

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