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Repeating architectural motifs: A hat trick example from this 1953 ranch house

mid-century-brick-ranch-exteriorTour-a-Time-CapsuleThis 1953 time capsule house in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan includes a number of lovely classic features (pink Cinderella bathtub alert!), but what really caught our eye is how the architect repeated one architecturaly motif — the pinwheel — three times throughout the house. We love repetition of architectural elements… and we love things in threes. Thanks to Teri for this time capsule tip!

midcentury-brick-ranch-houseretro-trellis #1 (above): The exterior trellis is comprised of six pinwheels. It’s very nice, also, how the trellis is used to add architectural interest to a very long slab o’ otherwise-unadorned brick on the front facade of the house. (This appears to be a house set on a corner lot.)

midcentury-entryway#2 — The pinwheels are repeated on the front doors, creating an immediate transition from the outdoors, in.

midcentury-banquette-eating-area#3 — Pinwheel-mullioned glass between the kitchen dinette and an adjacent room.

vintage-pink-bathroomAbove: We can only wonder: Why no pinwheel flooring??? Perhaps, though, enough of a good thing. Yes: A light hand is often best.

This house is currently for sale. From the listing:

  • Price: $275,000
  • Year built: 1953
  • Square footage; 3,300
  • Bedrooms: 4
  • Bathrooms: 2 full, 2 half

…Radiant heat floor and ceiling…. 3 lots with irrigation… Square footage estimated.

Thanks to reader Teri for alerting us to this  home and to realtor Robin Stressman and photographer Auric Stressman for allowing us to feature the property on Retro Renovation.

Link love:

Some more photos from the listing: 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. Diane in CO says:

    I learn so much from this website. Never knew that tub style was called Cinderella. We have that exact tub in our 1936 upstairs bath! It was green and extremely worn so we had Miracle Method reglaze it in white and it’s much prettier… Why “Cinderella?”

    1. pam kueber says:

      Ummm, I do not remember! There is such a thing as Cinderella ranches — aka Storybook ranches; and Cinderella windows, too!

  2. Nancy says:

    I love the grey bathroom in this house. Reminds me of the one I had growing up – I don’t understand how it can be so pristine – makes you wonder if it was used much.

    1. Zoe says:

      Some people took exceptionally good care of their homes. My boyfriend bought a 1956 ranch house from its original owners in 1999; everything about it was pristine.

  3. randy says:

    I saw this trellis and was reminded of the trellis my dad built on the front porch of our old house — back in 1959. It was made of non-pressurized wood, yet is still standing. It is similar to the trellis in the photo (although smaller) — and painted the same color. After 43 years of not living in that house, I was recently able to contact the current owner — who said he has carefully maintained the trellis throughout all these years! I am glad that he is the owner of our original family home.

  4. marguerite says:

    I love this house! As a kid growing up in the 50s and 60s, this would have been my dream house…sooo big and with a great lawn! I can just imagine it filled with great mid century furniture, fabulous pinch pleats on the windows…Wow!

  5. KennyT123 says:

    About the ovens–I’ve seen pictures of kitchens in that era and I agree with the earlier posting regarding the upright Freezer and Refrigerator. I’d say looking at the ovens side by side I bet there was a stainless steel Thermador built in–they had two ovens–the left one for the rotisserie. I bet the cooktop was GE with the push-button controls where that square drawer is now. Looks to me like a high-end house. I don’t find the bathroom setup odd–all the plumbing was along one wall for efficiency.

  6. Amy says:

    What a GEM! I would LOVE that bathtub – and storage all over the place! And Pam – pinch eats in the KITCHEN! Wow & more wow!

  7. Joe Felice says:

    I just love it when people are able to keep the original things in their homes, and maintain them so well through the decades. Back in the day, people were more meticulous about their homes, but a lot of water (and time) has gone under the bridge, and people have changed. Trellises were popular. My dad used to custom-build them for privacy around our houses. The evergreens were also very typical in landscaping in the ’50s & ’60s. Today, people are ripping them out, instead of “shaping” them, as these are. Well shaped and maintained junipers are very attractive. And everyone had pleated shades on traverse rods. I even learned how to re-string them.

  8. connie says:

    discoverd a show on HGTV where the couple renovate old homes into new ones. (Fixer Upper, sure you know of them, The Gaines’s) I mean they gut renovate. They are in WACO Texas. Maybe your readers should contact the show to see what they are discarding. I live in NYC area where do those prices come from?

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