Tour de force 1970s interior design in this 1976 time capsule house in Salem, Oregon — 40 photos

I know I often say this, but this 1976 time capsule house for sale in Salem, Oregon, listed by Ty Hildebrand, may be my favorite 1970s time capsule house ever! Thanks to reader Wendy for this time capsule tip! The lines and angles of the house are amazing. The setting and views, too. The house appears to be in amazing, move-in condition — I wouldn’t need to change a thing! And, given that I am the world’s #1 lover of wallpaper, I am in heaven. I spoke to Ty on the phone on Friday, and he told me that the original homeowners used a decorator in Portland, Oregon, who was known for her genius with wallpaper. He also says the wallpaper is so strongly adhered that prospective buyers still looking at the house are considering stucco-ing over it (gasp! horrors!) rather than removing it.

I will bury that thought deep away in my psyche and instead say: Hooray: 40 terrific photos — captured by Cal Curths of HD Open House — sharing this slice of high-style 1976 design, still here for us to admire. 

From the listing

  • Year built: 1976
  • 4,207 s.f.
  • On 3.31 acres
  • Two bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms
  • Three fireplaces
  • $550,000

And so I diverge: On Commenting:

So here’s the deal, dear readers: It’s beginning to seem like America is running out of time capsule houses from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s — and that time capsule houses from the 1970s are now popping up all over. This transition is going to mean a lot of wallpaper (often with matchy-matchy pinch pleats) … crazy-wonderful tile … bittersweet kitchen countertops… and burnt orange, rust, and lime green shag carpet. The 1970s are my favorite era, because designers pushed things to the limit. They pushed things beyond the limit. However, I know a lot of folks cannot get their eyes around 70s style (yet. Buwahahaha, my evil-righteous plan is to change that). But, I do ask this: Given my commenting rules, which center on civility aka The Golden Rule, I ask that if you don’t like (e.g. if you h***) the wallpaper, or whatever, that you simply skip that in any comments. I do not approve, or delete, comments that are critical, when such criticism is not invited. I ask permission to feature all these time capsules. We are, therefore, invited in. So let’s all be super courteous — comment as if we are standing in the home with the original owners — grateful and gob-smacked for the opportunity to see these wonders! Thank you for your understanding!

Let’s take a look at some of my favorite spaces:

Above: That family room (?) with all the gleaming woodwork, colorful yet soothing (yes: soothing!) wallpaper, matching pinch pleats, and cozy carpet — complete with marlin — perfection!

Above: Yes, a kitchen like this, with high-quality wallpaper adhered to the walls — and the ceiling — so it doesn’t fall down, is my dream. I love this flooring, too.

Above: The sunken living room is lovely. And I love all the main rooms of the house seem to have views in multiple direction. Love me the rusty-orange carpet… the Flintstones rock wall… and note the lacquered ceiling int he dining room. Hmmm…. Are all the walls in this space lacquered?

Above: I think this is a bedroom. Rust carpeting! And that wallpaper! And that fireplace!

Above: I think this is the bathroom that does with that bedroom. But, it could also be off the kitchen — note the floor. I spy wallpaper on the sixth wall (e.g. the ceiling) in this room, too.

Above: The other bedroom, with coordinating bathroom. 

Above: A wet bar tucked somewhere. In bittersweet. Be still my 70s heart.

The slide show has more photos — takes on all the exterior angles… the dramatic foyer… and the sweeping views. All that said, once inside, I’d crank up P Funk and never leave the house.

So what do you LOVE about this house, dear readers?
On a scale of 1-100, where are you on digging ’70s design so far?

Link love:

Photo gallery:

  1. Haley Ball says:

    Omg this is such a blast from the past–in that I went to the awesome estate sale at this house (the goods were as good as the house itself) and drooled over the listing. I was trolling Pinterest for inspiration just now, and one of the photos from this post popped up and I recognized it instantly. I SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT THIS DAMN HOUSE. And in case you think this dreamboat couldn’t get any dreamier, there was a matching, slightly smaller, seemingly unused house on the property, so I suspect it was a twofer situation. At the time, my wife and I would have rather stuck forks in our eyes than move to Salem (where I grew up)…ironically, just a handful of years later, we’re closing today on a midcentury house in Salem.

  2. Lori Duckworth says:

    I love the green bedroom with the huge bathroom–those windows!–and everything is so pristine. The people who owned this house took such wonderful care of it.

  3. pat says:

    I would give anything to tour this house. No minimalism here!! That sunken living room is the most tasteful one I’ve ever seen. Love how it sits all by itself without steps on the other side leading to another part of the house. And the green bedroom-wow, with its flip out curtain rods, movie star dressing area, and carpeted step up into the tub. I only wish they took a pic with some of the curtains closed !

  4. Mae says:

    As a child who grew up in the 70’s I would watch my mom paper at least 1-2 walls in every room of the house. Then in a couple of years or so especially in the living room and kitchen she would take it down and put up something different . But it was always the fall type colors of the decade. This time capsule home is a dream! It looks like a work of art! The paper where the Marlin hangs looks like stained glass windows! It belongs there. That is what makes this time capsule so special. This is a dream house for me. I would live there in a heartbeat.

  5. Lynn says:

    This is wonderful!! I love the green bedrooms and bath with that flowered wallpaper. And all the exposed stone and wood is wonderful. I would love to live here. My favorite time period is late 60s and early 70s, so I am with you on that! My living room is orange, avocado, lots of wood, and bird pictures and knick knacks and I love it all!!

  6. SebastianPDX says:

    Wow, I’m in Portland & you see lots of early 1900s homes, a good deal of mid-century, but not many groovy houses such as this! I wonder what the story is…was the lady of the house unhappy with relocating to Salem from Portland, Seattle, or San Francisco? So, she got her au courant house? Why only two bedrooms? Did mister snore? One of the rooms seems decidedly masculine & the other feminine. I imagine it would be not very difficult to turn one of the sitting/living areas into a third bedroom. The only wallpaper I wasn’t in love with was the treatment in the masculine bedroom…everything else makes me want to fire up the fondue pot & pour some Harvey Wallbangers!

  7. Diana Simon says:

    Amazing. Love all the papers. Not the standard ‘Mediterranean’ finishing, very high quality design. Hate the thought of covering the wallpaper. Such as my recent sell of 1900’s home and they painted all the rooms cool grey with white trim. Including painting over hand-printed Bradbury paper in the grand hallway. WARM grey goes with wood floors!!

  8. Michelle Mok says:

    Thanks for showing us this great home, this one is a doozy, love, love, love this. I want to live there with David Cassidy and Bobby Sherman. So happy that they left the marlin behind, bonus! And the oblong marble fireplace surround, very chic. I simply cannot choose which room I adore the most.

    Is that farm land in the distance? I needs me a funky tractor to go with that house and park it in that sweet back yard.

  9. Rise Kwake says:

    Oh my! Such a treasure and a treat to view these pix! $550K would buy a nice condo in L.A. so this is an amazing find–the acreage, views, angles and windows in the house–well, to die for!! Having come of age during the 70s, and our house decorated (but a bit more modestly) in a similar fashion, I grew to loathe the earthtones (rust, avocado, harvest gold and wheat, brown, etc.), the fluorescent brights: apple green, hot pink, and orange, the foil wallpaper, imitation wicker style, all the matchy-matchy, and so forth…and favored the colors/styles of the 30s, 40s, and 50s. BUT now, after enough time has passed, I find myself drawn to the over-the-top, 70s decorating style, and you, Pam, have shared with us so many of these treasured time capsule homes–LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!

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