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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. Ophelia Rose says:

    What a gorgeous house! I love 70’s design and I find it beautiful, but I don’t want to live in it. Having grown up in that era, been there, done that. ???? I had one of those funky orange and avocado floral wallpapers in my bedroom. My mom and I picked it out together in 1973, and my parents bought me the traditional French Provincial bedroom set, complete with a canopy. That was perfection for a little girl in the 70’s. My brother and I shared a bathroom with gold shag carpet and wallpaper that was flocked black velvet scroll work on a background of gold foil. I miss that bathroom!

    1. Marie Gamalski says:

      Ophelia…. oh my! I would LOVE that wallpaper! Black on gold foil????????????we had the flocked paper in the stairwell when I was growing up, Gold flock on a cream ground, not NEARLY as swanky as your bath! I would like to find that old school paper now, I often check eBay, but no luck yet…

  2. Katharine Carroll says:

    Hand over the keys! Beautiful design elements throughout the house. These colors are perfect from the past & now. I use each of these colors in my home now. Love !!!!

  3. mike evans says:

    I get the green bedroom ! all us readers who don’t own a house should get together and buy the reasonable priced time capsules air bnb,as vac rentals lot of us would love to stay the week end in a time capstle house , this like most ” its so dated” will get renovated in to a 2017s hgtv flip this house, k mart {Home Depot} tasteless remodel flip with no window covers, and a big hole in the kitchen where the ref ridge goes

  4. Johnny 5 says:

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!!! I love it all but especially the green bedroom! The glass in this home is amazing, all that bright and cheery light! The spiral staircase, stone work, open floor plan, fabulous!

    The 70’s often get a bad rap be it decor, home design, clothing, furniture related. I appreciate the creativity, imagination and boldness in many of the designs and innovations of the era! This home has personality and it’s obvious it’s owners took great pride and passion in maintaining and caring for it!!

  5. Ann says:

    Takes me right back to my 1970’s childhood. The architecture is amazing and so why should it stop with the decor. Noticed that all the cabinetry is very clean lines. The green bedroom is my fav but I also love the wet bar too.

  6. MelT says:

    To the prospective buyer: Oh please oh please oh please keep all that wonderful awful 70s goodness!!! It would be a sacrilege to cover or remove it especially since it’s in such good shape.

    And I hate to disagree with several commenters – but a “family home” doesn’t mean you have to have tons of kiddos around – we happen to be parents of one and it would fit just fine!

  7. Mary Anne S says:

    According to Zillow this house was last sold in 1982 so not original owner selling now but I just know it has been well loved.

  8. Mary Anne S says:

    This house is not actually in Salem but across the river in Polk county. Actual address is Independence. The house is pretty rural for those who like a lot of space. I also noted only 2 bedrooms in a 4,000+SF house, not a family home. My guess is that this is someone’s dream home made real and I suspect it is being sold by original owner as it seems pretty original. I agree, empty nesters that liked to entertain would fit the place well. It is very modern, it would be fun to know who the architect was.

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