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. Marie Gamalski says:

    Don’t mean to hog the comments, but this is my all time favorite time capsule!! It’s like it was built, decorated, then locked for posterity…. did anyone actually live there?!?! It’s so absolutely PERFECT…. I can’t believe it was ever occupied. Just…. sigh…. can’t even pick a favorite room!!????

  2. Marie Gamalski says:

    I’m not even finished yet….. and my goodness????????????????LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!! It’s absolutely PRISTINE! Cannot believe that kitchen wallpaper is so perfect, and the wallpaper in the closets… did anyone actually live here?? The biggest ????????????????????????Goes to the housekeeper! I’m thinking women only lived here…. it’s just myself and my husband and keeping things nice around here is a constant battle!! (Love the man but…. ladies, you feel me right?!?!) Pam, once again, hats ???? off to you, my love!????????

  3. Patti says:

    Love the cheery green bedroom, all the home angles, and the views! Can’t believe such a huge home and only 2 bedrooms. Would be a great treat to run around in that home and play hide-n-seek as a kid!

  4. Wendy says:

    Omg love that family room, wallpaper and all! And the entrance inside and out, just what I’ve always wanted. LOVE!

  5. Darryl says:

    Far out Pam! This reminds me of my parent’s home they had custom built in 1977. We had wallpaper inside the closets, on the back of the book shelves and on the ceilings too. We also had a sofa that was upholstered in the same pattern as the wallpaper in the family room. Now if the appliances were just in Harvest Gold……. ahhhh Heaven!

  6. Doug says:

    What a great house. Having grown up in the 60’s and 70’s, the first thing I did when I could afford to, was pick up a 70’s house. Though modest in comparison to this great find; it’s still original and still home.
    **Please keep the 70’s coming**

  7. Joe Felice says:

    Certainly evokes the excess of the ’70s! While beautiful, it would be too much for me. A couple of tings jumped out: The fireplace wall in the living room is too plain. Even painting it chocolate brown would be an improvement. And the drapes in the living room: In the day, NO one would have allowed drapes to bunch on the floor. Touch the floor, yes.

  8. Neil says:

    Those cool-cat house numbers out front literally Make the facade!
    And bro, the groovy decorator’s mad genius with acres of far-out 70s wallpaper verges on murderous.
    In a good way.

    1. Marie Gamalski says:

      Oh… kill me please!!! Love every inch… that kitchen… that lime bedroom!! Just perfect!????

  9. Lauryn says:

    I am definitely a reader who completely appreciates the 1970s decor and the exuberance it represents, but I’m not sure I could live in it. The architecture of this house is STUNNING — the lines and curves and wide open space, and the way it works itself into the landscape. I would so love to see it in person, because I think the spaciousness of the house, as well as the architectural lines, leave plenty of room for that kind of exuberant color and design. And the price! Even coming from rural Iowa, that seems extraordinarily low. Great find. I hope whoever buys it lovingly preserves it!

    1. AnnF says:

      Yes! I grew up in that period more than others, and believe me, it was tacky. Having said that, though, I do miss certain objects, like my square orange alarm clock, and I wish I hadn’t been so eager to get rid of them when the sophisticated Victoriana look of the 1980’s came in. I am even thinking of putting shiny wallpaper in one of my bathrooms and might put green carpeting throughout my house!

      I absolutely LOVE that one shot showing the sunken living room with the fireplace and the glass wall beyond. I would probably pick more late sixties modern furniture than seventies for it, but THAT room is very elegent looking.

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