This past weekend I took a little detour from my weekend plans to check out a new real estate listing. I knew when I bought my house that it wasn’t going to be big enough to hold my vintage pursuits forever—and that theory has been realized for quite some time. Although I’m not by any means ready to pack up and move immediately (the logistics of which are enough to make me want to suddenly become a minimalist), I know that finding my next home is going to take a lot of looking and waiting for the right thing to come along. 20 years ago my dream house would have been a dime a dozen, but these days it’s getting tough to find an unadulterated mid-century time capsule. When I stumbled across this gem, I just had to check it out for myself.
An amazing 1957 one owner California rambling ranch. The gargantuan modern fireplace and massive sputnik light fixture were enough to make my heart skip a beat.
The sprawling living room had so many great nooks and spaces with great textures like stone, wood and glass sliding doors in the corner.
The mostly original kitchen still boasted aqua Formica counters, sandblasted cyprus cabinet doors and even the original 1950s GE stainless steel wall oven.
The large dining room even featured a built-in wood/charcoal grill—that had never even been used. What you can’t see in this photo is that the adjoining laundry/mud room behind that open door is the size of my current master bedroom.
Even this pretty in pink ladies bathroom is pretty stellar, one of three in the house. Pink isn’t my thing, but I don’t think I’d change anything, save for that hot pink carpet on the floor.
Finding a house like this underscores the difficulty of house hunting. How can you find something this perfect and not pounce on it? A few things. The location wasn’t ideal and, most important, water from a once leaky roof had left widespread damage throughout the house. Water stains on ceilings, walls and carpets as well as the visible signs and pungent odor of mildew hinted at untold horrors lurking beneath the sheetrock. All things that can be repaired, but not exactly something I could take on right now. The hardest part about walking away, however, is not knowing if the next owners will appreciate it.