Untouched by Time
While design trends come and go, some homeowners choose to eschew fads and instead remain true to their home's roots. For those of similarly nostalgic tastes, this collection of homes that seem to be frozen in time will be a feast for the eyes; for others, it will be a head-scratching look at trends that they thought had died long ago.
Not-So-Passé in PA
Built in 1960, this midcentury-modern abode in Pennsylvania boasts a mix of features that epitomize the hip sophistication of the era. A plush shag carpet, a hallmark of the '70s, stretches out below a towering, rock-lined statement fireplace, a nod to both the dramatic geometry of midcentury design and the back-to-nature design movement inspired by President Theodore Roosevelt’s early 20th-century conservation efforts.
PA: Groovy Glamour
A retro kitchen within the same Pennsylvania home features flat-panel wooden cabinets with cross-shaped pulls, groovy floral-print wallpaper on the ceiling, and fringe-trimmed curtains in once-coveted colors.
PA: Divide and Delight
The entry of the Pennsylvania home is full of classic midcentury charm. A geometric-patterned divider separates the foyer from the living room, providing a little definition in an otherwise open floor plan. Light that pours in through the windows of the living room and entry passes through the divider, highlighting the bright, airy interior, an important characteristic of a midcentury-modern home.
Old-School in Oregon
This ranch-style home in Oregon, built in 1962, clinches the distinctive colors and linear silhouettes of the midcentury-modern movement with a front door bathed in fiery orange paint, adorned with a geometric pattern, and outfitted with brass hardware with a cut-out design.
Oregon: Crackling Cone
Step inside those orange doors in Oregon and you'll find a statement-making red stovepipe rising up from a freestanding cone fireplace, a midcentury staple. An atomic chandelier, wood paneling, and built-in planters reinforce the vintage vibes.
Oregon: Back to the Woods
The fusion of man-made and natural materials, a trademark of midcentury homes, was heavily influenced by architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s emphasis on bringing the outdoors in. The living room of the stunning Oregon home nails the look with shag carpeting, a sprawling stone fireplace, and built-in wooden seating that spans the fireplace wall.
Oregon: Getting In On the Ground Floor
Seating options that hovered low to the ground made the jump from the East Coast to the West in the 1950s and remained popular into the '70s. In this basement rec room, that distinctive low-slung seating is paired with an appropriately low-profile coffee table. The brown wood tones together with the orange of the stools, sofa cushions, cabinetry, and pool table set a suitably retro color palette.
Midcentury in Minnesota
Honed around the turn of the 20th century by Frank Lloyd Wright, the aesthetics of the Prairie School left an indelible mark on American architecture, which is why houses of the midcentury era often marry the two styles. For instance, at this lakeside home in Minnesota, built in the 1960s, robin’s-egg blue double doors with starburst hardware open onto a foyer that combines Prairie features, such as wood paneling, with a "screen" of slender vertical metal rods, a classic midcentury-modern accent.
Minnesota: Open and Inviting
The Prairie theme continues in the master bathroom of the Minnesota home, which emphasizes horizontal lines, open space, strong geometry, mixed materials, and an earth-tone palette. Unusual features like a walk-in tub set in a corner, half-tiled walls, and a glassed-in ceiling make this room a work of wonder.
Cutouts in Cali
This California home, built in 1957, soars high on stilts while its interior gets cozy with a sunken living room, a popular feature in chic homes of the time. Set before a dramatic stone-clad fireplace and bathed in light from walls of windows, the recessed area defines an intimate spot in an otherwise open space.
Cali: Graceful in Green
Not far from that impressive fireplace lies a sitting area swathed in one of the hottest color trends of the past century: avocado green. In hip homes of yesteryear, that very color appeared on everything from upholstery to kitchen countertops. Although avocado might look garish against the modern accents in today's homes, this surprisingly elegant room proves that the color can look regal when paired with wood-paneled walls, wing chairs, and ornate wall sconces.
Period Style in Palm Springs
The interiors of this Palm Springs home, built in 1969, re-create the pomp of Hollywood Regency, a style that first appeared in the 1930s at the dawn of Hollywood's Golden Age—but with a '70s twist. The bedroom is covered in bold shades of blue, lined with gold-trimmed mirrored closets, and furnished with a claw-foot bench.
Palm Springs: Punchy in Pink
This Palm Springs house has yet more over-the-top bedrooms on tap. Blocks of contrasting colors—one of the hallmarks of the Hollywood Regency style—make this plush bedroom a paean to pink, from blush-colored wallpaper to hot pink carpeting and curtains. Adding to the opulence, a heavily dressed bed rests against a massive cushioned headboard.
Palm Springs: Eccentric and Electric
The colorful antics of this Palm Spring house extend beyond its bedrooms. In the dining room, armless high-backed chairs are arrayed on an electric green carpet, while a matching scalloped valance pops against the harvest gold accent wall.
Palm Springs: Round and Regal
No less striking is the lounge, where one can imagine stars of the silver screen mingling at a swank cocktail party. An emerald green carpet ties together the matching curtains and floral-print curved sofas, while the showstopping chandelier and expansive coffee table emphasize the soaring height of the space.
Retro in Rhode Island
Built in 1958, this midcentury-modern ranch in Rhode Island has been painstakingly preserved to retain its authentic period details. It’s easy to picture a family of the '50s gathered around the stereo and black-and-white TV, which are set inside a wooden cabinet for a more streamlined look.
Rhode Island: Perky Palette
The 1950s vibes of this Rhode Island home really come into play in the kitchen. After the sacrifices of World War II, homeowners of the '50s were ready for forward-looking, exuberant colors like sky blue, chartreuse, and mint green, the color featured on the walls and tile floor of this spacious, period-perfect kitchen.
Rhode Island: Eco Entry
One of the first things visitors to the impeccably furnished Rhode Island home encounter is a built-in planter, a valued feature in homes of the period. Other midcentury touches include the wooden console with splayed legs and the playful geometry of the light fixtures and rug.
Throwback Style in STL
Terrazzo, a textured composite flooring made of chips of materials like marble and quartz, had its heyday in the 1920s, but thanks to the Art Deco and Art Moderne movements, terrazzo floors remained a fixture for decades, even making their way to the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the late '50s. Terrazzo flooring takes center stage in the rec room of this midcentury Missouri ranch, built in 1956. The mottled floor serves as a decorative counterpart to the more solemn wood paneling on the walls.
STL: Soft and Subdued
Delicate hues from buttercup yellow to fern green lent tranquility to homes of the 1950s. The pastel palette of the era is exemplified by this St. Louis bathroom, where varied hues of light blue cover the tile floor, the half-tiled wall, toilet. tub, and vanity.
Arts and Crafts in North Carolina
Little has changed over the past 59 years in this ranch-style North Carolina home, built in 1961. Along with wood paneling, which peaked in popularity in the middle of the last century, the living room features a shag rug, a straight-set brick fireplace, and a built-in stereo—a truly high-tech touch in its day.
North Carolina: Built-In Beauty
The Arts and Crafts movement that flourished from roughly 1880 to 1920 saw the rise of built-ins—cabinets, closets, bookcases, and even inglenooks for lounging—which offered simplicity, seamlessness, and space savings. The trend crept into midcentury homes like this Durham masterpiece, which features a wall-mounted desk with its own pendant light nestled in a cozy corner of the living room.
Related: 14 Reasons to Love Exposed Brick
North Carolina: Spin Some Records
While many music aficionados treasure their vinyl collections, their record players have become a retro-era relic. Not so for these homeowners, who continue to display their "state-of-the-art" wall-mounted stereo system decades after the trend of phonographs as furniture passed.
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