So, I’ve been looking at Time Capsule Homes on the internet the past few days. My home is most certainly not a time capsule home, but hailing from 1975, it does have some pretty groovy elements about it.
Our house is not really all that pretty or interesting really. It is a salt-box with a basement… in the southern part of Mississippi. Who does that? That style house doesn’t fit in around here at all and basements in the swampy south are a ridiculous idea. Seriously. If you’re one of the few people who have a swamp basement, then you completely understand.
What is cool is that it was a kit house. I’d heard that story from my mom all my life. How the original owner had the house built, but backwards. Tonight I found the proof. I was also rather excited to see this clip-out. Although honestly I could find absolutely no reference to Kingsberry (I did for Kingsbury though), but from the partial advertisement that my mom clipped, it definitely is a kit house. The advertisement was from the April 1972 issue of NAHB Journal of Homebuilding Volume XXVI Number 4.
The original owner did have it built backwards. The breezeway on the right with the garage after it. Also, that black spot on the left side of the garage is a wood holder. He didn’t opt for that. When my family purchased the home, eight months before I was born, it had shutters on either side of all nine front windows. Also, there was absolutely no white. Everything was blue with grey trim.
Most of the house was rather posh. Cream walls in the front rooms, the foyer, and first and second floor hallways. Heavy, gorgeous light gold champaigne drapes in the front rooms. Gorgeous sculpted green shag carpet throughout. The back rooms had dark wood paneling and the den had the heavy drapes in dark gold.
However, this forty-one year old home is not showing its age well. First off, it’s old. Secondly, the builders did rather shoddy work to begin with as well as cut corners. Thirdly, we just try to make do the best way we can. So, I have a few personal photos of house details from my childhood, but mainly recent photos of still intact features that I always adored.
The Sister & I showing off our Easter dresses. I’m the little one in the bonnet. That was a thing with our mom, to pose us in front of the house or on the side in front of the azalea bush in our Easter best. Anyways. We got pretty iron railings and that fab hammered iron door pull, which I wish we still had, but you can only fix something so many times before it finally has to be replaced.
The Sister & I for more posing. This time with mom’s Volkswagen station wagon. I only remember when it didn’t work (which was not too many years after this photo was taken) as I was almost stung to death by wasps because I was playing in it. Anywho… the garage, on the right side of the house instead of the left, sporting its blue with grey trim doors.
I’m hoisted onto my dad’s shoulders to decorate the tree. When I was really young we had Christmas in the formal living room at the front of the house. When I was six, we started doing that in the den. But these are the cream walls, champaigne curtains and dark brass rods with fancy designs on the end caps.
The best photo I could find of the carpet. I adored this carpet and cried the day that I came home from school and it had already been ripped up to be replaced by non shag in a shade of mauve. It’s hard to tell that it was sculpted, but it was, because I’d drive my Hotwheels cars through the lower sections that went through it, pretending they were the roads. By the time of its demise it was almost 20 years old. We were not hard on the carpet, but it was really bad off and rotting through in places.
I’m the one in pigtails here. These are the heavy gold curtains that were in the den. Also, the wooden sliding glass door pull. Take notice of that. I also wish the telly were more in the picture (far right), as I’m a sucker for old television sets. And yes, this was my birthday party and we always played Put The Cookie in Cookie Monsters Mouth when it was my birthday.
This looks like a terrible photo of underage teens and a child (moi) smoking and drinking coffee, but we were making fun of our mom, so the mugs were empty and the fags not lit. The important part here is that it was the best photo I could obtain of our kitchen. Try not to notice all of the duck items; it was a brief obsession of our mothers. Besides the fabulous The Future Is Now ceiling light fixture and the awesome wooden spice rack behind me on the counter with the glass bottles, this photo is for that glorious double oven-range combo behind The Sister. It was wonderful!
It was another item that was repeatedly fixed until it just gave out. My parents aren’t warranty people nor are they buy new appliances on a whim types either. They are the type to fix and rig things forever, which probably runs them more money in the long run than actually buying new, BUT, it meant that this fabulous double oven-range (as well as that wonderful dishwasher pictured bottom left and the trash compactor, not pictured) stayed in my life for almost thirty years. The range’s demise was that the part needed cost more than a brand new one.
This right here is probably the entire reason for this blog post. I saw it while viewing posts of time capsule homes. The girl saw it at an antique market and loved it. Pained me a little to know that it worked, was only $200 and about a thousand miles away from me. Except that it’s red instead of avocado green and there’s no small rectangular window on the bottom oven door, it’s my range. *sniff*
Also a side note about the washer and compactor. I didn’t find out until after they had both died from exhaustion that they came with insert panels. Goldenrod, Avocado Green and that wonderful faux wood style of the seventies. Mom hated those colours so only the white panels were ever used. I felt cheated out of fabulous colours.
We also had a super awesome Central Vacuum system. It was the best thing ever; the coolest! …Until it died six years after we purchased the home. My dad had been fixing it almost that entire time, but to fix this particular problem you’d have to rip half the house apart. We still have all the parts, but sadly we missed out on years of fun with this thing.
But let’s take a look at the now, shall we?
This is the foyer light. Is that not GORGEOUS! Now, when my family purchased this home in January of 1980, I was several months shy of being born, but The Sister was five. The story I have always heard is how she practically exploded from the gorgeousness of the lighting. This one, the chandelier in the upstairs hall, and the one in the dining room. I can totally get on board with that. They also seem a bit out-of-place in 1975 home, much less a salt-box. Especially with the delicate looking wire mess supporting the crystals, it reminds me of something in a fancy 1920s home. It is still everyone’s absolute favourite thing about this entire home.
Now this looks very typical of a home from the mid seventies. This is our door bell. It’s quite impractical as I couldn’t tell you how many times in the past 36 years that anyone and everyone has run into those brass metal tubes in the rather narrow hallway, causing them to clang together in the most ungloriously noisy way, even knocking them loose. But, we are fond of them, even if it is rather large and awkward. Also, as opposed to our family friends whose door bell center is quite small, we can not change the music of ours. No, we are living in a giant blue salt-box house in the middle of the swampy south with a door bell that plays the Westminster Chimes. o_0 I suppose it’s even more awkward that our cities tornado siren starts off with our doorbell.
These are the doorknobs that are original to the entire first floor. I love them. Obviously, or I probably wouldn’t have included them in this post. The only exceptions were the sliding glass doors leading out onto the deck from the kitchen as well as the den, and the solid wood back door. The knob on that door was round like this, but plain. The knob on the bathroom door completely broken when I was four or five and was replaced. I’ve never liked it.
Also to note, the original owner of the home did not only switch the placement of the breezeway and the garage, but the pantry and the downstairs bathroom too. For obvious, and practical, reasons the bathroom was to be in the hallway leading from the foyer to the kitchen, and the pantry was to be in the kitchen beside the refrigerator. Nope, this guy apparently wanted the bathroom as close as possible to the cook area as was humanly possible. He also figured that lights in a pantry were for sissies. >_<
It really is the prettiest dining room chandelier I’ve seen in a home in this area. Not that I’ve seen all of the homes around here, but we do go to a lot of garage and estate sales, and I also look online at homes for sale. I can see why my five-year old sister squealed with joy over this one.
Moving onto the kitchen, we have our groovy linoleum flooring in shades of green along with this simple, but also awesome, formica counter top in a slight shade of light gold. Also that chrome strip for where the wall and counter top meet! Too bad that there wasn’t more of that used in the kitchen; like around the edges of the counter top or anything.
Also, a really great blog that I follow showed a vintage advertisement where our flooring was used. I love seeing stuff like that in print. If you like vintage things, especially the seventies, you should check her out. Link under the photo and search Marvelous Memories on Facebook or Instagram. You won’t be disappointed. Her findings are super rad.
OK, so it’s not 100% exact, but how close can you get? It’s probably a slightly varied design by the same company. Still pretty thrilling to see it in action. The flooring was in the foyer, downstairs hallway and bathroom, as well as the kitchen. Now we have new flooring in the foyer and hall. The rest, honestly, should also be replaced, but we’re not ready for that undertaking yet.
This is one of two sliding glass door handles. This is the one in the kitchen, but it’s the same (just opposite placement) in the den. We no longer have the deck, which was a large deck, with two steps down to a smaller deck that connected to the breezeway. From the smaller deck were wooden stairs leading down into the backyard with four stairs each exiting off to either side at the bottom. The stairs rotted when I was probably seven, and were never rebuilt. Both decks were rebuilt by my parents in the mid eighties. Once the larger deck rotted again, dad tore it all down and built a sundeck. The smaller deck is also rotting and has not been replaced.
Four year old me on the large deck. You can see the main steps going down to the backyard to the back right of me. Further right of that would be the step down to the little deck.
Next up, the in-house intercom and radio system. It sadly no longer works, hasn’t for about fifteen or so years. But it was so much fun! The large one is in the den, and was the main one, meaning it had to be turned on for any of the others to work. The second photo shows the one in the kitchen. There’s also one in the basement and one in the second story hallway.
Our groovy box lighting in the den. No one in my family likes them, except for me. I will admit, it is a pain to replace the light bulbs and there are 15 in total (two sides of the room have this lighting). They also don’t give out enough light, especially since the dot plastic inserts are a light golden colour. Couple that with one small window and the entire thing covered in dark wood paneling. I suppose the seventies were all about that cave-like feeling.
The downstairs bathroom or powder room, since it is only a sink and a toilet. I’ve always adored the wallpapering (which this is what was also in the upstairs bathroom that The Sister & I share). I also adore the fancy towel and toilet paper holders.
Ah, the basement. The original home owner wanted a man cave. While I’m not fond of the basement because it’s dark, damp, and buggy (remember swamp!) the real cypress planks as paneling is really cool. It’s probably why it has fared so well down here, as cypress doesn’t rot in swampy locales like other woods. We did used to have orange beveled, bubble type plastic inserts in those cabinets, but they became brittle and broke over the years. They were really cool, actually. Now it’s sheet metal that we painted with sixties starburst and Sputnik designs. The counter top of the bar and the cabinets behind it is the same as in my parents bathroom, which I’ll show later. I also adore the simple Brady Bunch style design of the basement stairs!
When we moved in, this was the only fireplace in the house. The den had a whole wall of built-ins with a desk section in the middle. My parents turned the desk section into a second fireplace when I was five or six. But, I love the simplicity of the brick and the nice cypress plank for a mantle. This is also the only window in this section of the basement. To the right and away from that window is a sliding glass door, but not much light ever came through it even when we had a deck. There are three huge windows in the other section, but they were double paned and not done well, so fogged up relatively quickly after we moved in.
Not that it’s an original feature of the house, but Hello! 1950s Zenith radio/record player. It belonged to my paternal grandparents and they gave it to my dad when I was a kid. Sadly it doesn’t work (barely worked when dad got it, died shortly after that) and no amount of tinkering can fix it because the parts for it are non-existent in this city and are too dear of a price online. But it is still beautiful and is a nice memento of my grandparents. PS, don’t mind all the random stuff, we’re trying to get ready for a yard sale.
This is the chandelier in the second floor hallway. It’s not as grand as the one in the foyer, but it is still just as beautiful and still resembles something from the 1920s.
These are the original doorknobs on the second floor. Sadly we’ve lost two already; one of the bedrooms and the bathroom that The Sister & I share. I know they’re not fancy or anything to write home about, but I like the simplicity of them. Also while I did not get a full shot of one of our doors, all of them are solid wood with a very nice stain on them. The only two that weren’t solid were the backdoor of the kitchen (which has since been replaced) and the door leading from the laundry room up into the attic.
The wallpaper is not original to the house, but was installed in 1980 by my mom and her friend. They also papered both of the bedrooms that were used by The Sister & I, but those have been redone since then. They also used this paper in the downstairs hallway and foyer, but those walls have since been returned to a cream paint.
This is the formica that is in my parents bathroom (counter top as well as in the shower), which is also what was used in the basement. I really like it, but because of the darkness, it doesn’t matter how you clean it, it stays dirty basically. Not so good for a bathroom. Also of note is that the original home owners used that green shag carpeting in both of the upstairs bathrooms. I know it was a hot design element at the time, but it really is a bad idea to have carpeting in wet areas.
This is the formica that is in my bathroom; the countertops and in the shower. It’s the same pattern as in the kitchen, but it has a slight, light green shading to it. Also because of their light colouring, the countertops in my bathroom and in the kitchen hardly show any dirt, grime, or age. Huzzah!
The original taps in my bathroom. They’re not fancy, but The Sister & I love them. The second sinks’ taps were replaced in the mid – late eighties and are not awesome. This shelf liner is not original to the home. It was something my mom and her friend installed in my bathroom when they purchased the home. It’s the most fabulous thing ever!
The laundry room is on the second floor, which I think is quite practical, but also not something that I’ve seen in a lot of homes. I love the cabinets over the washer and dryer units; complete with awesome box lighting and original door hardware in white with gold trim.
Can we just all agree that this is the grooviest linoleum ever! Avocado green with wood. So wonderful! This is the original flooring in the laundry room. And while it’s obviously not original, Hello! Bicentennial Eagle wall hanging! This was my maternal grandmothers and I think he looks splendid in this room.
If anyone reading this has great retro details of their home (or childhood home) that they’d like to share, please share away! I’d love to see the things that you love about your home.