Could This ’50s Ranch Be Fab Again?

by hookedonhouses on March 2, 2010

Illinois contemporary-exterior

Areader named Maureen sent me photos of this 1958 ranch in Illinois and said she thought it had a “fun-retro-Brady vibe.” It’s on the market for $225,000, which seems like a pretty good deal for all this space on such a big, wooded lot, but it needs some work. It hasn’t been updated much over the years, so it’s almost like peering inside a time capsule.

That makes it interesting to look at, but it would be hard to live in as is. That’s why it’s perfect for our 5 Changes Game. If you’ve never played before, it’s simple. Take a look at this house and then tell us: If you could make 5 changes right away, what would they be?

1958 contemporary-entry

Built-in planters line the entry hall. And check out the sunken living room around the fire:

1958 contemporary-sunken liv rm

There’s even a funky opening for the TV:

sunken living room

I’m thinking Austin Powers would be right at home here, Baby.

1958 contemporary-sunken living rm 2

The dining room:

1958 contemporary-dining room

Check out the groovy dividing wall:

1958 contemporary-dining room 2

Looks like the kitchen was updated at some point, but badly. It doesn’t really fit with the style of the rest of the house:

1958 contemporary-kitchen

The master bath still has the yellow sink and tub:

1958 contemporary-mba

1958 contemporary-extra room

I think this house could be cool again with the right updates, especially if you really went for a retro-modern look instead of trying to make it something it’s not (traditional brass light fixtures, I’m looking at you!). But what do you think? (Visit the listing for more photos and information.)

What are the first 5 changes you’d make if you bought this house?

Like playing the 5 Changes Game? Check out more houses than need some love, like this Sears Bungalow and a Center-Hall Colonial.

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Robin March 2, 2010 at 8:02 am

Lots of possibilites here, Julia. Love all the wood on the ceiling.

ClassiclyAmber March 2, 2010 at 8:30 am

Oh my crap, this is so awful for so many reasons. It is literally making me sick to my stomach! The first thing I’d do is give the front of the house a big ‘ole facelift…I couldn’t see a couple of the pics, but the kitchen and master bath would get coats of paint, and old appliances ripped out with new ones installed.

Oh heavens….this needs so much more than 5 things. =-) That’s the tricky part, right?
.-= ClassiclyAmber´s last blog ..Dreamy Creamy Bedrooms =-.

Lesley @ TheDesignFile March 2, 2010 at 8:31 am

Wow! This house amazing potential. And it isn’t in horrible shape!

OK – five changes:

1. The kitchen! All of it needs to be ripped out, starting with the wallpaper. Let’s try something like this –

2. The bathroom. I’d think about keeping the original tub and sink but I wouldn’t be wedded to it. I mean, I love the vintage look but I would still want it to look fantastic.

3. Rip out the carpet. I hate carpet in the living room. It may not be right in terms of the period, but I install hardwoods.

4. Replace all the lighting. All of it. I’d install this one somewhere:

5. Fix that weird TV hole. Drywall over that baby and hang a great modern television. After all, I need my Project Runway fix!
.-= Lesley @ TheDesignFile´s last blog ..Design Translation: Choosing a great rug =-.

christy March 2, 2010 at 8:45 am

Wow I love this house – how fun to make it a home. I’d rip out the kitchen and baths and open it up some – hard to limit it to just five changes!

Shelia March 2, 2010 at 8:50 am

Groovy, Babe! LOL Oh, I do think this house could be fab.

First of all the outside needs a makeover – paint the wooden parts a more pleasing color and have lots of plantings around the exterior with a couple of large trees on the right.

Secondly repaint the ceiling with those beams a nice creamy color. I believe I’d take away the sunken living room and just have one huge room.

Thirdly – the kitchen! Rip it all out and redo. Oh, my it would look marvelous with a big ole fireplace on that brick wall where the wood heater is.

Fourthly – Gotta update that bathroom and probably all the others.

Fifth – that glassed in vestibule would be so awesome with some shiny granite floors and lots of big plants up against the glass soaking in the sun and then place some of that old retro doctor’s office looking chairs in there! :)

Thanks for all your posts! I don’t always comment (shame on me) but I’m always peeking in on you!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)
.-= Shelia´s last blog ..Tabletop Tuesday – Den Bookshelves =-.

RLG March 2, 2010 at 8:55 am

Great house! I see the potential in everything I look at, so here’s my top five:
1. update exterior color scheme and simplify with new landscaping
2. unify floors — preferably wood
3. new kitchen — I LOVE metal cabinets and they would work here
4. new baths — white subway tile for walls, wide slate for floors
5. neutral paint throughout — possibly even white until I lived in the space long enough to see what other colors might work
(If I could have a sixth, new lighting throughout — all mid-century and glorious!)
Fun post! xoxo
.-= RLG´s last blog ..Lonny Magazine, Issue 3 =-.

Janet @ I Drink at Restaurants March 2, 2010 at 9:20 am

Let me at it! I could live with the kitchen and bathroom for a while in exchange for structural changes and improvements:

1. Remove every non-load-bearing wall -except the bedrooms -including the random patio doors used a dividers and the circle-y room divider.
2. Replace every window.
3. Install the same flooring throughout -maybe one exception for Vermont blue slate in the entry.
4. Stain the brick and mortar a gray one-two shades lighter than the steel beams.
5. Replace the awful fireplace.
.-= Janet @ I Drink at Restaurants´s last blog ..And Finally- He Barks! =-.

Becky @ Farmgirl Paints March 2, 2010 at 9:42 am

It’s got the bones. All the normal stuff new flooring, paint, rip out that lattice stuff, new lighting, Fill in the firepit area:o I’m sure it could be a real charmer with some moolah!!
.-= Becky @ Farmgirl Paints´s last blog ..Chase the Lion =-.

Morning T March 2, 2010 at 9:43 am

I agree Julia~ this house could be very cool again with a lot of TLC!!
.-= Morning T´s last blog ..In bloom =-.

Laurie @ My Domicile Style March 2, 2010 at 9:54 am

OMG! This is my dream house! I would so be keeping the groovy divider!!

1. Buy the house and move it to N. Dallas. I can’t find anything as cool as this for as cheap as this!!
2. As much as I prefer concrete floors, I would at least make the flooring flow throughout the house and get rid of the carpet.
3. Kitchen – get rid of wallpaper, and all upper cabinets and that woodburning stove.
4. Look at painting the brick both inside and outside, I am loving gray with white trim.
5. Completely redo the master bath, clean, lots of white subway tile, maybe with a huge shower.

George Nelson Bubble Lamps!! Perfect for in here!
.-= Laurie @ My Domicile Style´s last blog ..Friday Finds: Pretty in Pink, Get Organized, Ralph Lauren Sales and Giveaways Galore! =-.

Barbara March 2, 2010 at 10:02 am

This is a FABULOUS house! I really hope that somebody doesn’t buy it and destroy the integrity of it. I would leave much of it just as it is, with clean fresh paint in warm neutral colors.
1. All of the lighting must go! There are some wonderful vintage mid-century lighting fixtures available online. ;

2. The Kitchen must go. Right now it has a weird beachy, cottagey vibe (and NOT in a good way). I LOVE your choice Leslie! I’d want something similar..or, here’s a fun, actual 50′s style kitchen;

3. The carpeting, especially the pepto pink one, must go. I think there are some great, clean, low low pile options that would stay true to the house. Plus, with all that glass and brick and wood, I believe it needs carpet, or large area rugs, to soften and warm it up. I would go for a look like this;

4. The outside needs major sprucing. The cottage style arbor….gone. The decks…gone…patios baby!


5. The bathrooms. Although they appear original to the house….they’re just not cool. I’d love to see something like this;

great photos and ideas and info here;

Well, that was fun! Loved looking through all the mid-century modern sites, now I want a house like that!

.-= Barbara´s last blog ..Hello world! =-.

Marija March 2, 2010 at 10:31 am

So much to love and so much to hate! Is that possible?! Kitchen has to go – other than that, you’d need a team of talented people just to get started but it could be fabulous! Marija
.-= Marija´s last blog ..Mon. Morning Distraction #3 =-.

Sunshine March 2, 2010 at 10:32 am

Yeah Baby! This is one crazy house, that I actually think is really neat. I love to look at what used to be pretty awesome back in the day! This house needs someone to change it, but change it to compliment the style of the house. I am a traditionalist at heart and this would be challenging for me to do. But here’s my shot!
1. Rip out a few walls and open up the floor plan a little more (kitchen and family room)
2. Replace all of the floors with a hand carved mahagony wood floor.
3. Paint the ceiling’s white and stain the beams the same color as the wood floors.
4. Replace all of the light fixtures with something modern yet a little traditional.
5. Gut the kitchen and bathrooms!
.-= Sunshine´s last blog ..Homemade Laundry Soap =-.

Meadowlark March 2, 2010 at 10:35 am

No changes. Except removing anything not-period and helping the beautiful lady reclaim her glory.

Karena March 2, 2010 at 10:58 am

1 The exterior, updated paint combination.
2 Lush Landscaping
3 The kitchen, it could really be fabulous.
4 The baths, here again, some great opportunity here.
5 The living room, freshen with paint, flooring

New works of great abstract and contemporary art! This will really set the house apart as a show stopper!

Art by Karena

It really is a great example of contemporary!
.-= Karena´s last blog ..Stormy Sea in Winter =-.

Amy March 2, 2010 at 11:15 am

Oh, I love this house! I don’t know why I have such a soft spot for this style of home. I’d rip out the baths and kitchen and go with a retro/modern feel. I wonder if the exposed beams were always gray? I’d leave the footprint as is and give it a spruce with new, modern fixtures.
.-= Amy´s last blog ..Shhhh… =-.

Jane F March 2, 2010 at 11:17 am

I happen to love that style house and don’t think it needs all that much — at least based on the photos. I always say “don’t fight the architecture.” Always great to stop by to see you, Julia, hope all is well. Thanks for coming by my blog to see my new picture wall. — Jane F.
.-= Jane F´s last blog ..More Decorating Book Reviews =-.

Hip Hip Gin Gin March 2, 2010 at 11:32 am

Maybe it is the Mad Men lover in me, but I would pretty much leave it alone. The kitchen has to go (the border is beyond hideous), and I would have to update the bathroom. But all the other groovy details? Leave them and just move in I say!!
.-= Hip Hip Gin Gin´s last blog ..Simple Pleasures =-.

Trish @TheOldPostRoad March 2, 2010 at 11:39 am

Only five changes?! Not possible, but here goes
(1) Something HAS to be done about the left side of the exterior – the 1960s motel facade (complete with ac units!). An overhang with “modern” columns (nothing traditional or classic) over on the left of the home and a new paint palette. Don’t change the era – just enhance the “modern” look.
(2) Kitchen update – remove franklin stove, ceiling fan, wall paper -use “retro” fixture and furnishings and maybe steel blues/grays/whites. Leave the classic look for another home.
(3) Paint over all “country blue” in the entire house with a color appropriate for a “modern” 1960s home. This “country blue” beams in the den and sun porch are the wrong color for this home.
(4) Update the bathroom – something retro or modern – small, rectangular glass tiles, modern tap, NO YELLOW .
(5) Landscaping -and lots of it. Like at Falling Water.

I am not a fan of this low-slung, Frank Lloyd Wright style – but this house could be great for someone who enjoys the style!
.-= Trish @TheOldPostRoad´s last blog ..Maps =-.

Blakely March 2, 2010 at 11:40 am

I love this house! I think the bathroom and kitchen are the rooms that really need updated. This house is really cool and I would totally move in it. My husband on the other hand would hate it.
.-= Blakely´s last blog ..White Bean Chicken Chili =-.

Mike March 2, 2010 at 12:05 pm

Okay, Julia, this house is WAY cool. And you know, I don’t think it needs much to really make it amazing.

1. Total revamp of the kitchen. I say this is one change. :-)
2. Revamp the baths. Also one change in my mind!
3. Paint the bedrooms more neutral.
4. Add some sound-dampening materials (subtly) in some of those rooms – perhaps on the ceiling beams? I imagine the acoustics in there are terrible.
5. Add a lot more color outside – maybe paint the brick?

This is not usually the style of house I would like, but there is something awesome about this house. I LOVE all the decking they added, and how awesome is that wet-bar-in-a-closet off the living room? Rip those doors out and use that space! I’d leave the TV cubby right where it is but maybe use it to display some collectibles or art. Maybe enclose it in glass?

The selling agent really needs to put new pictures up in the spring when the trees are in bloom. Right now the place sort of fades into the landscape, because the shades of the brick match the snow and trees!

Katie March 2, 2010 at 12:14 pm

TOTALLY not my style of home…but I definitely see potential.

1. dark hardwoods throughout entire house
2. paint everything (walls, brick interior walls, ceiling beams, ceilings…) one color, probably white or not-quite-white
3. address the light fixtures
4. work with the yellow bathroom fixtures (rip off wallpaper, change sink/tub hardware, again white walls)
5. gut the kitchen and live with open shelves and tables if I had to
6. re-upholster sunken “couches” and disguise the TV insert somehow or ditch it all together…
7. paint the exterior, brick and all, and landscape
8. decorate interior Jeff Lewis style (even though modern is so not me, he can do modern in a way that I still enjoy and appreciate…esp. his kitchens)

Couldn’t stop at just five…I’m bad at this game…. ;o)
.-= Katie´s last blog ..Little Girl Nursery =-.

Anne March 2, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Tear it down! It’s beyond help.

Tracy @ Comfort&Luxury March 2, 2010 at 12:22 pm

What a great house. Cosmetics and fixture changes only and I think it would be great.
1. Remove all carpet and pray for hardwood or concrete beneath
2. Paint out those beams so they’re not so oppressive. Faux-wood, limed or white-washed like the entry or all white? Not sure, just lighten them up.
3. Remove all wallpaper. The bathroom’s yellow porcelains could be incorporated into something new and cool if the wallpaper was gone.
4. Update lighting
5. Drywall over the tv niche. But KEEP the sunken fireside seating!

Of course, the kitchen needs a complete reno but that takes more time and thought and money to get it right so it wouldn’t be in my “first five”. And the front landscaping needs some trees and things to soften the blockiness, but it’s snowing and I’m not going out there!
.-= Tracy @ Comfort&Luxury´s last blog ..Field Trip: The Huntington, Part 3. The Garden’s Promise of Spring =-.

Pascale March 2, 2010 at 12:41 pm

I don’t think this house needs much “updating.” Too often, we forget what current of thought was behind an architectural a style.

This house was clearly well-built and designed by an architect, and it provides the clues to what is needed. Look at the strong architectural features: the close-to-the-ground horizontal shape hugging the landscape; the use of natural materials throughout, such as wood and stone; the floor-to-ceiling windows; the gorgeous blond wood ceilings… (It could be arguably be said that, with its focus on natural living and the use of materials found in Nature, this house is a modern reinterpretation of the Arts & Crafts Movement.)

What this house needs: modern, period-style furnishings, natural elements, taking advantage of the openness, incorporating the outdoors within the living spaces.

- The kitchen needs to be torn out; the links provided above by Lesley are right on target.
- The Country blue on the exterior is wrong; the paint color needs to be reminiscent of the surroundings; no dumpy drapes, but open views.
- The fireplace is is too small for the scale of the rooms; it needs to be larger and with lines and stone reminiscent of the outside of the house.
- I am not fond of sunken living rooms, but the color of the seating offers a direction to follow, with sleek furnishings. So, keep the sunken feature; it creates a room within the room.
- Above all, keep the ceilings a natural color: the ceilings are beautiful in natural wood colors.
- Fill those planters near those gorgeous, tall windows, to emphasize the feeling of inside-outside living within Nature.
- Use slate, to unify the floor surfaces; and rugs, for function-defining areas on the floor (spaces within spaces).

Lovely house…
.-= Pascale´s last blog ..Elton John/Billy Joel Concert at the Rose Quarter (02-10-10) =-.

Joni Webb March 2, 2010 at 1:15 pm

It sort of reminds me of Lauren’s – Pure Style. Look what she did to HER house. fabulous!
.-= Joni Webb´s last blog ..Giveaway On The Skirted Roundtable =-.

Joshua March 2, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Assuming all of the foundation, electrical, pipes–etc. are highly functioning, I would keep it up. Designing the interior would be a blast. Depending on location — bed and breakfast? Could be fun.


Shannon of ** Happiness Is...** March 2, 2010 at 1:44 pm

I wouldn’t touch it!! It is mid-century perfect. Okay, well maybe I’d open the kitchen up.
.-= Shannon of ** Happiness Is…**´s last blog ..Alexandra Grecco =-.

Kim March 2, 2010 at 1:56 pm

This has to be the hardest 5 changes you have ever done. There’s not much you could do to make this house nice and liveable.

1. If I had the money, the first thing I would do is tare down that house and build a brand new one.

If I didn’t have the money then these are the things I would do to the house:

2. I would give the kitchen a makeover by taking down that wall, giving it a better layout, updating the appliances, and the cabinets.

3. Redue the bathrooms

4. Give the outside a makeover

5. Take down the honeycomb wall so the dining room feels more open.

Jamie March 2, 2010 at 2:17 pm

OMG!! this is in Belleville. I worked there for 5 years while living in St. Louis. My husband and I recently moved to Georgia (just for a year) and are moving back to the St. Louis area in July. I would love to move this house a bit west into St. Louis. Maybe we will have to take a look at it when we go house hunting in a few months.

So many people have already commented that they hate it or it is beyond repair. OH NO! It’s bones are awesome! Things to change:

1) You would need to see if the flat rook could be changed. Flat = not good. It looks like they might already have some sort of leak where they put the blanket down.
2) Hardwood floors throughout.
3) The windows would probably need to be replaced. I bet it sucks energy right now.
4) Gut the kitchen and replace with something more modern
5) Gut bathrooms.

It’s a gem.
.-= Jamie´s last blog ..the dance and snap =-.

Amanda @ Serenity Now March 2, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Oh, me. I have no words. I definitely agree that this is one of those homes that would be great for a young, hip couple who wants to keep the retro vibe. Definitely needs some updating outdoors though. A pity they don’t have a “non-snow” outdoor shot.

Nina March 2, 2010 at 2:20 pm

What a fantastic house! I am truly in love, if only there were palm trees and bambu in the garden instead of those bare bushes. My five changes are:
Paint all walls white-white, interior and exterior.
Go for a warmer, darker look on the wooden details like walnut.
Change the kitchen and bathroom cabinets to classical danish designer ones.
Change all the lighting for built in spotlights and some lamps from mooi. The Random light would be perfect in the living room.
Make a nice swimmingpool are on the top level of the garden with loungers, and perhaps a hot tube.

Jaime March 2, 2010 at 2:37 pm

I see a ton of potential there. Look at that ceiling! I wonder if those planks might be throughout the house? I would definitely expose them!

Thanks so much for the comment – I really appreciate it!
.-= Jaime´s last blog ..Outtakes Photo Challenge… =-.

Lori-Anne March 2, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Wow. Sorry, I can only think of one change – bulldoze it and start over … but rescue the hardwood flooring first. That was the only redeeming quality I could spot!!
.-= Lori-Anne´s last blog ..Jazz in a Tea Cup =-.

Julianna March 2, 2010 at 2:50 pm

I love this house! I’d facelift the front, redo the bathrooms, completely renovate the kitchen. I love the t.v. pit, but I’d spruce that up a bit. Lastly, I’d conquer those room dividers. This is a great house! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THE WINDOWS!
.-= Julianna´s last blog ..I Deserve a Time Out… =-.

Hailey March 2, 2010 at 3:30 pm

1. Light fixtures
2. Hardware
3. Carpet
4. Paint colors
5. Overgrowth (outside) trimming

I agree with everyone that this house has huge potential and I can’t wait until the day that I can buy a house like this (with cash) to update and sale… just for fun!
.-= Hailey´s last blog ..60 Days to Triathlon – Day 22 =-.

Hailey March 2, 2010 at 3:36 pm

… by the way those were my first 5 ‘quick fix’ solutions… let me assure you there would be plenty of changes if I had a large budget and a large crew!
.-= Hailey´s last blog ..60 Days to Triathlon – Day 22 =-.

SueLovesCherries March 2, 2010 at 3:46 pm

I love this house!
1) Paint the outside so it doesn’t look like a school; the brick is fine.
2) Kitchen definitely has to go – bring it back to its 50′s glam.
3) As you said, hanging light fix’s have to go.

That’s it – the rest is totally awesome, especially the couch area – can’t you just picture a teen boy running across the room to dive on the sofa!
.-= SueLovesCherries´s last blog ..GOOD MORNING! =-.

Alicia March 2, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Sorry, nothing you could do to save this monstrosity! I can’t believe someone lived here!

anna see March 2, 2010 at 3:55 pm

cool house!

gut the kitchen
rip up the carpets (except some fun shag in the convo pit)
gut the bathroom
add cool surfaces like concrete and limestone
i’m thinking light walls and gleaming, dark floors
.-= anna see´s last blog ..It’s All about Me, Right? =-.

laney March 2, 2010 at 4:16 pm

…this house was built when i was ten years old…so i so understand the feel of it…this was someone’s dream home i can tell you that… i can just imagine parties and bar b ques on those decks…and pajama parties all over the floor in the living room…and i think it could be a dream home for someone today…enormous potential….but i am afraid enormous amounts of money needed to make it what it should be…like charlie brown’s little tree…it just needs someone to love it ….

Jessica March 2, 2010 at 5:56 pm

Umm, I would never buy this house. I can’t stand it. haha I wouldn’t even know where to start at making it livable!
.-= Jessica´s last blog ..Rocking Chair Makeover =-.

Kat in Texas March 2, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Oh, my stars! I’d live in this house in a minute! I’m actually picturing my furniture and rugs in those rooms. Yes, it can be fab again, and my first five fixes would be:

1. Spruce up the exterior (new paint and landscaping);
2. Paint walls and exposed beams;
3. Remove carpeting and install hardwoods to match dining room;
4. Redo kitchen; and
5. Update light fixtures.

After recovering from that initial outlay of cash, I’d then redo the bathrooms and update the fabulous sunken seating area around the fireplace. Just imagine a great fabric on those cushions. The hole for the TV has to go. Hang a flat screen. This is a great house with great bones and nice mid-century architecture. It just needs a little TLC to look spectacular!

Nita March 2, 2010 at 6:17 pm

Wow! I cannot believe the comments here. This is a classic 50s contemporary and it’s not even in bad shape at all! This is how alot of homes were built back then, not unliveable at all. I would put in wood floors. I might even keep the sunken part of the living room around the fireplace. I would put in modern 50s time period style cabinets in the kitchen. Anything I did beyond that would be to keep it in that same time period, such as Danish modern furniture, etc. I would definitely not want to do the kitchen and baths to look like today’s.

Pat March 2, 2010 at 6:51 pm

This is not my style of house, but for some reason…I really like it! It does need some up dates, but the grounds look very nice, and that says a lot.
What it needs:
1. Some one who really loves it.
2. Some one with deep pockets
3. Someone to make changes slowly..once they get to “know” it.
4. Raise the living room floor and get rid of the pit.
5. Some yummy bread baking in the oven in the new kitchen!
.-= Pat´s last blog ..Back From Capri – The Island, Not The Pants =-.

devil March 2, 2010 at 7:01 pm

The first change I’d make is to cut the price to not one penny more than 100K. It’s just not worth more than that with all the work it needs and it’s located in a place that SNOWS. Yecch.

With a whole lot of very expensive work, this house could be fabulous.

Christine March 2, 2010 at 7:13 pm

I loved every picture of this place until I got to the kitchen and bath… :) So 1) gut the bathroom, start over, 2) kitchen cabinets/appliances, 3) color up those rooms with some paint!, 4) light fixtures, and 5) spruce up that outside! I know that it is obviously winter and there is snow on the ground, but some greenery and color out there would be nice.
.-= Christine´s last blog ..Monday… shumundee… =-.

Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish March 2, 2010 at 7:24 pm

I think it totally needs someone to love it for what it is – a traditional piece of our real estate heritage! Filling in the floor would be the equivalent to tearing out wood trim and built ins in a craftsman! It really just needs someone to love it and to restore it lovingly to its groovy self! I would update the bath and kitchen with something that is more appropriate to the house, get rid of the brass, spruce up the exterior, and update the windows and the roof to give it many more years of life!
.-= Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish´s last blog ..A New Big Project!! =-.

Christa March 2, 2010 at 7:57 pm

What potential! Reminds me a little of my grandparent’s house they built in the 50′s.

I would gut the kitchen and open it up to the family room/sun room; install hardwood floors though out and stone or tile of some kind in the entry way and bathrooms; new fixtures and paint in the baths; update the exterior with new paint and get rid of all the brass.

Nita March 2, 2010 at 8:56 pm

I look at this house and think, “Rob!” what Laura Petrie always yelled to her husband when she was exasperated. This is the kind of house they lived in on the old Dick Van Dyke show in the 1960s. Very little ornamentation for this style. Some colored bottles on shelves is what I remember.

colleen March 2, 2010 at 9:16 pm

Needs a lor ot TLC and a lot of upgrading. But here goes:

1. RAise floor and fireplace in living room, no sucken ones here. Replace all with hardwood.
2. Get rid of that room divider. would have to see more of house but a divider of glass and metal might work.
3. Major kitchen redo, granite, dark wood copboards or shiny new ones with lots of frosted glass and metal trim.
4. Major bathroom redo, fabuloustile and fixtures, very modern but clean lined and very lite and spa like.
5. Tons of paint inside (lots of neutrals with a few bright punches or fab art) and inside (paint with less contrast and more in tune with natures surroundings.

Overall with that much glass you need to bring the inside in, blur the lines.
.-= colleen´s last blog ..WHAT’S HOT FOR 2010 (you tube video) =-.

angela | the painted house March 2, 2010 at 9:21 pm

Another just for me, Julia? :) Hmm…the conversation pit would make a great playpen for toddlers with a TV for Barney and a fire to keep ‘em warm. “Enjoy, my little Darlings, while Mommy blogs.” Joking, of course!
I love it. Love it. Love it!
.-= angela | the painted house´s last blog ..Retropolis, Houston =-.

angela | the painted house March 2, 2010 at 9:33 pm

Oh, my, I just went to the listing page and fell more in love. How fabulous is that bamboo mirror in the bath? I just spent the weekend in Houston touring some houses like this and documenting interesting concrete divider patterns…coming soon to a blog near you. Ha! Thanks for posting this house.
.-= angela | the painted house´s last blog ..Retropolis, Houston =-.

Carmen March 2, 2010 at 9:41 pm

Wow! At first I thought that this house was so fugly. But it’s kind of growing on me the more I look at it. The exterior is REALLY ugly though. That would be my first change…make the outside look better. Although, I’m really not sure how. I love the entry hall, the round glass lights would stay. I think they’re cool. My second change would be get rid of the sunken living room…weird. Third, get rid of that weird dividing wall. Fourth, gut the whole bathroom. Fifth, gut the whole kitchen and make it a style that fits the house more.
.-= Carmen´s last blog ..The Few The Proud =-.

T. March 2, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Wow. It’s like time almost stood still, with a few stutters into the 80s with some of the light fixtures, and the country kitchen. There are so many elements of this home that were present in my childhood home, it almost makes me sad. I think this house is a great example of how trendy features simply do not stand the test of time. It’s best to stick with traditional styling for a timeless look, but man, it’s fun to see something so downright groovy, isn’t it?

Julie Guanti March 2, 2010 at 10:20 pm

I love this place! It has the bones of ultra modern architectural homes you see in magazines – just needs updating. #1. Replace all windows to update the place from a construction time warp. They should be a focal point to show off, not something that is dated. It will also help with coziness and warmth in the home. #2. Remove the walls that divide kichen and living area, perhaps adding a large island. Open up the conversation areas and create flow. #3. Replace kitchen, everything needs to go, new cabinets, flooring, lighting, appliances, counters etc. Go with a modern, edgy feel using hard and shiny surfaces but include warm wood tones (like teak) to match the rest of the house. #4. Replace all bathrooms, using sleek designs, glass tile and good lighting. #5. It looks like the exterior paint is peeling. It needs to be completely redone. If the windows were replaced with black framing, the exterior colour would be fantastic in a light grey/beige colour.

Jenny March 2, 2010 at 10:22 pm

I’m not sure where to begin on that one! Yikes!
.-= Jenny´s last blog ..Links I Like: 5th Edition =-.

E. George March 2, 2010 at 10:37 pm

Hi Julia hope you are keeping well are you guys warm yet? I have a DVD called National Trust National Treasure UK there is a house featured in it built around the 1930s it looks a bit like this one but sorry guys much nicer it would look harsh from the outside but what he did is surround the outside with a lush garden with ponds Weeping Willow trees Cherry blossoms and some beautiful statues this place I’m thinking needs to be softened from the outside first then you can figure out what to do on the inside the UK house had lots of polished floors and elegant leather furniture and the garden view from the ceiling to floor windows beautiful. If you guys were to see this place you would all want to live there way ahead of its time and it has a name The Homewood. RegardsEsther (still daydreamin) from Sydney.

Kelly R. March 2, 2010 at 10:54 pm

This isn’t what I expected with the heading, 50′s Ranch. Looks more contemporary/modern.

Nathan March 2, 2010 at 10:54 pm

This house will make someone A LOT of money by flipping it. I would actually modernize it. That “room separation” wall needs to go – whether it’s gone completely or replaced by something else – maybe those shelving units that go floor to ceiling and allow for different visibility depending on what you fill the shelves with (I’m not sure exactly how to explain it). I love those dropped areas in living rooms, but I hate this one (Christina Aguilera’s Hollywood/LA area home has one that I like). That said, I would take it out and replace the fireplace. The carpet could go as well. The kitchen and bathroom both need to be completely redone. The brick walls NEED to stay though. I Absolutely love them.

Yasmine March 3, 2010 at 12:03 am

This house would work for me just fine as it is, except for the bathroom.
.-= Yasmine´s last blog ..Make Your Own ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ Poster For Free =-.

Why S? March 3, 2010 at 12:41 am

I don’t have the strength now to list 5 changes but I just want to say the house is absolutely fab – new colors, appropriate fixtures and a complete reno of that dreadful kitchen should easily make the house perfect. Now I’m off to collapse in bed.
.-= Why S?´s last blog ..Shopping for Furniture? =-.

Rosemary March 3, 2010 at 8:16 am

Not into the ’50′s. Sorry.
I watched a movie called “Guarding Tess” this weekend. I wondered if you had ever posted anything about that fabulous house Tess lived in? Might make a good Movie Monday. Thanks, Rosie

greenie March 3, 2010 at 10:31 am

Love Love Love this House!!! I’m happy to see so much of the originality intact. I would gut the kitchen–needs to be modern. And get rid of that wood-burning fireplace in the kitchen! This ain’t Little House on the Prairie! All the light fixtures need to be replaced, except for those globes in the entry. Rip up the carpet and install hardwoods. Master bath needs to be gutted. There’s not much to salvage there. And then just some cleaning and repainted (off-white). Love the groovy dividing wall as well.

Jodi Clayton March 3, 2010 at 10:44 am

Pam from retrorenovation would have a fit if anyone changed the awesome retro-ness this house has–as would I!!! Just need to get the kitchen into the groove–I wish I could buy it! I LOVE the kitsch of the fifties! But the blue beams would have to be redone.

Rosa March 3, 2010 at 12:25 pm

For move in ready for our family of 5 (3 kids under 8), I would:

1. remove the carpeting and put in wall to wall hardwood throughout the entire house, minus the kitchen.
2. Paint the entire interior white to keep it with a Swedish design feel, especially because it is located in a State with 4 seasons.
3. The bathrooms would be redone to save money: tub would be professionally painted and sealed, the sink removed and put in two pedestal sinks for my kids. Remove wall paper and paint. The other bathroom would get the same treatment, but I think it may remain with one sink.
4. Change dated light fixtures. Just the brass or goldish ones and the ceiling fan to new modern ones. I actually like the globe fixtures.
5. Wouldn’t touch the kitchen until I could come up with an open concept design and then incorporate the idea for what to do with the wood stove, which I like, and new, modern appliances, maybe an AGA.

I love the look and feel of this house. A TON of potential. A TON!
.-= Rosa´s last blog ..The Goodbye . . . =-.

Tricia Rose March 3, 2010 at 8:29 pm

Well, first I’d have ten more children to fill the place up…
Then I’d try to connect the strange internal kitchen to the outside – seems to have one tiny window. Love the AGA suggestion! Redo whole kitchen.
Something tells me it needs more bathrooms. Certainly better bathrooms.
Limestone floors with underfloor heating throughout, and Tibetan rugs.
I think I would keep the strange sunken floor, for the sake of history.
Fabulous lighting and strange, sparse mid-century furniture (you didn’t set a budget did you?)
.-= Tricia Rose´s last blog ..Busy Dreaming =-.

le@whoopwhoop March 6, 2010 at 5:54 pm

I would not change much at all – I love it …

1) out with the kitchen
2) light fittings that are not retro are out
3) use cool scandi design influences
4) re plant the planters with some sculpure type form plants
5) re work the bathroom into a cool white space

thanks le
.-= le@whoopwhoop´s last blog ..Alexandra Angle … sigh …. =-.

Beck March 6, 2010 at 10:51 pm

1. Yank out all carpet and replace w/the same brick on kitchen floor and hardwood.
2. The brick on the outside replaced or something….YUK
3. Put in a lagoon style pool
4. Replace all glass with european tilt windows and french doors.
5. Serious landscaping

eydie June 27, 2010 at 3:15 pm

i don’t see anything wrong with this house. it’s fantastic! i’d “50′s” it up even more. all retro furnishings, keeping the necessary stuff of current times (computer, etc.) to a minimum and discreetly tucked out of the way. i’d bake cookies dressed like a 50′s housewife.

Natschultz July 29, 2010 at 2:36 pm

This house is to die for! Who destroyed the kitchen?

1) Outside – Paint the brick siding a deep olive green, the flat panel siding a lighter green and the windows a dark brick red. This will fit the landscape well. Then landscape the terraces with sculptural Japanese-style shrubs.

2) Replace all carpet with hardwood. Remove TV box and leave sunken area as a conversation nook. Paint all interior brick walls a soft creamy off-white and put a modern flat screen TV on brick wall in living room. Furnish with a mix of large-scale modern furniture with clean lines and use vintage Danish Modern pieces throughout as accents.

3) Gut kitchen! Replace wood burning stove with a large modern wood cookstove enameled in dark green. Break-through walls to get a view of the outdoors and use metal cabinets (vintage or modern – either work) in a brick red glossy enamel with stainless steel countertops and appliances.

4) Gut bathroom except for tub. Have tub re-enameled in pale gray or white. Replace vanity with 2 large square white sinks on a glossy medium gray vanity on stainless legs. Tile tub with pale gray glass tiles and carry around room 4′ up walls. Replace floor-to-ceiling wall next to toilet with a 4′ wall. Tile floor with dark charcoal colored 12X24 tiles. Paint walls and ceiling a pale blue-gray. Replace large mirror with two 24″ round mirrors above each sink and install pot lights in ceiling and vintage (or reproduction) Mid-Century sconces on either side of each mirror.

5) Dining Room: Continue original wood plank and gray beam ceiling into the dining room. Paint circle divider glossy brick red and install LED uplights in floor below it so it glows at night. Find a really awesome Danish Modern (authentic) dining room set and vintage or reproduction chandelier to replace that ugly brass thing. Paint exposed brick wall off-white, half wall charcoal gray and wall behind it a lighter shade of gray. Install a floating buffet along half-wall or a vintage Danish Modern buffet and some vintage Mid-Century table lamps on it. Get rid of the drapes and replace with those electronic blinds that disappear into the ceiling behind a wood valance painted to look like those gray beams. April 1, 2011 at 12:12 pm

WOW! Massive potential! Reminds me of homes designed by Dutch architect Gerrit Rietveld.

Rob Dog 99 June 24, 2011 at 9:29 am

5 Changes:
1. Double Pane insulated glass
2. Get rid of the blue paint
3. Get rid of the white paint
4. New color scheme
5. Did I mention repaint!!!

Special-K July 24, 2011 at 12:11 pm

OMG. I would buy this house in a nano-second and catch the first thing smokin’ to Illinois. Is it still on the market? I have been waiting for YEARS for a project like this.

hookedonhouses July 24, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Looks like it has sold. The listing is no longer up, anyway. Sorry!

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