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We are all about bringing your outdated spaces current to the modern age. We want you to love your surroundings and we strive to help you make that happen. You know this about us.

When we see orange shag carpet? Our take: “Rip it out!” Old-school floral wallpaper hanging in the bedroom? “Start scraping!” Those pastel-colored kitchen appliances from the 1970′s? “Um, no.”

So, that’s our usual stance at HGTV. But then, THEN — CNN.com introduced us (well, me) to “Time Capsule Houses.” And friends, they’re glorious. They’re so bad, and so wrong — that they’re wonderful. And apparently, there’s a market for them.

“Homes stuck in another century might seem like they’d be difficult to sell,” says CNN’s Henry Hanks. “But some buyers are interested in ‘time capsule houses’ — especially those built in the middle of the 20th century.”

Time Capsule Houses

A home in Kenthorst, Pa. built in 1965.

Time Capsule Houses

A well-maintained mid-century kitchen

Time Capsule Houses

Photos Courtesy CNN.com

My fellow blogger, Liz, pointed out that there’s an actual “retro reno” movement going on out there. Places like Retro Renovation will help you remodel and decorate your home in mid-century and vintage style.

What say you? Can you appreciate this resistance to modernize? Heck, are you someone who would actually purchase one of these homes? Let me know what you think.


Antiques, Design Trends

23 Responses

  1. DBCoop says:

    I like the idea of 'Time Capsule Houses.' For one thing, newer isn't necessarily better. For another, mid-century doesn't have to mean medieval.

    So be it 'retro reno', freshly minted or anywhere in between, all interior styles and any age of home can be tastefully done and completely functional for today's living.

    Of course, that's an opinion coming from someone who is still perfectly happy with their flip-cover cell phone. Then again, there's no orange shag carpet, floral wallpaper or popcorn ceiling to be found in my home either. The kitchen appliances are all stainless steel, rooms have flat-screen high def TVs and there are solar panels on the roof.

    That makes home a comfortable hang-out with a mix of eclectic style and modern, energy-saving features. So just call me vintage — but well-maintained!

    • lyn says:

      I own a 1920's craftsman bungalow that I've chosen to keep original. I love all of the French doors and wonderful built-ins with the original doors and hardware even if they do stick sometimes. The American red oak floors aren't perfect, but they have a wonderful patina that would be lost if I had them sanded. The house is furnished with antiques. When I walk in after a long day, it's as if I'm in a different time and place. All of my modern cares and worries seem to vanish and I find peace in a quieter time. I don't care if it's not attractive to buyers, because the only way I'll leave this lovely old house is on a stretcher!

    • Pam says:

      I love Heywood Wakefield furniture.

  2. Barbara J. says:

    I love the retro look. Vintage, retro…I say YES!!

    • Pam says:

      I live in Cedar Falls, Iowa and we have a store in town called Miss Wonderful and it is 50's and 60's items and furniture. It is like stepping back into my childhood. I love it.

  3. Bennie says:

    I would definitely live in a house like this. Such a great style.

  4. Dianne says:


  5. Jim Sean says:

    The crap you do in New York would be torn out as crap in Northern California Are these people just idiots or liberal stupid democrats

  6. Nidia says:

    Always great to see goo information that I can make use of.

  7. Sheetsie says:

    Having lived at the time this was new…. THIS was considered badly designed, garish and UGLY then. There is plenty of good mid century modern but THIS tacky house was considered tacky in the mid century.

  8. Susan Scott says:

    I live in a retro house.Built in 1975. I will not trade my paneling and brick fireplace in my family room!! People walk in and say wow,looks like the house I grew up in!! And I love that!! And yep,I have the ceiling logs running across the ceiling. Definitely retro.My last house,I had an authentic 1950s kitchen with all the appliances ,even a payphone.Took me two weeks to steel that house!

  9. Patti B says:

    Take a look at "Atomic Ranch" magazine. If you like this, you'll love AR.

  10. Paula says:

    We just spent a day at Elvis's Graceland. These pics could be the house next door. Whether going back 10, 15, 20 50. . . who cares if the owner loves it. Isn't that the inherent meaning of HOME?????

Grant DudleyGrant is the editor-in-chief of Design Happens and digital programming manager of HGTV.com. Despite growing up begging his mom not to ever drag him to another antique store, today his...


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