5 Dream Homes for Those Who Like Untouched Retro Style

published Jun 17, 2018
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(Image credit: Philip Webb)

Raise your hand if you have ever felt personally victimized by a McMansion. OK, maybe that’s taking it a little too far, but you have to admit that the proliferation of cookie-cutter houses across the country (and the world) can be a bit of a snore. Luckily, for those who appreciate retro charm, there are some priceless homes on the market today that serve as time capsules of the era in which they were built. These five homes are full of authentic character and original period details that will make you feel like you stepped into a time warp.

6185 N.E. 185th St., Kenmore, Washington

Built in 1959, this Mid-Century Modern gem is on the market for the first time ever. It retains its original features, including open beams, brick walls, vaulted ceilings, walls of windows, and a stunning floating stone staircase.

The 9,079-square-foot home, located in a Seattle suburb, features high-quality custom workmanship (check out the tongue-and-groove wood plank walls) and was designed to blend into its natural surroundings. Plus, who doesn’t want a conversation pit in their home?

The property has three bedrooms and 1.75 bathrooms and is listed for $760,000.

101 South Hill Park, London, England

For those who prefer their home with a side of history, Housden House is just the ticket. British architect Brian Housden created this post-war modern home for his family between 1963 and 1965, and it remains a perfect time capsule of 1960s design.

Located south of Hampstead Heath in London, the 2,128-square-foot home channels the innovative European modernism of the time, comprising raw concrete surfaces, tile mosaics, glass brick windows, a sunken dining area, and bespoke fixtures.

The property has four bedrooms and four bathrooms and is listed for 3.25 million pounds (about $4.3 million USD).

516 Park Road, Park Orchards, Australia

You can be just the second owner of this Victoria home in its entire 57-year history.

Offering mountain views and a half-acre lot, this Mid-Century Modern house was designed and constructed in 1961 by its original homeowners. They used recycled materials—like hardwood floors from military barracks and glass from a national bank—to make the house truly theirs. Groovy features include decorative stone walls, a full-length balcony, and scads of floor-to-ceiling windows.

The property has three bedrooms and one bathroom and is listed for 1.3 million AUD to 1.43 million AUD (about $990,000 to $1.1 million USD).

100 Old Oak Road, North Barrington, Illinois

A blend of Mid-Century Modern and Mediterranean design permeates this 3,028-square-foot home northwest of Chicago, built in 1968. Eye-catching details abound, from the stained glass and vaulted ceilings of the entry to the large expanses of glass.

Brick and stone fireplaces and plentiful wood detailing ensure a warm, cozy feel, and motorheads will swoon for the “secret” garage—large enough to accommodate four to six cars—with a mechanics lift. The enclosed porch is a bonus for those chilly Chicago winters, whereas the in-ground pool is a boon for balmy summers.

The property has four bedrooms and three bathrooms and is listed for $525,000.

10 Crest Road, Piedmont, California

Acclaimed Bay Area architect Clarence Mayhew truly brought the outdoors in when designing this 3,302-square-foot home in 1947. Located in Piedmont, California—a small city within Oakland—the stripped-down residence comprises Mayhew’s signature flexible indoor-outdoor spaces as well as a design approach that mixes European contemporary and Japanese aesthetics.

How could you not be in love with the rich wood finishes, built-in storage, and the strategic use of windows—allowing views of the lush property (including a koi pond) while maintaining residents’ privacy? This is the home’s first time on the market since 1960.

The property has three bedrooms and four bathrooms and is listed for $3.25 million.